Monday, December 31, 2007

Don't get married.

You guys know how much I love Jason right? Like, I love him so much that the sheer force of my love could potentially knock a starving dog off a meat wagon? Like his happiness makes me happy? Like his sadness makes me want to go kick people in the crotch? Like I want to make him chicken fried rice and put extra chicken in it just so he'll say, "YAY! You put extra chicken in it!"?

Yeah.

Still. Marriage is hard.

Recently someone I know got married, and I've been really sad and conflicted about it.

Sad because, well, she's 18 and hasn't yet graduated high school. Conflicted because, well, what the hell do I know? And maybe they'll have as much of a chance to make it as those of us who were twenty-freaking-seven when we tied the knot.

Girl and Boy Child will turn 18 on March 21st, 2016. Presumably, they will graduate high school at the end of May, 2016. I don't want them to get married before they graduate high school.

Okay, to be honest? I want Girl Child to become President of the Universe and Boy Child to fulfill his life-long dream of being a Chef/Animal Hunter/Really Awesome Dentist before he settles down. I was thinking the other day that it would be perfectly fine with me if they only went out with groups of friends and didn't have any serious boyfriends or girlfriends until they were in college.

I know that's not realistic, really. I know that they will have minds of their own and hormones and all manner of things that I have absolutely no control over. And really? Honestly? I have no desire to control them. I'm interested in who they will become, because who they are is awesome.

Maybe this girl I know, who has only been 18 for a few days, will graduate high school. Maybe she will go on to graduate college. Maybe she will have a really awesome career. Maybe she'll stay home and be a really great mom to really great kids. Maybe she'll be happy and fulfilled and satisfied, and pleased with her life.

Marriage is important to me. I love my husband and I love our marriage and our family. My worst day with these three people is better than my best day without them.

But it makes me sad that I went from my parents house into a house with my first husband. And I didn't make enough money to pay the bills on my own, so when our marriage became absolutely horrid, I knew I had no way out. I couldn't go home anymore, and I couldn't stay there anymore. I had to rely on him to pay the bills, and he? Was not reliable.

And I put myself in that situation.

What also makes me sad is that I didn't take the time to date a lot of people and find someone who was more like me. My first husband? I have no idea why I married him. None. I am still so puzzled at how I felt like I could have been happy with this person, who is sullen and mean and not interested in spending time talking or listening. Who would rather sleep than explore, who would rather be sharp and mean than kind.

In my heart I know, it didn't matter if I was happy or not. I was fulfilling my fate. I was doing what I was supposed to do. The morning of the wedding I was getting dressed and someone said to me said, "FINALLY! You are FINALLY getting married, old maid!" I was twenty years old. Twenty.

What makes me most sad is that no one, ESPECIALLY not me, looked at twenty year old me and said, "You should go to college. You belong in Graduate school. You have talents and gifts and while it's perfectly okay if you want to be someone's wife, being someone's wife isn't the ONLY thing you can be."

Instead? I got to start all over two years later, when I was twenty-two years old and had two babies. I had to find a way to support myself and two other people. I had to find the courage to go to college. I had to buy my own house, my own car. I had to figure out all these things that I should have figured out before, but not only was I figuring them out for me, I had to figure them out for me plus two tiny people who relied on me.

None of this is anyone's fault, I understand. It was only me. It was my choices. It's my fault and I have no one to blame but myself. It was completely and totally and 100 percent my bad choices.

Still.

I do wish someone had said to me, "You don't have to do this. You can be more than this. It's okay for a girl to be self-sufficient. I believe in you."

And I wish that someone had said to that girl I know, "I believe in you."

Would it have made a difference? For either one of us? I don't know.


But it would have been nice to have a chance.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

I have no life! Here's proof!

A few weeks ago? I had a birthday party.

For my dog.

First, I got her a cake at Kroger:

I let Boy Child hold the cake plate. I'm no fool.




Yeah, it was gone in about 12 seconds.



And she was all like, "THANKS MOM!" Probably? She burped.


Last night I was holding the dog and Jason commented that she has dry skin. I said, "Yes! Because she's MY dog!"
He looked skeptical, so I quickly explained, "She has hair like me! Curly and unruly! She has dry skin like me!"
At that moment, Ginger burped so loudly that the people three houses over went, "What the hell?"
And I said, immediately, "See! She takes after you too!"
It was a great evening.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

So. How'd I do?

Last year around this time I made some "resolutions" that I prefer to refer to as goals. Because goals is just nicer. Also? Resolutions imply that I might HAVE to do all this crap, and frankly, I don't. I just maybe kinda of want to, unless there is something good on t.v.

But I hadn't thought about them in a very long time, so I decided I would revisit it so we could all get a good laugh at me for even trying.

1) I want to be a better wife.

Okay, I'm giving myself a pass on this one. I'm a good wife.

I am really, really, REALLY not a perfect wife. And I think most people in my life, except a few who are very close to me, would be surprised to know that my marriage was in real trouble earlier this year. Real, real, really bad trouble. I was really scared at one point that we wouldn't make it. Things were just going really badly for us and there was a lot of anger on both sides.

But we stuck it out. We worked it out and our marriage is fan-freaking-tastic.

So I just kind of think, in the immortal words of Nick Lachey, "There are going to be bad moments. But when you are in it for fifty-five years, are you going to look back on one or two shit years? Or eight shit years? What about the other forty-seven?"

That Nick. He is so wise.

2) I want to work on my forgiveness skills.

No. No. I still suck at this.

3) Finish my novel.

Another for the land-o-suck.

To be fair to me, losing my hard drive earlier this year really screwed me. To be even more fair, I suck at writing novels, and that's my main problem.

4) Stop working so many jobs.

I've gotten fairly good at saying, "Screw you guys, I'm going home" but I could be much better.

Also, I've GOT TO STOP VOLUNTEERING SO MUCH. I mean, I believe the children are our future or whatever the crap, but still. Good Lord. Somebody else is going to have to help me out.

5) Walk five hundred miles.

EPIC. FAIL.


So overall, I both suck and blow.

I've thought long and hard about my goals for next year and have been conflicted. I still want to be a better wife, because even though I think I'm a good wife, I could be better. I want to have an attitude of forgiveness, but frankly, that would be a lot easier if people weren't such peeholes all the time. I'd love to finish my novel, but really? I'm not good at novel writing. I have the attention span of a smashed gnat caught in the fur of an epileptic cat. I'd love to get another job and stop working so much. Believe me, I'm trying. I'm TRYING. And walking five hundred miles isn't as much of a goal as just being healthier and getting some kind of regular exercise.

So I don't know.

The only thing I know, for sure, that I want to publicly put out as a goal:

I want to publish something.

I don't care if it's a letter to the editor. I don't care if it's a corn report in the Amish times. I don't care if it's a tiny piece for our community rag (seven of it's ten pages? Local high school football). I want to see my stupid name in print.

So that will be my goal. I guess.

And I fail at that? Well, I don't want to think about it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Six.

I had six cans of Diet Pepsi today.

My kidneys? Abhor me.

I've been up since 2am. I can't sleep. And no, it's not because of the caffeine, but that might contribute to my inability to sleep TONIGHT.

I have been a busy, busy bee today and submitted a bunch of my writing to magazines and other things literary. I would be scared, but they probably won't even respond, so why bother?

And frankly? What the hell. You know? I'm over it. They like me or they hate me. If I don't send it, I'll never know.

My mom said something along the lines of, "I'm glad you aren't bothering with that writing thing anymore...you have to eat."

And you know? It just...irked me. Motivated me, maybe. I don't know.

It doesn't matter.
I'm just tired.

Who likes free money? Me! Me!

As I've said numerous times, I'm a huge freak about money.

The sad truth is, I make more money now than I ever had in my life. And I still feel like I'm never going to make enough. What really slammed my head into the wall was that in August of this year, my expenses increased by...gulp...$800 a month in childcare and student loans. I really feel fortunate and lucky that we have been able to meet that extra expense, but it doesn't leave a lot for, um, walking around money. Or whatever you want to call it. I know a lot of people are worse off than me, and I'm really grateful for all I do have, of course, but still. Money just sends me to the ceiling lately.

That being said, I've found a couple of easy ways to make a little money and I thought I'd share. As a word of warning, these are NOT get rich-quick schemes. Believe me, you aren't going to become a millionaire and be able to quit your day job or anything. But they are all interesting ways to earn a small amount of money and in my opinion, any amount of money is good.

The first one is CashCrate. The first day I signed up, I earned $17.05 in one hour for doing things like answering surveys. A lot of the information is very, very repetitive, but if you don't mind something like that you could probably make about $20.00 a month. It is completely free and really easy. They send you checks each month that you make over $10.00. Sweet!

I know, $20 isn't going to cure the national debt. It will, however, buy one of my children a yearbook. So I'll take it.

The second one is Hit$forPay. I get paid for reading emails. No, seriously.

Now, sadly, they aren't emails from old high school friends or anything. Usually they are trying to sell me something, but that's okay, because I don't have to buy it in order to get the money.

Again, this does not pay well. I think it's like 2 cents per email or something. But the emails come fairly steadily AND this company gives you $10.00 just for signing up, which rocks. And seriously? Someone gives me any kind of money for looking at an email for 30 seconds? Yeah. Okay. I'll take it.

This company pays automatically to your PayPal (also free!) account once you reach $25.00. Like I said, won't cure the national debt, or even Chick's debt, but it's still free money.

Before using either one of these sites I would highly recommend that you:

1) Get yourself a free Yahoo or Gmail account specifically for things like this. Because you will get about 12 tons of email. I have them sent to a Gmail account which is very good about filtering out spam and it saves me from a lot of the crap.
2) Most of these things ask for a phone number, although honestly? I've not gotten one call from any of them. I haven't looked into getting a private voice mail box (also free!) for something like this, but someone I know recommended PrivatePhone. (Like I said, I don't know anything about them though)
3) You don't have to buy anything. You have to sit through boring ads and "Are you interested in this vacation/"free" something/penis enlargement/whatever?" but you don't have to buy ANYTHING. I never buy ANYTHING. I never give my credit card number to ANYONE. And I still get paid.
Usually at the bottom of whatever you are looking at there will be a skip button. You can skip. Skip all you want. Skip to my Lou, my darling. Just get to the end of the survey or whatever, so you'll get paid.

Some of it is crap and some of it is actually interesting, especially the surveys. Like I said, you won't get rich, but maybe you'll be able to SuperSize your extra value meal.

So there you go. That's my good deed for today.

Unless you are trying to lose weight, and then I suck for telling you to SuperSize. Sorry.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It's the 2nd annual Whore Your Loot post!!!

Before I whore my own loot, I must whore some of my children's loot.

Look at these paintings my brother did for their rooms:

This one is Girl Child's. It's Courage, the Cowardly Dog.



And Boy Child's? Yoshi.

Aren't those cool? He has a lot of artistic talent, whereas I? Cannot draw a stick figure with a ruler.


One of my favorite things to get, ever, for any reason, is a card.

I know that is so lame and girlesque. But it is true. I love cards. I love really thoughtful cards. Not like this one time when my husband gave me a card that said, "You're a really good friend to me" and I was all like, "Dude, could you at least READ the card before you buy it?" Since then, he's done a lot better.


On Christmas Eve, Boy Child and Girl Child each gave me a card. Here is Boy Child's:

"Chirsmas"? Priceless.


Here is the one from Girl Child. She's a bit like me. Glib.


So. Freaking Sweet.


Jason gave me not one, not two, but THREE cards. Three! In each card was a giftcard.

The first card was very romantic. Inside was a Lane Bryant giftcard, which I know is not very romantic, but I'm fat and I like the clothes there, so to me? That's romance. Here's the first card:



Awww!

Then, the second card said something about, "I know I'm a typical guy and sometimes I forget to tell you how much you mean all the time" or some crap. Here's the card and what he wrote on the inside:




Now that? Cute. Inside that card was a gift card to Bath and Body Works. Whee!

The third card? Well, I'll just let you see.



Now that? Funny. Especially coming from him since he's so darn appropriate. In that card was a gift certificate to a local Mexican restaurant that I love. He, being a huge freak, does not eat Mexican food. So this made me mucho grande happy. Or whatever.

As suspected, the large Bath and Body Works bag did indeed contain Bath and Body Works products and not, you know, a bicycle. The scent I always get is Sweet Pea, so I knew what that would be too. But I didn't know what it would all look like and what basket he would get me this year. Really, I'm not complaining. I love the stuff. So here's the rest of the loot:


The Pop culture game was from my older sister. It's an oddly appropriate gift since I adore Pop Culture and she just got the same game for everyone and has no idea that I would have liked it. But I will kick everyone's butt at this game. This is for sure.

My parents arrived yesterday and gave me a Corningware dish, a Snowman pin (?), and two Old Navy giftcards. Which rocks.

My younger sister gave me gifts at Thanksgiving. She gave me some Christmasy pot holders, some really yummy smelling candles, and a gift card for Target.

Can you tell I really like giftcards? I do!

My brother's gift to me was pretty cool, albeit significantly less cool than those paintings. It was an Ionic breeze air purifier. One of those small ones.

Oh and my great-grandmother sent me a check for $10, as she does every year. In the card was two one dollar bills, one for Boy Child and one for Girl Child. I adore her.

So yeah. I'm really lucky.

Isn't it fun to be a loot whore?

These folks have agreed to whore with me, so go visit these whores and see what they got!

Kimberly-o-my-heart
I love Frannie
Maybe J. Her internet is being a dick.
The lovely and talented Angie
Julie, Julie, Julie
These nice folks: Karen and Bill
Y'all go visit Robyn
J is for Joey
The ever-amazing Rebecca
She's Much More than a Mom and her baby's due like any minute! (Good luck!!)
She thinks I'm cool, God love her, so go see Heather!
theotherbear not the Other one.
She's already done it, so go look at Wenderina. She posted nice stuff about giving to less fortunate people instead of just being a whore like me.
From the Planet of Janet
My sweet Tiger Lamb Girl
It's just Never That easy is it?
The very kind Priscilla
SJ is swimming in testosterone.
She's already done it, she's so darn cute, her name is Megan!
Go see A's mom and, presumably, A.
Maybe my girl Emma who has a computer which is also being a dick.
AND...
The delightful BlueTissueBox.



If I've left you out or gotten your link wrong, let me know. If you've decided you want to whore too, email me and I'll try (no promises! I have an extremely small amount of life to live today!) to link you in today.

THANKS FOR WHORING!

WHORES!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

An airing of grievances!

Christmas brings out all kinds of complex emotions, doesn't it?

My beliefs dictate a lot of things that I do and think. That being said, I feel like a lot of things in my life are totally out of my control right now. In particular, a number of relationships.

A friend's situation put this on my mind, and it's been bothering me. A lot.

There are people who hurt me, badly, in the past few years. These people have done some really rank things to me. I mean, really, really bad. And then, worse, feigned surprise when I was upset or didn't want to have a relationship with them, and worst of all, that my husband who loves me, would defend me against their attacks.

I have managed to make them a non-issue in my life, for the most part. I don't see them, I don't talk to them, I don't have anything to do with them, and usually? I don't even think of them. And why would I? My life is full. I focus on my children and my husband, my work, my writing, the volunteer activities I participate in, and the twelve tons of friends I have suddenly, and blissfully, accumulated.

And the Christmas comes around and it all comes back into my house, via my mailbox.

You know, I don't consider myself an unreasonable person. I have forgiven my ex-husband for leaving me while I was pregnant, I forgave Jason for leaving me for another girl when we were dating, I've forgiven like twelve people for stealing my words and ideas and putting them on their own blogs and pretending like they were their own. That's fine. Jason apologized. The others didn't, but that was okay too, because they leave me alone.

So it's come down to one or another with me, it seems.

Apologize or leave me alone.

I am not stupid enough to ever believe I will get an apology. If I ever do, it will not be sincere. It is hard to apologize for something when you don't feel you were wrong or are somehow able to justify in your mind being cruel. I can't understand that frame of mind, and I don't want to.

My friend, who put this on my mind, is a better person than I am. She sent an email to her offender and tried to work it out. I can't do that. I am not at that point. A hundred times I've sat down and started writing and I can never quite get it right. Halfway down the page, it's full of curse words and mean accusations. I don't want that. I don't want any of it.

I just want to be left alone.

No, really? What I want is for these people to come to their senses and think, "Good Lord. We totally messed up here." And sincerely apologize. Sincerely. And admit all the things they did and admit the truth about all the lies. All the hundreds of lies. To my face. Not skirt around the issue, not send things pretending like nothing is wrong, not all this...nonsense.

But that will never happen.

So I just want to be left alone.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Sunday, December 23, 2007

For the love of Dads.

Church was interesting today.


I expected we would talk about the birth of Christ. The virgin Mary. Possibly cattle lowing. I don't know.


But instead we talked about Joseph. And in doing so, about fathers in general.


I don't know my own father very well. He's still alive and we talk, but I don't see him very often. Most of my life he was at work. I don't blame or fault him for this. After all, he had to support six people and it couldn't have been easy.


I know my father is a good man. I know that he's a hard worker and I'd like to think I took that after him. I know that he loves his family and adores his grandchildren. I know that genuinely, really tries to do the right thing all the time. I've never heard him say a swear word, ever. I've only seen him cry once, and that was when his own father died.


I have regret that I don't know him very well. I have hope that it's not too late.


My husband does not have that luxury, and at one point I felt myself choking up a bit to think of him, as a little boy, with no father. Worse, he had a father at one point, one who presumably loved him very much, but not enough to stay away from drugs. Drugs were his downfall and drugs were the reason he was murdered. The reason my husband has no father and I have no father-in-law.


I have trouble imagining Jason as a little boy. The pictures I have are scant and I never had them, even, until earlier this year. It feels like such a hole, not knowing.


I wondered too, about this man, my husband, and the decision he made to marry me. A woman with two children.


Becoming a mother was huge to me. It was something I can never, ever adequately explain in words what it meant to me, what it means to me, and how it changed my life.


He walked in and they were already there. The decision was made. Loving me meant loving them.


Part of me understands. I mean, come on. We're totally fabulous. Who wouldn't want to hang with us?


But part of me admires the heck out of him, and all the step-dads (and moms!) , who look at the situation and say, "It's not your fault that the people in your life who should be there for you suck. You deserve more than that."


He deserved more than that too.


I hope we give it to him. In spades.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Someone just go ahead and call CPS now.

Recently my lovely family and I were all sitting around the table having dinner. My husband mentioned that one of his employees had called in sick to work that day.

I? Did not like this woman. He no longer works with her because he is now manager of another branch, so it's a non-issue, but I didn't like her. At all. There was just something about her that irritated me. Possibly the fact that she was very blatant about her desire to sleep with my husband. I'm not sure.

Anyway, being the extraordinarily inappropriate individual I am, I said, "What was wrong with her? A case of acute gonorrhea?"

Jason shrugged and gave me a half-smile.

Girl Child, nodded, sadly. "I've had that."

Jason and I exchanged glances.

"You? You've had acute gonorrhea?"

"Yes," she nodded sadly again. "It was horrible!"

"Girl Child," I said, trying to control the maniacal laughter rising up from my soul, "you've had ACUTE GONORRHEA?"

"Yes," she said wisely. "It was explosive."

"Girl Child," I said, steadily. "Diarrhea?"

And she replied, "That's what I said. Explosive gonorrhea."



I am so going straight to hell on a very fast train.


Hey and don't forget to be a whore like me. Leave me a comment here and be sure you post your loot on 12/27/07 for the Second Annual Whore Your Loot Post. It can be for whatever celebration you observe or even for your birthday or heck even if you got something for yourself the day after Christmas and it was on a good sale. Whatever you got, you just have to whore your loot!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Come all y'all. Whore with me!

On December 27th, 2007 I'll be having the 2nd Annual Whore your Loot post! Woot!

You probably weren't reading my blog last December, and if you were God Love you, but last year I just whored my own loot. This year, I'd like others to participate.

And yes, I know. Christmas is about Jesus and love and family. I do know that and I do get that, but it's also fun to show off your stuff.

If you want to be a whore like me, leave me a comment letting me know you'll be whoring. If you need to, make sure I have your blog address. I'll link everyone up that day, after I whore my own loot.

So let me know, if you want to play.


Also? I've said whore like two-hundred times in this post. Good Lord.










Whore!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A good run of bad luck.

Did you ever have one of those days that was just really, really bad? A day in which you were at work and had been at work for about six hours before you realized you had a big fuzzy in the front part of your hair that made you look like you have dandruff? One of those days in which you screamed at your co-worker because he is such an incredible amount of douchiness that the world can't even fathom what a douche he is? That special type of day that makes you wonder if everyone on the planet is conspiring against you in some way and really, even your own mom thinks you are ugly?

Then you go home and you feel kind of better because home is presumably your safe place and when you get home your husband comes home and asks you in a really nice way to do about 11,000 things and you don't want to be a total bitch to him because he's asking in a really nice way and he's not asking you to do things like paint the freaking Sistine chapel or anything he's just asking you to put your laundry from the washer to the dryer which you really need to do anyway but haven't done because by God you are tired and need a minute to sit down and decompress without having to do anything but you begrudgingly get up and do what he asks? After you've done two loads of dishes in the dishwasher, helped with homework, cooked everyone dinner, and made a mad dash to the store because your son, as sweet as he may be, is the most forgetful child on the ever-loving planet and told you last night that he needed a secret Santa gift for TODAY?

So then after the dishes are done and the laundry is in the dryer and the gift is wrapped and everyone has had dinner and you are finally getting twenty seconds to sit your ass on the couch and read the newspaper you hear a sound that sounds suspiciously like vomiting? Because your daughter is vomiting? And not only is your daughter vomiting she has thrown up in her bed, in her bedroom floor, in the hallway, all over the bathroom floor, on the bathroom rug and a microscopic amount into the toilet? And you had pasta with RED SAUCE for dinner? And your carpet is a really light brown color? And so you have to undress a child who is covered in vomit and then get her cleaned up and clean up the massive amounts of puke that were everywhere in the house and seem to be multiplying in spades? At about 10 o'clock at night when you are so tired all you want to do is cry and sleep and cry and sleep?

And then? You finally get to bed at around midnight and fall into immediate and peaceful sleep and you wake up the next morning thinking maybe, just maybe that today will be a better day and then before 6:30am your son has spilled an entire container of Quik powder all over your kitchen floor?

And now that you are typing this you realize you forgot to pay your electric bill this month? And you can't remember your password as you log in frantically to pay it?


Anyone? Anyone at all?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday driving tips.

1) If you are two hundred years old and need to visit someone who lives two streets over on Christmas day? Start driving now.
2) Whatever you want at Wal-Mart? They have 1100. There's no need to almost run over a nice responsible woman and her children in your mad dash to get whatever it is you want to get.
3) If you are a middle-aged man who drives a low-slung vehicle which is clearly either a cry for help, evidence of your microscopic penis, or your mid-life crisis and you have those plastic antlers and a candy-cane stripe on your antenna? It means your wife dislikes or possibly hates you and wants you to suffer.
4) If you must transport your live Christmas tree to your home by strapping it on top of your vehicle please make sure you don't obstruct your back window so that you don't almost run into someone who is passing you in the left-hand lane because you can't see out the window.
5) Yes, I'm talking to you, Bitchy Larue in the red Volkswagen Beetle on Interstate 40 this morning at 7:27am.
6) Your momma is not going to run out of turkey if you don't get there by 5:30pm. Slow the crap down.
7) Sitting in your car and glaring at me menacingly when I refuse to run the red-light so you can also run the red-light does not make me fear you.
8) No one wants to sit in the traffic that is backed up for six exits because people in front of you don't know how to merge. There is no need to honk your horn, make obsense gestures, or scream at your husband who looks markedly henpecked. For the love of corn dogs, chill out.
9) If you don't know how to merge? Please stay off the interstate. Not just during the holidays, but every day, please.
10) When in doubt, just stay home. Please. For the love of Google.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More crap.

I had fun answering those questions yesterday. So much, in fact, that I thought I'd do it again today. Instead of, you know, complaining about working or thinking up something original to post. Because I'm awesome.

Anyway.

Several nice people have asked some variation of:

So is Jason really perfect? He seems like he is.

Oh Good God NO. No. No times hinty billion and did I mention NO?

Have you SEEN the Twelve Days of Marriage? He totally dumped me for someone else when we were dating. I didn’t get over THAT for years. YEARS.

Also? His short-term memory is extremely limited. He has excellent long-term memory, but his short-term memory is pretty much crap. For example? This morning I said to him, “It’s December 18th!” and he said, “Yes, it is” and I was like, “So maybe you want to start your Christmas shopping!” and he said, and no, I’m not kidding, “When is Christmas again?”

Oh and this one time? He called me on the phone and I swear to Bob he said, “What’s my sister’s last name?”

Oh and last night, he said, “I spent three dollars of your birthday money” and I was like, “What the crap are you talking about?” and I finally ascertained that he had spent $3 of the money that had withdrawn from the bank account to buy me CHRISTMAS presents on something else.

Overall the man is completely fabulous and I love him. He is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

98.5% of the time, I completely adore him
1.5% of the time, I want to stab him while he sleeps.

So? It works out pretty good.


Also? This, in reference to pooping and poop, in general:

Chick, how do you KNOW they look at it? Eeew.

Oh. I have a nine-year old son. A son who likes to regale me with stories regarding his poop and all poop related things.

Topics have included,

“Hey mom! Come look at this!”
“Hey mom! I stopped the toilet up!”
“Hey mom! I stopped the toilet up! Again!”
“Hey mom did we have corn last night?”


Gah. Just…gah.

And, one more. Just for fun.

Your hair is really long! How long did it take you to grow your hair that long?

I have not had a hair cut since 1998. Not a real one. A trim here and there and a snip sometimes when I get a really big knot in the back of my head and I just cannot get it out not even for the love of Pete Rose or white ice cream.

A couple of days after I had Boy Child and Girl Child, I cut my hair. Myself. I did a halfway decent job. After that, I decided I wasn’t doing it anymore. I was just growing it. I always wanted long hair and I had it when I was very little and then my mom cut it all off because, judging by my photos at the time, she hated me and wanted me to look hideous. Which I did.

My daughter prefers her hair a little shorter, and that’s fine with me. I’m not opposed to short hair in general. On me, I’d rather have long hair.

Also? My hair is really, really curly. If it were straight it would be down to my butt, I think. If it were short? I’d look like: Shirley Temple, The Haggard Years.

So yeah. I want to avoid that. Life is hard enough.

Monday, December 17, 2007

If you really want to know.

So I thought I would take the time to answer some of the questions I've received in comments and email lately.



Okay, really? I'm sick of working and having a crabby-ass day, so this is a good distraction.



A nice person asks:

I do have one question for you though and I don't think that it has been brought up at all, maybe it has and it is just none of my business but, you can tell me that if you want to... How come the douchbag sperm donor does not pay child support? Maybe Jason could adopt your children, I mean they are his already right?? I have a douchbag X also.

If you haven't been reading my blog long, you might not know that very little is off-limits with me. The only thing I haven't and won't blog about is our sex life. I won't even tell y'all how fabulous it is. I don't want Jason to freak out.

Anyway...where was I going with this? Oh. Yes. My douchebag ex-husband is not off-limits.

As you might have already figured out, I'm pretty much an idiot. When my ex-husband left me he asked if we could not go through the courts for child support and that he would give me money on a weekly basis. The amount? $100 a week. Oh, and if there were 5 weeks in a month, he still would only give me $400.

This was for TWO CHILDREN.

I was an idiot. Did I mention that?

Anyway, at some point after we got divorced, he had kidney failure. I think he was twenty-four. Both kidneys. Failed. My dad who is possibly the nicest, most kind, most forgiving person on the planet said, "Well, that's what he gets for running off and leaving his wife and children", which is possibly the most shocking thing my dad has ever said, ever, but also? Kind of true.

At that point he completely stopped paying child support. Nine long months went by and one day my grandma called me and asked me why I wasn't receiving Social Security income for my children. I told her I didn't know what that was. I was clueless. She said that since he was receiving disability that the kids were entitled to Social Security income. So I called the local office and they contacted his local office where they reported to me that he had declared that he had no children.

No, I'm not kidding.

I confronted him on that and he said, "I'll just give you some money out of what I get" and I finally said, "The hell with you and trying to work with you" and filed for them on my own. I had to freaking PROVE to the Social Security office that they were his biological children (not hard...he's listed on the birth certificates, but humiliating).

God, he's such a douche.

Anyway. That's why. They get Social Security money and I don't have to deal with him and his sorry butt.

Oh and Jason doesn't adopt them because that would require contact with the sperm donor. And since we haven't had any contact in years and years and years, no need to stir the pot. Things are good the way they are now and both children insist they are part of The Ourlastname family.

Another nice person asked this, in reference to The Biltmore:

Ok so Chick why did you go there again?

One day I was sitting at my desk either working or complaining about how much work I had to do, when my phone rang.

It was Jason.

I was all like, "What a nice surprise!" Because actually? We almost never talk during the day.

And he was all like, "Would you like to go The Biltmore on the 14th?"

And I said, "Well YEAH."

And then he said, "Can you find someone to watch the kids?"

And I said, "Well YEAH."

So I did. So we went. It was amazingly beautiful.

A weird person asked:

Boxers or briefs?

I just wear those cotton fatty-lala panties that Lane Bryant sells.

If you mean Jason, boxers.

Numerous nice folks asked, in reference to the Google searches:

How'd you find out that people found your site that way? I guess Blogger doesn't do that, huh?

Well, all you do is get yourself a site meter. You can go to: http://www.sitemeter.com/ and get yourself one, for free.

I have one on my page, but it's hidden.

Really, they are so cool. It tells you how many people come visit you, how long they stay, where they are coming from and, if applicable, what search brought them to your blog.

Like, for example, someone in Morristown, TN does a Google search for "Jason for the love of God" nearly every day. Hi, whoever you are!

As I type this, I can see that people from St. Louis, MO, Lexington, KY, Clifton Park, NY, and Lawrenceville, GA are all visiting. Hey y'all! Tell your mom and them I said, "WHAZZUP!"

It's just so cool. Every week I get a report telling me the total visits for the week and traffic predictions and so on. It's not perfect, but it's pretty good.

And finally, someone I don't know at all and who may or may not be nice asked:

What is your favorite part of Jason's body?

The biggest part of his whole body.

His heart. Of course.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Biltmore! But no pictures, because I suck.

I forgot my camera.

Yeah.

We were halfway there and I said to Jason, "Oh my frog, I forgot my camera!"

And he said, "You? YOU? You who documents every waking moments of our lives with your trusty Kodak Easyshare forgot her camera?"

Then I wanted to cry.

But they actually won't let you take pictures INSIDE the Biltmore, so it was okay.

For those who were curious, here's a brief recap of where we went, which was The Biltmore house in Asheville, NC.



The Biltmore house is the largest privately owned home in America. It's 175,000 square feet of living space on 8000 acres. I'm actually not exaggerating, those are the real numbers.

Here's a description from the website, which calls the house, "A Real Live Castle":

Be inspired by the relaxed elegance of George and Edith Vanderbilt's 250-room family home and country retreat in Asheville, NC. Discover original art from masters such as Renoir, magnificent 16th-century tapestries, Napoleon's chess set, a library with 10,000 volumes, a Banquet Hall with a 70-foot ceiling, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley, and priceless antiques. Opened to friends on Christmas Eve 1895, this French Renaissance chateƔu remains America's largest privately owned home.

An indoor bowling alley. Seriously. It was awesome.

It was beautiful and amazing. The restaurant, DeerPark, was beautiful and amazing and the food was delicious. The hotel was beautiful and amazing and they gave us the Honeymoon suite and it was all beautiful and amazing.

It must have been really good because I've said beautiful and amazing like, 100 times.

Best of all, really, honestly, best of all? We walked around everywhere like we really WERE newlyweds. We aren't exactly oldieweds or anything, but we've been married almost five years now. This was the first time since our actual honeymoon that we had been anywhere alone. And our honeymoon was so brief. Like, three days or something.

We had the best time. The BEST time.

Friday, December 14, 2007

You wish you were me. For reals.

This morning when Jason woke up, he wrapped his arms around me and said, "Today is the 8th anniversary of the day I met you."


And how about that? It's accurate! He remembered! Did I remember? Hell no! But he did!


I left work at 12:30pm or so and came home so I could get ready for the weekend. He came home around 3:45pm, which, in itself is unheard of, but also?


With these:

And? Because he knows how much I appreciate a good bargain, he told me what a good value roses are in the off-season.
I love him. So freaking much.
I almost hate to leave these roses as I dash off to THE BILTMORE.
No, not really. I can't wait to get to The Biltmore!!!

Good Times at the Billy Joe Edwards school of Taekwondo.

Last night the children got their Green Senior belts.

Well, they were awarded their belts. They tested last week.

The Taekwondo awards ceremony is always a spectacle to behold. I appreciate the pomp and circumstance of all of it, even though we are in a strip mall next to the Little Ceasars pizza and a grocery store. The children work really hard and their instructors are black belts so it's not like they are watching a Billy Blanks tape and someone is handing out belts when the screen goes black.

Anyway.

If you aren't from the South you probably do not understand that it is necessary to bring a large group of people with you, presumably everywhere you go. Don't get me wrong, I think it's fine that Pappy and Mammaw and Uncle Eugene see little Willis get his award. I have no problem with that really, and actually? I think it's kind of sweet. But anyway, I tell you this because it's a data point in the story and I know not everyone has a large extended family that gives two craps about them and lives in close enough proximity to come and see them get awards. I don't and neither do Boy and Girl Child.

So last night I was sitting in the folding chair next to the door waiting for my children's ceremony to begin when a family of approximately six hundred came in to see a little girl, whom we shall refer to as Gretel, get her yellow belt. The family included, but was not limited to: mom, dad, mom's boyfriend, dad's new wife, three cousins, granny, and Pap-Pap. Pap-Pap was about two-hundred years old and had less teeth than the newborn he was carrying like a football. He also had a bum leg, whacked me soundly in my good leg with his cane, and, I later found out, a cell phone.

Mom and Dad clearly did not like one another and made several snide comments along the lines of, "Well I thought YOU were bringing YOUR camera". Dad had come in with new wife in tow, on a motorcycle that looked like it was best used before 1954. He parked it on the sidewalk. Also? He spoke in an inappropriately loud voice. I soon found out that so did Pap-Pap.

The white and yellow belts were awarded first. Gretel received her yellow belt, but did NOT receive the gold stars which indicated that her parents and her teacher concurred that she was behaving appropriately at both home and school.

During the awarding of belts, in which every child's name is called and they receive a certificate and then walk through a line of six people, bowing and shaking hands until they finally receive their new belt, Pap-Pap's phone rang.

Now, I'm going to be charitable and assume that Pap-Pap was hard of hearing, because I'm fairly certain the citizens of the next county over could hear Pap-Pap's ringtone. Which was something like, "Ooh boy you're looking like you like what you see, so come over and check up on it." Or some other Beyonce song, I don't know. Clearly I am not as hip as Pap-Pap.

Pap-Pap then answers the phone and has, in an inappropriately loud voice, a five minute conversation regarding what he is going to have for dinner "oncest the Karate thing" was over. Fried taters and onions seemed to be the front-runner for his dinner selection. Finally he hung up with that individual only to get ANOTHER call about three minutes later. This time, apparently the cell connection wasn't quite as good because he kept saying in his inappropriately loud voice, "I CAN'T HEAR YOU? DO WHAT NOW?"

Did I mention that several parents were taping their children getting their awards? Yeah. I'm sure they loved hearing about chicken-fried steak and sweet taters. That's something to preserve for future generations.

After the white and yellow belts were awarded the students receiving them were dismissed and the next group of students, which included Boy and Girl Child, ran out to the mat. Gretel ran over to her entourage and her father said in his inappropriately loud voice,

"GRETEL AIN'T GOT NO STARS CAUSE SHE DON'T ACT RIGHT!"

Well. Hm. I have no idea where Gretel gets that particular character flaw. I gave him a withering look, to no avail.

"GRETEL," he bellowed. "SHOW PAP-PAP WHAT YOU GOTTA DO WHEN YOU GET IN TROUBLE FOR YOUR SMART-ASS MOUTH!"

Gretel immediately dropped to the floor and began doing push-ups. "Like a boy!" she exclaimed, through gritted teeth.

Meanwhile, seriously, the ceremony is going on. I'm trying to watch my children get their belts.

"YOU AIN'T DOING IT RIGHT!" shrieked Angry Dad, who then, and I'm totally not kidding, DROPPED TO THE FLOOR AND STARTED DOING PUSH-UPS.

I looked around for the candid camera. You know I didn't see one.

THEN, Pap-Pap proclaimed, "WHEN I WAS IN THE WAR, I USED TO DO ONE HANDED PUSH-UPS!"

My immediate thoughts:

1) The Civil War?
2) For the Love of God, if Pap-Pap starts doing push-ups on the floor of the Taekwondo school I am calling the paramedics, because Pap-Pap does not appear hale nor hearty enough to even WALK much less exert himself physically in any other way imaginable.

But I said, "Shhh" and pointed to the ceremony instead. Because. GOOD GOD. I had sat quietly while their child got her yellow belt. I had not physically assaulted Pap-Pap while he debated the merits of fried fish and pinto beans and taters. I had not even screamed "OUCH!" when Pap-Pap whacked me with his cane. I had been nice.

Apparently, my asking them to shut up in a really polite way was extremely offensive because they gave me a dirty look and Angry Dad stated, loud enough for the kids making pizza next door at the Little Ceasars to hear, "GRETEL GET YOUR SHOES ON SO WE CAN GO."

Thank God, I thought.

But oh. No. Pap-Pap and Angry Dad had more in store for me.

For you see, Angry dad had parked his motorcycle on the sidewalk, pretty much directly behind my head. And he decided to go outside and speak in his inappropriately loud voice about how Gretel wasn't acting right at school. And? Get into a screaming match with Gretel's mom and her boyfriend. And? Rev up his motorcycle and DRIVE ON THE SIDEWALK.

I was thinking, "I swear to Frog, if Pap-Pap gets on that motorcycle I don't give a crap if my children are being handed their belt at that exact moment I am grabbing their hands and getting the hell out of here." Because Pap-Pap couldn't even walk unassisted, much less ride a motorcycle that looked like it was probably made the year before he was born.

Fortunately, Pap-Pap got into his pick-up, Angry Dad and his new wife drove off, and Mom, the boyfriend, Gretel, and the assorted cousins went over to pick up pizza.

So, all's well that end's well, I guess.

Except that it's all just so wrong.

And honestly? If Gretel turns out even 1/2 normal? I'll give her a star myself.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ten things I do not currently understand.

1) If you have absolutely no idea where you are going, why do you have to go there in rush hour traffic?
2) If you don’t have time to put your make-up on before you leave the house, why do you feel it’s appropriate to do so while driving in your vehicle?
3) How you not stab yourself in the eye with your mascara? I do that regularly when I am standing in my house which does not shift nor move.
4) Why do you feel that it is my responsibility to stop for you as you illegally drive across the median and swerve across two lanes of traffic and directly in front of me so that you can get to the exit you desperately need instead of, you know, just going to the next exit ONE MILE AWAY and turning around if you can not safely exit? Because guess what? I’m not stopping.
5) Why is bad behavior rewarded? I mean, seriously? Why do people who behave like complete jackholes, especially in a work setting, get coddled by the people they work for? Are they afraid they are going to snap and kill everyone? I mean, why doesn’t someone, anyone, just say, “Your behavior is unacceptable and I will not tolerate it and security will now be escorting you out”?
6) If you have an infant and that infant is behaving in a manner in which you feel is inappropriate and you feel like you want to do something like, you know, microwave your baby? Then please send your baby over here to me. My infertile ass would appreciate and love it even if it was crying.
7) After you go to the bathroom, why do you look at it? I mean, you know what’s going to look like. Why is it necessary to review it?
8) If you in a position of equal authority with me, why do you feel that I will make copies for you merely because I have a vagina? My uterus does not give me any different rights to the copy machine. Please rethink your asshatery regarding this situation.
9) If you are thirty-five minutes late for training and get pissed at me, the trainer, for “starting without you” please, please, Oh Lord PLEASE tell me what kind of illegal substances you are partaking in for you would have to be on crack cocaine to be that kind of ballsy to me.
10) Why haven’t I been offered the Queen of The World position yet?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Google is your friend. And my friend too.

Who wants to see the Google searches that recently led people to my blog? I do! I do!

“Slave wife blog”


This one is probably the least funny, but it made me laugh the hardest.
Really. It’s not funny. Slavery is illegal.
Except if you are someone’s love slave. That’s okay I think.
I hope so anyway.

“400 pound girl on Maury”

It wasn’t me!

“God loves even you, Jason”

Even you and your bald head, honey.

“I’m cheating on my husband”

Stop it.

“Straighten ass”

I’ll straighten your ass out too. Especially if you are cheating on your husband.

“Obese woman with six kids”

Hey! I only have two kids! Douchebag.

“I don’t care who you are Jason”

I don’t care who are, that’s funny right there.
But I care deeply about who he is, in fact.
Apparently, so does Jesus. He loves even you.

doesn’t want to marry me”

See, this could be good or bad. If say, Michael Vick doesn’t want to marry you? You could be all like, “Woo! YEAH!” But if it’s your boyfriend of thirty-six years that you have eleven children with and you really, really, really want to get married and he doesn’t? Then you should go out with someone else.

“my wife is fat and ugly”

That’s not very nice. I’ll be by to straighten your ass out later.

“fat bitch annoying”

You can just call me Chick.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Truth in advertising.

I like to get cute labels for my Christmas cards. I always order them from Family Labels. You can put the "faces" of your family on the label. It's actually little cartoon faces, but you can give them the features of the people in your family. And your pets, even!

This year I got my labels and was particularly pleased with how cute they are.

"Look," I said, to my husband. "Look how cute these are!"

He looked. Scowled.

"You don't like?" I asked.

"It's just," he sighed. "I'm bald."

"Right..." I said, not sure what the problem was.

"I'm bald on these labels," he said, pointing out his face.


No, really?
Because, um, as seen in this evidentiary photo? He's also bald in real life.

So I did what any good, loving, supportive wife would do.

I began to laugh hysterically.

He didn't think it was very funny.

Also? When I said, "Honey. You're BALD. Don't fight the baldness! EMBRACE THE BALDNESS!"

He didn't think that was funny either.

But I? Think bald guys are totally hot.




So I win.

Monday, December 10, 2007

WiiJoicing.

Boy Child and Girl Child are getting a Nintendo Wii for Christmas. From Jason.

He works for a finance company, but they do more than make loans. They also do taxes and sell products. Some of the products they sell are things they have repossessed that have been placed as collateral on loans they've made. When people didn't pay, they go get the 35 year old van or whatever. But they also sell products that are brand new and in-demand.

Since he's the manager, he gets a certain number of "points" for each product loan he makes. He also gets points when his employees sell products. He gets bonus points when he sells a certain number or the most in the state or whatever. Which he often does because that man could sell ice in mass quantities to Santa Claus.

But anyway. He gets these points. And the points he can use to purchase high-end "stuff". Like stainless steel appliances and new golf clubs.

But what does he buy with his points? A Wii. The man who has absolutely zero interest in video games whatsoever and would absolutely love a new set of golf clubs, buys a Wii.

He called me, as he brought it home, to make sure the children were in another room when he came in, so they wouldn't dare see what he was bringing home. He was giddy when he wrapped it up and hid it in the closet and even more giddy as he told me the elaborate plan he had to let them open all their other gifts and then, ever so casually say, "I think there is one more!"

I wrote a tag out for him, since I was already making other tags for other gifts. I handed it to him and he frowned.

"You can write From: Mom and Dad," he said. "It can be from you too."

I said, no. That it was a special gift, just from him.

Later that night he said, "I feel bad, because that will be their favorite gift. I feel like it should be from you too."

I smiled.

Because he doesn't know, he just doesn't get, that seeing that little tag that says:
To: Boy Child and Girl Child
From: Daddy

is the best gift that I could have ever asked for.

I said, "For many years all the presents under the tree said, 'From Mommy'. They've never ever had one that just said, 'From Daddy'. Let's just leave it."

He smiled and said, "That was probably the sweetest thing I've ever heard."

I smiled. My heart was full.





Five minutes later, he said, "You realize I'll be the cool parent now, right?"


It's still worth it.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Gettin' schooled.

Boy Child: So, then? When hawks get to be 20? They immediately die.

Me: Do what now?

Boy Child, patiently: Hawks! You know? Birds? They die when they turn 20.

Me: Really? Twenty you say?

Boy Child: Yes, twenty. When they turn twenty they immediately die.

Me: Like on their birthday? They wake up that day and they're like, "Woo! Party! It's my birthday!" and then they fall over dead and their mom is like, "Aww."

Boy Child: No. Not always like that. Sometimes their immediate death takes a while.

Me: Gotcha.

Boy Child, after a moment of reflection: Mom? If you were a hawk, you would have died already.

Me: Yup. Twelve years ago.

Boy Child, after another moment of reflection: Mom?

Me: Yeah?

Boy Child: I'm glad you aren't a hawk.

Me: True dat.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The girl I used to be.

Last night I did a stupid thing.

I don't know why, but for some reason last night I decided I would look up the property record of the house I used to own with my ex-husband.

Well, I do kind of know why. I was thinking about credit and debt and buying a house and although I had checked my credit a couple of years ago and the debt for the house he and I had bought together was gone, I never really knew what had happened to it. Had he sold it? Had someone paid it off for him? I had no idea.

So I Googled. And I found it.

He sold it, in 2006. To his cousin. For $8000 less than we had paid for it in 1996. And we? Paid almost nothing for it in 1996.

So that was that, right? It's sold, it's gone. Someone else lives there now.

But yet...

I couldn't help but think of all the things I left behind when I left that home. When my dad physically came to where I was and deposited me and my little children in his van and took us away. Because if he hadn't, I would have surely died. Emotionally I was already dead at that point. I couldn't function, I couldn't think, I could barely even breathe.

So I left.

And I left behind my piano. The wedding dress from my first wedding. My curio cabinet. My childhood toybox. And most terrifying? A lot of my writing. A lot.

I had a file cabinet. I used to keep it in the living room, next to the woodstove. I filled it up with my things. Things which were mundane, like bills, but also things that were close to my heart, like my writing.

I did get back a number of my diaries, but not until after my ex-husband had sat down and read them all one night and called me and mocked me for what they said. These were diaries from middle school and high school and not intended to be shared with the world. He said, "You left them in my house, so I have every right to read them!"

But it wasn't his house. It was our house.

Worst of all, we had bought it from my parents, before they moved away. It was the house I grew up in. My childhood home. Nearly every memory I have of my sister is in this house. Nearly every good memory of my childhood is inside that house, or out in that yard, or in the creek out back. When he decided to leave me, to destroy me, to ruin our family and leave my children without a father, he got everything. I got the children, and the debt. He got the house.

We went to court, mind you. I gave up the house by signing a quit-claim deed. I had to get away. I knew, even in my fragile state, that if I didn't go away, far, far away he would continue to make my life hell. I knew, somewhere in my mind, that there was something more, something better, and I was not going to find it if I stayed where I was. I had to go.

Thinking back I should have insisted he sold the house and split the profits with me. It was easily worth three times what we paid for it. But I didn't. And when the judge informed him that he would have to pay certain bills, even though they were in my name, he dutifully said he would. When we went outside he laughed in my face and said he would never pay those bills, he didn't care, and if my credit went to hell, "oh well".

Oh well.

Now his cousin and his cousin's family own that house. His little children play in that yard and in that creek. They go to the same school I went to as a child. Maybe they even play my piano. I don't know.

I lost everything I had, at that time, except my children. Which, it turned out, were the only things that mattered anyway.

I try to imagine who I would be, if I was still there. Who I would have become. If I would even still be alive and able to function.

Maybe I would have overcome it. Maybe I would have lived in that same town and ran into him and his girlfriend that he left me for on Friday nights at Wal-Mart. Maybe I would have met another guy with nothing going on in his heart or head and married him too. Maybe I would have turned it all around somehow and he and I would still be married and raising Boy Child and Girl Child together in a little house, going nowhere.

I don't know.

I only know, I am so grateful that it makes my heart hurt, that I am not that girl I used to be.

Friday, December 07, 2007

They might be giants.

Last night Boy Child and Girl Child had Taekwondo testing in order to get their next belt. This testing? Involved the ability to spar.

Sparring is alternately fascinating and difficult for me to watch. Fascinating because, particularly in the case of Girl Child, it involves much more grace and agility than a good old fistfight that a East Tennessee girl like me would be accustomed to, and difficult because well, that's my freaking kid getting his ass kicked and I can't threaten to run over the over kid doing the beating with my SUV because that would just be bad form and probably get my kid disqualified.

Girl Child moves fluidly throughout the fights, as she moves throughout every aspect of her life. She's a girlie girl to the extreme, and even in her full gear her hair flutters neatly to each side of the huge, bright red, plastic mask she wears to protect her skull. She makes a mouthpiece and knee pads look stylish somehow. I'm not sure where she gets this particular skill, but it's one more thing I admire about this child I adore, but don't necessarily understand. Also? Her ability to get punched in the stomach and immediately come right back and hit the other person in the head. I mean, immediately.

I really don't think I'll ever have to worry about Girl Child, and her ability to take care of herself.

Boy Child, on the other hand, worries me.

Last night he went up against a huge kid. Giant. I turned to the lady next to me and said, "OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THAT KID, LIKE IN COLLEGE?!?!?"

And she said,
"That's my son. He's in fourth grade."

Oops.

But I do not retract my shock and horror. That kid was freaking huge. He was probably over 5'5" and he had a good seventy-five pounds on Boy Child. His first punch? Knocked Boy Child to the mat.

His next punch? Knocked Boy Child to the mat.
His third punch? Knocked Boy Child to the mat.
His fourth punch? Well you get the freaking idea. The child kissed the floor mat all night.

And he got back up. Every single time, he got back up. He kicked, he punched, he fell down, and he got back up.

It struck me when I was thinking of the whole scenario in my head, that the sparring last night seems to be a pretty good representation of Boy Child's life as a whole so far.

He's an underdog, and always has been, but he seems to accept this fate with grace. He's small, and he knows he's smaller than other kids, but it doesn't bother him. He assumes that everyone will want to be his friend but isn't really bothered when people don't like him. Their loss, he assumes, and he's right.

He struggles. I watch his struggles every day. It's so hard for me as a parent, particularly when one child seems to come by life so effortlessly, to see another child try and fail, try and fail. He pushes himself to the limits of what he can do, and when he falls down, he gets back up again.

Despite this, I worry.

Because he's also sensitive and loving. For Thanksgiving I asked each person what they were most thankful for and he said, thoughtfully, "My sister". If she is not with us, he is concerned about her and how she is, how she's feeling. He worries about me and my feelings. He's a good friend and really, he's a just a good kid. Not perfect, but really, a good, sweet kid.

And unfortunately, I've come to realize more and more that those are the people who get stomped on. That gets their hearts broken and their pocketbooks robbed. Because they do care. Because they do try so hard. Because they want to do their best, want to try so hard.

But Boy Child doesn't see that. And as he was standing before me, sweat on his brow, his little body wrapped in a tiny white suit and huge, ackward red headgear, he grinned through his mouthguard and said,

"Mom! Did you see me? I kicked butt out there!"

Indeed you did Boy Child.

Indeed you do.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Sap. Made to order and served with grits.

My good friend Badgergirl has the attitude I wish to achieve in my life.

Honestly, she is just one of the most profoundly grateful people I’ve ever met. She’s also hilarious and smart and witty and just the right amount of snarky and I adore her. Oh and she’s cute as a button and I would KILL for her body and I wish my daughter would grow up and be just like her, because she rocks.

But anyway, yesterday we were emailing back and forth and she made me think (as she often does) about all the things in my life that I should really be grateful for. Not just the big things like my husband and my kids, because anyone who knows me knows that I am extraordinarily, profoundly grateful for the people who live in my house, but for other things too.

Like for one? I’m really grateful that I’m not married to my first husband anymore. For obvious reasons, like he’s an asshat. But also my first husband complained all the time. Constantly. Oh my frog in the morning, the man NEVER STOPPED COMPLAINING. He was the type of person that if his boss gave him a pay raise, he’d complain about it. If he won a million dollars he’d be all like, “I have to pay TAXES on this!” Being around such a negative person really messes with your mojo. Also? It makes you want to crotch punch them. Trust me on that one.

Jason, on the other hand, does not deal well with negativity. While he generally appears surly and brooding in photographs, he typically tries to see the brighter side, and when he can’t? He says nothing. Sometimes, nothing is much better than something.

He’s also appreciative for everything I do. My first husband would complain when I made dinner, no matter what the dinner was. He didn’t like the way I washed clothes (and hello? There’s a WRONG way to wash clothes?). Jason thanks me for making dinner. He says to the children, “Who thinks mom made a good dinner?” and they all raise their hands, even him. Even though he used to be a chef he tells me everything I make is delicious. The other day, when I said, “It seems like we eat the same things all the time,” he responded, “Yay!” He hugged me the other day when I put extra chicken in the chicken stir-fry. He thanks me for doing dishes, for straightening up, for vacuuming. And best of all? He does more straightening up and vacuuming than I’ve ever done, ever.

I am grateful for all of that.

I am grateful for my therapist and all the work I am doing with him. I am grateful that, unlike my previous attempts at therapy, I have found someone who is smart and funny and actually listens and seems to really care about me and the work I’m doing to improve myself. Also I’m grateful that he likes Bob Dylan and gives me book recommendations because those are things we talk about that are not about me and how messed up I am and those are things that make me feel normal. And like maybe he’s a friend and not just a therapist. And maybe that it’s pretty cool that smart and funny people that I know in real life actually like me.

I am grateful when I look at my Christmas tree and see the gifts underneath, even if there are no gifts for me. I know there will be, before Christmas, and I know even if there weren’t I would be okay, because really? There is nothing in this world that I need. Not saying I don’t WANT some things, particularly anything sparkly, but there is nothing that I need and that is a really amazing feeling.

Finally, I’m really grateful for those who read my blog. I know people say that all the time, but really, I am so ridiculously grateful when people email me and say, “Thanks for being honest,” or “You make me laugh my ass off,” or any of the other things people say. Even the mean things, because it means people are reading. People are listening. What I say matters. And I can’t even begin to say what that means to me.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Open Letters: Only slightly angry (for once) edition.

Dear son,

I was just kidding when you asked me why there were no gifts under the tree for me and I said, “Because I was really bad this year. Again.” Really, I’ve been very good this year. Daddy is just really not good at doing things like, shopping or remembering what day of the year Christmas falls on.

Don’t worry though. He usually gets it together around December 18th. I have every confidence in his abilities to successfully succeed.

And kudos to you, for looking out. I appreciate the man that you will someday become.

Love,
Mom



Dear Coworker,

I find your mispronunciations of common sayings quite charming. For example? When you say “I’m in like flint!” I grow to love you even more.

However? Sweetie, when you say, “Put that in your pot and smoke it!” No one knows what you mean. People might think you are partaking in illegal substances. Actually, you kind of sounds like you might be, merely based upon that particular statement.

So, just because I think you are swell, it’s actually, “Put that in your PIPE and smoke it!” Pots are used for calling kettles black.

XO,
Chick





Dear husband,

Oh my frog, I love you.

I did not know that I could love you more than I loved you last week. Then? You did something really annoying like leaving your little hairs all over the sink after you shaved? And I was like, “Yeah. Not perfect.” But then? You planned a romantic getaway for us to the Biltmore Estate and I was like, “Yeah. REDEEMED!”

Not that gifts are the way to my heart, mind you. I loved you when you were poor and I’d love you the exact same way if you were a millionaire. The gifts just sort of make up for the times when you do things like decide the children need to practice pro-wrestling in the living room while I’m trying to watch “Engaged and Underage”.

So stop that, okay? I really like that program.

Anyway.

I love you! You’re the best husband that an ugly fat girl with two kids on her hips could have ever hoped to find. In fact? Cindy freaking Crawford would have been lucky to get you hot rod!

Love,
-Your wife

This is how we do.

So this morning on my drive in to work I hear on the radio about the phenomena of "Redneck Lay-a-way".

Basically, you go to a store and see an item you want to purchase. You either know that it will be less expensive soon or you know that you do not have the money to purchase it that day. You then take the item and hide it somewhere else in the store so when it goes on sale and/or you do have the money for it, you can go back and buy it.

I swear to frog, I had never in my life heard of that. Also? The people on the radio called it a redneck thing, not me, because I don't want to be a hypocrite and, you know, burst into flames or anything.

People called in to divulge their favorite hiding places in the stores. Notably? Those big rubbermaid trash cans that are usually stacked on the shelves. Apparently you can take them apart, hide your stuff, and then put another can back down on top of it and no one ever finds it. Also? Inside of luggage. Oh and also? In those big displays of tires. Because no one ever buys the display tire, so you just hide your stuff inside of one.

One man called in and said that he and his uncle went to a store on Thanksgiving day and hid two bicycles behind the other sporting goods, knowing the bicycles would be on sale the next day.

This? Is good stuff. I think I might go to the store, just for kicks, and walk around and see what hidden treasures I can find.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

General announcements

  • I hate my freaking bra. I always hide it in the bottom of my drawer and after a few months I see it and go, "Ooh! I forgot about that bra!" and then I wear it? And by about 11am I hate it and want it dead.
  • I don't know why I don't just throw the freaking bra in the trash.
  • Two people have really screwed me over financially lately and it's really making me want to distrust and/or bitchslap everyone.
  • I went and saw the Nutcracker on Ice tonight. My friend was one of the leads. She's so awesome.
  • I wish I could ice skate.
  • If I attempted to ice skate, my ankles would crack.
  • Probably the ice too.
  • I'm watching the "Towelie" episode of South Park and having a hard time not waking up the children with my maniacal laughter.
  • Also? Mr. T just came on the television. Random.
  • Even though it's like, twelve degrees outside, I want ice cream.
  • And? Socks without a hole in the toe.
  • I have like twenty things to mail and just cannot get motivated to go to the post office.
  • I want to go to bed.
  • I have so much work to do that I'll never catch up.
  • I don't care.
  • I want my friend to find her cat.
  • I want my friend who hasn't talked to me in months to call me.
  • I also want a new job.
  • And? In case I didn't mention it? Ice cream.
  • Sorry this post was a total waste of the 1.6 minutes it took you to read it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

It did not go well.

No. It did not. In fact? It went quite badly. In fact? I referred to it as "45 minutes of hell".

But, really? That's okay. No seriously. It is.

I did my best, I answered honestly. They probably won't want me, but I don't want them either, so it's all good.

On the extremely remote chance they did call and offer me a job, I would say no. I don't need to leave one bad situation and go into another bad situation.

And? I got another call, about another job today. So I don't feel so desperate and achy about the whole thing.

I'm not that bummed, really. I did my best and that's all I could do.

Also? It would be really hard for me to work with people with absolutely NO sense of humor whatsoever.

I'm just saying.

It's not what you think.

I'm scared now. Not because I'm afraid I'll flub the interview. Not because I'm afraid they won't think I'm qualified. Not because I think they won't like me.

I'm afraid they will. And then? I'll have to make a very huge, very real decision.

I know, I know. Oh woe is me. I've been dying to find another job. I've been praying and hoping and wishing and wanting this to happen. To have options. To have a choice. To get the heck out of a situation that has had real, serious, emotional consequences and is not safe for me, not just emotionally and spiritually, but sometimes physically.

But this is another state. This is another place. I don't know anyone.

This entire thing, sink or swim, will depend on me and my sorry butt.

And that? Horrifying.

We moved here on a wing and a prayer. This is not yet home to me, and I honestly don't know if it ever will be. We've been here three years and I still find myself bewildered by my surroundings. I still find myself feeling unsettled and alone.

So moving should be something I would welcome.

And yet, I feel terrified, literally terrified when I think about it.

Because they are probably going to want me. And I'm not saying that because I think I'm so fabulous or anything. It's just...the industry I'm in? It's pretty specific. I have every single requirement that they are asking for and probably only like a handful of people in this country are going to have every single requirement they are looking for. Also, I'm nice and friendly and I do things like show up and work my considerable arse off. And although they can't see me, if they could they'd be all like, "She has nice hair!" Because I do.

I know that interviewing does not mean I'm agreeing to come work for them. I know it doesn't mean that they will necessarily offer me anything worth even considering.

I'm just scared they will like me. As stupid and lame as that sounds. They might like me.

And then I'll have to deal with that.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I? Am nervous.

Today I was going to post more crap about being lonely and how I am struggling with the concept of normal, but I got a phone call that scared the crap out of me. So, clearly, if you are reading this? It's your lucky day.

Remember how I'm one of those people who like to move around a lot and do a lot of different things and never stays in the same place very long?

And remember how I said I applied for a job in Kentucky?

And remember how I kind of forgot about even applying since I hadn't heard from them for a while?

(Okay, you couldn't have remembered that, but stay with me)

They called me. Today. On a Sunday. To see if they could interview me tomorrow.

And when I explained I don't live in their state they immediately offered to do a phone interview.

I? Feel like puking.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

This is me. Bringing sexy back.

This morning I graciously agreed to drag my fat butt out of bed and take my beloved husband's car to the dealership so that we might get his keys reprogrammed. Apparently there was a recall...something about the keys and cell phones or some other nonsense. I can't really remember. All I know is that I got up way, way early on a Saturday morning, drove for thirty minutes and heard,

"We don't have you down as having an appointment."

I made the appointment myself. I called the day after Thanksgiving and they couldn't get me in and told me it would be TODAY before they could get me in. And I told the guy 9am and he said okay. Did I remember his name? Um. No. Do I remember my own husband's middle name most of the time? No. Me remembering is not a good gauge of whether something actually happened or not.

Despite this setback and possibly due to my delirum from lack of sleep, I was feeling pretty good this morning. I chatted pleasantly with the service manager and did not say anything like, "Oh yeah? Well I MADE my appointment and I got my butt out of bed REALLY EARLY on a Saturday morning so you can go to hell and die!" Not that I wanted to say that or anything.

The service manager was a nice fellow and was making a sincere effort to help me when a young technician came over to the desk where I was standing.

"Nice day," he said, after a moment. "Is that your car?"

"It's my husband's." I responded. I smiled at him too. Because I'm a Girl Scout and we do crap like that.

He stood, watching me for a moment and then said:

"You have pretty hair."

I said thank you and was not skeeved out. Because, well, let's face it. My hair is pretty freaking awesome.

He continued to stand there, watching me.

"Are those your kids?" he asked, gesturing to Boy and Girl Child who were looking longingly at the vending machine Honeybuns.

I nodded.

"Where do you work?" he asked.

Um. Good Lord. Intrusive!

I said, "Oh. In TheNameoftheTownIworkin."

He nodded.

And then he said, and I'm totally not kidding,

"How about I take you out sometime? Are you free tonight?"

Um. Excuse me?

I said, "Sorry, I'm married." I waved my diamond-clad finger at him.

He laughed. "You can take that ring off! Just slip it in your pocket!"

OH NOT HE DID NOT!

OH MY GOD HE DID NOT JUST SAY THAT TO ME WITH MY TWO CHILDREN STANDING THERE!

I said, "No thanks."

He smiled and wandered off.

Boy Child, who had been watching this entire debacle said, "What a douchebag. I hope his wife crotch punches him later."

And you know? He was right. I told that guy I was married and he asked me to cheat on my husband. The hell? I hope his wife crotch punches him too. I don't think he was married, so maybe his future wife can do it. Whatever.

The Service Manager managed to figure out what was going on and the three of us slipped inside to wait on the car. I went into the restroom to wash my hands and glanced at myself in the mirror. Same me. Same tired eyes and wide hips. Same t-shirt and blue jeans and tennis shoes with red clay stains on the bottom. Same Old Navy hoodie I've had for eight years. No sex goddess. No Angelina Jolie. Just me.

I guess some guys like that. I don't know. Or maybe he just thought I looked fat and tired and desperate and lonely. Which, I probably do, but he didn't have to try to exploit it.

Either way. That guy was a big freak.