Thursday, November 27, 2008
This fear of some impending doom waiting to rain down on me is nearly always present. Maybe it's from being raised by all of these southern, God-fearing women who taught me happiness = hell.
1) If you have sex before you're married, not only will you go to Hell (yes, Hell is ALWAYS CAPITALIZED) but you will surely get some horrendous disease and possibly die OR WORSE, GET PREGNANT. Yes. A unwed pregnancy always trumps disease in the disgrace book - at least in the bible belt.
2) Marriage is meant to be a contest for who can stay miserable the longest. DIVORCE - not allowed - this too, is sure hellfire and damnation.
3) You are not allowed to ENJOY EARNING A GREAT LIVING. Should you be a woman, you should NOT put yourself out there to climb the corporate ladder. People will just assume that you enjoy working over raising your children and your children will suffer. Children need their mothers at home. Working out of the home does not count. So what if you can be there to take your kids to school and be there when they get out - IF YOU HAVE TO TAKE A CONFERENCE CALL BEFORE DINNER - YOU SURELY SUCK AS A MOTHER.
...you get where i'm going with this.
So, let's recap why I should NOT feel so comfortable in my current blissful state:
1) I HAD LOTS OF PREMARITAL SEX. And i ENJOYED IT. And i left men who were more concerned with their own pleasure than their partner's.
2) I divorced a man who could not find happiness in anything, and refused to participate in our marriage.
3) I love sex. oh, wait, i said that already.
4) I LOVE MY JOB AND MY BOSS AND BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF MY KIDS FINANCIALLY. I LOVE MY PAYCHECK. Oh yeah, I said it. You heard me. I CHASE THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR. At least by my mother's perspective.
And because of all of that - I have this little voice in the back of my head that tells me "Hey blondie - that job of yours - don't go get all attached because it can go away at any given moment ...POOF...just like that. And you'll be out on the street. How will you feed those little ragamuffins of yours - you in your Manolo's standing in line for soup. How the mighty can fall Sheri - DON'T EVER FORGET IT.
And that man you've fallen for? Yeah - he SAYS he loves you - but you fell for THAT before didn't you? How'd that work out? Sucked didn't it? Yeah he says he loves you NOW. What's his tune going to be in a year or two? You're not all that great ya know. "
I HATE THAT VOICE. And yet, I can't shut it up. I wish I could because I love my life. In this exact moment. It.Is.Wonderful. I have a beautiful home. I have a great job. AND I LOVE MY BOSS. and that paycheck has allowed me to meet every bill and have enough left over to pamper that damn car that just started acting up.
And Vance. I can honestly say that I was never this happy in a relationship EVER. I fall asleep with the weight of his arm draped over me (and sometimes his leg, and sometimes, just sometimes with his light snore) and i feel SO happy and loved and complete.
I don't ever want to think of him not being in my life....and i think to myself, what a wonderful world.
OK - you KNOW what i mean.
But that voice - that GODDAM VOICE scares me. I wake up every morning thinking WHAT IF TODAY'S THE DAY? What if that bad thing happens today? I dare not type all the bad things that could possibly happen because i am THAT superstitious that if I put it out there, like a magnet - it will come to me. And every night I say my prayers and thank God, that nothing bad occurred.
HEY UNIVERSE - send me a sign it's going to be ok - i can't take stress and i can't afford Prozac.
Monday, November 24, 2008
If we stick to THAT script - we are GREAT parents.
Anyway, back to the point.
This week I took the bitch to get serviced. The bitch is my Touareg.
She's your essential "I'm beautiful, I don't have to run ALL the time. Good god woman didn't we just go to the grocery store 2 days ago...why in THE HELL are you asking me to drive you somewhere again?? Those little rugrats you want to pick up from school - THEY GET CRUMBS OF SHIT IN BETWEEN MY SEATS AND LEAVE NASTY STICKY STUFF ON MY CARPET. Get rid of those children." car.
Well, i think she viewed this as her SPA getaway - so she's manufactured fake reasons to get the dealership to pamper her over the weekend and left me, her rightful owner, screwed without a car. The little bitch knew I had not one, but TWO football games on Saturday and like a million errands to run on Sunday - as it IS THE WEEKEND BEFORE THANKSGIVING.
But no, she got her little fuel injected panties in a twist and left me without her high heel wheels.
So...I had to ask the ex to pick us up and take us to the field on Saturday. Not entirely a big deal. But then, he pulled into the driveway and SHE got out. The NEW me.
Now, let me first say - she's not really new - she's been around for months. And there is this big joke in my house that I heart my ex's girlfriend. And to some degree that's true. She's nice, she's cute and my boys love her so for the most part, I'M GOOD. And she's a trainer for teachers and she helps my kids with their homework when it's his week - SO I'M REALLY GOOD there. It could probably be said that there are days when i like her more than i like him.
So, she gets out of the front seat and MOVES AROUND TO THE BACK.
Now that just weirded me out. I even said - hey, i'll get back there with the boys - stay in the front seat. But she just looked at me and said no, it's no big deal and sat down in the back.
So I sat down in the front seat of my ex-husband's car and it became the The New Adventures of Old Sheri.
I'm sitting there, like i had on a million car trips before, with the kids in the back and it felt like I had time-jumped back 5 years.
Except that i had an extra in the car.
That had been on a date with my ex the night before.
Which probably ended in...ok, i won't go there. It wasn't that great then, and i really don't want to think...well, just EW.
That i was actually making conversation with about what they did on their date, where they went, yada yada yada.
My mouth was carrying on the conversation but my mind was cursing Vance like a sailor for taking his car to St Pete to watch his daughter's band competition over the weekend. "No, please go, this isn't a big deal - so i'll be without a car until Monday - it's not an issue - have fun." Yeah.
Sitting in that front seat where i had sat a million times before opened a floodgate of emotions that left me feeling like a snowglobe in a 5 year old's hands. All at once, every fight that we had had during every road trip we had taken jumped out at me as a reminder of why we're not good together. Validation for correcting that wrong. But then, to see my family unit all together in the car - THAT affected me. I still feel so unbelievably guilty about tearing my children's world apart. Everyone tells me that time will turn that guilt around. Well what kind of time are we talking about because i don't see that albatross leaving me anytime soon.
And then there's the whole "girlfriend" thing. I watch how they interact. I hear about their dates or outings in the normal flow of conversation and here's what goes through my mind. Is he going to screw this up? Has he learned anything?
Everytime i hear of them going out - it's in a group of his friends, sometimes hers, but for the most part - always a group. That got real old for me - i wanted to spend time with him away from his family and his friends - but it was never to be which is a big reason i left. He refused to have a relationship with his wife. Does she know that? Probably not. Will she, at some point, say "hey - i need "us" time like i did and get fustrated? What will happen? Will my boys who have already become attached to her get a broken heart if they break up?
What about kids - she's younger - will she want her own? She's a teacher - certainly she will - she loves kids. He's said before he didn't want anymore which is why i had my tubes tied - will he change his mind for her? What if they don't talk about any of this and she's swinging along thinking it will all work out. OR that she can change him. I want to pull her aside and scream 'HAVE A TALK AND MAKE SURE YOU'RE GETTING WHAT YOU NEED because that one? He's not so good at the hard conversations.' But i can't. It's not my place.
When i divorced him - this is something i have to say i didn't dwell on. It seemed lightyears away. Time flies. It will all come out in the wash as my grandmother would say. She's right. I just hope we don't have too many "repeat" cycles. My fingers are crossed for all of us.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Nate (T2): Mommy - what about Santa - he'll bring toys to those kids! Maybe you can call the parents and tell them not to worry, that Santa will bring their kids stuff. Then, we can give food to the hungry kids.
Walker (T1): Mom, what about God - you and grandma said that God always takes care of us. How is he taking care of those people?
I'm definitely not having a Bill Cosby moment here. Where are my words???
Nate: Isn't Santa magic?
Nate: Then he can just magically make some more toys overnight right?
Me: No, the elves do that and that takes time and materials, and he's running out of both. We'll help - that's all.
Nate: He can always go by ToysRus like he did last year.
Nate: You know, like last year - when we found the ToysRus bag in the garage after Christmas and you said Santa had to go there because he left one of my toys at the North Pole.
ONCE AGAIN, THE MOMMY OF THE YEAR AWARD GOES TO...
Walker: He's not real, is he?
Me: Walker - of COURSE SANTA'S REAL. What makes you think he's not real?
Walker: I meant God. Is he real? I mean is He going to help those people get food?
Me: He is helping them - God sends a message to us and tells us what to do to help them. That's how he helps - through all of us. We just have to say "ok".
Walker: How come he let them lose their jobs though?
Me: Ok, you know what? It's late, we have a tree to decorate and a train to put around the bottom of it. And you haven't had baths. Let's go - take your plates to the kitchen, put them in the sink and let's get busy having some fun, ok?
This sucks. This is how these types of conversations that should be 'learning experiences' go in my house. I start with good intentions and this is how it ends up. I don't have good answers. I fumble when pushed by a 7 year old. Where did my brain go?? When did my boys get so smart and I get so not-smart? I don't think Walker bought it. Now I've got him questioning God. I don't want him to question God - i want him to see God in everything and in everyone. I wasn't kidding, where were my words??
Are you talking to your kids about being charitable? How do you answer the tough questions?
Friday, November 14, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I'M THANKFUL THAT I HAVE NOT 1 BUT 2 HEALTHY CHILDREN WHO I LOVE MORE THAN ANYTHING.
I'M THANKFUL THAT I STILL, AS OF TODAY, HAVE A JOB THAT PAYS ME A GREAT SALARY AND LETS ME WORK FROM HOME.
I'M GRATEFUL TO BE SOMEONE WHO'S BEEN ABLE TO KEEP HER JOB THUS FAR IN THIS ECONOMY AND I'M GRATEFUL THAT I EVEN HAVE THE CHANCE TO INTERVIEW. I'M CHOOSING TO VIEW THIS AS THE POSSIBILITY OF NEW BEGINNINGS.
GOD, THANK YOU FOR MY HOME. A HOME THAT I LOVE AND CAN STILL AFFORD THE PAYMENTS ON. A PEACEFUL HOUSE THAT GAVE ME WONDERFUL SOLACE DURING SOME VERY EMOTIONAL MONTHS DURING MY DIVORCE. I HAVE A ROOF OVER MY HEAD, FOOD IN MY PANTRY AND THE LIGHTS ARE STILL ON. THANK YOU FOR THESE PETS THAT MY CHILDREN ADORE AND CARRY FROM ROOM TO ROOM, THEY HAVE BEEN A WONDERFUL BLESSING TO MY KIDS AND OUR FAMILY WOULD NOT BE COMPLETE WITHOUT THEM.
I'm grateful that I live HERE. That we get to vote at all and have a say in how our country's run. AND I'M SO FREAKIN' PROUD OF US TO HAVE COME SO FAR. Good for us. I heart my new president. God, it's great to be able to say that for a change. Oh, and California and Florida and any other of you states that decided it was ok for some people to be married and others not - well shame on you.
There is always going to be crap that pushes our patience and tests our limits. But at the end of the day, you can always be sure that someone else has it worse. period. Bitching about your job - at least you have one. Kids making you batty? Someone's struggling with infertility or even worse, lost a child and is experiencing heartbreak un-imaginable. Car back in the shop and it's $500 to get fixed - you HAVE A CAR. Paint is peeling on the house trim, the faucet is leaking again or you just got a glimpe of what your heating bill is going to be this winter - THOSE ARE BLESSINGS PEOPLE. This post is more for my own benefit than anyone else's as I've been quite the mess of 'WHY ME?'s lately - but it's JUST LIFE. Not the train wreck i'm making it out to be. But ask me again in a week :)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Things he taught me:
- How to chop wood.
- How to light a fire.
- How to mow the grass.
- How to drive a car.
- How to water ski.
- How to drive a boat so HE could water ski.
- How to snow ski.
- How to shoot a gun.
- How to fish.
- How to sew. Yes, sew. He likened it to following a pattern for woodworking - go figure.
- How to drive. He raced stock cars for a living up until I was born.
- How to appreciate really fine homes and antiques.
- Why preservation of historic homes is important.
- How to paint without drips and streaks, and whether you can use latex over oil (you can't) and why prepping first is important.
- How to use a nail gun without killing myself
- How to use a chop saw.
- How to use a circular saw.
- How to do minor electrical stuff, like wiring new outlets and hanging lights and ceiling fans.
- How to refinish furniture without taking my skin off.
- How to read blueprints.
- How to read if a sub-contractor or a contractor, for that matter, is lying.
- How to find my way around Home Depot.
- How to install a garbage disposal.
- How to use a wet saw.
- How to lay tile. Only work in small areas, don't get ahead of yourself. Wear gloves when grouting or your hands are gonna feel like they've been in the desert afterward. It takes really 3 or 4 good cleanings to REALLY get the haze off of new tile where it doesn't come back.
- Measure twice, cut once.
- Sometimes the garage is the safest place to be, or the best place to work out anger, sadness, or overall angst. Or hide. Sometimes you have to hide.
- Mistakes are lessons to NOT do something that way again. It's ok - it can be redone.
- You're probably going to know more about building and fixing things than any man you date. That's ok, don't rub it in, but if he won't at least TRY - let that be a lesson.
- Home Depot or Lowes CAN lower prices on stuff, JUST ASK. It's your money, you're the only one who can protect it.
- Girls are often better than boys at this stuff because we're THOROUGH.
- Don't ever let a tradesman talk down to you - you've learned from the best :)
- Some jobs are better left to the professionals. Know when.
- Get at least 3 quotes.
- Cheapest is just that - you get what you pay for.
My dad was often teased that he wanted a boy instead of a girl because of everything he made me learn. I don't believe that's at all true, I think he just wanted to spend time with me, and i with him. I know I learned so much more than what i listed - but it's the memories of us together while learning those things that will stay with me forever. I love you Dad.