That Time He Whined About Not Being Appreciated Even After We Agreed to Move Across the Country For Him

February 2014

I’m proud of myself. I could have hit below the belt. I could have just choked back my emotions but I didn’t. He was complaining yesterday that he felt like all he was was a bank. Complained the kids didn’t say hi after he had returned. Complained I wasn’t more appreciative of his bonus check. I could have easily replied, “I’m sure Harley would have been more appreciative. I’m sure she would have said and done the exact right thing, unlike me. Maybe you should call her so she can stroke your ego. Hell, maybe you should give me her number so she can advise me on how best to appreciate you since she obviously knows you so much better and would be a much better wife.” But I didn’t. I figured that would be hitting below the belt and it wouldn’t be fair to throw that in his face every time we fought. Very mature of me, right? And I followed up my non response with a very thoughtful response letting him know that despite all of us being perfectly happy here we were moving across the country for HIM because HE is miserable here. And he actually thanked me for pointing that out, said he hasn’t thought of it that way. So score for me!

The Catch

Does anyone watch this show on ABC?  If not it’s about a con man who cozies up to an investigator so that he can steal one of her firm’s client’s money.  She ends up giving him $1.4 million of her own money for a down payment on a house and he takes off.  She has also been pursuing a mysterious Mr. X who, if I recall correctly, was extorting money from people.  I’m a little hazy on the details because it’s been a while since the premier.  Regardless, she has been chasing this mystery man who is actually her “fiancé” up until she gives him all of her money and then discovers he is not who he says he is.

I’m bringing this up because I’ve been binge watching television to clear out my DVR before I discontinue Dish.  As I continue to watch the story unfold he just can’t get her out of his head.  He steals a priceless painting that she likes and puts it on her bedroom wall.  He risks everything to keep in contact with her.  Eventually he tells her he loves her and everything they had was real.  She began as a mark but he really did fall in love with her; he even reminds her of how he asked her to run off with him (right before he took off).  By the season finale they are making plans to run off together.

What a load of bullshit!  He’s a con man, for crying out loud!  They don’t fall in love with their marks.  They don’t have hearts of gold and they don’t need the love of a good woman to turn them into the wonderful men (or women) they are deep down.  This is the kind of crap we’re fed.  He’s not a bad person.  He just needs the right woman.  By golly, she can turn him around.

I’m surprised even 50% of relationships make it considering all the fantasy we’re led to believe from the very moment we begin watching TV and movies.  Maya Angelou tells us to believe who they are the first time they show you.  Hollywood tells us we can change anyone if we simply love them enough.  How many times has that been played out?  The rakish cad that no one can tame- until our heroine comes along and captures his heart.  The bad guy who kills people without batting an eye but who becomes jelly when he’s around the love of his life. Or you know, the whole affair partners as one another’s one true love.  That’s a little off topic, though.

I haven’t even got to the point in the story where the guy helping this couple is the man Ben originally worked for and who wants him to come back and pull more cons.  Additionally, he shot his lover in cold blood just a few episodes before this and killed several other people as well!  Now they’re portraying them as this happy threesome- the couple destined to be together with Hop Along Cassidy playing sidekick.  He’s a cold-blooded murderer, folks!  Don’t trust him!  Don’t go anywhere with him!

Why do we so desperately want to believe we can change people?  Why is this the love story we want to see?  Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see story where the woman called the man on his shit and decided she wasn’t going to put up with it anymore?  Or where she had a conversation with her best friend, telling her that although she loves him he’s a total asshole and he’ll never change?  I get that Hollywood is selling us a bill of goods, a perfect fantasy, but just once it would be nice if our daughters (and sons, for that matter) weren’t force-fed this bullshit.  Stop trying to convince people that when someone fucks you over they’re really a good person at heart.  Stop trying to convince people that their love can turn someone around. If you love a person you’re not going to con them and take all their money and attempt to screw over their company.  Any person in his or her right mind would RUN from a person like this, not pant all over them in the hopes of rekindling their romance.  Is this what we want to teach our children about love, romance and relationships?

It reminds me a bit of red flags for domestic abuse.  As females we’re generally taught that when a man is jealous that’s a good thing; it’s proof that he cares about you. Yet, a man who exhibits jealousy over other male friends or even male attention is presenting a red flag. Jealousy is not a sign of love and thankfully, it seems that is being taught more and more- to both sexes. Many, many couples brag of spending all their time together and being joined at the hip.  Yet one of the first things an abuser will do is isolate his victim from any support system. So when your friend gets a boyfriend and suddenly never wants to go out anymore is she in an abusive relationship or does she just pour herself into her romantic relationships?  It could go either way.   Another popular theme is the amount of attention and gifts abusers usually heap on their victims.  Again, how many of us like getting gifts?  How many of us like finding a partner who actually wants to be around us?  Obviously, it goes beyond just those few things, and a man who is occasionally jealous or who makes elaborate date plans or loves to lavish his date with gifts isn’t automatically an abuser.  It’s just that those signs can be so ambiguous.

Years ago I was reading a board and one of the women was complaining about her boyfriend.  Seems he would get sullen and withdraw whenever her ex was around.  She had a very amicable relationship with him and thought it was important to remain friendly for the sake of her kids but Boyfriend was quite jealous.  Several people commented before one finally spoke up and said the guy was giving off red flags.  Let me tell you, the flood gates opened!  How dare anyone suggest that this was a red flag?  There was nothing abnormal about being jealous when your partner is friendly with her ex!  We don’t have enough information!  You are overreacting!  I’ll skip ahead and let you know how this eventually ended.  Several months after this conversation the boyfriend trapped her in a bathroom and wouldn’t let her leave during a fight they were having.  Needless to say, they broke up.  But I’m still reminded of how all these people refused to even consider that he was giving off subtle signs that he might be controlling and abusive.

I know that it’s just a TV show. It’s make believe. The irony though is this is where so many people get their ideas about how relationships should work.  They turn to Hollywood for cues on romance and love and defying all the odds. Hollywood tells you that you can change the bad boy, the womanizer, the con man, the criminal.

It’s not a bad show; I was just struck by how this beautiful, intelligent woman falls for this con man even after he’s shown her exactly who he is.  I know The Affair gets a pretty bad rap from most people going through infidelity but from what I’ve read in the recaps and seen in the few episodes I recorded and watched it doesn’t paint a pretty picture of affairs.  Sure, he’s with Allison now and they’ve married, but it becomes pretty apparent that she’s going to end up ruining him and everything he worked for.  Now that, that can definitely be a reality.  Honestly I think we need a lot more reality and a lot less fantasy.  How does any real relationship measure up?  When do we start teaching people to stand up for themselves and trust their gut?  Why does anyone want to continue to insist that all a broken person needs is the love of a good woman (or man) and then they’ll be magically fixed?  Why do they continue to pander to this idea that love means never having to say you’re sorry and that love is all you need?  They need to stop selling people this utter nonsense and portray a real relationship as sexy and worthwhile.  If that’s too difficult maybe they could just stop trying to convince people to ignore basic common sense.  A con man will never make a good romantic partner.

Father’s Day

I was planning on writing a scathing Father’s Day message to my children’s father but I don’t have the heart to do it now.  Every time I begin it comes out all wrong.  I would like to reiterate that Harley gushes that my husband is a “great dad”!  Again, I think it really needs to be your own children making that assessment and not your mistress but what do I know?  I will say I don’t think great fathers screw up their kids’ lives the way CF has screwed up Picasso’s and Rock Star’s.  I don’t think great fathers move their kids across the country, asking them to leave friends and teammates behind and giving up everything they’ve ever known for this shot at a better life only to turn around and begin an affair less than a year later.  I don’t think great fathers move seven hours away from their kids after moving them to a new state.  I don’t think great fathers ignore their kids or constantly give them their sob story in the hopes that said child will feel sorry for them.  Great dads don’t force their kids to move AGAIN two years after taking everything away from them.  I would say a great dad cares about his kids.  He makes sure they have everything they need and a lot of what they want.  A great dad talks to his kids, communicates with them, knows what’s going on in their lives.  A great dad cares if his actions are hurting his kids and ruining their lives.  I’ve said more than a few times that the biggest difference between his tears and mine is that when I’m crying I’m crying for my kids.  When he cries, he’s crying for himself.

He’s good at it, too.  I’m not sleeping well.  My mind is constantly running, thinking of everything that needs to get done and how else he can possibly fuck me over. One morning I was in bed, trying to go back to sleep because it was probably 4 or 5 in the morning, and I’m thinking, “Maybe if I had done this… Maybe if I had made the kids be nicer to him once they found out…  Maybe if I had demanded they talk to him… Maybe if I had been nicer after I discovered everything that he was doing… then all of this wouldn’t be happening.”  I think he is spiraling down again and here I am, like an idiot, trying to reexamine all of my actions and wondering if I handled it inappropriately and somehow have something to do with this.  Thankfully, I bat those thoughts away.  I am able to see that once again he does whatever he wants to do and we are all left to dance for him, trying to keep him happy.  The only person not responsible for his happiness is himself.  I keep telling myself that he brought all of this upon himself.  He CHOSE this.  Frankly, I don’t think he has anything to be unhappy about! He left me, the root of all of his unhappiness.  He is with Harley and therefore isn’t going through this divorce alone.  She’s supposedly the love of his life; she makes him happy!  What happened, Harley?  Why isn’t he happy anymore?  He gave his poor little sad sausage story about hating it out in our former state, how he felt so isolated and away from everyone.  So we moved here, to Whoreville, for his dream job.  Not more than three months into it, he decides he doesn’t like his dream job after all.  I know he told Picasso he hated his job here back in August when his affair was first discovered.  So he quit this “dream job” to go work side by side with Blockhead, which was another dream of his.  He even managed to get a promotion.  So again, what in the hell does he have to be unhappy about?  New woman that makes him happy?  Check.  New dream job working with his bestie?  Check.  New state?  Check.

The only two pieces of the puzzle that aren’t perfect are the kids and the support.  Well, as Joe Kenda would say, “My, my, my.”  I told him the kids would not be happy.  I told him that the first time around.  I told him about the conversation Rock Star and I had had when she told me some guy at the gym scared her.  It turned out the guy had done nothing except smile at her but he looked like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and that scared her.  I told her that if some guy who looked like Dwayne Johnson smiled at me I’d be saying, “Hello there!”  She was appalled.  “Mom, if you ever cheated on my dad I wouldn’t have anything to do with you!  I’d go live with him when you divorced.”  I asked what would happen if it were the other way around and she told me she wouldn’t have anything to do with him, then.

When he admitted that Harley wanted to know how our kids would get along and if they would like her I point blank told him, “Rock Star would hate her.  She wouldn’t get along with her kids.  She would want nothing to do with them.”  He then went on to say he knew that and he even told her that the kids were definitely closer to me.  So he knew.  And yet he still did it and he’s still acting like he’s shocked that they are not all over him with hugs and kisses and telling him how much they love him.

That leaves money.  Sorry, but leaving your wife of twenty plus years, who has stayed home and followed you all around the country so you could climb the corporate ladder, is not going to be cheap.  I’d also like to point out that maybe if he hadn’t been so damn dishonest with his lawyer she could have prepared him better.  Smart boy conveniently left out any mention of a bonus, stocks, or dividend checks when giving her his salary.  He went strictly by monthly when they use gross annual here.

Here’s where I really go off the deep end.  I sometimes think I shouldn’t have been so nonchalant those first four months before our court date.  I really don’t like telling anyone what’s going to happen and then have it not happen.  So I played my cards very close to my vest.  Maybe if I had laid things out for him earlier he wouldn’t have had such a shock when the temporary court orders came down.  Then I have to tell myself that it is not my problem.  I’m sure those four months where he was giving me less than half of what he made, expecting me to pay all the bills with that money, while he took the other half of his paycheck and just played with it, spending recklessly on Harley and her kids, were the happiest four months of his life.  He had no bills, no rent to pay, not a care in the world.  Not enough money to buy groceries for the kids?  That’s ok.  Get a job, Sam!  Contribute to the family.  Or just use some of that money you took out of our joint account, you know, the money that was supposed to be used to pay off the damn pool.  He had plenty of money and yet he never bought our kids anything extra.  It all went to them.  Now he’s reaping what he sowed; unfortunately, he’s taking me and my kids down with him.

I know there is no purpose behind this and obviously I will never actually ask him these things but sometimes I want to ask him:  Are Harley’s kids suffering?  Has their lifestyle gone down the drain?  Do her kids have to move?  Does her daughter have to give up everything the way your daughter has to give up everything- once again?  Will her kids be transferring schools and starting all over?  Yeah, I didn’t think so.

On that note, I told Rock Star yesterday about the situation.  She is, of course, devastated.  She just found out she got her first job.  She is crazy about a boy from her youth group.  Obviously I wouldn’t stay simply for a 16 year old’s romance, especially considering she is usually tired of them within a few months anyway.  But nonetheless she has a new boyfriend and she hates the idea of leaving him behind.  As expected she’s not all that unhappy about having to give up cheerleading, but she is very upset about no longer doing gymnastics and not getting to be team captain. She hates the fact that she doesn’t get to finish out high school here, at HER high school.  She doesn’t want to start over.  She told me that now she’s not going to have any friends again.  I told her she would make new friends and as expected she replied, “I don’t want new friends.  I want my friends here,” as she cried.

Picasso, bless his heart, is so much more laid back.  He’s disappointed that I have already paid the marching band fee and he’s disappointed that he’s already done a lot of work on a costume he wanted to take to a convention in a few months.  But aside from that he’s pretty nonchalant.  “Why bother getting mad about it?  It’s not going to change anything, Mom.  Just go with it.”  It’s funny, though, because even if he didn’t have that attitude I wouldn’t be nearly as worried about him.  He’s my child that hasn’t particularly cared for living in our current state.  Rock Star was taken under a teacher’s wing and introduced to her daughter and her daughter’s friends.  She has skyrocketed.  Popular, athletic, easily noticed.  All the boys like her.  She has tons of friends and is a star on the cheerleading and gymnastic teams.  But Picasso has had a harder time of it.  He’s not athletic.  He has a quirky sense of humor and a very matter-of-fact personality.  He has good friends in the neighborhood and he’s fitting in more and more at school but it’s never been on the same level as his sister.  Plus, he is transitioning in eighth grade, not his junior year.  He’s going to have 5 years to acclimate.  She will have two.  He can still participate in marching band if he wants to.  He won’t miss any of it because I don’t believe they can participate until freshman year.  She, on the other hand, no longer has gymnastics and I doubt she’ll do cheer.  So it’s going to be a total switch- Picasso is probably going to make a lot of new friends and fit right in, while Rock Star loses everything.  That sounds like something a great dad would want for his kids, doesn’t it?

Hanging In There

As the title indicates, I am hanging in there.  I contacted someone from my old hometown whose son goes to my daughter’s potential new school.  She assured me that it’s basically like two separate schools- one for the IB AND Honors students and one for the rest of the school.  So even if Rock Star doesn’t get into the IB program, which this person told me that kids transfer into and out of that program all the time, she’ll still get a top notch education.  Whew!

I’m still not happy about any of this and still trying to sit on the fence somewhat.  Rock Star isn’t home yet so I haven’t had to tell her that her life is going to crumble down once again.  I guess looking on the positive side (which is really really hard to do) I didn’t meet my two best friends until the end of my sophomore year and the beginning of my senior year.  I suppose she can still make friends.  She also told me she doesn’t even really like competitive cheer and would be fine with sideline cheer only.  There won’t be any kind of a replacement for gymnastics or losing out on being team captain but I can’t help that.  She can thank her father for that.

I hate to rush into a decision and have CF get his act together.  Then I’ve moved and disrupted my kids’ lives for nothing.  On the other hand I figure I’m kind of crazy to count on him and I really don’t see anyway that I can support myself and my two kids in this area.  It would be almost impossible even living in this house and waiting out a foreclosure; it would be impossible if I had to pay rent in addition to everything else.  Also, going down that route would mean I have to move right before Rock Star’s senior year.

I’m fighting this with everything I have, but I’m getting so tired.  This is the third time in ten months that I haven’t had a clue what was going on in my life.  Last August my life was turned upside down.  I had no answers for my kids at the time but I managed to keep everything together.  Then in February when he quit his job without saying a word and left the state I was crying every day until I got that next check, thinking I was going to have to pull my kids out of school mid-year.  Now I’m right back in that situation, only this time I’m being told he’s unemployed and will be unemployed for the foreseeable future.  So yeah, I’m tired.  But I’m hanging in there.

I guess in the end it does no good to worry.  Worrying won’t change anything and right now I don’t even know anything for certain.  Things might magically work themselves out and if not… well, they just won’t and there’s nothing I can do about it.

My Love Hate Relationship With Texting

Time for Thursday’s Blast From the Past!

January 2014

I still have a love hate relationship with texting him constantly. I do it. Not constantly, but I do update him. I get it. I really do. It’s a way to stay in contact. It’s a way to share our day. He feels closer to me knowing what all I’m doing. I’m sure it’s good for our marriage in many ways. But it’s also the way they communicated. It was their thing- constant texting, her letting him know every thought that went on in her vapid head, telling him every move she made no matter how mundane or ridiculous, and him lapping it up. Some days I don’t text much and I feel a brief moment of victory. Ha! You can’t turn me into her. I’m me. I’m a separate person. But then I start to wonder if he’s going to miss her, search her out. And I text again. Love hate relationship, I tell ya.

My New Favorite Meatloaf

I love meatloaf.  Rock Star is not much of a fan so I don’t make it often.  Nonetheless, I was cruising Pinterest a few weeks ago and came across a slow cooker meatloaf recipe.  It had the powdered Ranch dressing in it so I was intrigued.  I made it for me and Picasso and we both loved it.  I give it 5 stars.  I will caution you that while you can make this in the oven it will take a very long time.  Ask me how I know.  I forgot to put it in the crockpot in time so I baked it and it took over 2 hours, I believe.  I hope you love it as much as we did.

Slow Cooker Meatloaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ c milk
  • 3 slices of bread torn into small pieces
  • 1 t salt
  • ½ t pepper
  • 1 c ketchup, divided
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • ½ c onion, diced
  • 1 oz pkg ranch salad dressing mix
Instructions:
  1. Combine your eggs, milk, bread crumbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl.
  2. Add ½ c of ketchup and the rest of the ingredients and combine gently.
  3. Make a mound in your greased slow cooker and top with remaining ketchup.
  4. Place the cover on your slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours (until meat  reads 160).
Chef’s Notes:  I also added about a cup of shredded cheddar.  Since I’ve only made this once I can’t tell you if it’s better or worse with cheese.

Questions & Reconciliation

Still not up to writing anything new so here’s another Blast From the Past.

Blast From the Past 14

January 2014

I still have a lot of questions but I don’t have answers. One of my most recent questions was: Did they have nicknames for each other? Did he call her baby, sweetie, lover, honey? Did she call him something special, too? Honestly, I do not know and because of that I’ve found myself not using any terms of endearment when addressing him. I don’t want to call him anything she has called him. Except his name, of course. If he was baby to her he will never be baby to me. If she was baby to him he no longer gets to call me that.
Added a few days later: Speaking of unanswered questions I know one of the things they talked about was what kind of house they liked. Now that we are looking for a new house I sometimes wonder if he’s simply looking for the type of house they liked, or if we’re going to make this decision as a couple without her influence. I would hate to buy a home and find out I was living in their dream house. Blech!

Editor’s Note:  This is one of the wonderful side effects of reconciliation.  You get to wonder all the time.  Well, I’m sure some of you had husbands who would actually answer your questions.  If that’s the case, you have a good one.  I was left to wonder after the first few weeks.  I was expected to forget everything that had happened and to concentrate on the future.  No more questions.  No more “dwelling” on his affair with Harley.  As you can imagine dealing with triggers and having bad days was a whole lot of fun with such an understanding spouse.  I truly believe he took any of my bad days as a personal insult.

The Day I Refused to Learn He Was a Compulsive Liar

I am tired.  I am physically and mentally exhausted and it still keeps coming.  I can’t write about it anymore right now so I’ll leave you with a Blast From the Past.

Blast From the Past 13

January 2014

More about the lies. I don’t think my husband is a compulsive liar (although maybe I should) and I don’t spend my life thinking the sky is falling and he’s cheating again. But, he has lied to me and he did it very well. There were other lies, too. Like when I asked him when they first told one another they loved each other. He insisted it wasn’t the first time they were together. Insisted they weren’t saying it by the time his sister’s wedding rolled around. But that was a lie. He was telling his nephew he was going to marry the whore May 9th. I doubt they were discussing marriage but not telling each other they loooovvvved one another. And even if I gave him the benefit of the doubt and explained it away by telling myself he’s blocked a lot of it out of his mind, or he wasn’t sure of the dates (which is why I gave him time periods instead) that still doesn’t answer why he lied again when I asked him why her husband thought I needed a lawyer. Yes, poor, dumb, lied to me. Why would he think that? You’d only been texting for around 3 weeks. Oh, you poor stupid dumbass! His answer? I don’t know. I guess because we were carrying on. Hey, how about this instead? He found her phone with all the text messages declaring your love for one another and talking about your happy future together once you divorced your wretched spouses. I don’t think the fact his wife wanted to suck your dick was what made him think LAWYER! It was the plans for the future, your supposed love for one another, and the fact you had found your soul mate that had him worried!

So I’m left wondering if those are the only lies, or if there are more. And how deeply will those lies cut?

Added on 2 days later:  And let’s not forget the lie about having never made plans to meet up.  Sweetie, just because the plans didn’t come to fruition doesn’t mean you didn’t make any.  When you’re talking about bringing your whore with you for your eight hour tattoo and she’s going to get a tattoo to represent your true love while with you, you’ve officially made plans to meet up.

Editor’s Note:  Turns out he is a compulsive liar!  So far I have thrown out all of his clothes and precious memories.  He’s paid for my college education.  I forced him to move out of his house and refused to let him take a single thing with him.  I never loved him.  We haven’t had sex in ten years.  He’s an Army Ranger.  He had to leave his current company so that he could move back home to be with his family.  He has no idea why I filed for divorce.  All of those lies, with the exception of him being an Army Ranger, were told after I found out about him and Harley.  I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the damn lies he told all summer.  I also haven’t touched on his lies about his first go-round with Harley and with Anne, whom he described as a stalker- yet another lie!

13kxia

Another Day

A new day.  Still the same old shit.  I’ve spent the last 3 days feeling nauseous and crying off and on.  My sleep habits are once again out of whack.  I’m not sure what time I fell asleep on Saturday night; I don’t think it was too terribly early.  Nonetheless I woke up at 4:15 on Sunday morning.  Couldn’t go back to sleep.  I didn’t go to bed until after midnight last night and I was up around 5:15.

I’ve been trying to be proactive and looking up potential schools in the new area.  It is turning around and biting me in the ass, along with depressing me.  My first choice is the school that most people are flocking to.  Unfortunately, when I went to look at enrollment forms they clearly stated that they were no longer taking out of district students.  We would be out of district.  Strike one.  My second choice is my old high school which now offers an IB program.  I found out that there are only 75 slots for the entire school district and they are picked by lottery.  I am fairly certain that there are no more slots available since it is the end of the school year and this would have been done earlier in the year.  Strike two.  The third potential was a private Catholic high school.  My mom suggested that one since they take school vouchers.  Yeah, I don’t really qualify because even though my old high school seems to be a fairly shitty school now unless you’re in the IB program, it’s not rated F.  So, no voucher and the financial aid forms were all due by February 28th.  Strike three.  My daughter is going from a rural 3A school where she’s a very big fish in a fairly small pond to, what is described as, an inner-city school with a student body population of 1800.  Current high school?  Just under 1100.  Probably future high school has a math proficiency rating of 33 or 37%.  English proficiency rate is 51%.  Hey, who needs a good foundation in math and english, right?  Current high school?  Both are low 90s.  That sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?  I researched the public high school closest to where we would be living and it’s even worse.  Hey, who needs a decent education, right?

I told my brother CF managed to kill her gymnastics scholarship hopes.  Now he was going to kill her cheerleading scholarship hopes.  Why doesn’t he just give her a traumatic brain injury and kill any chance for an academic scholarship as well, I wondered.  Looks like the brain injury isn’t needed!  He will settle for a subpar education instead.

As an added bonus, cheerleading tryouts have already been held for fall sideline cheer.  Even better, there are summer reading lists for any of the honors classes there and she already has a summer project for AP history class here.

I saw a comment a few months ago that said something like this:  You can’t look at your marriage as a waste of all of those years.  It was a chapter in your life- a long chapter, but a chapter nonetheless.  I try very hard to look at it that way.  That I didn’t waste 21 years with an asshole.  These past few days have made that extremely difficult.

I suppose part of that is because I don’t see a happy ending in my future.  I don’t look ahead two or three years and think, “Oh, maybe I’ll be with the love of my life and this was just the journey I had to take to get there.  I’ll have a fantastic, fulfilling, well-paying job and my kids will be deliriously happy and believe that moving yet again was the best thing that ever happened!”  No, I look at my life in two to three years and I see myself alone, living with my mother, not even having a bedroom of my own.  I’m working one, probably two, menial paying jobs and STILL I have nothing because that piece of shit I married is circling the drain and contributes nothing.  My daughter is miserable.  She’ll end up on drugs because she has no life and no friends at her new school  She can’t afford to go to college (plus she’s on drugs).  With the shit school I’m going to be forced to send her to she may not even graduate from high school! And even if she does all the colleges will say, “Oh, we don’t take diplomas from that place; we know what a shithole it is.”  At least I have higher hopes for Picasso.  He doesn’t really like it here although as I’ve said before he is starting to fit in more and become more involved finally.  So glad I pushed him into that!  Now he has something to lose, too.

Years ago when we were still moving about every 2 and a half years or so a man I met told me he was given advice from his boss when he, too, was moving around a lot.  He said, “Lay down roots wherever you are and however long you’ll be there.”  I followed that advice and now I have to wonder, “What’s the point?”  It just makes it hurt that much more when you are forced to leave.  I don’t give a shit about this town.  I have very few friends here.  That’s not to say that people aren’t nice to me.  I go to coffee with two different people every now and then.  I go to church with another person and we often interact because our daughters are friends.  But I doubt there’s anyone here that I will stay in touch with when we leave.  No, I don’t want to leave because I know how much it’s going to affect my child.

She has a whole new set of friends after being forced to leave behind, what was to her, her lifelong friends and teammates.  She has a whole new life that she is going to be forced to leave behind and there is no way to pick it back up when we move in with my mom.  It’s just over.  She won’t be involved at school any longer- cheer tryouts are over and there is no gymnastics team.  No one will know her name.  She won’t know the teachers and what to expect.  There won’t be friends.  She’s going to have to start all over- again.  I’m about at the point where I’m not even going to bother with having her go to a regular high school.  Just take online school, kid, because the way the last four years of your schooling is going something’s going to happen next year, too.  May as well not even bother.  Year 1 of the last 4- we move 2000 miles away from everyone she really remembers and force her to start all over, leaving behind competitive gymnastics and her long time teammates.  All for the fake promise of a new and better life.  Year 2 of the last 4- her father fucks around on me and she finds out we’re getting a divorce; at the time I tell her I have no idea what’s going to happen with school and moving.  Year 3 of the last 4- her douchebag dad loses his job and tells me no more money is coming my way.  Chances are excellent I will be pulling her once again and forcing her to leave behind her new life to start all over- again.  In a shitty school.  With shitty students.  And a shitty mom working a shitty job and having a shitty attitude because I can’t afford fucking name brand peanut butter for my kids.

I thought making friends when you were new in high school might be tough.  These other kids  had 9 years together.  Relationships were formed and solid.  It’s hard for newcomers to break through.  I also kept in mind she was transferring to a small school which meant they probably didn’t get a lot of new students.  That could (and did) work in her favor.  Plus, with the school being relatively small it was easy to get involved.  If you try out for a team you generally make it unless you’re awful.  I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like trying to break into a new group of friends when you’re coming in for the last two years.  I honestly don’t see her getting involved.  Even here she refused to try out for the soccer or volleyball teams.  The soccer coach has been begging her to join but she’s never played before, and she knew the volleyball team was very good so she didn’t think she would have any chance of making it.  She’s not tall enough for basketball and she doesn’t like to run so that eliminates track.  She could possibly do swimming and diving, but again, here she had no interest and I highly doubt she’s going to be interested after I make her move 600 miles away.  There is a golf team and a tennis team but I don’t see her making the cut when she’s trying out for the first time as a junior and has never played.

My mother likes to say, “Our family friend told me once that if you’re popular at one school, you’ll be popular at another.”  I don’t buy that.  Oh, don’t get me wrong.  I’ll lie my ass off and blow sunshine up my kid’s ass to make her think everything is going to be peachy keen!  The reality is that girl my mom likes to refer to, who transferred in as a senior and was named Homecoming Queen a few months later, transferred into a small school.  I don’t think it had even 200 students total.  She became a big fish in a small pond.  That’s not what my daughter is going into.  She’s a small fish going into a big pond that’s filled with shit after coming from a clean, small pond where she was among the most beautiful of the koi fish.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know.  I have to do what’s best for ME.  Gosh, I sound like her dad now.  I can’t go broke trying to keep us here just because she’s having a great high school experience.  If a shitty high school experience is what keeps us afloat then, oh well.  Sorry kid!  I could possibly wait out a foreclosure and buy her an extra year, but that’s not for certain.  And then she’s moving her senior year.

Again, I know that high school should not be the pinnacle of your life.  It should be fun, though.  My poor kid just keeps getting shit on from every direction.  No stability.  Changing schools every two years after a life of relative ease and privilege.  She thought she had rebuilt a life for herself.  I suppose she did; however, it is once again going to be dismantled and I don’t think she’s going to be able to build it back up again.

She’s off to church camp with her youth group and groups from several other area churches.  Her bff and former teammate flew out and surprised her last Monday.  She’s going back home today but last night several of Rock Star’s friends came over to hang with her friend.  She was going through old videos to show them what Rock Star used to do in competition and they were talking about how they wanted to go to the meets next year so they could watch Rock Star.  One of them said, “I’ve heard she’s exceptionally good.”  I wanted to cry because the reality is she’s probably not going to be here.  She was supposed to be team captain and they are losing her.  She will be devastated.

While they were scrolling through videos I was looking, too.  I went through my timeline and saw all the various pictures of her- smiling and cheering at games, at cheer competitions, pictures and videos of high school gymnastics, awards ceremonies, Powder Puff, dressing up for Halloween, Homecoming…  It’s all so sad.

There is a debate going on once again about infidelity on the board that I talked about a few days ago.  The question is whether or not you would end a friendship.  So many of them, even those who have been cheated on, say it’s between two consenting adults.  Yeah, tell that to my kids who will have been uprooted twice now, in two years.  Tell that to my kids who are once again losing everything and will have to start over.  Tell that to my kids who have been promised the world and are now finding out their dad is reneging on that promise. Tell that to my kids who have watched their father walk away, move out of state, and never say a word to them.  Tell that to my kids who know their father is playing Daddy of the Year to the whore’s kids while abandoning his own.  Two consenting adults, my ass.  It may begin with those two deceitful, lying cheaters but I assure you, they end up involving a whole hell of a lot more people in their mess.

When the Karma Bus Takes You Out, Too

Why, oh why, do I keep getting run over by the damn karma bus? Yes, it does seem like karma is catching up with him (although it’s always difficult to tell for certain); however, I continue to be collateral damage.  My children continue to be collateral damage.

I knew I shouldn’t have published my last post, betting my spousal support that CF wasn’t out crying in public with Harley the Harlot.  Seriously- I debated and told myself not to do it.  It’ll come back to bite you in the ass, I told myself.  Because either he IS crying in public or he’s just a total douche because he texted me today (now yesterday) to tell me he had lost his job.  He lost his job and no more money will be coming my way and waaaahhhh, I guess you’ll just have to put me in jail now.  He’s always the victim.  Not a single worry about me.  Naturally.  I am just the evil STBX wife.  Not a single worry for his kids.  Hey, Rock Star has got colleges messaging her about cheerleading for a potential cheer scholarship but let’s just eliminate that dream, too!  For the cherry on top of this luscious shit sundae you can refuse to help pay for college as well!  Keep fucking them over where scholarships are concerned, first gymnastics, now cheer, and then whine about how you don’t have the money to help pay for college because I take all of your money.  Picasso was finally getting involved in school and found something else to make him happy.  Let’s crush his new dreams, too!  He is always finding another way to fuck us over.

Quick question though, Cousinfucker.  Are you happy?  Is your whore still making you smile every day?  Are you happier now than you ever were with me?  Was this all fucking worth it?  I HOPE SO!

I wish I had more details for you but I don’t.  I did contact my lawyer who called me immediately after receiving my email.  She wanted to know if I thought he was suicidal.  I certainly hope not.  There’s no life insurance on the sonofabitch now that he’s lost his job!  Plus, I don’t even have an address for him.  I couldn’t get a welfare check on him if I wanted to.  She encouraged me to call him, or his best friend or someone in his family.  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  I kindly explained that Cousinfucker doesn’t answer the phone even when it’s his own damn kids so I knew full well he wouldn’t pick up if I called.  I also told her that seeing as how all of those people actively encouraged him to leave me I didn’t really think they would be forthcoming with any details of his situation.  Circle the wagons and all.

I have to say I am somewhat surprised by this.  I originally thought that he and Blockhead working together would be a disaster.  Then I learned that CF actually got hired in as the GM and figured that maybe this would work out a little bit better than I had anticipated.  He got a promotion.  He was working with his best friend.  If he wasn’t living with the whore she was only two hours max away from him.  He had no one to answer to on a daily basis.  I was beginning to think the job situation could work out for quite some time.  On one hand I was a little upset that things wouldn’t fall apart sooner.  On the other hand, he’s paying me a lot of money each month so it’s in my best interests to have him employed.

What that all tells me is that he probably didn’t voluntarily quit.  I mean, he had told me before he should have jumped at the chance to work with Blockhead instead of taking the job here.  He told me it was a dream of his to work side by side with him.  So, he’s got the dream and he’s got a promotion.  Why quit?  And you don’t typically hire someone in as your top guy, pay his moving expenses (I would love to see how much they paid out to him) and then let him go unless something spectacular has happened.  I could have easily seen him eventually  embezzling money to pay for Harley’s lifestyle; hell, I honestly kinda expected both of them to end up in prison at some point.  But I doubt he’d start something like that so early on in his new job, and as much as I can’t stand the guy, he really doesn’t seem like the embezzling type.  Then again, I never thought he was the cheating type.

Maybe it was drinking.  Maybe it was too many absences in his first few months.  He was hospitalized last month but I would think there is some kind of federal protection regarding that.  Some thought that perhaps he had taken too much time off to spend with Harley.  I doubt that; why take a day off when she’s not that far away?  It couldn’t be performance based because he wasn’t there long enough!

On the advice of my lawyer I did contact him and try to pretend I cared about his predicament; I asked him if he was okay and if he had a support system.  I asked him what had happened and  what his plans were.  I even asked if maybe he could go back to his old company.  Hey, I saw the exit interview and he was piling shit so high an elephant couldn’t wade through without getting its back filthy.  I also asked him if the insurance would be good through the end of the month because both kids had appointments.  His only response was that the insurance should be good through the end of the month.  So much for me being kind and concerned.  Although let’s be honest.  If I hadn’t acted concerned he would have cried and carried on because I didn’t care about him!  Reality says he’ll probably spin that story anyway so what’s the difference?

My lawyer asked me if I thought it was merely a coincidence that this happened on the last day of school.  Honestly, I doubt he even knows when the last day of school was.

I guess we’ll see how long Harley sticks around now that he’s unemployed.  She did ditch her husband of approximately 18 years for someone who could bring in more money each month.  It also would be interesting to see who is paying her and her daughter’s cell phone bill now.  Do you think he’s going to continue to pay it or will he tell her she’s going to have to take over payments for a while?  That will probably be a fun conversation.

I also got to thinking about the new job search.  If they are still together that means he’s not going to want to take any old job.  No, he will want to get something that is close to his true love so that definitely limits his options; plus, he was looking for approximately six months before he got this new job.  This might be interesting.  He never had to worry about that when he was married to me.  Nope, stupid old me would just pack up and move wherever he told us we were going.  OK, to be fair, he did always run it by me.  But then again, I always said yes.  He was the breadwinner and we followed him and the job.  Harley won’t and can’t do that.  First, I believe she’s extremely selfish and would never leave her home state.  Second, she’s got kids with another man and that man is an actual father to his children; The Saint will never let her leave the state with his kids.  According to him, Harley isn’t even planning on leaving Whore Town.  I suppose that could change.  She could always choose to leave her kids behind.

I also thought about how perhaps he could go back to his old company.  If he wanted to wait until an opening came up in a plant close to Harley they could place him in another division that travels and assesses problems with all the plants.  He would be on the road every week, but in the end I think that would work out in his favor.  They could still have their weekends only true love; she could fuck around on him during the week whenever she got horny or lonely and he’d probably never know.  Plus, he wouldn’t ever have to shoulder the burden of every day life.  Maybe she will get to experience doing everything by herself during the week and then having him come home on the weekends and demand to be entertained.  She can cook him a home cooked meal; she can do his laundry.  When he whines about her reading the newspaper because, “This is family time!” she can sit by his slippers like the adoring whore she is.  She’ll still have it better than me.  I did all that plus dealt with a high needs infant.

Now it’s looking like once again I will be moving back to my home state before my daughter manages to graduate from high school.  Everyone says she will do great.  I don’t have high expectations.  She’s into cheer and gymnastics.  She will have missed cheerleading tryouts for starters, so no cheering her junior year.  Secondly, they don’t have competition cheer in the high schools there.  No, I would have to pay for it and that’s expensive and since it’s looking more and more like I’m going to be living out the rest of my miserable life as a pauper there will be no extracurriculars for my kids.  Nothing that I have to pay for anyway.  Then there’s the little matter of none of those schools having a gymnastics team.  Boom!  Just like that, she’s done.

Her father takes away competitive gymnastics and any chance of a scholarship so she adjusts.  She ends up participating on her high school team and is named co-captain for next year.  Her father fucks that up as well.  Maybe we shouldn’t even try to have anything because every time we make adjustments he comes along and knocks those down.  I think it’s his fucking hobby.

Finally, because all she’s ever done is gymnastics she wouldn’t ever make any other kind of team.  She wouldn’t be good enough to play volleyball, soccer, or softball.  Those teams these days are populated by the kids that have been playing since they were 5.  OK, maybe 8.  She’s not interested anyway.

It’s looking more and more like I’m going to be ripping my kids’ lives apart once again and my daughter is going to go to school and do nothing.  I don’t see her getting involved for the reasons I outlined above.  I will lay 60-40 odds that she will end up heartbroken and miserable in her new location.  But hey, at least her father is getting his dick sucked.  We can all rejoice over that fact.  Really, nothing else matters.

Best of all she gets to spend her final two years of high school with people she doesn’t know.  If she chooses to ever attend a class reunion it will be with people she knew for a mere two years; meanwhile, the people she would love to catch up with will be holding their reunion 600 miles away and she won’t be invited because she’s not a part of their class.

Look, I know high school shouldn’t be the pinnacle of your life.  But I’ll tell you this.  My best friends are my friends from high school.  I can’t think of a single college friend that I’ve spent any time with since graduating.  I have a few of them on my Facebook friends list but aside from one outing with someone who was in the same service fraternity as me right after graduation I haven’t actually seen any of them again.  I did come close this spring but alas, it didn’t work out.  My daughter loves her friends here.  She’s popular and she’s active at her school.  I tried telling her she thought this move was going to be a disaster and look how well it worked out but she turned the tables on me and asked me how often I thought that would happen.  Lightening won’t strike twice, in her opinion.  I envision a once popular, active teenage girl who now sits on the sidelines and does nothing.  Wow- that’s going to be great for college applications!  Thank God she only wants to go to a state school.

I’m not quite as worried about Picasso, although I hate he’s going to miss out on being in the marching band next year; I’m pretty sure they don’t allow 8th graders to participate in the high school marching band where we’re going.  I don’t worry as much about him mainly because he won’t start high school until 2017.  I’m hopeful he will be able to join marching band, if he still wants to, when he enters high school.  Plus, he has repeatedly said he doesn’t mind moving so he is not going to be nearly as devastated as my poor Rock Star.

Then we have the fact that my brother constantly complains about how shitty the schools are in that town.  As you can imagine I’m really excited about taking my kids out of a really good school system, one where people regularly say, “They go there?  That’s good.  That’s a really good school,” and putting them into a really shitty school system.  Obviously, private school would be out of the question.  But again, as long as their dad is happy what do I have to complain about, right?

As for me, well, I am ecstatic over the idea that I’m 47 years old and I’ll be moving in with my mother with nothing more than the clothes I own.  Yep, 47 years old and I have nothing.  I will be leaving pretty much every possession of mine behind, getting rid of everything.  Don’t get me wrong.  I am very thankful I have somewhere to go and won’t be forced to live in someone’s garage.  I truly am.  But I put up with a lot of shit from CF so that I could keep my family together and so that my kids could have a life I didn’t get when I was younger.  I wanted them to be able to wear name brand clothing.  I wanted them to be able to have the extras.  I wanted to be able to take them to the movies and buy them popcorn and drinks.  I didn’t want them to have to work.  I wanted to be able to get them nice cars and pay for college (my mom did pay for college).  I wanted them to be able to participate in extracurriculars and not have to worry about the cost or choosing between that and working.  I wanted them to have every advantage.  Turns out it was all for nothing.  If I’d left the sonofabitch ten years ago maybe I would have had a chance.  The kids and I wouldn’t have become accustomed to having nice things.  I firmly believe it would have been a lot easier to adjust their lifestyle if this had happened when they were 6 and 4, instead of them living the life of Riley until their teens.  Going from having whatever you need and most of what you want to possibly not even getting something you need is quite the contrast.  I’m dealing with a teenage girl who is used to being able to go shopping every time she turns around.  A child that has been told for several years that she will get a car for her 16th birthday.  A child that was told not to worry about college because we would pay for it.  And now that’s all up in smoke and she’s having a really tough time adjusting.  She still clings to, “But he promised,” and while I never say this I do think it in my head almost every time, “Yes, but he’s a liar.”  And for me, starting over before I turned 40 might have actually led to a career.  Now I’m left wondering who the hell is going to want to hire someone nearing 50 and who has been out of the workforce for 17 years.  It’s not like I have a lot of time to build up a career.  Good news, though, my mom tells me the car wash is hiring for $12/hour- way above minimum wage!  So there’s always that.

Honestly, I have been feeling a little overwhelmed lately.  I had a plan and I tried to focus day by day instead of looking at the big picture.  I had decided that even if I didn’t file for a settlement date I would still start looking for a job right before Rock Star got her license. I would (hopefully) get a job and if it paid anywhere between $1500 and $2000 per month we would be okay.  With Rock Star driving and me working I could buy her a car and she could help out with all the transportation. I had a fucking plan.  But still I would get those moments where panic would bubble up inside of me.  What if I can’t get a job?  What happens if the A/C goes out?  How am I going to get the backyard looking good again?  Am I going to be able to fix the toilets?  Can I hire someone to replace the screen door on the enclosed porch?  Home ownership is never dull!  What’s going to happen at Christmas?  How will I pay my taxes?  All these questions festering and worrying me.  I’m tired.  I’m tired of being the only damn adult around while he runs off to play with a whore and leaves everything in the dust without a second backwards glance.  I’m tired of crying and wondering what’s going to happen to me and my kids while he’s out pursuing his “no, this time I mean it for real” dream job with his best buddy several states away from us- with their offices side by side and them going out to lunch together every day.  Until he loses his job, of course.  I’m tired of fighting to try to keep things normal for my kids but at the same time I desperately don’t want to let them down either.

I know this is going to crush my daughter.  She may end up with a fantastic new life yet again, and she may not.  She may become sullen and withdrawn and end up dancing on a pole.  At least she can’t do that until she’s 18 so I’ve got 2 more years before I need to worry about that.  Hell, maybe she’ll start taking drugs and end up a pregnant teen because she has nothing to look forward to and she’s no longer active in school; I kept my kids busy for a reason.  Let’s hope for the best, right?  Kids are so fucking resilient, right?  Crush their dreams and they’ll just build new ones!  Turn around and crush those and they’ll build even more.  You can keep crushing them and crushing them and those kids will just continue to keep building them, not letting a little thing like total destruction stop them.  Here’s another question- why do I have to be the one to tell them?  Why do I get to deliver the death blow?  Why is it I am the one who has to listen to the crying and wipe away the tears while their asshole father who has caused all of this is balls deep in a whore and has not a care in the world?  He doesn’t deal with the fallout.  He’s hundreds of miles away.  I’m sure he’s getting his own little head patted by everyone around him and the focus is completely on him and how he’s feeling.  Once again, fuck those kids that everyone claims to love sooooo much!

It’s been approximately a year since he took up with Harley once again.  He lied and deceived all summer long, handing over huge amounts of money to her while telling me it was for his mommy.  If he truly has no money in his account then he has blown through tens of thousands of dollars on her and her kids.  His American Express bill, the ONLY bill he had, was regularly paid late, at least through February which is when I saw the last bill.  He has quit his job with a company that he worked for for over 15 years, a company that valued him and had a big plans for him (at least according to him- but he’s a liar so who knows anymore?).  He moved out of state to be closer to the whore and to work with Blockhead.  He’s been hospitalized with pneumonia.  He’s had two car accidents since August.  And now he’s lost his job.  He apparently doesn’t realize that arrears are beginning to accrue; you don’t simply say, “I lost my job; now I don’t owe you anything.”  The mortgage and pool loan will no longer be paid so his credit is going to go straight into the toilet.  Naturally, this will be all my fault.  I’m fairly certain that if you end up with your house in foreclosure and you’ve taken out a VA loan you won’t be eligible for another one ever.  So he’s got that going for him as well.  He still hasn’t seen the final divorce settlement either.  That should be interesting.  I have no idea if a judge will hand him his ass or take pity on him.  I keep thinking he will try to use PTSD issues or possibly even alcohol issues to try to weasel out of paying.  He should have to pay me arrears for all the time he spent living in this house and not paying me what he should have.  He should also have to pay back 50% of everything he’s spent on Harley and her kids.  I’m calling the insurance company and getting our insurance unlinked.  I’ve been paying his ever since D-Day.  Now he’s going to have an insurance bill to pay.  I don’t really see things getting better for him anytime soon.  Even if I get totally screwed over in the divorce settlement because of this latest stunt he’s still going to have credit problems and money problems.  I know a lot of people say he doesn’t care but I bet Harley does.  She’s tired of going to jail for writing bad checks.  She was looking for a sugar daddy so that she could have all the nice things she wanted but couldn’t afford and didn’t end up arrested.  I’m probably giving him too much credit but I believed that having her in his life would be a big reason for him to continue working and making good money.  He may tell people she makes her own money and she gets child support herself but I think he realizes deep down that his only offering, especially to her, is his money.  No money = no Harley.  Either I was wrong about her gold digging ways or I was wrong about him wanting to continue to impress her and her kids. Or hell, maybe he figured he’s working and making big bucks but he has to send it all to me instead of spending it on the whore so why not just quit?  He now has a cell phone bill of his own to pay (it was paid for him with his old company) and he either needs to figure out how to pay for the whore’s cell phone bill or he has to tell her he can’t pay it any longer.  I’m sure he also has a very large hospital bill because of switching over to an HSA.  And while it sucks that the kids and I have no insurance after this month we are relatively healthy.  He takes at least 3 prescription drugs every month.  That’s going to get costly quick. So yes, I would say the karma bus has paid him at least a quick visit.  He is imploding like crazy and it’s only going to get worse.  I wish I could ask everyone who encouraged him to leave me if he seems happier now.  I wonder if they’ll all pitch in to help him with his many bills.  Gosh, that would be horrible if they abandoned him in his time of need.  I wish I could ask them, the same as I would ask him, “Was it worth it?  Was I so awful that it was worth destroying everything in his life to get away from me?”  I also wish the karma bus would stop taking me out with him!

I know today is not a good a day.  I know I’m wallowing in self-pity and only looking at the glass as half empty.  I will undoubtedly get over it, as I always do.  Again, why am I always the one who needs to get over it?  Why not him?  Oh yes, he’s an asshole. I think the hardest part is letting go.  When you realize that everything has spiraled out of control and there’s nothing you can do to stop it it gets easier.  I’m not there yet.  I still want to fight it.  I still want to make everything ok for my kids. My sweet Picasso was just at a pool party; he’s finally developing a new set of friends and I don’t want him to have to start all over.  I don’t want him sitting alone in a house, watching videos or playing on his phone all day because he’s lonely and there’s no one his age close by.  I still want to let Rock Star graduate from her current school and I don’t want to take her away from yet another set of friends.  More than likely that is not the direction we will be taking.  I can’t depend on her dad and there’s no way I can stay here without his money.  Maybe getting rid of all my material possessions will be good, freeing.  Maybe both of my kids will make new friends and have a new amazing life in my hometown.  Maybe living with my mom, who is used to living on her own and not used to having two noisy teens around 24/7, will work out just fine. Maybe I will get an amazing job that pays well and that I actually like.  Maybe my kids will enjoy the simpler life with no frills.  Maybe moving back to my home state with my kids will be the best thing to ever happen to any of us.  I can dream, right?