Get In My Car and Drive, Part 2

Yep, she’s screwed. I called the DMV yesterday. They will recognize her provisional license but she would need to hold it for 6 months before she could get a license here. Days away from being licensed to drive and now it’s back to a learner’s permit for Rock Star.

Fortunately for me, but not for her of course, it wouldn’t have mattered if I found out this information when we first got here because HERE if they haven’t had their out of state license for 6 months and they haven’t taken Driver’s Ed IN THIS STATE they can’t get their license until they are 16 and 9 months. Lovely! So nothing she did before counts. I paid $200 for her to take Behind the Wheel for nothing. She got up at 6:30 in the morning to get ready for absolutely nothing. Now I get to call the insurance company and see if they will accept her Driver’s Ed from another state, or if she has to take Driver’s Ed in the state in which she was licensed in order for me to get the Driver’s Ed discount. Yeah, if CF were working I would absolutely demand he pay 100% for Driver’s Ed here or have to pay the difference in what I will have to pay for her. Seeing as how he’s busy with his fake nervous breakdown and fucking a whore I suppose I could still ask for it and a judge could still order it but it won’t mean a damn thing.

Rock Star is a true champ, though. After telling her last night (she didn’t ask right after school and I wasn’t eager to offer it up) she raged for a few minutes, calling this state fucking stupid (I agree, baby girl), lamenting the fact that I was still going to have to drive her around and that she was going to be the only junior without a license; then she cried (which was pitiful and made me cry).

It’s not fair! I did everything I was supposed to do and I even did it early! Now I have to start all over.

But this morning she seemed resigned to yet another shitty thing happening to her and she simply asked how soon we could go to the DMV so she could get her learner’s permit, and pointed out she could get her license in early March, which seemed to be an important distinction.

This is why I have stopped asking what else he could do. He always finds something. I realize this isn’t the end of the world. Hell, I have a 23 year old nephew who still doesn’t have his license, has no desire to even get one! But she wanted this and she was counting down the days. She wasn’t that kid that didn’t want to drive or get her license. No, she was down at the DMV the very first day she was eligible to get her permit.

Her not getting her license doesn’t affect Cousinfucker one little bit. He’s not the one that has to take another written test. He’s not the one that has to pay for yet another permit. He’s not the one who will be juggling schedules trying to get her to work once I begin working as well. He’s not the one getting up at 6 in the morning to catch a bus that comes at 6:45 so he can ride the bus to school (and she LOATHES having to take a bus; I’m sure she sees it as a huge humiliation.). He’s also not the one juggling schedules trying to get the kids to school if a bus is missed. He certainly wasn’t the one that had to break the news to his child or watch her cry from the disappointment. He spends his day going to his therapy appointments, fucking a whore, and watching his damn DirectTV that he had installed at the brothel. He pays $500 to have the whore’s daughter’s vehicle repaired and promises to buy her a new car but he doesn’t even give a shit if his selfish actions cause his daughter to remain unlicensed for another 6 months. Hey, this will give him 6 more months to blow money on the whore and her kids so that when his daughter does actually get to drive he can tell her he has no money to help out with purchasing a car.

I hate him. I really really do. I turned to my mom yesterday and asked her why he didn’t just come up here where we are and put a bullet in us instead of killing us slowly with all of this bullshit.

Facebook… or Fakebook?

Right now I’m having a little bit of a love hate relationship with Facebook. No, I didn’t turn against it when I realized that was the way CF and Harley connected. Yes, I still like it for the fact that I can keep in contact with friends both near and far. Unfortunately, right now it’s proving to be very painful. I see people posting their back to school pictures of their kids. Those kids are all returning to their regular schools. A few are heading into middle or high school, so a different school but all the same people. I posted my own but I didn’t really elaborate. Plus, Rock Star should be starting her junior year at her former high school. She should have the world by the tail instead of aimlessly wandering the halls of this new school.

Her ex-boyfriend’s mom posted a picture of the wreath she hangs on the door every football season along with good luck wishes on that night’s football game. One of her former teammate’s moms posted a picture of said teammate in her cheerleading uniform along with the message: Another year of cheer! I’ve got friends in other states posting pictures of their kids at football games, turning to cheer after quitting gymnastics. It’s a knife in the heart every time I see these kids having fun, living out their dreams. Soon there will be plenty of pictures of teens going off to Homecoming while Rock Star sits at home; meanwhile, I will know that if we were back in our now former state she would be attending Homecoming with a large group of friends, dressed to kill, and having a blast. Oh, and the driver’s license pictures! Don’t even get me started.

For the last year I’ve read the various Facebook messages from friends, wishing their spouses a happy anniversary. They are always their best friend, potentially their soul mate or love of their life. Now they’ve got the Love Your Spouse 7 Day Challenge or some such nonsense, where you have to post a picture of you and your spouse every day for 7 days. Terrific! Honestly, I don’t mind all that much. I’m happy there are happy couples out there. I wish I could have been a part of one and these pictures remind me once again that I’ve missed out.

I see pictures of couples or families on vacation, knowing I’ll never be able to afford another one for my kids. Again, I’m happy for them but I’m still sad about the horrendous direction my life has taken.

Of course we have the photos of happy couples out on dates or talking about all the wonderful things their spouse (usually the husband) has done for or bought them.

Everyone seems so happy and their lives so full of fantastic things- trips to the beach, gifts, vacations, new pets, dinners out, new babies, engagements, anniversaries, birthday celebrations…

The most painful posts, of course, are the ones that remind me of our old life- the football games, the cheerleading, the gymnastics, the marching band. If that’s not bad enough I also get to contend with all the memories Facebook likes to share with us. Sam, two years ago you were posting pictures of your new furniture. Two years ago you were showing off pictures of your new house. One year ago you spent the summer posting about the construction of your pool and pictures once it was completed. Don’t you want to see all of that? Next up will be pictures of Rock Star cheering at her first football game and competing in her first cheer competition. Then there will be pictures of her competing high school gymnastics. Hooray! I can hardly wait to be reminded of all that we have lost.

I have heard some people refer to Facebook as Fakebook. I can’t say that I blame them. One of my favorite sayings is: When you compare your real life to someone’s Facebook life you are comparing your behind the scenes to their highlight reel. When my friend who also moved across the country before being discarded posted on her FB page about her impending divorce she later said she had received so many messages from people who thanked her for that and letting her know that they, too, had experienced problems in their marriages. When I sent messages to people, telling them why I hadn’t been around much, I had people disclose their own problems. Some were dealing with affairs; some with other serious problems. It’s our highlight reel, people. We don’t show them the behind the scenes.

Last summer when I was posting about the excruciating long construction of the pool I recall talking about the huge boulders that were holding up construction. I was told that those were first world problems. Yeah, they were. And if that’s all you based your opinion of my life on you’d think I was living the life of luxury. What I didn’t post about was my husband’s first affair. I didn’t post about his stay in a psych ward only a few months prior. I didn’t talk about how he rarely participated in daily life with me. I didn’t post about his excessive drinking. Aside from the messages I sent out to certain people I haven’t posted about his second affair or our upcoming divorce. I haven’t talked about him moving out of the state after he moved us from one side of the country to the other, or how I’ve had to uproot my kids and move once again. Why?

Here’s the thing: As much as we may mock the fakeness of Facebook we aren’t comfortable with the truth either. When we talk about the bad stuff in our lives it’s often seen as airing our dirty laundry. People tsk tsk behind our backs and talk about how we need to keep that off of Facebook, out of the public. It’s a no win situation. I have thought about letting it all hang out more than once or twice during this whole ordeal. I have taken the high road so far. I don’t like it. I mainly post funny things my kids have said. Too much of what’s going on in my life right now would cause questions. Why are you having a yard sale? Why are you selling all of your furniture? Why is your pool green? Why are your kids attending different schools? When the hell did you move and why are you moving again?

Believe me, there have been many times I wanted to out the cousinfucker. How about a picture of Rock Star on the first day of school? First day of school! Nothing like changing schools your junior year. Goodbye cheerleading, goodbye gymnastics, goodbye team captain, goodbye friends I just made 2 years ago! I’m ready to go be nobody. Thanks, Dad! Hey, at least you’re happy and that’s all that matters!

Or pictures of Rock Star the night of Homecoming, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. Maybe a collage with a picture of her the previous 2 years versus this year. Yeah, my kid’s not attending Homecoming but at least her dad’s happy. And really… isn’t that what’s most important? Or maybe the shorter and simpler: What a difference a year makes. Thanks, CF.

Right now I’d love to post a picture of Rock Star posing with nothing in her hands on the day she should have been licensed to drive. Look who doesn’t have her license? Yep, after going through Driver’s Ed and me paying several hundred dollars for Behind the Wheel we turn around and move to a state that doesn’t recognize her license because she hasn’t had it for 6 months. Now she gets to start all over! Oh, don’t worry. Once she stops crying I’ll post a picture of her with her new learner’s permit and in another 6 months she’ll finally be a licensed driver. Hey, what are a few crushed dreams and being forced to wait another 6 months for something you’ve been chomping at the bit to get when your dad’s happiness is on the line?

Oh, don’t worry. I won’t do that. I’d really like to. Unfortunately, it would probably do nothing except come back to bite me in my own ass. He’d be the sympathetic father and I’d be the bitch ex-wife (or STBX). No, I will continue, for now, to sit silently, eating shit sandwiches.

I think the way my friend did it was very graceful and mature. She was moving back to the state from which they had just moved so I’m sure she figured she would be answering questions sooner or later. She very kindly and graciously explained that after months of trying to reconcile she and her husband were moving ahead with their divorce. She was going to move back with the kids that summer. He would be remaining in their new state and visiting with the kids frequently. She left off the part about the other woman, which I thought was very nice of her. I wouldn’t have known about that at all except I messaged her to tell her how sorry I was and eventually spilled my own story to her. In a huge twist of irony I listed CF’s emotional affair and our “reconciliation” as a happy ending, not knowing that he was already involved with Harley the Whore.

I’m still at a standstill. I haven’t decided if I’ll ever completely out him publicly on Facebook. I have notified many of my friends that are on Facebook; I just did it privately. For the few people who have made some sort of an inquiry about CF I have responded privately. More than likely I will begin posting more and more about our new lives here. I won’t be pointing out those new lives directly but I’m sure it will be obvious to those who live in this city. At that point I suppose I’ll need to decide if I will be answering their questions privately or answering publicly so everyone can see. Oh, what to do, what to do….

Get In My Car and Drive

Do you remember when you finally got your license? I do. I was 16 and 2 months. In Indiana if you had taken Driver’s Ed you could get your license at 16 and 1 months. If you hadn’t, you needed to be 16 and 6 months. Oh, it was glorious! Freedom! Granted, I didn’t have my own car so I had to borrow my mom’s but nonetheless, I could go places without her! We didn’t need to have her drop us off someplace and then come and pick us back up.

My daughter is eagerly anticipating getting her license. She has really kinda been screwed over with both of these moves. To begin with, in Utah you could get your permit at 15. In Virginia you had to be 15 and 6 months. It was killing her to watch as all her friends were getting their permits and she didn’t have hers. Finally she gets it and I never drive again. OK, slight exaggeration, but not by much.

In Virginia kids take Driver’s Ed through the school. It’s an actual class period during P.E. After they’ve taken Driver’s Ed and logged their 45 hours of driving they then take Behind the Wheel for a week. Once they pass their Behind the Wheel test they are given a provisional license and their paperwork is sent off to the state capital to be processed. At 16 and 3 months they can then drive with their provisional license and learner’s permit even without the hard copy of their permanent license; in other words, they are officially licensed drivers. Ultimately, they get a court date and go before a judge who ends up giving the parent the license to give to the child. If we were still living in Virginia Rock Star would be able to drive on her own next month, and believe me, she has been counting down the days until she can drive off on her own!

That brings me to our current state. Depending upon which website you read Rock Star is either screwed or really screwed. She’s supposed to get her new license within 60 days of moving here. That would be the end of next month. If you are under the age of 18 you need to have a license from your former state for 180 days. Otherwise, you need to get a learner’s permit from this state and hold it for, wait for it, 180 days! Six months. The other website said you only needed to have it for 3 months; Rock Star also reports that they will consider her provisional license as a real license. She still doesn’t meet the requirements. Her 90 days will be up towards the end of October. And if you don’t meet that requirement, yep, 6 more months with a learner’s permit. She’s going to be almost 17 before she gets her license more than likely.

At this point I’m not even sure if they will forward her hard copy of her license to her here in Indiana. They might very well say, “Hey, she no longer lives here. She’s not a licensed driver in our state since she’s not a resident.”

Her only hope may be if Indiana does indeed recognize her provisional license and I can simply wait until October to take her to get it. How will they know when she moved here? I could always lie and say we moved in August. Technically, I am still a homeowner in Virginia. My name’s on the deed; it hasn’t been sold.

If I’m honest I will say I have been looking forward to the day that she could drive herself to school and to work. It would be wonderful to send her off on small errands. On the other hand, I do enjoy our conversations in the car. I fear not knowing anything about her if I’m not the one driving her around. How will I know which songs she listens to if she’s not around to take charge of my radio? How will I know how her day went and if she made any new friends or what’s going on with which set of friends? When she’s home, she’s usually holed up in her room; I get all my information when we’re in the car together. I’m going to miss that.

I realize waiting won’t kill her but she has been counting down the months, then the weeks and now the days. She fully expects to be able to get into my car and drive off on her own on L-Day (License Day). She’s already lost out on so much and had to watch as all her friends back in Utah got their permits before her and then their licenses, not to mention watching her friends in Virginia get their licenses. It must be incredibly difficult to be one of the last people in your social circle to get your license, especially when it’s not due to your age or anything you did or didn’t do. No, instead it’s because your dad decides to go off and fuck a whore and then fakes a breakdown so he doesn’t have to pay any support, forcing you to move and start all over with a learner’s permit for 6 months. Thanks, Dad! Gosh, I wonder where Harley is to gush to anyone who will listen about what a fantastic father he is? Yep, I’m blaming him for all this crap!

Brave Strong Delusional Wimpy

From May 2014 (But Not a Blast From the Past)

I read this and liked it. I know when I was younger I always said if a man cheated I was done with him. A year or so ago, while reading a forum I frequent, women were talking about how they didn’t necessarily consider cheating a dealbreaker, and they would have to look at the whole picture and assess their entire relationship. I also like the fact that studies show most people aren’t happier after a divorce.

The betrayed wives are divided into two categories. Those women who dump the cheater? Brave. Strong. Those who forgive? Delusional. Wimpy.

What’s particularly surprising, however, is that much of this scorn heaped on betrayed wives comes from…betrayed wives.

Forgiving a cheater and rebuilding a marriage seems a disappointment to our take-the-gloves-off culture. We want revenge. We want retribution. After all, the adage goes, “once a cheater…”
No matter that evidence doesn’t back this cliché up. No matter that the majority (80% says a recent study) of marriages will experience infidelity. No matter that of those who divorce following infidelity, more than three-quarters later regretted it.

Obviously this was written over two years ago when I thought CF and I had reconciled, that our marriage was “stronger than ever” and things were “better than ever”. I’m pretty sure I found this over on Elle’s site, The Betrayed Wives Club.

I like Elle. I think she’s a very level-headed person. She used to give me a lot to think about when I thought I was reconciling, and even though STBX ended up being a lying, cheating sack of shit who never deserved a second chance, I think she writes some very thought provoking posts.

So who has it tougher? Who gets more sympathy? Which path is more difficult?

Does it matter? I’ve done both. I forgave him the first time. I patted myself on the back for being so level-headed. I was so proud of myself for fighting for my husband and family. Look at me- I’m able to assess our entire history instead of letting our marriage be reduced to this one mistake.

I took comfort in the study that showed 75% of those who divorced following infidelity later regretted it. I took comfort in the study that found people who divorced following an unhappy marriage weren’t generally any happier and that a high percentage of those who remained married were actually happy.

I read the blogs by women (and yes, they were all women) who were slowly making their way through their own reconciliations. I found people who were like me and I could sympathize and compare what I was going through and how I was healing to them.

I listened when I read all the blog entries that were supposed to give me hope, all the people talking about how they celebrated their anniversaries because it was a victory, or how the pain was all in the past, or the affair didn’t define their marriage, or that everything would be okay.

And then he did it again. So I got my ducks in a row and I filed for divorce after finding out just how deep the lies ran. That’s when I found Chump Lady and all of her readers. This is the important part, folks. It’s not so much what Tracy herself said; she is one person. She’s had one bad experience with a serial cheater. What has opened my eyes are all the other people on her site. The other people who have the exact same story. Oh they vary in detail somewhat. You have the serial cheater who is constantly cheating, the repeat offender who does it multiple times but with breaks in between and lots of promises to change, the one and gone cheaters, the cheaters who take it underground so the poor spouse has no idea he or she has been living a lie for 10, 15, 20 years.

Since filing for divorce I’ve lived with the uncertainty of whether or not spousal and child support would be enough to live on. I’ve dealt with him moving out of not only the house but also the state, all without saying a word to his kids. I’ve had to sell off most of my possessions and leave what I couldn’t sell behind so that my kids and I could move in with my mom 600 miles away. I’m applying for textbook waivers because I can’t realistically afford to pay for them; I’ve been told it will run into the hundreds of dollars. I’m having to look for a job and go back to work where I will probably make just enough to pay my bills and not much more than that. I’m probably going to be applying for the state’s free health care, i.e. welfare healthcare, this week so that if anything happens to me or my kids we’ll be covered. Plus, thanks to the Affordable Healthcare Act, or Obamacare, I HAVE to have insurance or I get to pay a hefty fine at tax time. In short, I’m probably going to be penniless soon and even working full-time isn’t going to help with that.

To be honest I think both options suck. It sucks to stay and have to get through all of that crap, knowing your spouse betrayed you, lied to you, made promises to someone else. It sucks to deal with the triggers and the sadness, wondering if you will ever trust that person again, praying that those websites that promise your marriage will be better than ever are indeed correct. Sometimes you go through all of that only to find out it was for naught. The cheater does it again, despite the tears that signify how sorry they are and the promises to change and the pleas for one more chance. Then you get to deal with the destruction of your life as you know it. You get to tell your children that the two of you are divorcing. You get to try to keep everything going for them so that they’re not faced with changes. Sometimes you get to move out of your house, move in with your mom, become penniless, work a shit job and go on welfare. I’m going to be honest here. I really don’t care if people are high fiving me for my “brave decision”. That brave decision has caused so much upheaval and destroyed my kids’ once comfortable lives. I swear to God if I hear one more person tell me everything is going to be okay, or that life will be so much better in a few months I think I’m going to pick something up and swing it at their head.

This is why I try not to advise people. Everyone has their own journey. You’ve got to decide what is best for you. I see people who have chosen reconciliation that appear fairly miserable a year, two years, three years later. Then I tell myself that 1. I’m only seeing a very small slice of their lives. If they’re anything like me when I had my other FB page I used it mainly when I felt like venting, not when I wanted to gush about how wonderful everything was, and 2. It’s their life; if they feel like dealing with the triggers and whatever other issues they are dealing with is worth it in the long run what do I know? I’m ready to bash people in the head with a hammer if they keep telling me everything is going to be okay!

Will some people think they are weak? I’m sure they will. There will be others who applaud them and tell them they are taking the tougher route. They’ll tell them that it takes more guts to stay and work things out. They may even hear how far too many people are only too willing to throw away their marriage and forget that part of their wedding vows that said, “For better or for worse, ’til death do us part”; thankfully, they’re not like that. They’re willing to do the tough work to repair their marriage instead of throwing it away when things weren’t easy.

But I’ve also “seen” others who have chosen reconciliation who do appear to be happy, and whose marriages do seem to be stronger and better. I think that’s wonderful. I would say they were willing to do the work to repair the relationship and it paid off.

Sometimes the efforts don’t pay off, or the person knows cheating is a deal breaker and they will never get over it, or you just never get a chance; I’ll be the first to tell you that divorce is no picnic. Will some people laud me for being so brave? Of course! Then I will have others who wish to tax me at a higher rate for “polluting” society, or who will consider me tainted goods and unsafe to be around happily married couples. They’ll tell me I’m dooming my children to a life of teenage pregnancy, bad grades, and juvenile delinquency. I’m sure there will be those who tell people like me that I gave up too soon or that I’m a moral failure. Eh. I don’t care. My conscience is clear.

I don’t think we need to put betrayed spouses into categories or try to determine who has the tougher time. Bottom line is whatever choice you make it’s going to be tough. We all need to be supported in whatever decision we make.

Renewing Your Wedding Vows After An Affair

Although this is something I wrote over two years ago  I could write this same post today, almost word for word.

Blast From the Past 41

May 2014

Today I’d like to talk about renewing vows. That seems to be a very big thing with some couples who choose to work on their marriage.

My husband has been very big on it in the past. He would ask me repeatedly to marry him. Told me when we got back from Vegas (probably after I discovered his plans to marry the whore) that he kept walking by the chapel because he wanted to renew our vows but he was afraid to ask me, afraid I would say no.

There is a part of me that thinks it’s a good idea. A fresh start. A brand new beginning. Except for the two kids and 19, 20 years spent together. But, yeah, let’s go with new beginning. The old marriage is dead. The new marriage is beginning. Let’s mark the occasion.

There’s another part of me that thinks: Why bother? I didn’t think he would cheat on me the first time we got married and made vows to one another. But he did. The first set of vows he took didn’t seem to mean much so why would I believe the second ones mean anything? What- the second time he really means it? What happens the next time he starts feeling neglected, or like he’s only a paycheck? Is he going to pause and tell himself that maybe sexting with his whore of a cousin isn’t such a great idea? I don’t know. Some may give him the benefit of the doubt and say he learned from his past mistakes. Others would say once a cheater, always a cheater.

I suppose the question now is do I feel like being forgiving and gracious, or do I wish to punish him?

A Year Ago Today (Or Rather Back in 2014)

The title is misleading. It’s referring to a date in May. This is August. However, I am just going in order with these and so far I am only up to entries from May of 2014. Enjoy!

Blast From the Past 40

May 2014

A year ago today my husband told me he had been texting other women. Lying to protect his precious whore. Acting like there were many and she was nothing special. A year ago today, the moment he admitted he knew one of them and he said her name I knew she was trouble. A year ago today my life began a downward spiral and it would end with me finding out my husband either continued his tawdry little affair, or searched her out again after a short period of time because “he missed her”. It would end with me finding out he had been lying to me for 3 1/2 months and that they really really liked each other, and they had talked of a future together and they told each other they loved one another. Eventually I would find out he bragged about marrying the bitch whore. It ended with me realizing how disloyal my husband’s family could be, even after almost 19 years of marriage, and with me distancing myself from his family. We may be doing better as a couple, but my relationship with his family will never be repaired. There are just some things you never recover from, and it’s too bad they don’t realize that until it’s too late. A year ago today he cried and told me he didn’t want a divorce. And then went behind my back soon after and started up with her again. A year ago today really sucked.

Present Day Sam Says:  Dear Sam, Just FYI, August 2015 is really going to suck hard, too! And you can pretty much write off the entire summer of 2016. Love, Future Sam

Shit My Mom Says (& Does)

I feel quite safe writing this because she is currently on vacation with several of her friends so she can’t hurt me. By the time she gets back she will have forgotten about it.

I haven’t lived with my mom in over twenty years. To say the last few weeks have been interesting would be an understatement. I don’t know if I have forgotten what she was like, or if she’s simply changed a lot in the ensuing years. She’s a feisty little thing. It’s an interesting juxtaposition. She could easily pass for 50 but she has the mouth and attitude of an 85 year old. It seems to me that the older you get the more you just let whatever you’re thinking fly out of your mouth. So yeah, 85 sounds about right. Life is never dull, I’ll give her that. And yes, this is a blatant rip-off of Shit My Dad Says.

Cocksuckers. This is a favorite word of hers. I don’t even remember who the cocksucker was at this point. I have to say I’m really beginning to like the word. It’s very multipurpose. Someone cuts you off in traffic? Cocksucker! Someone writes something stupid on Facebook? Cocksucker! Someone drinks the last of the iced tea or doesn’t put their dishes in the dishwasher? Cocksucker! My sweet little 70 year old mother calls everyone a cocksucker.

Don’t even get her started on weddings. We were watching Four Weddings (taking a break from murder and mayhem) and one of the brides had her dog dressed up in a little tutu as part of the bridal party.  My mother said, and I quote, “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.  I hope that dog shits down the aisle!” I’m pretty sure that has been my favorite Mom quote so far. Or it could be a tie with, “I’ve got a gun. I’m old and I’m not afraid of prison.” That one was pretty good, too.

Apparently she has very strong feelings about animals as members of the bridal party. She’s also not a fan of strapless wedding gowns (It’s a church, not a strip club!) or brides who change dresses at the reception (That’s just ridiculous; you spend all that money on a dress and then you go and change into something different!). Cash bar at a wedding? OMG! Tacky, tacky, tacky. Mon Dieu, it just isn’t done! You don’t invite people to a wedding and then ask them to pay for their own booze. I teased her and asked if she would prefer if we just went back to cake and punch; she is not opposed to that. She is also having a hard time grasping this concept of the cocktail hour, especially when, as she puts it, “Their cocktail hour is like another goddamn dinner! How can they eat another meal right after that?” When I told her I had seen an episode where they ended up not having dinner until 11 at night you should have seen her head spin. “That is just ridiculous!” Well, they had a pretty heavy cocktail hour, Mom. We are both on board with the idea that if you are going to spend a ton of money on your wedding then by all means make it look like you’ve spent a ton of money.

If you’re spending $100,000+ on your big day I’m expecting to see fire breathers and dancers and fireworks. I’m expecting an amazing venue with jaw dropping decorations. I want to see a cocktail hour that includes signature cocktails and tons of food. I want lobster and caviar and champagne fountains. Ice sculptures with alcohol shooting out of them! I want a big cake that tastes delicious and maybe a dessert bar with a chocolate fountain. Plus, anytime you put food in a cute container that’s always a win for me. Tiny grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup in shooters? Awesome! A mashed potato bar with the potatoes served in a martini glass? Yes! I want to see expensive bottles of wine or champagne, or silver plated picture frames or hundred dollar bills as wedding favors.  Maybe a horse drawn carriage or the pastor dropped in by parachute with the groom arriving by elephant. You can top it off with late night snacks, like mini cheeseburgers and tiny shakes, or a waffle bar! Don’t tell me you’ve spent $50,000 having roses flown in from Argentina! Who cares? Unless your guests are all horticulturists no one gives a shit where you got the roses from. Are they alive? Awesome! I also don’t want to hear that your huge budget went to pay for your $20,000 wedding dress that you wore for an hour and then you spent another $10,000 on the reception dress, or that you paid $5000 for your engraved wedding invitations. I want to see the bling, baby! Impress me with your awesome reception opulence! Oops, sorry! That was my own little mini rant. Back to my mom…

I saw a commercial for TLC’s Love At First Kiss and I was asking her about it.

Me: So I don’t understand the concept. Is it that they kiss at first sight and hope they fall in love and that’s the end of it, or is there some debate about whether or not to kiss each other?

Her: I don’t know. I don’t watch that bullshit!

We have a cousin who just had a baby with his fiancee. Cutest baby in the world. Absolutely adorable. However, he is rarely photographed with any actual clothes. I mean, I know it’s summer but come on! My mother was looking at a recent picture and asks, “Do they ever put clothes on that baby? I swear, all I ever see him in is a diaper and maybe a blanket!” It’s outrageous, I tell you!

She told me she was reading Chump Lady the other day and read about a woman who had moved to be closer to her husband’s family. She had to commute two hours to work each day and she was the main breadwinner. My mom says to me, “I was thinking, ‘Wow, lady, you’re even crazier than my daughter.’” Thanks, Mom!

Then we have all of her words of wisdom. Things like: You can’t beat that with a stick. It’s six of one and half dozen of another. My favorite, I think, is: Everything after that is gravy. As in, “Well, I want to get at least $100 for that item. Anything over that is just gravy.” Or, “All you need is a roof over your head and food in your belly.  Anything beyond that is just gravy.” Then there is: She’s as worthless as tits on a boar hog. That could be used for either sex in case you were wondering; it’s not gender specific. I think we’ve all heard, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” and “Don’t bite off your nose to spite your face.” That one threw my niece; she had never heard that phrase. She also likes to get “fluffed and puffed”. No, that’s not a sex term. It’s her way of saying she’s getting ready. “Well Sam, I’m going to go get fluffed and puffed and then we can head on out to Kohl’s.” I think it involves taking a shower but I’m not sure if that’s always a requirement. I know it involves doing your hair and putting on makeup.

My mom is trying to sell some items that belonged to my stepdad and she has listed some of them online. As I mentioned above my mom is on vacation with her friends this week. Someone contacted her and they were very interested in this item. She calls and leaves me a message, which I admit, I didn’t listen to right away. She texts me and tells me someone wants to buy the item and that he works here in town so please contact him.  Okay. I get another call around 11.

“I know you haven’t contacted the guy yet because he just contacted me to say he hadn’t heard from you.”

“I don’t even know this guy and he’s already irritating me!”

I told her she had said he wanted to meet after work so I figured I had a little bit of time before I needed to make arrangements but nonetheless I copy down his number and text him. We make arrangements for the meet up. Not at our house, mind you.

I get another text from her.

Mom: Did you contact that guy?

Me: Yes. I’m giving him the stuff and then we’re going out for drinks. If that goes well we’ll make plans for dinner. Thanks for sending him my way!

Immediately after that:

Me: What do you think I should wear?

Mom: Saran wrap.

Me: For a first date? Maybe afterwards…

Saran wrap, folks! That’s what my mother advises me to wear on a date! I told you she was feisty. She also told me I was a smart ass, which I did cop to.

Finally, I get this:

Don’t forget to take out the trash and recycle tonight. Let me know when you get this message.

Shhh! Don’t tell anyone, my faithful readers, but while she’s gone I’m throwing a big party and my friends and I are going to get into her alcohol! I might even have my fictitious boyfriend come over and spend the night!

Then we having the driving. I have long called my mother Mario Andretti. She has got quite the lead foot. My niece and daughter often talk about her penchant for braking hard all the time and my brother says, “Mom is either stepping on the gas pedal or the brake. There is no coasting in her vocabulary. Why slow down gradually when you can just slam on the brakes?” The sad part is I’ve been driving with her quite a bit and it’s true. I never noticed it until recently but she really doesn’t coast. She will be pushing down hard on that gas pedal until she gets up on the bumper of the car in front of her, and then BAM- she punches down hard on the brake. Stop. Go. Gas. Brake. There is no coast. She told me she doesn’t believe in it; she’s got a perfectly good working brake pedal.

We practically played Bumper Cars at the bank the other day. She was going for the ATM and I swear we hit the curb twice in the short distance. Those concrete poles were right up in my face. Tire hits once. Car bounces off the curb and looks like it’s ready to collide with the concrete poles and bounce off. Just like bumper cars at the amusement park. Oops. Not done! Tire hits twice. Car bounces off the curb again. Again, looks like it’s going to use the concrete poles as extra padding and just bounce off of them into the ATM.

“Mom, this isn’t bumper cars.”

“Today it is.”

A day later she’s making a right hand turn on red while traffic from the opposite direction is turning left on a green arrow. I’m closing my eyes because while it’s perfectly legal sometimes people don’t stay in their own lane.

“What? He has his own lane! It’s turn into your lane from your lane. Where did he take Driver’s Ed?”

Strangely enough years ago some guy yelled that same thing to my mom at a McDonald’s drive-thru. I won’t tell the rest of this story so that my mother may maintain her dignity but suffice to say the one time she had a ready comeback she forgot the window wasn’t down.

The day before she flat out refused to let another car into her lane. We were at a stoplight where they were working on one side of the road so that side, obviously, was closed and everyone needed to merge left. I’m sure you’re probably familiar with the people who get in the soon to be closed lane and try to sneak on in. This truck was determined he was coming on over, trying to slide into my mom’s lane smooth as silk. Nothing to see here, ladies; just making my way into your lane.  Oh no! She was not having it. She refused to slow down and make room for him and honked her horn when he tried to edge in.

“Mom! I can’t believe you didn’t let him in!”

“Hell no I’m not letting him in! He is not getting over into my lane! He should have known better! That lane was closed and he didn’t get over. He thinks he’s too good to wait in line like the rest of us.”


Anger Vs. Bitterness

You hear a lot about not letting divorce and/or infidelity make you bitter. I just saw a comment recently on a fellow blogger’s page where the person said that the blogger seemed “really bitter”.  I’m looking at that comment, thinking, “That’s not bitterness; that’s anger! This person’s marriage is crumbling and they are sad and angry about these events!”

To me bitterness is not letting go. Bitterness is remaining hateful and angry long after a new life has been made. Bitterness is dwelling on the wrongdoing years after it has happened and not being able to move on because of it. Anger is not bitterness. Anger is recognizing the wrong. Anger is saying, “This isn’t right and I’m not going to take it lying down.” Anger is making sure you get what you deserve out of whatever bad situation you find yourself in. Anger is letting a person or entity know that what has happened is wrong and unacceptable and you won’t tolerate it. Anger is not covering for the person and his or her misdeed.

My theory is that people are uncomfortable with anger. They like happy and grateful. They like bubbly and positive. Scared is okay. Sadness is even alright. They will usually accept grief but typically there is a time limit on it. Usually about a year. But anger? Oh my! That is something they don’t want to deal with and they frame it in such a way as to make you feel bad about it so you’ll shut up.

You know what? Some of this stuff should make a person angry! When you’re going through a divorce, when someone has broken your heart, when someone has ransacked your life, when you have been deceived and manipulated repeatedly, when you have been taken advantage of, it’s okay to be angry! I have much anger towards CF. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me it’s going to be okay because right now my life is total shit, I have lost almost everything and I hate his fucking guts. I know the more adult emotion is to be indifferent because that is truly the opposite of hate but fuck that! I am not indifferent; I hate him! I have every right to hate him.

My daughter is miserable here. On a scale of 1-10 with 1 being the most miserable and 10 being pretty damn happy I’d give her a 3, maybe a 4. She doesn’t like her new school; she is having problems finding her way around, she doesn’t think people are all that friendly, she has made a total of 4 friends, and her current plan is to not get involved at all in school but rather to work after school instead. Hey, why don’t you just drop out and go to work in a factory right now, sweetie? I’m glad you thoroughly enjoyed your first two years of high school because they’re going to be the only two good years you had. No Homecoming. No Prom. No football games. No more buying t-shirts and hats to support all the other sports teams at your school because you have no friends. Well, she has 4. Instead of being one of the most popular girls at school she’s now a nameless, faceless person in the crowd. Instead of a full page spread in the yearbook because she’s a star on the gymnastics team she’ll get her class picture. Instead of cheering on Friday nights and competing gymnastics during the winter and being inducted into her high school’s Sports Hall of Fame she’s going to work. There won’t be any senior picture for the Booster Club sports program. That stupid cousinfucker did that to her! He took everything she loved away from her, not once, but twice! And I am pissed on her behalf. If someone wants to call that bitter go right ahead. I do not care. That person would be incorrect but I’m sure I have better things to do than try to correct someone’s misinterpretation of my emotions.

Divorce sucks. Starting over sucks. It’s not all that strange that someone would be angry under those circumstances. I think I would worry more about the person who isn’t angry. Plus, as Chump Lady says, you need that anger to fuel you through those beginning days. In my case, it seems like those beginning days never end because CF is always doing something new and spectacularly horrible that I now must adjust to. I don’t even bother with asking, “What else could he possibly do now?” because there is always something. There is always a way that he can sink even lower and he always manages to bring me down with him. I’m not bitter; I’m angry. I’m angry about everything that has happened to me and my kids, and rightfully so. I don’t give a damn if he parades Harley through downtown Main Street and declares her “the most special person to ever live, the love of his life, the oxygen in his air, and the only one who can complete him.” I don’t care if he marries her the very day our divorce is final. I truly do not. She can have him. But as long as he plays this bullshit game and puts me and my children in poverty I’m going to be angry. If I hit the Lotto- probably won’t be as angry. He starts paying what he should be paying me- okay, I’ll probably still be a little pissed because I had to uproot my kids again but I won’t be as pissed as I currently am. And eventually that anger would subside because as Picasso says, “It is what it is and you can’t change it.” Hey, I’m nothing if not truthful. The blogger that I’m referring to wasn’t bitter either: they were angry and hurt. It hurts when a marriage ends. It hurts when someone we love treats us like shit. When you are repeatedly hurt you can get angry. That anger is what propels us. If I’m still *angry* a year or two after the divorce is final and he’s actually paying what he should be paying, then people can start worrying about me and my anger. If at that point I’m still fuming I will gladly cop to bitterness. Until then… I’m rightfully pissed off.

Success or Failure

I like to switch it up sometimes and not always be talking about me and CF and our fucked up marriage/divorce situation. So… I was reading this other Internet forum that I like and someone brought up the topic of remarriage and how she was very ambivalent about what she wanted to do now that she had been engaged for a year. She pointed out that she never thought she’d be planning a second wedding; she always thought her first one was going to be her only one.  Alas, after twenty-three years, I believe, he cheated on her and left her for the OW, marrying her only 6 weeks after the divorce was final.

In her original comments she talked about how it was difficult for her to make vows, promising to love this person forever, when she had already done that once before and it didn’t work out. She made mention of the fact that she had hoped and expected her first marriage to be forever and that even now, many years after the divorce, there was still a part of her that was sad that it didn’t last. She explained that she had never wanted to be with someone who had been married to someone else before or who had had children with another person. She mourned the loss of her ideal, this idea that she would have only one forty or fifty year marriage.

These other people were trying to pump her up and boost her confidence, telling her that whatever she and her fiancé chose to do would be fine. Someone remarked that she needed to stop focusing on “forever” because, seeing as how this was a forum that centered around divorce/remarriage/stepparents, they all knew marriage didn’t always mean forever. Then someone said this: Nothing lasts forever. Everything changes.  It’s not about failure; it’s about growth.

Is it? I get how the original poster feels. I always thought I’d only get married once. I didn’t dream of a starter marriage (and let’s face it- a starter marriage doesn’t usually last twenty years). I remember all the anniversary cards I signed with, “X number of years until our 50th!” That was important to me.  It was important to me to raise my children in an intact household. I appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to deal with visitation schedules, split holidays, exes, stepchildren and trying to be fair to everyone, and coordinating schedules so we could take a freaking vacation with our entire family (not that he usually went with us anyway).

I’m not entirely sure that’s how I want to view my divorce or a possible remarriage- as this huge personal growth for myself. I always think it’s just too bad that growth and change couldn’t have happened within the marriage. I also tend to think that when people make comments like that they’ve never really experienced the huge devastation that divorce brings. I don’t think there are many pleasant things about it quite honestly. I suppose if you were in an abusive situation then getting a divorce would be a positive, but maybe even the people in that type of a situation are not happy about everything that’s happening. I think when people talk about the subsequent marriage as being a sign of growth and change they minimize what marriage is.

I don’t want to get all melodramatic here but divorce is the death of a relationship. It is the death of the life you thought you were going to live. It is the complete and total rewriting of your future. To talk about remarriage as this wonderful sign of growth and change sounds a little flippant.

I completely understand what this person was trying to say. How do you vow to love, honor and cherish someone for the rest of your life, to let no man put asunder what God has joined together, when you already did that and it didn’t work out? I felt the same way about renewing our wedding vows. You’ll get to read about that eventually in some of the Blasts From the Past. Why renew our vows? They didn’t mean anything the first time around; why would I believe they mean something now, after he’s cheated? Likewise, how do I vow to stay true and to stand by him in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, until death do us part, when I already did that and obviously it didn’t stick? I don’t feel that just because I wasn’t the one who cheated that makes it any better. I can vow all I’d like but what’s the point if the other person considers his vows mere suggestions?

I’d like to point out I’m not against second marriages. Hey, if the second one is happier and more fulfilling than the first one and it lasts forever, good for you! I’m all about happiness and love. I’m not ragging on subsequent marriages. Get married two, three, four, twenty-five times; I don’t care!

Ultimately, the original poster said that while she was happier than she had ever been with her new partner the divorce from her first husband will never feel like anything other than a failure and a disappointment, and in turn, the second marriage will never feel like a big accomplishment.

I hear ya, sister; I hear ya! I do feel like I’ve failed. I am disappointed in the failed marriage. My thirty year class reunion is coming up next summer and I have no desire to go. I don’t want to show my face and have to explain to everyone that I am now divorced, living at home with my mom, and working for almost nothing. Things may change in a year but I’m not holding my breath. I am not even dating at this point so no second marriage for me; however, I tend to feel the same way this person does. It’s not a big accomplishment.  Any idiot can get married. CF and Harley are engaged, for Christ’s sake! They’re planning on making it official as soon as they can, I’m sure. Talk about growth and change! They’ve both grown and changed into selfish, immoral, lying, cheating douche bags. WTG!

More Lessons Learned From ID TV

I believe I have shared with you how I am a frequent watcher of the ID channel. My mother is also a huge fan so now the TV is almost always turned to that channel.

First, what the hell is up with the ads on this station? They’re either making me cry because they repeatedly show those ads for the ASPCA and all those poor neglected and/or abused animals, or they’re showing ads for KY-Jelly and promising me a more satisfying orgasm. Oh, promises promises.

Also, they don’t always name their shows appropriately. I mentioned before that Evil Stepmothers doesn’t usually deal with what you would think it would. I hear of a show like that and I picture an evil stepmother who is a monster to her stepchild/ren. Not on this show. As I said previously usually she ends up killing the husband. Oh, she’s plenty abusive towards the kids, unbeknownst to the clueless father, but the real loser ends up being the husband. I’ve seen ONE show where the stepmother murdered the kid and I mention that below.

How (Not) To Kill Your Husband is another misnamed show. I’m thinking maybe it’s a play on words. Like, the woman should or wants to kill her husband but he gets to her first. Seriously, again, ONE show I’ve seen shows the husband actually dying. The rest of them revolve around the husband killing the wife. Maybe Evil Stepmothers and How (Not) To Kill Your Husband should switch story lines!

I’ll tell you who does it get it right- Deadly Women: Women Who Kill.  They always have a jaunty little theme- caregivers, gold diggers, mistresses, women with a limp…. And it’s always a woman doing the killing.  The victim changes up but the perpetrator is always a woman.

My daughter is partial to Ice Cold Killers. This is a very bizarre concept. It’s simply murders that took place during the winter. I suppose if you’re filling 24 hours of TV time you need to stretch. Also in that vein would be Swamp Murders and Southern Fried Homicide. Always slightly different variations but always taking place in a specific locale. Oh how I wish I could do their program development for them!

I have to tell you lately when I’ve been watching the new ads for the upcoming season of Joe Kenda: Homicide Hunter (another show which is aptly titled because it is indeed Joe Kenda catching the criminals) I’ve been kinda sassy. Joe tells you how people are simple and murder is simple. According to Joe the motives behind murder boil down to three things: revenge, money, or sex. I knew that already. Come on, Joe; tell me something I don’t know! Anyway, his tag line at the end is: If you kill I WILL find you! I love Joe but every time he says that I look at the TV and reply: Challenge accepted, Joe! Challenge accepted.

I’ve also found that there are a lot of very ugly women out there that manage to get men to do some really stupid things for them. I know that may make me sound like a very petty person but honestly I look at some of these photos of women who have enticed men to leave their wives or to murder someone and I’m thinking, “What the hell does she have that I don’t?” I think the answer is really another question. What doesn’t she have that I do? That answer would be: morals, empathy, a soul. Furthermore, it goes to prove that old adage: It doesn’t matter what the OW looks like; it matters how she makes him feel. I was just watching yesterday and one of the women was a drug addict. Oh, that’s a step up from anything. Another was nothing special to look at and yet she married a wealthy man who adored her and then preceded to have numerous affairs!  Apparently you can look like death warmed over so long as you convince him he’s a big strong hunk-o-man who is just the smartest and most desirable thing on this earth. Big lesson there- sex makes you stupid. Sometimes it even gets you killed.

Also, men, don’t be looking for a new mommy for your children.  This never seems to end well on ID TV. The poor guy is so flustered by taking care of his children that he seeks out the first woman who seems to take interest in him and his kids (see above regarding Evil Stepmothers). Then she turns psycho! In one case stepmommy dearest snared a widower by pretending to be Mommy of the Year to his young children. After terrorizing the children she flirted her way into another man’s life and persuaded him to kill her husband, saying he was abusive towards her. I don’t remember the backstory; I don’t know why she wanted him dead.  Maybe he was onto her game and was going to divorce her, leaving her with nothing. In another situation the bitch actually convinced her son, whom she had abandoned years ago, to kill her stepson and the dumbass she was married to divorced her, then remarried her and lobbied for her parole!  A quick Google search shows she is out of prison and they are living together somewhere in Florida, although neither of her biological children will have anything to do with her. In still another situation the woman coerced her stepson to actually participate in his own mother’s murder! I had to put my foot down on that one.  I looked at Picasso and told him point blank, “Under no circumstances are you allowed to kill me!” He looked at me like I was crazy. “Why would I harm someone that I love dearly for someone I hate?” was his question. It was a good one and I didn’t really have an answer.

This also led to some advice I gave him a few months back when I got on this ID TV kick. Sometimes you just feel like you’ve failed if you don’t cover all of the bases so one day as we were driving to school I counseled him. “Picasso, don’t ever kill a man for a woman.  She’s probably lying about being abused. I’ve seen it too many times on ID TV. She convinces some poor sap she’s being abused and that the only way she’ll ever be safe is if he’s dead. He kills the guy, then finds out everything was a lie. Meanwhile she tries to place all the blame on him and acts like she has no idea what caused him to murder her boo. He takes the fall for it and if he’s very lucky she goes to jail as well. If not, he goes to jail and she goes free. Don’t think for a minute she’s visiting him in jail. She’s not; she got what she wanted from him. So if some woman asks you to kill a man for her you go to the police instead.” That boy has a good head on his shoulders. He told me not to worry about; he would turn her in himself if anyone ever tried to get him to do that.

He’s such a smart boy.