My New Obsession

I am currently completely obsessed with the group Pistol Annies. Oh. My. Word. I had heard of them. I knew Miranda Lambert was part of the group. I hadn’t heard any of their songs before, though.

They just came out with a new album and reviewers were talking about the new releases. The one they were talking about was, “When I Was His Wife,” and I hopped over to YouTube to listen and watch the video. I gave it a listen and in the meantime I saw they had a cute little divorce anthem, “Got My Name Changed Back” so I watched that video, too. It’s definitely a toe tapper!

 

Then I decided to listen to some of the other stuff on their new album, Interstate Gospel. This has led to a full time addiction. I cannot get enough!

I love this song. It is hauntingly beautiful. I have listened to it over and over again. Everything on their new album is gorgeous. Their voices are like honey. The songs are engaging. They seem to either be deeply moving, or they’re raucous loads of fun.

 

Here is an older song. I love everything about it. I love the lyrics. I love the music. I love the timing. Give it a listen. I hope you like it as much as I do.

 

Finally, here’s another one off their new album, the one that started the obsession for me, “When I Was His Wife.” I think that many of us can relate to this one.

I Sometimes Know What I’m Talking About

We all remember the post asking for opinions, right? I thought what went down was a bit disrespectful of our relationship and that it trampled all over good boundaries. I pointed out that while I had no fears he would up and leave me, or rekindle their relationship, she was batshit crazy and who the hell knew how she would interpret the day’s events. You’re going to agree to escort this woman who has made a sport of entering your home when you’re not there and removing whatever she wants whenever she feels like doing so? You’re going to play nice and pretend you’re a happy couple with this woman who has been known to hoover around whenever her boyfriend is off fighting fires and she’s lonely? You’re going to hold her hand and pose for pictures and sit with her throughout the wedding and dinner after she’s accused you of abuse and has exhibited lots of crazy behavior even before that? Yeah, I don’t think that’s wise. You need to maintain boundaries made of titanium steel with a person like this. You are not friends. You are not a happy couple. You are in the middle of a contentious divorce.

While many people did say some of the actions went a bit too far they also were of the opinion that it was the couple’s big day and they should have whatever they want. I heard a lot of, “It’s for his son and daughter-in-law,” and, “I would grin and bear it; it’s one day and I’d do my best to appease my kid,” and the ringer, “He’s just being a good dad.” One commenter said, and I’m paraphrasing slightly, “It was what, five minutes of hand holding and 30 minutes of being together tops? He told you about it so what’s the big deal?”

Remember those boundaries I talked about? That was the big deal; boundaries are the big deal. And they got trampled on. Since that day she called the following Monday. She showed up at his house the following Saturday, according to his tenant; he wasn’t home so he was able to avoid her. She called again about a week ago. When he finally bit the bullet and called her back because he thought she wanted to talk about the divorce (ROFL) she snarled at him, “That was last week. I don’t need a ride anymore.” Yes, you did read that correctly; she had the lady balls to call him up to ask for a ride. They did end up talking a little bit about a settlement and now this week she is sending him text messages. So far it’s been, “I’ve been sober ever since I left you but I miss the hell out of you,” and, “I know you don’t care but you’ll always be a part of me.”

Huh. Ain’t that a bitch? Turns out I do sometimes know what I’m talking about. She did interpret the day’s events as, “Oh my God, he wants me! How could he not? Everyone wants me! I’m the most desirable person in the whole wide world!” She now thinks they’re back together or at least that she has a shot. I mean, in her mind, if he’s willing to hold her hand, walk down the aisle with her, sit with her during the wedding and dinner, who knows what else he might be willing to do?

I know; I know. As Reformed Cad pointed out, she thinks of me as the other woman. You are not telling me anything I don’t already know. Hell, I’ll go one further. You’re not telling me anything that I didn’t predict. I told the mobster waaaaay back when we first started talking that two things would happen. #1- She had never experienced any consequences for her bad behavior. After all the shit he put up with from her she didn’t think he would ever really wash his hands of her. So when she finally realized he had moved on she would start hoovering around, trying to ensure that he remained her Plan B. Yep, that happened. Most definitely. It didn’t work but she tried it. And #2- She would change the narrative and I would be the other woman and why they weren’t happily married. Like CF, she is always the victim. Things just happen for no reason. Forget the fact she was cheating on him- again. Forget the fact she would disappear for a few days at a time and not feel like he had any right to know where she was. Forget the fact she had left him and abandoned their kids. Forget the fact she moved in with her boyfriend (you know, the one she was cheating with). Forget the fact that they had already held an intervention and everyone in the family pretty much told her to either get help for her drinking or to leave the house. Hell, forget the fact that he had already attempted to file for divorce through an online lawyer. No, the real reason they weren’t back together was because I was the horrible other woman who moved in on her husband.

Let’s get this out of the way right now. I don’t give a shit if she does think of me as the other woman. She looks like an idiot crying about me when she’s shacked up with her boyfriend. I know the timeline of events. Everyone who has read his blog knows the timeline of events. I know she had already moved out before I ever knew he existed. And as the mobster always points out she never actually says she’s sorry or asks him for another chance. It’s all little pieces of bait thrown out there, seeing if he’s willing to take any of it. I miss you; don’t you miss me, too? You’ll always be a part of me; won’t I always be a part of you, too? Wouldn’t it be so easy to tell me how you’ll always love me?

I was right about the boundaries. Whether it’s a wedding day, Christmas day, or an ordinary day you have to have iron-clad boundaries with people like this. It’s like giving a mouse a cookie. Before you know it… well, I don’t really remember what all happens in that story, but I know it quickly got out of hand.

Thankfully in my story, “When You Hold Your STBX’s Hand,” things aren’t getting out of hand (pardon the pun); it’s merely an annoyance. The bottom line to this story? I knew what I was talking about. Tell Miss Cleo she’s got some competition!

Is the Past Drifting Away?

Rock Star and I were having a conversation the last time I was with her. I forget how it came up; I must have told her once again I was sorry her high school experience was what it was, instead of what it should have been, and that she graduated here instead of in Virginia with all her friends.

She told me for the first time that she didn’t care where she graduated. It didn’t matter to her. Then she went on to say that in the end it all worked out for the best.

She is ecstatic with college living. She loves her college. She loves her sorority; she loves her “Big” and her “G-Big.” As she wisely pointed out to me, if she had graduated in Virginia she never would have ended up where she did. She really wouldn’t have. An out of state college in Indiana never would have been on her radar. She wouldn’t have pledged her sorority. She wouldn’t have met the people she has. Right now she can’t imagine life without them.

I have worried endlessly about both of my kids since moving them once again back in July of 2016. I’ve worried more about Rock Star because the move seemed to be so much more traumatic for her, and because Picasso seemed to adjust so well. My beautiful, outgoing, funny daughter went from being a super star to being nothing. She lost gymnastics for good. She lost great friends once again because of her dad’s selfish choices. She was a month away from driving solo when it was snatched away from her. She spent most of her last two years seemingly miserable and anxious. Friends coming over or even hanging out with friends was a distant memory.

It seems, however, the worry was for naught. All the pieces are finally falling into place. I’m not sure I can go so far as to say everything happened for a reason. There were a lot of things that really sucked. There were a lot of tears, disappointment, sadness, and loss. I don’t think CF needed to firebomb our lives, and yet…. if he hadn’t I don’t think we’d be here.

Yes, Rock Star would have continued on her life as a pampered daughter who wouldn’t have to do without. She would have got her license at 16 and 3 months, been given a car, and thought she had life by the tail. She would have continued on at her high school having an amazing high school experience. By virtue of being her younger brother Picasso would have had an easy transition into high school. Plus, he had already begun developing a close knit group of friends on his own. Neither kid would have wanted for anything. They would both still have a mom at home for them, available 24/7.

Rock Star would have gone to a different college and maybe she would have loved it there as much as she loves her current school. Maybe she would have pledged a different sorority there and loved those girls. I don’t know.

What I do know is that she’s happy now. Where she is. Not just happy. She’s beaming. She feels like she’s found her tribe, her place.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to listen to “Best Day Of My Life” or “On Top Of the World” without feeling a twinge of regret, or a faint whiff of, “What if…?” Fortunately, I can take comfort in knowing it eventually had a happy ending.

Wedding Song Bans

Have you heard of this trend? Thanks to Google and whatever fucked up analytics it has devised for me I was treated to an article or two about couples who have banned certain songs from their wedding. I’m probably only greatly offended because a great many of the songs were songs played at my wedding, and I think they’re terrific songs to be played at weddings.

I am amazed at the production that weddings have become. No wonder our divorce rate is as high as it is. Weddings aren’t about commitment; they’re about a grand party that is staged from the very beginning until the very end.

What’s on this list of the most banned wedding songs?  The number one banned song is a personal favorite and probably why I’m so pissed off and offended- Chicken Dance. Followed by Cha-Cha Slide, Macarena, Cupid Shuffle, YMCA, Electric Boogie (Electric Slide), Hokey Pokey, Wobble, Happy,  and Shout all making the Top 10. Rounding out the top 20 were Love Shack, We Are Family, Blurred Lines, Celebration, Cotton Eye Joe, Dancing Queen, Don’t Stop Believin’, Single Ladies, Sweet Caroline, and Turn Down For What. The final 10 songs were Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae), Mony Mony, All About That Bass, Baby Got Back, Booti Call, Gangam Style, Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), Stayin’ Alive, and Sweet Home Alabama.

Sweet baby Jesus! I think we played twenty out of the thirty. Keep in mind some of these songs hadn’t even been produced back in 1994.

Why? According to one DJ it is because wedding couples “want to be unique.” Seriously? The fact that you’re getting married is not unique enough? Are people seriously afraid that their guests will be all like, “Yeah, they had fireworks, a Viennese dessert hour, and Goldendoodles as wedding favors, but can you believe they actually played The Hokey Pokey? Most. Boring. Wedding. Ever.”

There were also concerns that some of the songs might be cliche, overplayed and just downright cheesy.

There’s a reason so many of these songs are played. They get people out on the dance floor! Even people who can’t dance can do the Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance.

I wasn’t even aware that the Chicken Dance was a thing until I had graduated from college. A friend of mine got married and it was played at her wedding. I guess I don’t have a lot of experience attending weddings because I live in an area that is heavily Polish and the Polish wedding dinner is a mainstay- fried chicken, Polish sausage, noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, sweet and sour cabbage and rolls. If you go to a wedding around here it’s about 50/50 if you get Polish wedding dinner or something else.

My grandparents lived about two hours south of here. My grandpa was a farmer and my grandma was a housewife. They went to Hawaii once but that’s about all I ever remember them doing. My grandpa went to college up at Western Michigan but aside from that I think he spent his entire life in a small farming town. They didn’t vacation. They didn’t dance. They did play cards.

One of my fondest memories is my grandparents at my youngest brother’s wedding. The DJ played the Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance and both of my grandparents were out there, dancing. They had the greatest time. They wouldn’t have gone out and danced to the newest tunes. My grandma loved her Glenn Miller and they were both big Lawrence Welk fans. But they got out there when the DJ called everyone to the dance floor for those two songs.

At my own wedding I remember my stepsister out there dancing along to Shout. The story goes that after the wedding someone said, “I didn’t think she danced!” But she was out there having a great time and joining in.

I can see banning a song if it will bring up bad memories. If your parents are divorced you might not want to play their wedding song. The only song we asked the DJ not to play was my stepfather’s late son’s favorite song. He died in a house fire when he was 12 and my stepfather never recovered from that. I’m not sure if he ever listened to that song again.

I also get it when people don’t want songs with explicit lyrics played, or songs that you can’t dance to, or even songs about heartbreak and love not existing. Think Robbie singing, “Love Stinks” on “The Wedding Singer”. It’s a wedding. Time to be happy.

Come on people. Take the stick out of your ass. Lighten up and have some fun. Get the people out on the dance floor. These songs are classic wedding dance songs for a reason!

Weekends to Remember

I am back to posting about once a week or less. I wish I had a good reason. I suppose I do. I don’t always have a lot to write about. Or what I’m thinking about is a difficult topic so I’m not sure how to proceed. I do best when I write in the moment- either angry or happy or fired up about some injustice. So when I’ve mulled things over for a while in my brain it takes a while to get out on paper. Plus, this time change has really messed me up. I’m ready for bed around 8 pm most nights!

Enough of my excuses! I’m going to share my past few weekends with you. It’s something, right?

If we go back to September 21st-23rd we go back to Family Weekend at my daughter’s college. My mom and I headed down there and the mobster met us.

We picked up Rock Star and took her to dinner. We didn’t go until 8 or 9 in the evening so it was a pretty short night. With my daughter there is always shopping involved but I can’t remember if we shopped that night or not.

Saturday we went to breakfast at a very crowded IHOP. We ran some errands, did a bit of shopping, and then headed over for the football game. It was a good game although our team was robbed! Bad call after bad call.

 

After the game we tried out a “historic” restaurant which ended up being a really good choice. It was far enough from the main strip that it wasn’t crowded when we got there; it did pick up quite a bit later on. It was your basic burgers and fries and ice cream place, with a few other things tossed in. It was decorated adorably! Historic signs and gas pumps all around. I’ve seen pictures of what they do around Halloween and they go all out. It was great food and a great time.

 

We ended up in Rock Star’s dorm after dinner and there was a fire alarm! How many times can you say that happens when you’re visiting your kid? And, that same evening as we were going in I was confronted by a crying a college student who asked me for a “mom hug”. So I did. I hugged her tight and told her everything would be okay.

Afterwards Rock Star asked me, “Did you know her?’ Nope. She said, “I turned back and saw someone hugging a person who looked like my mom. And then I realized it WAS my mom!”

Sunday we went out to breakfast again and ran some more errands. It’s tough not having a car on campus. We dropped her off at her dorm in the early afternoon; she had a sorority function around 3. The three of us continued to walk around campus. My mom wanted to see her old residence hall and the old gym where she took most of her classes (she was a PE major).

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I almost got into a brawl with a spoiled, entitled college boy. He and his friends were on skateboards and apparently the three of us were taking up too much of the sidewalk for his liking. The mobster actually stepped off the sidewalk onto the grass and my mom got over on my side of the sidewalk but I guess it was done a little too slowly for Prince Douche. He kept talking to his friends about how awful we were for not getting over and taking up all of the sidewalk. I let his initial rant go but when he kept talking I stopped, turned around and watched him as he continued to skateboard away. At this point the mobster grabbed my hand and told me to forget about it. As he told me later, “I saw you stop and turn and I thought, ‘Oh no! What is she going to do?’”

Truthfully I wouldn’t have done much. I planned to stare him down and if he had dared to say anything else I was prepared to let loose on him. I don’t think it would have come to fisticuffs but I was prepared. I’m spunky when threatened.

Two weeks after Family Weekend was Fall Break for Rock Star. She headed home and we both went to our alma mater’s Homecoming game. She got quite the reception from her cheerleading friends. Everyone seemed really excited to see her. Our team won so that was good. I prefer winning to losing.

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I took her to one of her favorite restaurants around here and made the meals she requested. My niece even came out one night because she heard I was making chicken packets.

Her visit was way too short but I’m happy I got to have lunch with her the day she left. I also sent her back to school with her Halloween care package. She had to wait until she got back but she did have it.

The following weekend I was missing my mobster so I jumped in my car after work on Friday and headed to see him! I was going to totally surprise him but I suck at surprises. I have no idea how I pulled off his surprise party or surprising him by just showing up! He only knew for a couple of days though.

I stopped about 7-8 hours into the trip and spent the night at a hotel, and then got up and made the rest of the trip. He had to work in the morning anyway so it worked out nicely. I got there and he made me breakfast. It was good. Eggs, bacon, a big cup of coffee. I’m pretty sure he included toast.

Later that day he, T, and I went to the mall to try to find a dress for T. Then we were off to a hockey game. I love me some hockey! I like it even better than football. I had a great time despite the fact that we scored two goals within less than a minute with five minutes left in the game and we STILL lost! The other team managed to tie it up and then won in overtime. It was a fantastic game regardless of the outcome. To top off our evening out we headed to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.

 

It was a quick trip. I was on the road the next day by around noon. It was still totally worth it.

The following weekend I went to the Garth Brooks’ concert. It was freezing! Literally. The concert was delayed for almost an hour because of the freezing rain we had. We walked almost a mile from where we were parked to the stadium where the concert was held- outdoors. I discovered my boots were not waterproof about a minute into our walk. On top of that we walked around the entire stadium trying to find our entrance. Then we get in and we were probably ten rows from the very top.

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I admit it. I’m a seat snob. As I told someone, “I think it was Garth Brooks. I mean, it could have been anybody really. They could have just put a hat on some random guy and played the tracks. We wouldn’t have known the difference.” Seriously, we were so far up that even with the Jumbotron it was hard to see. If I can’t have at least a decent seat I would prefer not to go. I guess I figured all the seats would be good. They watch football games there, right?

Nonetheless, I was crowded into my seat like a sardine along with about 84,000 other people. It helped keep us warm, I guess. My feet were still frozen at the end of it. However, despite all the setbacks it was a good time.

He is a great performer. Honestly, after hearing all the rave reviews I was expecting a little more, but once the music started playing and the crowd got into it a good time was had by all.

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The following weekend I was once again headed down to see my daughter. I left on Saturday morning since it’s only about three hours away and we didn’t need to meet until 11.

It was Ladies Weekend for her sorority so that was fun. I got to meet her big sister in the sorority, or her “big”, and her “gbig”. I also met a few of the other girls, along with their families.

We started off with a scavenger hunt downtown, finding various stores they had set up for us. Afterwards we went to lunch with her big and gbig and their families. Then we were off to the mall to try to find a dress for Initiation for Rock Star. We didn’t find one, but she did get a few other things, plus some snacks and water for her room.

 

We went to Texas Roadhouse, one of her favorite places to eat and then headed back to the hotel where we did face masks and tried to follow along to a Bob Ross painting video.

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Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as he makes it look. Mine sucked! At one point I was prepared to say that Bob Ross and I were mortal enemies, but #1 he’s dead so it’s really hard to feud with him, and #2 I have finally figured out what our problem was.

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We did not have the correct tools. We were using acrylic paints; he uses oils. He had already put a nice coat of titanium white on his canvas and we did not use the wet on wet technique. He uses a very large canvas and we were confined to a 9×6; it’s very difficult to give justice to majestic mountains when you have to paint them small. Plus, where will you put the trees? We also did not have a palette knife or a spray bottle. All very useful tools. It makes a huge difference. I’m willing to give it another shot with the proper supplies. In fact, Picasso wants the three of us (me, him, and the mobster) to give it a try as a fun family activity.

The next day I took my baby girl out for breakfast and then back to the mall for one last effort to find a dress. For a final fun activity we painted pottery at the local pottery place, which we discovered while we were- you guessed it- on the scavenger hunt!

That takes me up to last weekend which I spent with the mobster and which I have already detailed.

And just so Picasso isn’t left out… he got his learner’s permit back in October. He hasn’t driven at all since then but he has it. He is the polar opposite of his sister. She couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. He’s more like, “I really need to have a tutorial before I get behind the wheel of a car.” Nonetheless, we went out to dinner to celebrate. I had been craving sushi and he indulged me.

Last night he had his fall String-Along. He looked so handsome in his suit. We went out to eat after that, too. I suggested Steak-n-Shake but he wanted Chinese. How could I say no?

 

I’ve offered to take him to see The Grinch this weekend. It’s snowing here and it has put me in the holiday spirit. He has declined, however. He told me it didn’t look like that great of a movie. Bah humbug!

Sometimes those jam packed weekends make writing a little difficult. I bring my computer with me almost all of the time but I rarely open it. I’m way too busy having fun and making memories! I’ll try to do better with updating the blog here. I do enjoy it and as I said in my very first post, the sad part about following blogs like this is that when you begin to recover most people stop writing. I don’t want to be that person. I’d like to think I still have a lot of material left!

A Year Ago…

I’m a bit late but a year ago on November 3rd to be exact, I was in court for my divorce. I didn’t know it at the time but I was giving him quite the ass kicking. I wouldn’t find that out until a day before Thanksgiving. In many ways it seems like it was forever ago; in other ways I find it hard to believe it’s actually been a whole year. Of course, I haven’t been divorced a whole year. That anniversary comes next month.

On the anniversary of my court hearing I was with the mobster; we spent the weekend in Columbus. He seems to be with me on a lot of these days for which I am glad. It’s always nice to spend these milestone dates with him.

I had another eventful drive to my destination. Lots of construction. When I got off the toll road my exit was closed so I had to go the opposite way and then turn around. I wish that was the end of it. I was halfway down a road that takes me to a connecting highway when I came upon a Road Closed sign. I sat there with a stunned expression on my face for a moment before deciding I was heading east anyway and I had a GPS so what the hell? I turned left and let the GPS reroute me.

I finally arrived at my destination and he came out to help me take my bags in. He led me into a room lit by candlelight. He had a bottle of wine and a single diet Coke chilling on ice (the other five were in the mini fridge). He bought me chocolate covered caramel apples, cheesecake, and chocolate covered popcorn. He bought 2 coffee cups with pictures of Hocking Hills, a previous destination for us, on them. There was even a pack of Phase 10 cards. Then he led me over to the bed, telling me he had bought me slippers and he wanted me to take my shoes off, relax, and put the slippers on.

I followed along and was greeted with a pair of red and green sequined elf slippers with bells on the toes. I howled with laughter. He told me as he helped me put them on, “Now we’ll know where the other one is at all times!” Oh how I love this man!

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The next day we enjoyed a free breakfast (waffles were included!) before taking off to find a Dunkin’ Donuts. The mobster is always complaining that it’s difficult to find a good one where he lives. We ended up pretty much on campus minutes before kickoff. It was a total zoo over there! Thank goodness he was driving because I wanted no part of that. It was kind of neat though because this was the same Dunkin’ Donuts we had gone to when we had our girls with us when he and T came up to watch Rock Star’s cheer competition. We enjoyed a vanilla chai and some hash browns, and watched the throngs of students as they walked to the field to watch the game.

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After we finally finished up there we headed over to yet another winery. This one is a sister winery of the one we visited in Lancaster. They, too, had wine slushies which I love! The other thing I really like about this one is that there are no set flights; you choose what you want to taste and it’s only a dollar per tasting. We ended up getting two different bottles to take home with us. One tastes like a giant sweet tart and the other is cranberry wine. Delicious! I’m bringing it out at Thanksgiving.

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We ended up spending about 3 hours there. We sampled 6 wines each, plus I had a mug of the slushie. We had a bread board and a cheese and fruit board and ordered the trio sample of the wine cakes to go.

After the winery we took advantage of the Jacuzzi tub in our room. Did I forget to mention we had a huge Jacuzzi tub in our room? We did. It was fantastic. We probably spent more time in there than we should have but it was fun. We spent a lot of time talking about religion and the big bang theory and creationism and God. I know. Exactly what you would think people would talk about in a Jacuzzi, huh?

Later on we headed out for a late night dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. We didn’t get there until around 9 and there was still a line! Fortunately our wait was only about 10 minutes. We did take a short walk after dinner to let our meals digest before heading back to the hotel. I was so tired from the wine, the food, and the Jacuzzi that I was falling asleep on the ride back and I fell asleep with 10 minutes of getting back to the room.

On our final day we ended up checking out an area called German Village. It’s a quaint little area with brick lined streets and gorgeous older homes. They’re quite pricey judging by the open house flyers. We stopped and had lunch at a deli. Their sandwiches were HUGE! I had some sort of club and I could barely eat it. I ended up only devouring half of it and taking the other half back home with me. The mobster went with the reuben. It had an half pound of meat on it! We also tried the potato latke, the cherry kuegel, and the original knish. We decided the knish was kn-not, and the potato latke was not-ke. We really liked the cherry kuegel though. Who knew a cherry noodle concoction could be so tasty?

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We walked a little bit more after lunch, almost went to an open house, and then finally said our good-byes. I hate leaving him but we both take comfort in the knowledge that our time apart is drawing to an end.

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So, last year my Freedom Weekend was spent at the beach. This year it was spent in Ohio. Who knows what next year will bring? Personally, I hope we’re celebrating it in his new home with no goodbyes in sight.

P.S. Congratulations Boston on your World Series win! My man is a wicked Red Sox fan.

My Reply to Your Opinions

First, I want to say thank you so much! I figured I would get maybe 5-8 responses. Instead they kept pouring in. It definitely gave me a lot to think about and gave us a lot to discuss. I appreciate all of you who took the time to respond. I didn’t respond as each one came in because I wanted people to be able to comment without any interference from me. I didn’t want to make excuses or defend my actions. I thought that by offering up counterpoints to anyone I didn’t agree with it would water down the conversation. I wanted opinions and I didn’t want anyone to feel that they had to debate me in order to get their point across.

Second, I am doing fine. To those of you who wondered how I was doing I say again, “Thank you!” I am sincerely touched that you care enough to wonder how I’m doing after a post like that.

Where to begin after getting the formalities out of the way? Well, I suppose I should start with an update. The mobster and I are still together, if any of you had any doubt. We have talked and talked about this. Just the other night he read the comments and we ended up talking about it some more- for around three hours.

Also, regarding the hand holding… We have come to a consensus. He agrees that he shouldn’t have agreed to it.

Now, for a few clarifications:

  1. While they did indeed take a picture of just the two of them, as he describes it everyone who walked down the path stopped at the bridge for a moment while the photographer snapped a picture. They were not off on a private photo shoot.
  2. When they did the unity ceremony he told her she could just go ahead and dump the dirt, so they didn’t actually both dump the dirt in together. I don’t know why I felt that was a necessary piece of information but I’ve already typed it out so it’s staying.
  3. I did not create a huge scene or throw out hypothetical situations before his son’s wedding. The hypothetical situations came about after the wedding when we were talking about this. They came about because of this idea that it was all about the bride and groom and what they wanted. If that’s true then I think it’s only fair to ask what else could they have asked for that he would be willing to do? Fuck her on the altar? Kiss her because the bride’s parents are going to kiss? End things with me? Recite their vows at the front of the church? Spend the night with her? Accompany them on their honeymoon as a couple? Dance with her all night long? I did not start off with, “Oh my God! Would you have done this?”  I also did not ruin anything for anyone. The bride and groom did not know, nor would they have cared, that I was upset. They got exactly what they wanted; they had a perfect day, as they should have. The mobster did not realize I was as upset as I was so I didn’t ruin the wedding for him either. He went to the wedding and made the best of it. He thought it was actually an amazing wedding despite the awkwardness that his STBX brought to the event (and that was how he put it; that’s not me “painting a picture” of her as being batshit crazy or making things awkward). I’m pretty sure he had a good time and enjoyed himself immensely. It wasn’t until he wanted to tell me all about it that he realized I was upset and angry.
  4. Regarding the issue of jealousy. After I reread that I realize it seems like he tossed out, “Oh, you’re just jealous!” That’s not what happened. We were calmly talking about this and this conversation happened after the situation had been diffused. He didn’t understand why I had a problem with any of what had happened because it was done for his son and his son’s wedding. He asked me, not in a judgmental way, but as more of a exploratory way, if I thought maybe it was due to jealousy. He never meant to imply that the only reason I was upset was because I was jealous, and I never meant to convey that he had tried to pull the ol’, “You’re just jealous,” routine with me. It wasn’t like that at all.
  5. His kids did not know about the countersuit and allegations of abuse from their mom. The mobster did not tell them any of that. I know some people talked of the kids being so used to craziness, or wanting to pacify her, but they were in the dark about her allegations.
  6. And finally, just so it’s clear, I was fine with him walking up beside his STBX. I was fine with him dumping his dirt in and then her dumping hers in. I was fine with family photos. I knew all of that was going to happen regardless of whether or not I liked it. Like it, hate it, didn’t matter. I fully expected it. They are both his parents. To a certain extent I was okay with them sitting in the same row, although etiquette books all say that when you are dealing with separated/divorced parents who don’t get along you sit the mother in the front row and the father behind her. I think whoever set that arrangement up had absolutely no empathy for their situation and was much more concerned with what was easy and what looked good. What upset me was him “escorting” her like they were together. That was before I even found out they actually held hands (and again, he has admitted that shouldn’t have happened and will never happen again). I was also not real happy with the fact that someone decided they should be seated at the same table for dinner as well. I was not upset at him, however, because he didn’t control where he was seated. Again, it displays an astonishing lack of empathy.

I’m not going to go into detail about everything we’ve discussed. I will share this: He does care deeply about how I feel. He wanted me to know he never wants me to feel disrespected or dismissed. I care very much about how he feels. I don’t ever want him feeling like he has to walk on eggshells around me.

You all gave me a lot to think about in regards to peacekeeping, boundaries, and being married to an alcoholic for many years. I really appreciated that. It made a lot of sense to me. I also took to heart Jojobee’s declaration that you start in the way you want to go forward. That is so true.

So many of you had such great insights. I took to heart many of the points that you made. I appreciated those of you who examined this from a very even handed point of view. It wasn’t a right or wrong thing. It was quite comforting to feel understood and have others empathize with me, and then point out another way to think of things. Everyone seemed to realize that the mobster is a good dad who was trying to do the right thing for his son and the wedding.

I do agree with those who said the marrying couple should have discussed their wants with him far before the week of the wedding. I think this is where the peacekeeping comes in. I know he doesn’t want to burden his kids with the divorce stuff. I know he thinks they will cringe if he ever outright asks questions about whether or not she will be someplace he has to be, or whether or not her AP will be there. I can’t explain it but basically he feels like his kids don’t ever want to discuss their mother with him regardless of the situation. I think he feels awkward bringing it up because in his mind her presence should be no big deal at all. I think he has every right to ask those questions and be prepared. But he wants to spare his kids all of that so he doesn’t.

I also think that getting married doesn’t entitle you to be an ass who forces people into uncomfortable situations. I’m not saying that his son and DIL were asses, but I saw a lot of, “It’s all about the happy couple,” and “It’s their day; it all comes down to what they want,” in the comments.

It’s your wedding and you want all of your guests to wear purple? Fine. You want to ban the color blue at your wedding? Knock yourself out. Don’t want certain songs played? No alcohol aside from beer? No vegetarian choices? No plus one for the single guests? No kids at the wedding? All good. It’s your wedding, your party, you call the shots. But you don’t get to demand things like, “You must play happily married couple with my other parent today,” or “Break up with your partner because it’s not convenient for me,” or “French kiss whomever you’re escorting once you’re on the bridge.”

Ask for civility? Sure. You may not stab my other parent. I don’t want there to be any knockdown drag out fights at my reception. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Please don’t call the AP your pet name for them to their face. Do not pour drinks or food on one another.

Seriously, it was never about me wanting him to shun her or to not be anywhere near her. I am aware of the fact that they have children together and that in most cases those children will want both of their parents there. As I said above I fully expected them both to be in pictures with the bride and groom. I fully expected that they would both participate in whatever ceremony the couple had planned. I also don’t think expecting him not to hold her freaking hand was too much to ask. Thankfully, he agrees.

Ironically, I would say that the comment from InsistOnHonesty was one that made a huge difference. It was her saying, “I think there are better people out there for each of you,” that had a huge impact on me. I felt gutted reading that. But I realized, no, there really isn’t a better person out there for me. He is an amazing man. He is so good to me. When I try to think of life without him I can’t imagine myself dating again. I wasn’t looking when I met him; I definitely wouldn’t be out there looking if he left me. As I told him once I haven’t been this happy since I was 17 years old and in love with Todd. It took me over 30 years to find someone who could make me that happy again. I would be a fool to give this up. So, no matter the trials or tribulations I’m not walking away. We’ll work through it. And really, we’re going to toss away an amazing relationship over one disagreement? So thank you; the thought of ending things over this made me miserable. Ultimately though it reaffirmed the fact that he is the one I want to be with.

I also want to be clear that I did not “rage” at him. He asked me what was wrong and I told him. Believe me, he prefers that over getting the cold shoulder. I was not yelling or screaming at him. We were having a disagreement. We used our words. I had a relationship for over twenty years where I was never allowed to be upset or angry or unhappy. I have no desire to go back to that. I deserve much better. If something upsets me I’m going to tell him. If he disagrees with me he can tell me. And vice versa. Together we can work through it.

Sophia, I love you. You are such a spitfire. I’m sorry you feel CF and the ExWife won. I’m not sure how CF got in the game, but the fact of the matter is there was no way that the ExWife wasn’t going to win. It’s her kid. If both of us can’t be there then the one that shouldn’t be there is me. I accept that. What I don’t accept is this idea that they should behave as a couple because their kid is getting married.

I felt that me being there would be very uncomfortable, what with them not knowing how she would behave. At one point we thought she would be in jail during the wedding so that kind of paved a way for me to attend. Ultimately though, most of her sentence was suspended and days she served prior to her court hearing counted towards her time so she was out in time for the wedding. As I said in my previous post had I been there I’m not sure how she would have reacted and any bad behavior on her part would have undoubtedly been pushed my way.

I’m a Pisces but I still don’t want to mess up anyone’s wedding. If she’s at the next three weddings and my presence will cause her to act like an ass I will once again remove myself from the day. Hell, come to think of it his daughter graduates this spring and I don’t know how that’s going to work out. I know we have a good relationship and she likes me, but if only one of us can attend without a horrible scene, then it should be her mother.

Ultimately, I am doing as most of you suggested and moving forward. We are moving forward. We have talked about it; we have drawn boundaries. Things are good. They’re back to normal.  I’m going to be seeing him this weekend so I will definitely be giving him a kiss and making up.