For My Daughter… & My Son

Have you heard Kane Brown’s newest single? It’s called, “For My Daughter” and it’s his  promise to his daughter to be the dad he never had.

I’m not going to lie. I teared up a little bit listening to it. It tugs at the heartstrings. I hope he lives up to all of his promises. That little girl will be incredibly lucky.

I did like how he acknowledges that they say the past is supposed to shape you, but then goes on to say, “Well, I guess that’s up to me.” Far too often what we get are excuses instead of explanations. His father left him. He survived an abusive stepfather. He could easily shrug his shoulders and say, “What do you expect from me? I don’t know any different.” Instead, he tells his daughter, “I learned what not to do. I grew up without a dad. I’m gonna be the best one I can be.”

You know, when my daughter was born I remember Jerry Lee crying, his voice full of wonder as he said to me, “We have a daughter.” My friend reminded me of the story of all of us going out to dinner and him remaining focused on Rock Star the entire night. Apparently I said something to the effect of, “If nothing else I know he will always be a great dad to our children.” I honestly thought I had picked someone who would never abandon his children. Someone who wanted to give his own kids what his own father never gave him. Someone who wanted to coach Little League and teach them how to hit a baseball. Someone who would be there to cheer them on in whatever they chose to do. Someone who would want to spend time with them and create family memories. I thought he loved them.

Since I made such a colossal mistake in choosing a father for my children I’ve taken to re-writing the lyrics a bit. To both my daughter and my son:

They say dads are supposed to shape you, in a way I guess yours did.

You know what not to do if you ever have a kid

They say history repeats itself

Well, I guess that’s up to you

Yeah I’m sorry ’bout your dad

but I’m gonna be the best mom I can be.

That’s how I sing it now. Chin up, chitlins. You both know what not to do- from cheating on your partner to abandoning your kid. You can let this change you for the worse or you can tell him to suck it and be the best damn people you can be. Don’t let him win. It sucks to be abandoned and discarded by your dad, but your mama loves you. I’m going to do my best to make his absence go unnoticed. I’m going to love you both so hard you’ll hardly miss him. I’m going to do my best to make up for his failings.

Things I’m Thankful For- Milo

It’s November so you know what that means? Time for everyone to take to Facebook and list what they’re grateful for each day. I’m not going to name 30 different things I’m grateful for but I will write about a few of them.

I have two dogs. I used to have three but my sweet Beau Beau died. I have two now because around seven years ago my good friend’s then husband got two dogs on a whim. She wanted to give up one of them and Rock Star wanted it. I thought I was being sneaky and I told her to ask her dad. If he agreed we could take the dog. I think you can see where this story is going…

He did indeed agree to take the dog but they decided to keep her. Rock Star was so disappointed. She was looking forward to a little furry baby, as our others were Boxers. Then the female got pregnant. We ended up taking the only male in the litter.

He was a character even then. He would whine incessantly even as a tiny puppy, until my friend’s daughter would hold him and rock him to sleep. My friend would tell me he had such a big personality. I guess that’s one way to put it.

We named him Milo. I introduced him to the world as Milo Bear because he looked like a little teddy bear.

 

One day Picasso was introducing the dogs to a friend. He began with, “This is Beau Regard.” His name was indeed Beauregard; we called him Beau for short. Picasso apparently thought Regard was his middle name.

He went on, “This is Laila Renee.” Rock Star always called her Laila Bridgert, which I don’t understand. Jerry Lee always referred to her as Laila Renee. She’s now called Laila Lou and if I’m being very fancy she’s Luscious Laila Lou.

Finally he got to our little Milo. “And this is Milo Tim.”

Jerry Lee and I looked at each other as if to say, WTF? We had never called him Milo Tim. And yet somehow, the name stuck. When he’s being bad, which is pretty often, you can hear even my mom yelling, “Milo Tim!” Even the mobster got into it when we came for a visit.

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He goes by many names: Milo, Milo Tim, Milo Phyllo Dough, Buggy, Bugs, Polar Bear, Prancer, Mi Mi, My Mi, My Mi Mi, just plain ol’ Mi, Midy Idy Oh, Mr. Mi, or the more formal Mr. Milo. When he’s being real bad it’s Shithead, but with the French pronunciation- Sha-theed.

He’s my little buddy. When I was working at Target he would get up with me every day. It didn’t matter if it was 3:30 in the morning, or the even earlier times of 1:30 or 2:30. He would follow me downstairs each morning despite the obscene time while the other dogs slept, and then he would lay on my feet, keeping them toasty warm while I got ready for work. I have fond memories of brushing my teeth and washing my face all while he slept on my feet.

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Every day when I arrive home from work I see his little head popping up in the window, looking out to see for himself that I’m home. My mom tells me I’m not allowed to sit in the driveway once I’m home because they all go crazy with anticipation.

And he’s jealous. If the other dogs greet me on the stairs when I come home he wants to make sure he’s the first one to be petted. He’ll go so far as to grab my hand with his mouth if I’m petting one of the others.

One night I was helping my mom’s dog into bed and apparently Baylor couldn’t find a comfortable spot to settle in, as he started to whine. I patted the space beside me and coached him to come on over. Milo was having none of that! If someone was going to sleep beside me it was going to be him. He quickly settled into the space right beside me and poor Baylor was left to find a place at the foot of the bed (which wasn’t really a hardship; that’s where he usually sleeps).

He’s the one that will follow me wherever I go throughout the house. I’ve seen that dog jump up onto the bed while I’m doing something in the bedroom and jump down and follow me into the bathroom- which is right across the hallway. It’s probably less than 6 feet between the bed and the entrance to the bathroom. But he jumps down each and every time. And when I go back into the bedroom he jumps right back up on that bed.

We did an experiment one day. He was sitting on the bed watching me. I took a step back. Maintained eye contact. He continued looking at me. I took another step back. And another. At one point I even leaned my head forward so he could still see me. I wasn’t even out of his line of sight but he decided I was too far away so he jumped down off the bed and ran over to me.

He loves to snuggle up on the couch or the chair with me. He usually just presses his body up against my leg if I’m on the couch, or settles in beside me if I’m sitting in the chair. If I’m sitting at the table then chances are he’s right under my feet. Never far from me.

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Oh, he’s a little shit. He gets into the trash and climbs on tables. He’s even figured out how to use the step stool in order to get up onto the counters. He’ll lick the dishes in the dishwasher and even stand on the damn dishwasher door when it’s open. He whines to go out and then refuses to move from the deck. If you dare sit back down he’ll scratch at the door until you let him in. And he whines until he gets his way which is something he was taught way back when he was a tiny puppy. Whining works!

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Yet every day after work I see his head in the window, so glad to see me. Every day he cuddles up beside me while I watch TV. Every time I walk in the house he jumps up on me, so excited to see me finally. And every night he curls up beside me and we go to sleep.

I couldn’t ask for a better buddy. I’m so very grateful for him.

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To Hell and Back

The mobster and I have a whole playlist of “our songs”. This song by Maren Morris made the list recently.

So much of what she sings on this song fits us perfectly.

You didn’t save me. You didn’t think I needed saving.

You didn’t change me. You didn’t think I needed changing.

He’s never treated me like I was broken or less than. When I wondered, “Why would you want someone like me?” his response would be, “Why wouldn’t I? You’re amazing.”

“But I’m poor. I work two jobs just to make ends meet. I live with my mom. I’m going on year two of a horrible divorce from a horrible person. I don’t have a bedroom to call my own. I’m fat, no longer some slinky, sexy little size 6 and I have two teenage kids- hardly the kind of attributes that make you highly desirable.”

He didn’t care. He saw all my flaws and thought they were pretty awesome. He didn’t think they were flaws. He didn’t think I needed saving. He’s always believed I was capable of great things. There were so many things I did in my old life that I never received credit for and he would tell me how amazing I was for doing what I did. He’s always propped me up and told me how great I am.

He didn’t try to change me either. He didn’t try to fix everything. He didn’t give me a list of things I could do to improve myself. He doesn’t go over all of my faults and I never feel like I’m a constant disappointment to him.

Instead, we are two people who both suffered through pretty miserable marriages for years. We weren’t appreciated. We weren’t valued. We sloughed along and did our best, despite the little encouragement we received from our spouses. We found each other. We appreciate each other and lift the other up. Our wings are frayed and what’s left of our halos are black but lucky for us our kind of heaven has been to hell and back.

Hot Wings Buffalo Dip

I’m not normally a fan of hot and spicy but I love me some buffalo wings! This is the perfect dip. It combines the ranch, the spicy hot sauce and the chicken all together in a delicious, gooey dip.

Hot Wings Buffalo Dip

Ingredients:

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese at room temperature

8 oz. bottle Ranch dressing

12 oz. hot wing sauce

3 cups grilled chicken, cubed (I use the bagged chicken that is already cooked- 2 bags)

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese, Ranch dressing, and hot wing sauce. Mix well.
  2. Add chicken and Cheddar cheese. Pour into a greased baking dish.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
  4. Serve warm with tortilla chips and celery.

You can also make it in a crockpot. Cook on low for 2-4 hours. I usually bake it and then transfer to a crockpot to keep it warm.

Does Intent Matter?

I’ve seen some people say their partner’s intent behind cheating on them does not matter one bit. As one person put it (and I’ll paraphrase): It doesn’t matter if you shoot me on purpose or if you shoot me accidentally; the end result is still that I’ve been shot.

Others seem to go with the idea that as long as their spouse didn’t intend to hurt them with their actions that somehow makes it better.

Aside from the fact that I have a hard time believing anyone thinks they can cheat on, betray, and lie to another person and it’s NOT going to hurt them, I have to wonder if the intent really matters.

If, when your spouse gets stressed, he drinks a bottle of Jack, gets stupid drunk, and knocks you around, do you excuse the behavior because he was stressed?

What if, when your spouse feels down, she goes out and runs up thousands of dollars on your joint credit cards? Or, maybe, when they’re overwhelmed with work they tend to make cruel jokes at your expense. Maybe, when hard things come up in life, like problems with health, children, or parents, their first reaction is to escape and leave you handling everything. Or to drink, or fuck others, or do drugs, or hit you, or mistreat you in other ways.

Look, your partner/spouse can pick a million different ways to cope with stress/anxiety/depression, etc. Instead of asking, “Did they mean to hurt me with that kind of behavior?” perhaps we should be asking, “Am I prepared to deal with that for the rest of my life?” Because as I said above I have a real hard time believing anyone is so stupid as to believe that they are not hurting the person they claim to love when they fuck around on them. And there will always be stressors. Rarely does life move along smoothy with no bumps. Are you willing to live with the way they cope with whatever for the rest of your life?

Radical Acceptance- One More Try

I admit I began feeling a little mopey while writing about this so-called radical acceptance earlier. I’ve thought about it some more and I’m going to give it another try.

I still think radical acceptance is about finally acknowledging and accepting that the life you once had is no longer. It’s a completely different looking life that you are leading. You lean into it instead of fighting against it with everything you’ve got.

It’s easy to feel sorry for myself. My God, I’m 50 years old and I am living with my mother. I don’t have a bedroom of my own. I own almost nothing anymore. My standard of living has decreased by probably 75%. But you know what? Everyone has a sob story. I’m not the only person who has lost everything thanks to a divorce. So what to do now?

Years ago Janis Joplin sang, “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” In many ways losing everything has freed me. You learn very quickly what’s important and what’s not when you’re forced to leave almost everything behind. The good news is I don’t have anything left to lose. I’m not chained to the bullshit. I can speak my mind. If they want to fire me at my job who cares? I can replace that job easily. At about $30,000/year it’s not like it’s the job of a lifetime. I will never be thinking, “Oh my goodness! I’ll never find anything this good again!” 

I can lament all that was lost or I can celebrate the freedom to recreate my life. For the first time in a very long time I get to be in charge of my life. I don’t have to move because someone else got a job. If I want to move to New Orleans I can find a job and move there. If I want to stay here for the rest of my life I can. If I want to go back to school to get my Masters I don’t have anyone discouraging me from doing so. All these decisions are mine to make now. No one else.

I’m not sure that’s what Janis had in mind when she sang that but that’s how I choose to look at it. This is my life and I’ll live it the way I want to.

I can focus on everything that was lost- my home, my pool, my furniture. Pretty much everything I’ve ever owned. I can dwell on how I moved back to my home town, in with my mother, completely defeated. Or, I can celebrate how I survived that hell. I didn’t just survive it. I rocked it. I got shit done.

I was 46 years old when I realized my life as I knew it was going to radically change. I had been a stay at home mom for 15 years at that point. I knew it wasn’t going to be pretty. I knew I would end up on aid and that we would pretty much be living in poverty. I’ve said this before but it bears repeating: If it weren’t for my mom, my kids and I would have been out on the streets, or living in our car or in subsidized housing somewhere.

Even knowing how badly life was going to suck I continued to put one foot in front of the other. I continued to do the things that needed to be done. I interviewed lawyers and filed for divorce. I fired my first lawyer and hired my second lawyer. I continued to take care of my kids.

Later, after moving back to Indiana, I continued to do what needed to be done. I got my kids enrolled in a new school system. I applied for Medicaid and free lunches and textbooks for my kids. I took a seasonal job at Target, unloading trucks and stocking shelves that had me getting up anywhere from 1:30 to 3:30 in the morning. And then I took another seasonal job at Kohl’s where I worked from noon until 6 or 8 pm. That’s right. I worked two jobs while he worked none. Do you know why? Because it needed to be done. I had two choices. I could cry and bitch about it, or I could do something about it. I chose to do something about it. Yes, it meant I fell asleep sitting up many a nights. It meant I relied on my mom to get my kids where they needed to be. It meant that there were days my feet and back hurt so badly after working both jobs that I limped out to my car at the end of the night. It meant I woke up at ungodly hours and I worked 21 straight days before finally getting a day off. But I did it. I did that. Chumpy little me. A stay at home mom for 15 years with no great job prospects.

Then I pushed for a show cause hearing to get the support my kids and I needed and deserved. And then I hired an expert witness to counter his PTSD bullshit and I kept going through all of it.

I did all of that, and I did it without someone by my side telling me how wonderful I was and how I deserved to be happy. I had many days where I would cry all the way to Target, wipe my tears and go to work; then come back home, pick up my daughter, take her to school, get ready for my full-time job, and cry all the way to that job as well. Once again, I would wipe my tears, put a smile on my face and go to work. The biggest compliment I ever received was a co-worker telling me she would never have known I was going through all of that because I was always so sweet and cheerful, always had a smile on my face.

Radical acceptance means saying goodbye to your old life and embracing this new one. It means celebrating all that you have accomplished instead of focusing on what was lost.

I did so many things he never had to do, things I don’t think he has the balls to do. I raised our kids with no help from him while working two jobs for a while. He can’t say he’s ever done that. He can’t even say he worked and raised his kids because all of their care fell on me. He never took a single day off because a kid was sick. He never had to tell his boss he couldn’t go in early, or that he wouldn’t be available to go out to dinner with the bigwigs from corporate at the last minute. Because I was there, making sure everything went smoothly for him.

Today I no longer work two jobs but I donate plasma twice a week so that my kids can have a nice Christmas without me stressing out over it. Is it fair? Probably not. Is it anywhere close to what my life was like five years ago? Oh God no. But you know what? Christmas will be paid for and I won’t be running up any credit cards or worrying about how far my paycheck will stretch. I am free to concentrate on the fun parts of Christmas. Ultimately, fair or not, I’m getting it done. I could cry (and believe me, I did a lot of crying in the early days) or I can choose to celebrate the badass I am.

Am I where I want to be? No, I’m not. But again, I can cry and gnash my teeth over my poor paying job, or I can do something about it. Radical acceptance, to me, means accepting that it’s not going to be handed to me. It doesn’t mean lying down and playing dead; it doesn’t mean I accept this as though it’s my fate. If I want a change I need to go after it. Maybe that means going back to school. Maybe it means getting a different job.

It’s so easy to get sucked into that cycle of feeling sorry for yourself. Look at all that I’ve lost. Look at what I’ll never have again. At some point though it’s necessary to give thanks for what you do have.

I have two great kids who love me. There are those out there who have been cheated on and discarded and their children have turned against them as well. I have been fortunate in that my two have remained steadfastly loyal. They demonstrate on a regular basis how much they love me and how important I am to them.

I realize he does not value the same things I value and yet I still feel fortunate to be able to say I am a large part of their lives. They talk to me and tell me things, I get to laugh with them and make new memories with them. I get to be with them and be a part of their lives.

I have a mother who has gone above and beyond for me. She’ll take Picasso his lunch if he’s forgotten it. She’ll get him where he needs to be after school. She’s provided a home for us these last three years. When I was working 12+ hour days she would take Rock Star to work or pick her up so I could sleep. I am truly fortunate; I know many others do not have the luxury of going back home.

Divorcing Jerry Lee meant that I was free to pursue a relationship with the mobster. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time you know I happen to think this man hangs the moon. He is a much, much better partner than Jerry Lee ever was.

No matter how sorry I’m feeling for myself every time I talk to him I’m filled with happiness, and am so overjoyed he is in my life. That other stuff doesn’t matter nearly as much. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I would rather live in a one bedroom apartment with him than in a mansion with Jerry Lee.

If I were still with Jerry Lee, living in my big ol’ house with my brand new furniture, and my luxury pool, I never would have met the mobster. I’d never have experienced all the wonderful weekends we’ve spent together. I wouldn’t know the joy of Athens or Columbus or Chilicothe. I never would have known a man would actually rinse your jeans out for you when you shit yourself on a bike ride. I wouldn’t have my cute little glitter jingle bell elf slippers. I wouldn’t have been kayaking or visited wineries or gone geocaching or known anything about Pokemon Go. I would have missed out on a lot.

I have amazing friends, both near and far. So many people rallied around while this was happening. And moving back to my hometown has allowed me to spend more time with my oldest friends.

I once wrote about going to Holland when you thought you were going to go to Italy. Radical acceptance is a lot like going to Holland. My hometown isn’t a horrible place. It has lots of great things. It has wine walks and Jeff Dunham shows and cool movie theaters. It’s close to Chicago and Lake Michigan. It’s just not what I had planned.

I won’t ever live in another 4000 sq. ft. home unless something very unexpected happens. I don’t think I even want another house that big. But that doesn’t mean I won’t ever have a home. Hopefully one day the mobster and I will share a home. It will be quaint and charming and homey. It will be a haven for us and our combined six kids when they choose to visit. Except for Picasso. I’m pretty sure he’s going to live with me forever.

My job isn’t horrible. It doesn’t pay very well but it has a few other perks, and it turns out I’m pretty decent at what I do. Like I said earlier, I can always get another job. Right now I’m lazy. I haven’t looked because I haven’t had to.

I may not be able to buy my kids all the creature comforts that I once could but a little hard work won’t kill them. I’m extremely proud of my daughter and how hard she already works. She sets a goal and she goes for it. She got a job at age 16 and has been working ever since.

Plus, if the mobster and I were to ever marry I feel like I’m contributing equally to the relationship. It’s not him going out to work and providing for the family while I stay at home and do nothing (at least that’s how Jerry Lee viewed it). He’s self-employed so I always figure at least I can bring insurance to the table.

I can’t say that I’m all the way there, or even that I won’t backslide now and again, but I do feel like I’m further than I’ve ever been before.

One Step Forward, 45 More To Go

I swear this saga will never end! Those of you who have been reading along this whole time might remember that I started the garnishment proceeding at the end of January- January 25th to be exact.

That was the day I called on my break and finally got a real live person to talk to. That was the day I was told that if he hadn’t modified the court order they would be garnishing him for the full $1800/month he was ordered to pay. That was the day I was also told judges don’t like it when their orders aren’t followed. So I went down to the office on my lunch, dropped off all of my paperwork, and patted myself on the back for finally taking that step. I was told because it was interstate I shouldn’t expect to hear anything for 60-90 days.

Soon thereafter he “lost” his job and stopped paying full spousal support. Has not done so since January. After frantically calling my attorney and then inquiring with the caseworker assigned to my case I find out this process will not be 60-90 days. Oh no! It will actually be 60-90 days until Indiana gets everything to Virginia and then Virginia gets it back. It will be yet another 60-90 days for that same process to happen between Indiana and Kentucky.

Sometime between late April and early May I find out once everything goes to Kentucky a judge in that state will then modify the court order and take over the entire case. I spend another month going back and forth with the caseworker, making sure I understand exactly how this process is going to work. Finally, believing that I’m going to get screwed if I go with a garnishment order through Kentucky I opt to drop the case, not that it mattered.

Even if I had chosen to go ahead I would have had to have started all over again because just as we were getting ready to send this on down to Kentucky Jerry Lee and Harley scooped up the mulligans and headed on down to Mississippi.

I found out in late July that he had a new job and that he was now living in Mississippi. I contacted the caseworker to ask about that and how that would work, especially since at the time I wasn’t sure if he was living in Mississippi or Tennessee. Shortly after getting confirmation he was indeed in Mississippi I chose to go ahead with the modification/garnishment.

My interstate meeting was on September 10th. I was told then that it would take another 60-90 days. We’re coming up on 60 days. Suddenly I began thinking, “What, exactly, happens in 60-90 days? Is it over in that time period? Is he simply notified? Is that when the court hearing and modification should be done but then the garnishment comes later?” I had all sorts of questions!

I emailed my caseworker and asked her exactly what would happen in those 60-90 days. I asked her for a play-by-play of what would happen and let her know I needed to prepare myself because once he got word he probably wouldn’t be paying anything until after the hearing and until he was garnished.

I got some answers last week. Mississippi has received the case; however, their state is experiencing “issues” with their system so she was unable to see any other information. All she could say was that they had received the case. She went on to tell me that the 60-90 day timeframe refers to the length of time it takes for the other state to receive the case, add it to the computer system, review the case, and then forward it to the correct county. In other words, while Mississippi has received the case she has no idea if any of the other things have been done.

Additionally, once the county gets the case, she believes they have another 45 days to review it and file. Awesome!

I’m guessing that once it’s filed there will be another waiting period. How long that waiting period is is anyone’s guess. I haven’t written her back yet so I don’t have an answer.

I keep trying to tell myself that even though this process sucks big huge donkey balls, once it’s done it will be done and I never have to deal with him again. It’s a tough sell because I gave myself that same pep talk when construction on my pool took 10-12 weeks instead of the promised 3. I didn’t tell myself I would never have to deal with him again, of course, but I did tell myself that even though it was taking 3 times longer to get the pool built once it was done it would be something that I could enjoy for years to come. That didn’t turn out so well for me. But, he can’t cheat on me again. Or divorce me again. Or, make me lose everything I’ve ever owned in my life again. So, I suppose that Zen thinking might help me through.

I try to remind myself that once he’s been garnished he can’t ever fuck around with the payments again. He can’t decide he’s going to pay less spousal support. He can’t modify it on his own. When Picasso graduates he might not even be able to stop paying child support until he’s actually filed to get it stopped in court. Nope, just checked. It terminates automatically in Mississippi. Awesome.

Please, Lord, make this worth it for me. By the time he’s actually garnished I figure he’ll be paying child support for a little over one more year. Hopefully they will continue garnishing him for spousal support.

Meanwhile, I sent my lawyer an email as well. I told her I had contacted her last month to see where we were and if she would be able to file my case before the end of this month and I had yet to hear back from her. I let her know that I would prefer to stick with her since she had all the background information on my case, but if she couldn’t do it to please refer me to someone else.

I guess those must be the magic words because she emailed me back pretty quickly. She apologized, of course, and told me that lately all of her cases were going the litigation route instead of settling. She hasn’t taken new clients in months and I’m not the only one that has been put on the back burner. She told me she wanted to finish out my case but wouldn’t be able to get to it until the new year. She went on to say she understood if I wanted to move on and gave me the names of a few people I could try. I will probably regret this but I’m going to email her back and ask her if she thinks she can get to it in January or February. If she can, I’ll wait it out. It’s not like my other issue will be settled by then. If she can’t then I’ll switch lawyers.

One day… one day this will be over.

The Pursuit Of Happiness Fallacy

What seems like eons ago, when in reality it was back in June, there was an article posted on Huffington Post about two wing nuts that got together through their mutual love of the Oregon Country Fair, or “Fair”, as the “family” knows it. Tracy Schorn UBT’d it over on Chump Lady and Jennifer Ball posted about it on her Happy Hausfrau Facebook page.

The quick recap: “Ruby” and Paul spent 16 years working “Fair” in Oregon. One day, while peeling potatoes the feelz hit ‘em real hard and they realized they were destined to be together. While his wife and kids were away on vacation Paul invited Ruby over for a “picnic”. They spent the week together navel gazing and justifying their behavior. It was a love that could not be denied. When his wife came back into town he told her he was leaving her for another woman and Ruby left her husband as well. Ruby was simply stunned that her ex-husband didn’t chase after her, begging for another chance, and was equally shocked that Paul’s ex-wife didn’t bow out without a fight. I’m pretty sure if I remember correctly they are now married (going on 4 years of blissful happiness) and own a pot farm.

Even more vomit worthy than the article were the comments. These are just a few of the stand out gems:

Love isn’t ownership. I’ve walked and I’ve had others walk. Learn and grow and move on. Stop blaming people for loving someone.

Good on them. No point continuing a BS relationship just to conform to everyone else’s BS relationships/marriages. Life’s too short and too long to live a lie just to please church goers. Obviously they’re against real love anyway.

In response to someone saying that people who cheat on their spouses have a character flaw: We all have character flaws. People who stay in a loveless marriage also have a character flaw. They keep their spouse from meeting someone who will love them.

Yes, it’s a kick in the teeth when your spouse says they’ve fallen in love with someone else, and hard for the kids to deal with two homes, new step-parents, etc. But I can’t think of anything worse than reaching old age, the kids gone with lives of their own, moved to other states even, only to call on holidays and birthdays, and you being stuck immobile or infirm as time ravages your body, depending on someone you don’t love, haven’t loved in a long time, are disappointed with and sad to be around, and knowing you could have been happy, could have actually had a life worth living, years of love, sharing, fulfilling companionship, etc. and missed your chance.

Don’t stay somewhere you are not happy, life is too short! People like to pass judgement based on their own fears and insecurities. Let people live!

…way too many people stay in miserable marriages and hate their lives. Glad they’re happy.

People that are brave enough to admit their faults, their choices, their lives, always get very “righteous” people judging them… you could see that both of them were unhappy in their marriages before they “found each other”.Are people supposed to live a mediocre and unhappy life forever because of what looks good for society rules? No. I don’t think so.

Wow, so much hate because someone fell in love with another person and left a toxic situation.

Life is short, some people will stay miserable to “do the right thing” and never really live a happy life which is ok… but it’s also ok to make the decision to find happiness.

My husband left me for a younger woman. I’m happy for them. My 10 year marriage was unhappy. He wasn’t happy. I let him go be happy. It’s the mature thing to do.

They are both adults who made a questionable decision, but I’m sure all involved are better off, No one deserves to live unhappily ever after because of their “responsibility” to someone else’s feelings.

Let me remind you what Thoreau said:

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To paraphrase Rock Star, “I. cannot. even. with all of those asinine comments.”

I love how everyone believes that if you’re in a toxic relationship you’re entitled to cheat. God forbid you realize you’re in a bad situation and actually get the fuck out without having someone else waiting on you.

Wait a second! Are you telling me I can actually end a relationship before I have another one waiting in the wings? I can leave someone who makes me unhappy and sucks the life right out of me even if I don’t have another person I’m going to immediately be involved with?

Yes! Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying!

Then why in the fuck didn’t they tell me that? I’ve been stuck in this miserable relationship for the last ten years because I didn’t have time to set up a Tinder profile! Or volunteer at Fair.

I don’t know what to tell you, Sparky. You’ve always had the option of leaving. This remains a free country and more importantly, divorce is legal.

Quick question. Who will have sex with me once I kick my spouse/partner to the curb? Who will hold my hand while I go through this divorce? Who will tell me how awesome I am and how horrible my spouse was? And who’s going to pitch in and do all the things my spouse used to do?

Ah, that is the kicker, isn’t it? It’s not that these cheaters don’t realize they can leave a toxic relationship; it’s that they’re lazy. They don’t want to leave until they’ve got the replacement lined up.

Look, I don’t think anyone advocates staying in a miserable marriage. I know I don’t. I’ve always said you’ve got a couple of choices. The two good choices would be you can try to fix it or you can end it. The two bad choices would be you cheat on your spouse under the guise of unhappiness or toxicity, or you suffer through it for years on end.

About that so-called unhappy/toxic relationship. Cheaters lie. Mine lied a lot. It’s amazing to me how many people who have been cheated on talk of their cheaters telling them how much they loved them, how they couldn’t live without them, how these had been the best fill-in-the-blank years of their lives, how they were the love of their life, they were their rock and salvation, and sunshine shot out of their asses.

Hell, even ol’ Jerry Lee claimed that I was his rock. My family was his only real family. He wanted to renew vows. He wanted to have another baby with me so I couldn’t leave him.

A year later I was a mentally abusive spouse who never supported him and hadn’t had sex with him in ten years.

The story has to change when they start doing shitty things. It excuses the shitty things they’re doing.

So many of them focus on “ownership” and not staying if you’re unhappy. I truly don’t think most people think any of this through. We’re not talking about a summer romance here. We’re not talking about a couple who has dated a year or two. We’re talking about, in this case in particular, two people who were married to other people. They made plans with each other. They bought houses. They may have moved across the country. In one case they had two children together. The time to figure out the relationship is not working for you is before you get married and certainly before you bring children into it.

And again, I’m not advocating staying in a loveless or toxic relationship but, Jesus Christ, could maybe someone put a little effort into maintaining their current relationship, the one that did produce those children, before they decide the potato peeler is the new love of their life? I think the innocent children in these situations deserve a little bit more than, “Golly, I just wasn’t happy. Mommy didn’t support me quitting my full-time job and becoming a pot farmer.” Grow the fuck up! It is not just about you anymore.

That seems to be the popular refrain. You’ve got two choices. You either wait out a miserable life being trapped in an unhappy relationship or you cheat on your spouse and get the hell out. Repairing your current relationship never seems to be a solution. What an antiquated idea!

I loved the one that posited, “I’m sure they’re all better off. No one deserves to live unhappily ever after because of their responsibility to someone else’s feelings.”

What kind of bullshit minimizing is that? It’s a marriage. It’s a legally binding relationship. If he’s in the hospital, as his wife I will be the one deciding whether to pull the plug or not. Our lives are entwined. Our money is combined, I’m taking care of his children. I’m keeping his house and doing his laundry. Do not reduce it to some kind of half baked responsibility to my feelings. No, I’ve created a life with this person. We have made plans for our future. When he decides he no longer has a responsibility to my fucking feelings he’s not just hurting my fee fees he’s fucking with my life.

How does this person know that everyone is better off? Maybe the kids have psychological problems stemming from this. Maybe his ex-wife is struggling to keep a roof over her kids’ heads. Maybe she’s working two or three jobs to keep afloat. Maybe his ex-wife was a depressed, suicidal mess for months, if not years, after this happened and his kids were barely being taken care of because their mother was unable to function. This idea that everyone magically pairs up with someone new and has this fantastic life now is magical thinking designed to excuse people like this.

Look at Jennifer Ball. She’s lived just above the poverty line ever since her husband left. She raised four kids on her own. The jackass ex was rarely around. He was far too busy with his ho-worker and their two new spawn. Is she better off? I think she would tell you that she’s happy and counts her blessings, but better off? I don’t think so.

I’m going to have to invoke my John Walsh analogy one more time. He’s got a lucrative career on television because of what happened to his sweet little boy, Adam. Had he never been kidnapped and murdered John never would have done the work he’s done with missing children or going after wanted fugitives. But I think anyone would have a hard time arguing, “Oh, he’s better off.” Quite honestly, I think anyone stupid enough to say that to him deserves a punch to the throat.

I also appreciated the person who declared that, yes, it is a kick in the teeth to get dumped, and golly, it’s probably hard on the kids to deal with a change in their lifestyle, two different homes, and potential step-families, but gee whiz, wouldn’t it suck to get to old age and realize you’re with someone you don’t want to be with.

Yes, it’s slightly disappointing when you find out you’re being cheated on and deceived. It kinda sucks when you have to return to the workforce after being a stay at home mom for 15 years and you don’t get paid enough to actually support your kids and have a home of your own. 

Sure, the kids do sometimes struggle. I mean, I’ve got one who now thinks he shouldn’t have to even complete high school because it’s pointless and another one who calls me up crying because her anxiety is out of control. They both suffer from anxiety but one gets stressed and cries, and the other finds it difficult to reach out for help and fails school. Neither one of the kids dealt with anxiety or depression when their father and I were together but hey, if one of them winds up killing themselves it’s worth it so long as their dad is happy, right? The kids are collateral damage. Don’t get too attached.

Yes, the real travesty isn’t one parent living in poverty or kids having anxiety attacks or lives being upended. The real travesty is finding out after the kids have left home that you are in a loveless relationship and you were too much of a chicken shit to actually do anything to improve your relationship, or to end it the correct way.

I think my favorite comment though was the one who said that people in loveless marriages have a character flaw because they are keeping their spouse from meeting someone who will love them.

What the what? First of all, maybe the spouse in the loveless marriage doesn’t think they’re in a loveless marriage. Maybe they think they’re in a very happy marriage. Second of all, if you’re both in a loveless marriage, but only one person goes off and cheats while the other person remains faithful, why in the fuck is it the faithful partner’s responsibility to get out of the marriage? Oh, I’m sorry. Why is it their responsibility to make sure their spouse finds someone who will love them? I would think it would behoove the person who can’t keep it in their pants to get out of the marriage before it comes to that.

That whole comment is just one big mindfuck.

Oh, your partner cheated on you? That’s not a big deal. Move on and get over it.

Oh, you stayed in a loveless marriage but didn’t cheat? You horrible person! How can you keep your wonderful spouse from finding love? I hope you rot in hell!

I’m going to say it one more time. I’m not against ending an unhappy marriage. Hell, I would advocate for ending unhappy relationships far sooner than most of us do. Most of us who stay, even when things aren’t going great, do so for good intentions. We do it  because we want what’s best for our kids. We believe in commitment and working through the hard times. We think about things other than ourselves and our own happiness. We regularly put others ahead of ourselves. 

I will, however, take issue with someone cheating on their spouse and then excusing it by saying, “I wasn’t happy.” That’s entitlement and crappy character, not a search for happiness. It’s about selfish people putting their own wants and desires ahead of everyone else.

Me and Michael Myers

I hate scary movies so I’m not sure how it is that I once watched “Halloween”. Furthermore, I’m not sure how it came to be that I went to see “Halloween 2” in the theater.

OK, I do know the answer to that one. It involved a boy and a big group date. I’ve forgotten a lot of the details over the years but I do remember it began, somehow, with one of them prank calling me every morning. One day I was running late. The prankster called as usual and I had no time for him and his nonsense. “I’m running late today. I don’t have time for this. You want to call me back later?” That sure shocked him. But he agreed to call me later. We talked over a period of weeks. This was back in sixth grade, by the way.

I don’t remember how he got my number. I don’t think he was even the one I ultimately liked and agreed to go the movies with. But eventually a group of us met up. I have no idea where any of them are today and I don’t care at all.

Shortly after watching “Halloween 2” I locked myself out of the house. I had to crawl in through the basement window. It was very dark down there. Plus, I had to pass by the furnace room. It housed the furnace and the water heater and the doorway was covered only by a cheap curtain that hung on an equally cheap curtain rod. It was dark in that room and it seemed to go on forever. Every time I passed by that room, I steeled myself against what I knew I was going to see. I was positive that Jason and Michael and Freddie all hung out in that endlessly dark room, waiting for me to pass by.

Look, I am 50 years old and I still cannot flush the toilet in the middle of the night for fear of waking Michael Myers.

Funny story about that furnace room… One evening I was passing by it on my way to my bedroom, which was located in the basement. I was thinking to myself, “It looks like there’s somebody standing back there.” As I got closer to my room, my then boyfriend stepped out of that fucking dark furnace room. He had somehow snuck into the house and was waiting for me. How I did not scream bloody murder is beyond me.

I have not seen the new “Halloween” movie. I didn’t see the earlier sequels either. I have no plans to, but I did have some questions.

Like, where does he get his shoes? At one point I wondered how it was he always had something to change into. And it’s always a jumpsuit, which is hideous. But then I read he gets his hideous jumpsuit off the poor soul he kills. Yet, what are the chances the person he kills wears the same size shoe?

Plus, there’s always been this strange dichotomy to his murder sprees. I know from reading about Ted Bundy that generally there are two types of killers- organized or disorganized.

An organized killer, as the name implies, is organized. They’re prepared. They plan it. They have a contingency plan. It’s well thought out. A disorganized killer, on the other hand, kind of wings it. They might not have actually planned to kill someone but the opportunity arises. They haven’t thought it out. They have no plan.

Ted Bundy was usually a very organized killer. When he was busy kidnapping, murdering, and disposing of women out in Utah and Washington he was very methodical. Towards the end of his crime spree he became a much more disorganized killer. The attacks at the sorority house and the murder of his last victim were all extremely disorganized.

Michael Myers is a lot like that. On one hand, he grabs a hammer or a knife and whacks or stabs someone randomly. Very disorganized. No planning. He’s like a shark hunting for prey. Then other times he really thinks it through. Like when he waits for you in the backseat of your car. Or when he pretends to be a ghost and impales your boyfriend before strangling you. Or, like in the latest installment, when he patiently waits for you to discover him in the closet.

Why am I even writing about this, you are probably asking. I will tell you why. Because I scared the shit out of my son the other night. I had knocked on his door and let him know that dinner was ready. I’m sure he thought I had left to go back to the kitchen. Originally that was my plan. As I stood there, right up against his door, waiting silently for him to open the door and see me standing there, I thought to myself, “Is this how Michael felt when he waited patiently in that closet for someone to find him?”

Sure enough- I scared him. He yanked open his door, ready to come grab a plate, and I was right there. He was not expecting that. He let out a yelp and I believe the words, “Jesus Christ!” were uttered as he sank to his knees. “Why would you do that?” he asked me.

“To scare you!” I replied. Duh.

Rest assured, hugs were exchanged, I finally stopped laughing, and all was forgiven.

Enjoy Your Weekend

I have always said I would give Jerry Lee credit when it was due. This is not a huge thing but considering how every little tiny thing turns into a huge thing with him I’ll go ahead and give him credit.

That medical bill for Picasso got whittled down to $87. I texted him and told him that, gave him his total. I didn’t have a copy of the bill with me because I was on the road at the time. I fully expected him to ask for proof. Instead, he merely thanked me and told me to enjoy my weekend.

Hmmm… what does that mean? I was a little suspicious because I was on my way to see the mobster at the time. My thoughts turned to, “Is he being sincere, or is this a subtle dig? Oh my God, is he tracking me again? Has he infiltrated my Facebook or texts? Does he know I’m on my way to see the mobster?”

Regardless, he paid the bill already. Hooray him. Hey, he doesn’t frequently do what he’s supposed to. Let’s celebrate the little moments when he does.