What Ever Happened To…

I came across one of my old posts, Living With a Cheater on the Weekends… For the Children (Of Course!) and I got to wondering what had happened to that writer, Jaimie Seaton.

If you missed it the first time around the story is this: Daddy cheated, got his much younger mistress pregnant, and left his wife for the mistress. One day when Mommy was dropping the kids off in Daddy’s new town one of the kids wanted to know why she wasn’t going to accompany them on their adventure. And thus set off the new direction of her life. She began going with them on their weekends and letting him stay in her house for the weekend when he came to see their children.

People were divided over whether she was a saint who put her children’s needs ahead of her own anger or if she was a controlling nutjob who was depriving the new baby of her daddy every weekend and denying the OW a chance to bond with the kids.

That was written back in 2016. I found a podcast that featured an interview with her about that article so I had a little more background info. Nonetheless, I was curious so I googled her.

The daughter is off to college in Europe but Daddy Dearest still visits every other weekend and still stays with Mommy.

A little over a year ago she wrote a new piece entitled, How My Ex-Husband Accidentally Became My Good Friend.

Six years later we’re divorced, and he still drives up, alternating weekends between his new home and family, and our children. He arrives on Friday night or Saturday morning and comes straight to my house, parking his car and letting himself in the front door. When he calls out his arrival, the dogs rush to greet him, and my son darts from his room and into his father’s arms. When he arrives on Saturday, he makes himself a cup of coffee and we sit outside and talk about the week: how the children are doing, changes I’ve made to the house, the latest happenings at our jobs. Invariable, we fall into a discussion of the week’s news; dissecting the latest nugget of information from the Mueller investigation, or weighing the chances of various candidates in the midterm elections. We linger so long in these conversations that my son has to interrupt to remind us that his father came to see him, not me.

When he’s here, our home feels complete. For two weeks at a time, I am alone, struggling to juggle a full-time job with taking care of the children; driving my 15 year old son to activities, trying to snatch a few moments of conversation with my perpetually on-the-go 18 year old daughter. I do my best to keep up with the house, with cooking, with mowing the lawn, but I always fall short; it’s too much for one person. When he is home, I have a part-time partner to share in discipling the kids or helping with homework. There is someone to run to the store for milk, or cook dinner. I am finally free to go to a movie or simply sit outside and write. In the afternoons I often fall asleep on the sofa reading a book. Because I can. Because my children have their father.

Oh my. Where to start?

Look, if you want to remain friends with a person who lies to you, cheats on you, throws you under the bus, and blows up your entire life after creating a new family, be my guest. I don’t claim to understand it but if it works for you, awesome.

But let’s get real. He is not “home”. His home is in Manhattan with his mistress and their new shared child. He’s visiting. And the youngest kid is at least 15 at the time of this writing. She can’t take a nap or go to the movies without another adult in the home? Is she afraid her 15 year old is going to wander off, dump out all the shampoo, or get into the household poisons? Since my youngest has been 15 he spends the majority of his time in his room. I go out to dinner. I go to the gym. I go out with my friends. Never once have I thought, “I can’t leave my little baby alone. Who will watch him?” He’s 15. He’s going to watch himself.

She claims she doesn’t want him back and perhaps she doesn’t. As she has said in podcasts and in other articles she misses the life she had. So maybe this is a way for her to get that back for a little while. They sit around drinking coffee, discussing the nearly grown children, their careers, and current events. Their son has to pop in to remind them that Dad is here to see him and not Mom. In fact, in a podcast interview she admits that now when she asks if she can go with them to dinner or breakfast her son frequently responds with, “No!” with the follow up that if she comes along he won’t get to spend any time with his dad because they’ll spend the whole time talking.

She talks about a recent event where the two of them went car shopping together and how she later told him she was never going to do that without him again.

She says they talk almost every day.

He reads her work and gives his opinion on it, which she appreciates because in the very beginning of their relationship he was always her proofreader and proved to have a valuable eye when it came to such things.

He readily acts as her handyman and fixes stuff around the house. Apparently cooks dinner and runs errands as well.

One of the things that she mentions is that this didn’t happen overnight. She had a lot of anger and says it remains a very painful situation. But she also didn’t want her kids to deal with parents who couldn’t be in the same room. She didn’t want her kids to have to spend their weekends in hotel rooms with their father.

Personally, I feel that’s one of the consequences of cheating on your spouse and leaving them and your children behind to create a new family. Kids might have to spend the weekend in a hotel. Kids might get dropped off at Starbucks to spend the weekend with one parent and then the other parent picks them up at the end of the weekend.

I don’t think it’s a horrible thing to explain to your child that when people treat you badly it is okay to no longer want that person in your life. It’s okay and healthy. Nothing wrong with explaining, “Daddy hurt me very badly. I don’t choose to keep people in my life that have hurt me and lied to me and betrayed me. There will come a day when someone in your life does something very hurtful and if you decide their behavior is a deal breaker you have every right to no longer let that person be a part of your life.” I think teaching children about boundaries is a good thing.

I also feel you’re almost setting your kids up for failure if you teach them there are no consequences to cheating on your spouse.

These kids have seen their mom open their home up to their father, engage in long conversations with him when he’s clearly moved on (he lives 5-6 hours away), treat him like a spouse as opposed to an ex-spouse, and eat shit sundae after shit sundae all in the name of making sure her precious darlings never have to suffer the consequences of having divorced parents. What happens if the lesson they internalize is not grace under pressure but rather they can do whatever they wish without consequence? And what happens further if the person they cheat on isn’t as noble as their own shit eating mom? That’s a hard lesson to learn on the fly.

A lot of people commented about her controlling nature from the first article and believed that Daddy should be able to pick up the kids and take them to his new home with the OW and the love child.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, Daddy is perfectly comfortable with the way things are. I cannot imagine that there is any judge out there who would order visitation take place apart from the new family forever. Yet here they are, six years later, and he’s still leaving the new family to go spend the weekend with the ex and the originals.

I’ve got to hand it to her. Most people are not so fortunate as to be able to keep the OP away from their kids. I don’t know how she got him to agree to it but she did. It sounds like those kids have never met the OW or the new sibling. Just to be clear, I don’t have a problem with that.

Naturally, she speaks of how exhausting it is to carry that kind of anger around forever. I disagree. It’s not exhausting at all. Because it’s not about going around angry forever. It’s about getting the toxins out of your life and living a life free of that.

Later on in the podcast interview she talks about how difficult it is to find someone with whom she can share her life, and in the same breath says it’s a huge red flag for her when men talk ill of their exes.

You know, at one point I thought the same way. I guess I’m not sure where to draw the line. I don’t have particularly nice things to say about Jerry Lee. He cheated. He moved us across the country to get closer to his mistress. He cheated again (if he ever stopped). He abandoned his kids financially and emotionally. I’m not sure what kind things I should be saying in this instance. He made good money. That’s about all I’ve got. He had a great sense of humor when he wasn’t moping around. Sometimes there really is nothing good to be said.

I do give him credit for the few things he did. I do my best not to speak ill of him but I’ve often said my kids are older and it’s a hell of a lot harder to lie to them. I don’t have the time or energy to try to make him and his behavior look good. I’ve reminded them of good things he’s done and vacations he took with them. I’ve corrected misinformation. I’ve told both of them that I understand them wanting to have a relationship with him, that he’s their father and it’s not a betrayal of me if they wish to have a relationship with him. That’s as far as I can go because I’m not going to lie for him and I don’t think it does my children any favors to lie for him.

I think the biggest reason she doesn’t have anyone else in her life is because her life is filled up with the ex. He’s the one that goes car shopping with her. He’s the one she talks about her job to. He’s the one that gives her advice on her articles. They talk almost daily. He runs errands. He cooks. He lets himself in and the dogs greet him before he goes and fixes himself a cup of coffee and they spend the next hour or two shooting the breeze. How would she ever fit another man into this? She even admits that some of the men she’s dated have told her she needs to get him out of her life.

Her philosophy is that it is a good thing when the exes have a good relationship. I can see that to a certain extent. Would I want to be with someone who’s ex shows up on their front porch, screaming obscenities and calling the police on them on a weekly basis? It would not be ideal. Is it easier if you can have a civil conversation and be flexible with the schedules? Absolutely. Is it easier on the kids if you can both be in the same room without flinging insults or acting like the other doesn’t exist? Probably. But I can assure you I would take the mobster’s ex sending crazy, threatening texts any day over the mobster going out to dinner or spending the weekend with her. That is a flat out no. If he remained that embroiled in her life then he would not have time for me.

I find it interesting though that in all this talk about how her kids never have to choose between their parents and how both of them are invested in the two kids and are able to attend all of these important events in their lives there is never talk about the OW joining them. That is a very important piece of the puzzle. It works because she has managed to exclude the OW and the love child and Daddy has gone along with it. Yes, she is proud of the fact that she planned a graduation dinner for her daughter and instead of her daughter having two separate celebrations for this milestone, she had one with both of her parents there. She’s proud of the fact that she can sign her ex-husband up to help with her son’s drama/singing activities. They sell tickets and concessions together, and sit together at the performances. Yet, in neither of those situations does she have to deal with the OW. Mom and Dad are at these events and OW is conveniently edited out of the picture. That doesn’t usually happen. Most of the time the cheater insists upon including the OP. In Jaimie’s case she’s not only able to put aside her anger to come together and do these things together for her children, but also she’s able to pretend the OW doesn’t exist and they’re still a couple, albeit a divorced couple.

I think when it comes down to it that’s the driving force behind this. She disclosed in the podcast interview I listened to that her ex and the OW are still not married. She also admitted that the OW hates the relationship Jaimie shares with her ex, and that she (the OW) often sends profane laden texts to her, telling her that they need to act more like a divorced couple and that he’s not her husband anymore.

There you have it. A delicious triangle that will go on and on. Her ex is a cake eater extraordinaire. He dumps his wife for the pregnant mistress. The wife eats shit sundaes on behalf of her children, letting Daddy Dearest camp out at her home while he dodges any kind of consequences. This, of course, does not sit well with the OW. She’s now forced to dance, dance, dance to get this buffoon to pick her once and for all because let’s face it, even though he “chose” her he hasn’t completely discarded the wife and he’s not marrying her, even after the divorce. Why do you still talk to her, dammit? And why won’t you marry me? Your divorce took four years and I waited patiently but now you’re free. You have no excuse! Meanwhile, the wife, who has been humiliated and discarded, gets the chance to stick it to the mistress every other weekend; you know she’s got to be uncomfortable with their weekends spent together. She knows he’s a cheater because he cheated with her. Now he’s spending every other weekend in his ex-wife’s home, letting himself in with his own key, greeting the family dogs, and chillaxing with a cup of coffee while he and the ex spend hours chatting. All for the children of course. Plus she also seems to get to call the shots when it comes to the children; she has effectively banished the OW and her child.

Ex-Wife: No, you will not expose my children to that cheating whore. If you want to see your children you will see them without her or her child around.

Ex-Husband: Okay. Sorry, love of my life, nothing I can do. She won’t bend.

Mistress: But I’m your partner now!

Ex-Wife: Ha ha ha- we’re out car shopping and having lengthy discussions on the Trump impeachment hearings.

Mistress: You need to act more like a divorced couple. He’s not your husband anymore! He’s my partner.

Ex-Wife: Bless your heart. Couldn’t get him to marry you, could you? Always the mistress, never the wife.

Mistress: Why are you talking to her anyway? You left her for me. You act more like a married couple with her than you do with me!

Ex-Husband: Baby, it’s for the children! It won’t always be this way. Only three more years!

Mistress: Stay away from my man!

Ex-Wife: Shouldn’t have fucked my husband, you trollop. Buffoon, come fix my kitchen sink and read my newest article.

Ex-Husband: [to the ex-wife] Yes, dear. [to the mistress] Dance, bitch. We’re not married yet. I could still go back to my ex.

Rinse and repeat. Yes, one fine triangle.

Meme Extravaganza

Get ready for this!

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Is it wrong that this makes me feel nostalgic? I do remember those days. I remember when we would go grab breakfast on Friday mornings and then head to Blockbuster to pick up 3 or 4 movies for the weekend. Be kind, rewind. And don’t let those late fees get you. Ah, memories.

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So true! I would be thin if I only ate when I was hungry.

 

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This reminds me of my much younger years when friends would ask me to watch their purse. I would stare intently at it until they got back. The best though was when my best friend would leave me in the car while she went in somewhere. I would move the car while she wasn’t looking. It was quite the fun game. Probably funnier back then than it sounds now. It was hysterical though. Trust me.

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That is a great question. Whatever it is I don’t like it!

 

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This reminds me of those early days when I realized even though Jerry Lee was sleeping with Harley that I was still “the wife” and as such, would be the one to decide whether or not to pull the plug.

Me: He wouldn’t want to live like this. Pull the plug!

Doctor: M’am, he’s got a sprained ankle.

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Two things. First, my daughter’s reasoning for not joining the diving team was because she didn’t know how to breathe underwater. “No one does,” I told her.

Second, this ranks right up there with a coach being asked how the other team managed to beat them and the coach replying, “They scored more points.”

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I probably find this funny only because I work for a bank.

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Maybe.

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This irritates me to no end! Seriously, if someone wants to pay my bills for me, or deposit large amounts of cash into my bank account… LET THEM!

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I do remember that!

#blessed

It’s so easy to feel defeated, to look back on all that has been lost and feel sorry for myself. I feel it when it comes on. I’m going to take a page out of the mobster’s book and look at it from another perspective.

I’m blessed in many ways. I have a fantastic mom who didn’t hesitate to take me and my kids into her home. I have a roof over my head and I know that my mom will do her absolute best to make sure neither of my kids do without. She was instrumental in keeping Rock Star in college when Jerry Lee “lost” his job. She’s the one that loaned Rock Star the money to buy her new car. She’s the one that runs Picasso around most of the time.

I know a lot of people don’t have that. They don’t have that safety net. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt my kids and I would have been living in a homeless shelter if not for my mom.

I know there are people out there who have had to figure out rent and where to live and how to buy food and toiletries and take care of their kids all on their own. I don’t know what I would have done if that were my situation. Well, yes, I do. I would be living in a homeless shelter.

I think of people like my friend D, who at one point was living in a garage with her four kids after her husband left her and their house had been foreclosed on. I think of people like Jennifer Ball, of the Happy Frau blog, who at one point worked three different jobs and had to shop at the food pantry because she couldn’t afford groceries. Both of those women have had it a lot worse than I have had it.

Hell, I’m blessed simply by the fact that my mom is alive and well. She’s healthy and active and loves to criticize my hair and complain that I don’t call her frequently enough when she’s away in Florida.

Her: I could have been dead for a week and you’d never know!

Me: Mom, don’t be ridiculous. You’re in Florida. Your neighbors would have noticed the stench and called the authorities. I’d know.

I’m blessed to have two children who love me no matter how much I may screw up. I’m watching as Rock Star reaches her goal of admittance to nursing school. I’m listening as Picasso talks about his plans to eventually get an apartment and be self sufficient. And to drive!

Kids get older and their lives revolve around their friends. They’re involved with other things and don’t have as much time for mom or dad. I’m fortunate in that my kids both still want to spend time with me. They both like to be around me. The mobster mentioned the last time we were together that he can tell Picasso sure does love his mom. He let me hold on tightly as we skated around the ice rink.

Both of them have been fabulous and written me many notes of encouragement. I still have Picasso’s note where he told me he wished I didn’t have to work so hard and he wanted me to have something nice for my birthday and he appreciated everything I did for him. I still have Rock Star’s message where she told me I had done such a great job of being both parents she didn’t even notice her father was gone. She even bought me an anniversary gift the first year her father and I were apart.

I do worry about them. I worry about depression and anxiety with them both, but so far neither are on drugs and both are good kids.

I’m blessed to have found the mobster. I wasn’t looking for him. I wasn’t looking for anyone. I had made peace with the fact that I would be alone for the rest of my life while Jerry Lee and Harley lived happily ever after. The anti-social fuck up whose own mother and sister never thought he’d ever find a woman to marry him would be on marriage number two while I was alone with my dogs. And then from out of nowhere he found me. He thought I was funny, resilient, strong, and beautiful.

He is a true partner to me. Years ago I mentioned to Jerry Lee that running a marathon was on my bucket list. He immediately let me know that there was no way I could ever do that. It was too hard and he knew because at West Point they had to run a marathon as part of gym class, or some other requirement. Yeah? Did you have to climb Mt. Everest and swim the English Channel, too? Maybe participate in the Tour de France?

The mobster upon hearing that thought it sounded like a great idea and immediately began planning for the day we could run one together.

I know I’ve made comments about our “exotic” getaways; the truth is we always have a great time. Chillicothe, Athens, and Columbus might not be places the masses would choose to vacation but we’ve explored almost all of the nooks and crannies of the two small towns and we’re crossing things off of our list for Columbus.

We’ve discovered wineries that we love- Rockside, Wyandotte, Chateau Morrisette, Pleasant Hill, Hocking Hills, Athens Uncorked. We’ve gone canoeing and kayaking. We’ve gone to lakes and we’ve gone to the beach. We’ve seen outdoor theater, gone to weddings together, birthday parties, the zoo. We’ve had many meals out and even in these towns 6 hours away we have favorites that are familiar to us. We’ve sat through graduations together. We’ve gone ice skating, to hockey games, to football games, and to festivals. He’s gone to my company employee appreciation party twice now. We’ve brunched at a historic mansion, gone to concerts, played Pokemon Go all over the place, and explored small towns in Indiana as well. He’s attended both Family Weekends with me at Ball State. We’ve gone bowling, played arcade games, traveled to Utah, and even watched a few movies. Our running joke is that we never see movies together because we don’t have a lot of time together. We’ve been together almost 3 years and we’ve seen 4 movies- Jumangi, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jojo Rabbit, and Jumangi 2. We’ve taken many walks together, we’ve gone to a Dickens of a Christmas, he’s accompanied me to a funeral, he’s met more of my family than my husband of 20 years ever met, and we’ve begun running together. We’ve done puzzles, we’ve spent weekends in, he’s tried to convince me of the wonders of carrot juice, and we’ve blasted Christmas carols nonstop. We’ve watched an awful lot of Bill Burr, gone Christmas shopping, drank a whole lot of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and seen some amazing fireworks at the Blueberry Festival. In short, we have a blast together. He really is my best friend and the love of my life.

Finally, I can’t overlook the fact that I do have a job finally and I have my health, although I am currently taking high blood pressure medication.

I’m a fairly healthy person who doesn’t get sick very often and when I do, it’s usually not serious. I can move about. I live a pain free life. I have all my limbs and my sight, my hearing, and my sense of taste and smell. There are people out there that struggle with health problems. I’m blessed to not be in that position.

About that job thing… I know what it’s like to be looking and to never even get an interview. I know what it’s like to wonder if you’ll ever find a job. I certainly know what it’s like to have to work two jobs because both are part-time and neither one pays enough to cover your bills. The fact that I have a job and the fact that I no longer have to work two of them (thanks to support) leaves me feeling very blessed.

I’m not sure I can ever say that things are really looking up at my job. Don’t get me wrong. I like my job. It’s not difficult. It’s not physically demanding. Once I leave at the end of the day I leave it behind. On the down side, I’ve concluded that even if they gave me a 50% raise I would still not be making enough money to live without Jerry Lee’s support. Would I take it? Absolutely. Will it ever be offered? Absolutely not. But, things are looking up, bit by bit.

I just got my annual raise and I was told that before my supervisor leaves in June she wants to up my grade level so I can get more money, which means another raise in May. The way I look at it, if I do finally decide to venture outside of the bank, or even if I go to a different area of the bank, it’s that much more money I’m already making. I obviously wouldn’t be leaving my job for a lesser paying job. Not at what I’m getting paid.

There you have it. My moment of looking on the bright side and counting my blessings.

Woman Vs. Cat

I am a very hip person so naturally I had to get in on the woman yelling at the cat meme craze. Stick around for the last one. It’s worth it.

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I love this next one because it’s so true. It’s right up there with, “I’ll pray for you.” Gotta love those southern sayings.

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Yes, yes he did. If a cat could actually talk, of course.

And finally…

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When Chuck Norris says it’s enough, it’s enough.

It’s Been 14 Years…

Maybe I wasn’t writing this blog when I first read this. Maybe there was so much turmoil going on in my own life this seemed like nothing in comparison.

My old steady debate board had a post entitled: I had lunch with the OW.

In this particular situation she and her husband had dated for 10 years before marrying. They were married around 7 years, I believe, with 2 little girls, aged 7 and 4, when she discovered her husband was having an affair and had in fact gotten the OW pregnant. Deliberately.

For many years she was quite blatant in her disdain for the OW, and how she had absolutely no use for her.

Fun fact: He never married the OW and is now cheating on her with somebody else. The original OW actually had the nerve to email the now ex-wife and complain about it.

What happened, apparently, is that there was a death in the family and she attended the memorial luncheon with her daughters. She wrote that not only were they in the same room for the first time ever, but they had sat at the same table. Someone else asked her how that conversation went.

This is what she said:

She walked right up to me when I walked in and held out her hand and said, “I think with all this time past, we should, you know..”

And I shook her hand and said, “Yes, life moves on.”

Maybe it’s true that time heals all wounds. I tend to doubt it. Maybe time dulls the pain but I don’t think it heals it.

I’m astounded at the hubris of the OW. I think with all this time past…

Huh. Who knew? It only takes 14 years for it to become okay for the OW to have slept with her husband. Enough time has passed that the fact that she deliberately set out to get pregnant by another’s woman husband is a moot point. Now that 14 years have passed it makes it okay that the OW threatened to sue her if she dared to tell others, specifically the OW’s employer, that the OW was pregnant with a married man’s baby. Fourteen years later and the ex-wife should put the past in the past and forget about the time she called to confront the mistress and the mistress threatened to take legal action against her. Fourteen years has wiped out the fact that her husband left her in financial peril, that he bullied her into quitting a job where she made more than him, and then promptly began sleeping with the OW. Fourteen years later and it no longer matters or hurts that her daughters grew up without their father in their lives everyday, while the OW’s daughter lived with him. Fourteen years later and it no longer matters that the post writer had her best friend and partner stolen from her, that she has gone through all of life’s biggest events alone, that she has shouldered the burden of house repairs, taking care of elderly parents, and doing the majority of the child rearing.  Interesting.

I’m only four and a half years out so maybe that’s why I’m not so magnanimous but I still clearly remember every damn thing Jerry Lee did to me while Harley was along for the ride. I’m in no mood to forgive.

I always love it though when the OW decides to be the bigger person. Not tough to do when you haven’t lost anything. Poor little OW. No one recognizing how nice and sweet she is to the betrayed wife. Sure, she’s fucking your husband but she’s not calling you names or saying mean things about you to your kids. Why can’t you do the same for her?

A little later on the writer says they’re not going to be best friends or anything. She’s more indifferent and doesn’t have the time or energy to scratch her eyes out. She also said that it could be time dulling everything. She’s glad that he’s her problem now (remember, he’s cheating on the OW with an OW now, too).

I would love to say that in fourteen years (or would that be more like 9 years?) if I ever had to be in the same room as Harley I wouldn’t “scratch her eyes out.” Alas, it took my mom over 30 years to get to that point with my dad and stepmom. Not that she didn’t allow them in her home plenty of times or that she ever attacked anyone. But, nowadays she will actually meet them for lunch or breakfast when she’s driving Rock Star down to school. That will never happen in my situation. I would rather slather honey all over my body and roll around on an ant hill than have a meal with Jerry Lee and Harley. Okay, true confession- I really don’t want to do that either, but I really don’t want to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with the two of them. I don’t want to share cocktail hour with them. Light h’ors d’oeuvres. Nothing. Stay the fuck away from me, you two jackasses.

Hell, I’m glad I no longer have to deal with him and that he’s her problem now and I’m only 4 1/2 years out. I will still never shake her hand. She extends that thing she better be prepared for it to be ignored or broken.

I am happier with the mobster than I ever was with Jerry Lee. Yet I will never forgive either of them for the hell they put me through. The passing of time does not mean that my life being blown apart didn’t happen. No matter how much time has passed it will never change the fact that I lost everything thanks to them and their affair. I will never forget having to go through my entire house and put price tags on everything. I will never forget having to leave behind the majority of everything I owned. It will never change the fact that I was forced out of my home, or that my kids were forced to give up yet another set of friends, or that I worked my ass off just to provide the basics while they lived it up. The passing of time will never give me back my life as I once knew it. It will never restore everything that was lost. It won’t put money in my retirement fund. It won’t buy me a house. It won’t make me financially independent. It will never replace the time I lost with my kids. It won’t make up for the lackluster performance I’ve given as my children’s mother these last 3 years or so. Time will never erase the past.

No, what I’m left with are the pieces of my life that they blew up. Of course, time will see an increase in my retirement fund. But it’s going to be a much lower retirement fund than if my husband hadn’t run off with his whore cousin. Bloody pieces of my life. Maybe, one day, far in the future I may be able to buy a home. But maybe I won’t. I refuse to buy some disgusting piece of crap just to say I have a home of my own. I’m not going to settle and it may very well turn out that I can’t afford anything I like. Regardless it sure as hell won’t be anything like I used to live in. Another bloody piece of my life.

My friends and family talk about what a great memory I have. Some of my longtime friends are amazed at the shit I remember. It can be a blessing and a curse. It’s great to have those memories, but at the same time it means that fourteen years wouldn’t do shit for me as far as forgiving. I will never forgive either of them for what they did to me. I am perfectly fine with that.

Random Thoughts On Travel

I’m sitting on a plane, getting ready to take off to spend the next few days with my love. We’ve got tickets to the Wine and Chocolate Festival down in Greensboro, North Carolina.

As I’m sitting here waiting to take off the pilot announces we should expect turbulence around Cincinnati. Be prepared for a bumpy ride, he tells us. Oh goody! If there’s one thing I love more than flying it’s flying with turbulence.

The last time I flew it was a disaster complete with a 3 hour delay, lost luggage, and bumpy enough ride that the coffee sitting on the hostess stand shot out of the coffeepot like an invisible geyser, landing square on my arm. It took me a minute to realize I was being burned by droplets of hot coffee. Instead of focusing on turbulence let’s focus instead on my random thoughts as I traveled, shall we?

I don’t know why I thought of this but as I was driving to the airport at 4:30 in the  morning I came to the realization that the person who came up with the idea to put wheels on suitcases is a genius. A genius, I tell ya.

Hopefully a few of you are old enough to remember the days before wheels on a suitcase became standard. We actually had to pick up and carry our suitcase. No matter how big, no matter how heavy. We lugged that sucker through airports, up and down stairs, through hotels, across parking lots, into homes. Wherever it went we were carrying it.

Then somebody came along and said, “Hey! This would be so much easier if it were on wheels!” Now you can stroll through the airport, sipping on a Starbucks coffee while your 50 lb. suitcase lightly trails behind you. It’s amazing. Whoever you are, suitcase wheel inventor, thank you!

If the person who decided to put wheels on a suitcase is a genius then the person who decided the best way to board an aircraft was by groups is an idiot.

Who came up with this plan? How on earth did they come to the conclusion this was the most efficient way to board an aircraft? Am I missing something or does it seem that starting in the back row and gradually going towards the front would be the most efficient way?

I was in group 4. I’m seated in row 10 of 12. When I finally get a chance to board I have to wait until pretty much everyone else is finished settling in before I can get to my seat all the way in the back.

My final thought was this: Why do they continue to demonstrate how to use a seatbelt? It must be a federal regulation but seriously, who, in this day and age, doesn’t know how to use a seatbelt? I could understand back in the early, heady days of flying. Seatbelts weren’t required in cars so I could possibly forgive someone for being so stupid they couldn’t figure out how they work. But today? In 2020? Seatbelts have been mandatory for years!

I know what you’re thinking. Car seatbelts go across the shoulder and snap into place. Or click. Whichever you prefer. To that my rebuttal is: amusement parks and carnival rides. Sure the rollercoasters have the lap and shoulder bars but there are plenty of rides that use the same seatbelt system as planes.

That’s all I have. No more rants from me. I’m going to lunch with the mobster’s daughter, meeting the new dog, and then probably taking a nap since I’ve been up since 4.

Revisiting Steps and Halves

Oh half brother! Pardon the pun. I’m sure someone somewhere is very upset. It’s, “Oh, brother!” dammit!

We’re revisiting this topic thanks to Facebook and someone’s epic tantrum because a doctor of all people referred to her children as half siblings.

It’s biology, people! Some of us are very technical. Others are very fluid. I happen to be more in the technical category. If you share one parent you’re half siblings. If you share both parents you’re full siblings. If you share no parents you’re step siblings. Why is this so very difficult? And why are people so up in arms about the correct terminology?

Well, they’re saying it to demean the relationship!

Really? You think the doctor gives two shits about your kids’ relationship? I don’t. I think he’s a doctor and he thinks in technical terms. I really don’t think his end game at your kid’s appointment is to let them know their bond is not as strong as it would have been if you had just kept fucking the same guy. My guess is that he was simply pointing out the genetic connection, seeing as how it could potentially be important in regards to medical matters.

Yes, yes, I know. Little Sophia and Olivia are sisters in every sense of the word. Don’t you dare call them half siblings! That does not, however, negate the fact that Sophia has a family history of breast cancer, thanks to her father’s side of the family, while Olivia has a family history of heart problems thanks to her father’s side of the family. I would be willing to bet that is how the doctor is looking at it.

BUT THEY’RE SISTERS!

Yes, they are. They are sisters that share only one parent. It’s why they don’t share all of their relatives. It’s why they might not spend all of their holidays together. It’s why they have different moms or dads. It’s why they might even have additional siblings that they other one doesn’t have. Why is that so hard or awful to acknowledge?

One of the best ways I’ve ever heard it explained is something along these lines: Yes, you and Olivia are half sisters. That just means you only share one parent. You’re still sisters and still love each other very much. The word “half” only describes your genetic connection.

Put another way:  Half siblings, full siblings.. it doesn’t matter. The word half doesn’t describe your bond or how you feel about each other; it describes how you’re related. You still fight and laugh and play and love each other very much. You still share a room. You still share clothes. You still share your lives together. The only thing you don’t share is a father.

I think that would be a lot easier than losing your mind over the term. But not these people!

One person responded: That word STEP makes me want to vomit! I gained 3 children when I married my husband. He gained two! I didn’t gain STEP children! I just didn’t birth them but in my heart they are my children! That word is used by them & my biological children. I just say my children. One day, I hope they see that they were always siblings!

Oh, so many questions! Like, how old are these “children”? They’re old enough to insist that they are not siblings. They’re old enough to insist that the new kids are their step siblings. I’m thinking, and I know this is crazy but hear me out, that if the kids themselves don’t like the term “siblings” then maybe crazy Mom should lay off this insistence that they are siblings and always have been.

No, Randi, no they haven’t. If your two children didn’t meet these new three children until they were 10 and 12 then they have not always been siblings. They spent 10 and 12 years not even knowing that these other kids existed. That very sentence, “One day I hope they see that they were always siblings!” is a lie. It is so much more a lie than anyone saying they are step siblings. You know why? Because that’s the truth. They don’t share a parent. One set of kids’ mom married the other set’s dad. That makes them step-siblings.

You did not gain three children when you married your husband unless his wife is dead or not in the picture. They have a mother. You are not it. You did indeed gain three STEP children, despite your insistence that you did not. When you married your new husband time did not bend backwards and magically transport those three children into your uterus and out your vagina.

I don’t know how old these kids are. Maybe they’re all under the age of five. I doubt it though simply because she talks about how sad it makes her that they won’t acknowledge each other as simply siblings. Her post reeks of a newer wife completely insecure in her position in this family. The only way she can feel safe is by erasing the past and pretending that the kids’ mom doesn’t exist.

Sadly, should she and her husband ever divorce she will find out quickly that those three children are not her kids and she has absolutely no rights to those children. Which does not happen when they are actually yours, barring any extenuating circumstances, of course.

Another person wrote this: On Christmas Eve I was told our oldest wasn’t counted as my mother-in-law’s granddaughter because she isn’t blood… I was furious. My husband never refers to her as his step-daughter. Everyone, including him and her, even forgets she isn’t biologically his until we have to explain her absence at holidays/family gatherings if she is visiting her father’s family.

Wait. What? They forget they’re not biologically related until they have to explain her absence to people when she’s missing due to being with her father and his family? Don’t you think the fact that she has a father and he and his family are active in her life would pretty much rule out the fact that step-daddy is her real daddy? I could possibly understand that mindset if her biological father was out of her life but he doesn’t seem to be. Or, perhaps he is out of her life but she continues to maintain contact with his family. Nonetheless, the fact that this child has family that no one on the step-father’s side knows about, means this kid is not his biologically

I’m not anti-stepfamily. I’m dating a man who has four children. I have two of my own. If we ever marry, between the two of us we’ll have six kids. But I don’t fool myself into believing that if we marry I suddenly have six kids. No, I will have 2 children and 4 step-children. I will be the best, kindest, most supportive and loving stepmom that I can possibly be, but I will not be their mother.

I think it does a disservice to step-families when we insist upon treating them as though they’re not step-families. There’s nothing wrong with being a step-parent. It doesn’t mean you’re less than. It simply means you’ve married a person with children. How is that so incredibly difficult? Better yet, how is it insulting?

I’m not anti-half sibling either. I’ll be honest and admit I would not have liked it had Harley and Jerry Lee gone on to have children together but acknowledging that those children were my children’s half siblings isn’t about being hateful. Hell, considering he hasn’t spent a single minute with Picasso and has seen Rock Star a grand total of maybe 15 minutes since he walked away I think it would be laughable for anyone to try to insinuate that they were “just siblings” and using the half-sibling moniker was mean and horrible and degraded those precious children terribly.

If I were to go on and have more children I would have no problem with correctly identifying them as half siblings. I mean, would I say, “Hey, Rock Star, can you please go pick up your half brother?” No, I would either use his name or say brother. But I wouldn’t be gnashing my teeth and getting defensive if anyone said something about them being half siblings.

Those qualifiers explain a lot sometimes. Plus, I think there’s something inherently wrong when people try to pretend their family is something it isn’t. When you have kids that have different family members, different experiences, possibly different upbringings, you are not a tidy, nuclear family. There are steps or half siblings involved somewhere. Stop pretending they don’t exist. It’s that insistence which makes them seem shameful. They’re not. They’re normal. There’s nothing wrong with a step-sibling or a half sibling.