Bezos’s Girlfriend

True confession: I don’t watch the news anymore. I don’t have CNN Headline News on my phone. I get my news from Google, and sometimes Facebook. I realize I’m burying my head in the sand but I’m okay with that right now. I do know lots of useless facts, though. Ask me anything about the royal family, the Duggars, and, for some reason, Bachelor Nation. Also, I’m quite knowledgable about snakes and sharks. One interesting thing that popped up on my news feed in the last month or so was the story of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, and his hacked cellphone/leaked text messages to his mistress.

Holy cow! The story goes something like this: The guy makes billions of dollars, cheats on his wife, gets a divorce, and then his text messages to his mistress are made public. Now, I don’t know exactly what the point of that was. I don’t know why anyone would care because I’m pretty sure the texts were released after the divorce. Sure, it may be embarrassing but a national security threat? I don’t think so.

It prompted an investigation. At one point the theory was that this poor, mistreated billionaire had been targeted by the Saudi government because Bezos had criticized them in an article.

Then the Wall Street Journal came along, did a little digging, and wow! What do you think they uncovered? Was it the Saudi government? Was it Trump? Was it the Mafia? All three colluding to make him look bad (did I mention there were nude pictures included?)? NO! Turns out his mistress, Lauren Sanchez, sent the texts to her brother. Who then turned around and sold the texts to the National Enquirer.

Of course, now that it’s all in the open both sides are saying that’s not true. Lauren insists her brother somehow acquired all of her texts without her knowledge, and her brother is actually suing her boyfriend for defamation.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we… fuck somebody else’s husband.

Yeah, that’s a real shocker. Imagine- a woman who had no problems sneaking around behind his wife’s back, fucking a married man, and cheating on her own not-as-rich husband, being willing to hand those intimate texts over to her brother to cash in on her relationship with the richest man in the world. It boggles the mind! I’m sure poor Jeff was stunned as well. Hey, she might lie, and cheat, and gaslight, but she only does that to other people. He’s special. She would never do that to him.

It reminds me of that blogger who was absolutely furious at his mistress for finally telling his wife about the three year long affair. At one point he gave serious consideration to leaving his wife for the mistress but then she went and told the truth! How dare she? She was cute as a button when she was helping him dupe his wife for three years. The fact that she was willing to lie and cheat and showed her shitty character didn’t bother him at all so long as it wasn’t directed his way. He could betray his wife for three years but when his mistress betrayed him? Oh mylanta! You would have thought the world stopped. Again, how dare she?

I once read a letter in an advice column. The writer was telling the columnist that her boyfriend was amazing in every way except this one little thing. He belittled people he felt were beneath him- servers, salespeople, customer service reps. You know, the people who can’t say anything back if they want to keep their jobs. I’ll never forget the columnist telling the letter writer that that was who her boyfriend was. He was a person who could be wonderful to those he felt were deserving and who would talk down to and belittle those he felt were not. That’s who you’re hitching your wagon to. If you are of value to him he will treat you well. If you one day lose value in his eyes he will treat you like gum on the bottom of his shoe.

It always amazes me when cheaters are shocked and astounded when their affair partner betrays them in some way or does something heinous. I’m thinking of the women who leave their husbands for their lover, only to find out the lover has no intentions of leaving his wife. The mistress who calls up the wife to let her know about the affair. The mistress who was involved with multiple men yet claiming that each one of them was her “soul mate”. The mistress that “cheats” on her married lover. The lies that they tell their lover.

“They aren’t that kind of person!”

Yes, yes, they are!

“How dare they betray me!”

They’re a person with shitty character. They had no problem fucking another person’s spouse. What kind of a person did you think they were?

Lying, cheating, deception. Those things are all fine when you’re not the recipient of such behavior. The cheating spouse thinks they’re immune from all of that. The AP loves them! They would never do any of that stuff to them. They don’t deserve it, unlike the clueless spouse who has committed egregious sins, none of which they are aware.

Yet one day the mistress picks up the phone and tells the wife she’s been sleeping with her husband for three years, they’re in love and he’s going to leave the wife to be with her. The cheating husband hacks the STBX wife’s Facebook, goes through all her messages and realizes that while he was handing five grand over to his mistress each month she was still sleeping with her estranged husband when he left after their weekend hookups. The mistress writes a tell-all book or sells her story to any publication/news show willing to pay out to talk about her affair. The cheating husband finds out that he wasn’t the only one; that in fact the woman he was betraying his wife with, was sleeping with multiple other men at the same. The mistress hands over private, intimate texts to her brother which end up being published in the National Enquirer.

To their shocked outrage, their blind surprise, I say this: You knew what they were when you picked them up.

Ug!

I had a horrible thought! The stimulus checks are based upon your adjusted gross income. I completely forgot that Jerry Lee gets to deduct all of his spousal support paid to me. If he hasn’t filed his 2019 tax refund it’s possible his income would be under the $75,000 threshold. Fuck! Fuck me, fuck me, fuck me!

In 2018 he worked the entire year at his $100,000 a year job. Not only did he pay full spousal support all year (hooray him!) he also paid me another $16,000 in back support, which is why I got totally screwed taxes last year. Even if his income was a little above the $100,000 mark he would definitely be below the $75,000 threshold. Harley might be a little bit above it, but between the two of them I think they would be under the $150,000 threshold to get the full amount, and they will definitely be under the $198,000. Plus, she will get credit for at least one kid.

So that sucks. Despite the county enforcement agency having my case for over a year I don’t think there’s anything official on the books. Which means no stimulus check is going to be diverted to my bank account. I also know that Jerry Lee is too fucking stupid to put any of it aside for when court plays out. And, he’s not going to try to catch up on anything either. So looks like those two jackasses will get to play with approximately $2900 while I continue to wait for my day in court.

I’ll keep my fingers crossed that their 2019 taxes were already filed so everything was based off of that! He might still get some but it won’t be the full amount. I don’t know why but that makes me feel better.

As Joe Kenda Would Say, “My, My, My…”

My, my, my… what do you know? When faced with a contempt hearing it turns out he can pay what he’s been ordered to pay. At least as far as spousal support goes. He’s still holding out on modifying child support, of course, but he is paying the court ordered amount of spousal support. For now.

Life is so full of mysteries. Like, how even though he’s making more money now than when the original order came down, he couldn’t seem to come up with enough money to pay what was owed. I wonder if that’s because he doesn’t take into consideration his court ordered obligations before he decides where to live or how much he (they) can spend. Or, how he’s suddenly able to pay the full amount now that a court hearing is on the horizon. Do you think I would have seen that full amount unless he found out he was going back to court? I don’t.

I would have loved to have seen the look on his face when he found out I was taking him back for the missing spousal support AND $19,000 in back child support where he hasn’t modified the order. Even if I don’t get it just the thought of what he must have looked like when he found out is enough to make me smile. That doesn’t even include the legal fees he has yet to pay.

Thank you to everyone who mentioned the possibility of me getting his stimulus check because of back support. I don’t think that’s a possibility for several reasons, the main one being he makes too much money. He supposedly made $100,000 at the job in Kentucky. I would bet dollars to donuts that he got quite the nice raise when he made the move to Mississippi and yet another nice raise when he went to Georgia.

Then I started thinking about the possibility of them filing a joint income tax return so perhaps the stimulus check would be based upon their joint income. I don’t think she makes enough to disqualify herself from getting a check but I do think she probably makes over the $75,000 threshold, and together they make more than a couple can make and still get a check. I did think that would be hilarious though if they did get a stimulus check based upon the fact that she might qualify and then I turned around and got their check. I mean, I would find it hilarious; I’m sure they wouldn’t think it was anywhere near as funny.

Plus, I’m not even sure he’s on record as being behind. I really have no idea the status of my case, or if they’re at the point where they could take tax refunds and stimulus checks. I submitted my garnishment papers and have stated he never modified child support which makes him, oh, around $19,000 behind, but I don’t know that anyone at the state has actually entered that anywhere. In other words, I don’t know if any official enforcement office considers him to be in arrears.

Speaking of the glorious state of Indiana… I still have not heard from my caseworker. I emailed her close to a month ago, maybe more. I don’t know if she’s still working there, been fired or quit. I don’t know if she’s ignoring me. I don’t know if she told others to ignore me. I don’t even know if she knows at this point that he no longer lives in Mississippi. If she does she sure as hell hasn’t informed me. Maybe she’s hoping I’ll just go away.

Quite honestly, she may be getting her wish. My lawyer can’t understand why a judge in whatever state needs to be the one to modify the court order. I’m not going through this shit again. I won’t be able to get anything in place until December or January at the earliest. Picasso graduates in June. I’m supposed to go through all this crap in order to get less than six months of a garnishment? I don’t think so. My plan right now is to sit my lawyer down once I get the new order and have her help me fill out the forms I’ve printed off. Then I’ll send it directly to his place of employment. Once I know how to fill out the forms I’ll just keep a set handy for the next time he decides to switch jobs and I’ll send them to the next place as well. I hear the turnaround for that is pretty damn quick compared to the six freaking months it took to get… well, nowhere really. All that time only to finally get to the finish line and find out the motherfucker has moved again and no longer lives in Mississippi.

Oh well, in a world where people are being laid off left and right I still have a job, he’s still got a job, and he’s at least smart enough to continue paying.

One Hour

I ran a full hour on Sunday. 4.23 miles. I’ve been doing 45 minutes. I don’t know why I decided to up it. Something to do, I suppose. It really puts a damper on your night though when you run on a work day.

I got home around 5:30, changed my clothes, and I was outside walking to warm up around a little after 6. I ran for an hour and then walked the rest of the way home, which took me about 20 minutes. By the time I got home, showered, and put the shrimp in the toaster oven it was almost 8:00!

Tuesday was unseasonably warm for us. I think it was in the 70s when I went running. I did another hour, which I probably shouldn’t have seeing as how this was my first time running in warmer weather. I think this one was only 4.21 miles. I didn’t care. I was exhausted. Those last five minutes took forever! LOL

Here’s a funny thing: I’m actually kind of enjoying it and looking forward to it. I mean, on one hand, it eats up a huge chunk of my evening. And I’m always worried that I’m not going to make it the full time. It’s like this weight that hangs over me. Will I be able to do it again? Will I wuss out? On the other hand when I’m out there running, especially when I’ve gone 30 or 35 minutes, I keep telling myself, “Just think… 2 months ago you couldn’t even run 20 minutes at a time. Now you’re up to 45 minutes (or an hour)!”

It’s a lot like the first time when my running partner and I had finally conquered the 3 miles and we would talk about how running for 90 seconds used to be a challenge.

I’m out there. I’m doing it. I mostly like it. It’s leading to good things… I think…

Mini rant: People, for the love of God, research which side of the street you’re supposed to be on! I have so many people walking towards me because they’re on the wrong damn side. You walk/run into traffic. Or against it. However you’d like to phrase it. In other words, you should see the cars coming towards you! I even Googled it because I couldn’t believe so many people were doing it wrong. I thought maybe I had it wrong. I didn’t.

I think I almost prefer running on crappy weather days. Not as many people. On those nice days you’ve got everyone out since no one is allowed outside except for exercise. Families. Strollers. Dog walkers. Kids on bikes. It’s a zoo sometimes. But you run when it’s 40 degrees out or there’s the slightest bit of rain? Pretty dead.

I’m still doing the low carb thing. I have not yet found my sweet spot. Some days I have a hard boiled egg. Other days I take an Atkins bar. Before that if I didn’t have time for breakfast I would eat my carefully counted out 24 almonds. If I get up early enough I can do frozen sausage patties and fried or scrambled eggs. I really like to sleep as much as possible though. Plus, I end up with 8 grams of carbs for breakfast so if I add on those almonds as a mid-morning snack I’m up to 12 carbs before lunch.

It’s really hard with all the precautions they’re taking to bring any kind of salad that I would bring from home. I prefer to bring everything individually and put it together as one giant salad at work. For now, lunch varies. A lot of string cheese. I’ve been doing deli meat rollups. I’ll throw a pickle in. Some sugar free Jell-O. Sometimes I have tuna fish salad. Sometimes I have cottage cheese.

Dinner is typically a meat and a vegetable. I’ve been eating a lot of asparagus. I don’t know what I’m going to do when it’s out of season.

It seems like it was a lot easier when I did this the first time around. I was a stay at home mom. I could pull out my George Foreman grill and grill up a thin ribeye or sauté some shrimp in garlic butter. I remember making cheese quesadillas quite often. I also seem to remember being full and satisfied a lot more back then as well.

Don’t get me wrong. When I’m done eating I feel full. It’s just that I generally am not thinking, “Wow! That was really good!” I’m one of those people who needs to enjoy my food, not merely tolerate it. Plus, there are times I will feel full, stuffed even, and then 2 or 3 hours later I’m hungry again. It’s a challenge for sure, especially being downtown and around tempting food all the time.

I am actually at the top of the leaderboard for our weight loss challenge. I’ve lost 7+% of my body weight. My total still stands at 16.8 pounds. Unfortunately, I have not budged from that since Friday.

It is so hard to focus on the here and now instead of looking towards the future and how far I still have to go. I know many “experts” say it shouldn’t matter how long it takes. I myself know I didn’t put it all on overnight so it’s not going to come off overnight. Yet it’s disheartening when I realize even with what I’ve lost I’m still not back down to where I was after the divorce diet. I’m not sure I’m even down to where I was before the divorce diet. Maybe.

Oh well. I’ve just gotta keep going. I have small goals all along the way. Still haven’t settled on an ultimate goal. The stupid BMI says I should weigh no more than 130 pounds. Aside from the fact that it will take me over a year to get there I haven’t been under 130 since college. I don’t see that ever happening again.

Thanks for listening to me ramble.

COVID-19 and Long Distance Relationships, Part 2

I have tried to write this twice before. Each time it gets very dark and angry. We’ll see how the third attempt goes.

If you haven’t already heard the governor of Virginia has called for a shelter in place order until June 10th. Yes, that is correct. June 10th. More than 2 months from now.

I had planned on spending a week of vacation with the mobster. I see the man a handful of times throughout the year and most of those times we see each other for less than 48 hours. I don’t usually get to wherever it is we’re meeting until sometime between 10 and 11 at night on Friday. We have all of Saturday and then depending upon the time of year we leave to return home sometime between noon and 3. Occasionally we’ll have a longer bit of time but for the most part that’s what we get. So, out of the 14 days of personal and vacation time I get, I like to take 5 of those days and spend them with the mobster. It’s the one time each year I get to do that.

My vacation was slated to begin May 22nd, about 2 weeks before the governor’s order is up. Yes, I could violate the order. I’m generally a rule follower but I could tell the governor to fuck off, get in my car or on a plane, and go to Virginia. I might not be able to actually get into Virginia but I could attempt it. I guess I will have to wait and see what happens.

Maybe the governor will rescind the order. Maybe things will get a lot better a lot sooner than everyone is thinking. I sure hope so. Because this separation sucks. It sucks a lot.

I feel like Sally Field’s character at the end of Steel Magnolias. I’m just so angry. I want to hit something. I want to hit something and make it feel as bad as I do. That pretty much sums it up.  She couldn’t do anything about her daughter dying and I can’t do anything about this stupid COVID-19 and the havoc it’s wrecking. It’s kind of like my divorce. All those horrible things forced upon me and I had no choice but to keep going and hope that eventually it would get better.

So I’m trying to be optimistic and upbeat. Honestly, what good does being pissed off, sad, and/or angry do? It doesn’t help. It doesn’t stop the spread. It doesn’t make the governor open up the commonwealth. It doesn’t make life go back to normal. No, you’ve just gotta hang on and ride out the wave. Nothing else to do. With that in mind I’m trying very hard to adopt a, “WTF ever,” attitude.

Vacation canceled? Oh well. No big deal. I’ll go next year. Can’t see the mobster for 3 months? Who cares? I’ll see him in six months, I guess.

The problem with this is I don’t do Zen real well. Oh, I can. I definitely can do it. It’s just that every time I have it’s boomeranged back and hit me in the ass. The pool that took 10 weeks to complete instead of the promised 3? After telling myself not to sweat it and I would have it for years to come I got to enjoy it for 6 days before my life blew up. Garnishing Mr. Jackass? After telling myself it would all be worth it and he could never fuck with me again I’m right back at square one. He’s moved to yet another state and I still don’t have a garnishment order. I probably never will. He will do whatever the fuck he wants to do until the end of time. So… telling myself not to stress and that I’ve got all the time in the world or we’ll spend the rest of our lives together one day, doesn’t really work for me. Mainly because I’ve never seen it come to fruition.

I suppose I should be thankful that our relationship is so strong that we can withstand a three to four month separation. I’m sure a lot of people couldn’t, especially in this day and age of immediate gratification.

I mean, we already get a raw deal. Our spouses walked out on us, leaving our kids behind. We’ve both chosen to do the right thing by our kids instead of creating yet more turmoil in their lives. This means instead of moving our kids we’re remaining 10.5 hours apart. Because of that we get to see each other typically every 2-6 weeks. Usually more like every 3-4 weeks. And we get ONE full day. One. I’m sure no one expected it to last but here we are- almost 3 years later.

Will it suck if I have to cancel my vacation? Yes. Will it suck if I don’t get to see him until late June? Yes. Yet what am I going do? Absolutely nothing. Grin and bear it. Try not to think about it.

I’m thankful I’m not a teller and going through this. A week lasted forever because I was always so bored. At least with my current job the week tends to go by somewhat quickly. When I was a teller I would go crazy when it was three weeks or longer before we could see each other because each week was agony. It went by so slowly. It was like our weekend together was never going to get there.

We’ve said many times that we probably talk more than most couples who live together. I call him every morning on my way to work. We FaceTime at lunch. We FaceTime again at night. Sometimes those conversations don’t last very long. Sometimes there’s a fourth call. Or a fifth. Sometimes we’re doing other things while we talk. But we do talk. A lot. Again, probably a lot more than most people who live together.

I’m thankful we’ve got FaceTime and email and text messaging and free long distance. Years ago I dated another guy from Virginia. He was my first love. We wrote letters to each other. Every week. Aside from that initial meeting I think we got together two, maybe three times more. There was no texting. Not even phone calls. Long distance was expensive back then. Ironically, we reconnected four years later. I think I did see him a few more times that time around, and we did talk on the phone. Long distance was still expensive but we both had jobs. Our phone bills were outrageous! So yes, I’m definitely thankful for technology. Even though I’m not right by his side every day it is still very easy to feel connected to the mobster when I talk to him and am able to see him via video each day.

I’m not going to think about it. If I can’t go next month I’ll cancel my vacation days. Even if I can go I’m still not going to think about how far in the distance that time is. It does me no good. It just depresses me. And makes me hate everyone who does get to be with their love. So I’m going to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and declare, “I’ll think about that another day.” I’m putting my head down and plowing onward.

I plan to do the same with everything else this stupid virus has effected. I know there are a lot of people at work that are complaining they aren’t letting us work from home. Honestly, I don’t care. I found that I’m very distracted working from home. I’m on my phone. I’m checking stuff out online. I’m not very productive. Maybe if I were swamped with work I would be more diligent but the day I worked from home for a few hours, I was not. I’ll continue going in, not that I have a choice in the matter. I’ll tell myself that parking two blocks away is good for me because I get my steps in. What a bonus for me! And I’ll continue to pack my lunch and eat downstairs in the atrium. Thank God that’s still open because otherwise I’d be out in my car eating. It saves me money. I’ll continue to stand where they want me to in the damn elevator and try to think of all of this as one grand adventure. A positive attitude is a wonderful thing! Call me Mary fucking Poppins. That’s me.

In all seriousness though I have everything I need to do my job. I have a fairly large work space. I’m six feet away from all my co-workers. I’m not working in a dungeon. If I can work up my nerve to go to the 2nd floor and get some snacks it might be okay.

I’ve got a job; I’m getting paid. I’m supposed to get a check for $1200, which I don’t technically need. Jerry Lee is paying his court ordered support. I’m putting money away so that I’m only living on spousal support and my pay.

I’m going to cut way back on Facebook because it’s driving me nuts. I can’t take the self righteousness and the sanctimony. No, we are not all self-quarantined at home! We are not all sitting at home on our asses, eating junk food and binge watching Netflix. End of story. I cannot even with those people.

I am going to try to catch up on my Hallmark Christmas movies. I’ve already watched three of them. I’ve got quite a few to go.

I’m going to keep running three times a week. Maybe I’ll even up it to four times a week.

Life will be back to normal one of these days. Eventually, I keep telling myself, the mobster and I will live in the same state. I’ll keep plugging along until then.

Huh… So This Happened 8 Years Ago Today

I came across this tonight.

Screenshot_20200406-191012_Facebook

Just to be clear the original post was simply about setting Jerry Lee up on Facebook. I added the rest of that a few years later. 🙂

We were in Kentucky for Easter when I did this. Staying with Tammy Faye and Pastor Fake. He had resisted forever and I thought it would be funny to create a profile for him. In hindsight I don’t think funny was the correct word. Tragic. Life changing. Foolish. Let’s go with a moment in time that irrevocably changed the course of my life and the lives of my children. But that’s not all!

This was the same weekend that Jezebel took Jerry Lee to meet her future husband, #3. Completely excluded me. Gave me a bullshit story about how they never got to do anything just the two of them. I was stupid enough to believe that. He was already lying and I hadn’t a clue.

By April or May of the next year, 2013, Jerry Lee was cheating on me with Harley. In May, Mother’s Day weekend in fact, he admitted to texting her and swore he would end it. In June, Jezebel and #3 got married. Good ol’ Jerry Lee went by himself to the wedding. By himself I mean without his wife and children. I’m fairly certain that they met up that weekend. They certainly had plans to. They were even going to get tattoos together. And in August I found out he hadn’t ended it with Harley after all.

This time of year in 2014 we were replacing carpet and flooring in our Utah home as we prepared to move across the country to Virginia. Two months later we would buy a home in Harrisonburg and three months later we, the kids and I, would make the move and join Jerry Lee.

This time of year in 2015 I was suicidal. My gut was screaming at me but I continued to bury my head in the sand. Surely he wouldn’t move us across the country, invest all the money we had invested in this new life, and then turn around and take up with Harley again. Oh, but he would. Almost four months to the day I would find out about his affair with Harley.

Eight years ago today I ended my life as I knew it. I had no clue at that moment what I had just done.

 

FAFSA Hell

If you are a parent and you’ve had to fill this ridiculous thing out I salute you. It always takes me at least an hour to do what should take me 10-15 minutes tops.

This year was no different. We started off with the username and password from last year not being correct. So I had to first change my username. Then find out my password wasn’t correct. Change my password. Then find out I can’t even get to the fucking site because my browser isn’t compatible. I updated that three or four times. Still couldn’t get in. Then I finally get in and I can’t upload my tax information to her form. Of course I can’t! Why would anything go smoothly? I then spend almost an hour looking up my tax information from 2018. Thank God for that interstate meeting that never went anywhere back in September.

All of this hell and my guess is, after asking me how much I received in child support (Child support? Really?) and how much I currently have in the bank and then needing to give them my adjusted gross earnings for 2018 I’m fucked. No, my daughter is fucked. I would be surprised if they even offer her loans this coming year.

I swear to God before this is all over I’m going to march into that financial aid office and tell them to take her goddamn name off their call lists. She doesn’t need to give that fucking a school another dime once she graduates. She gave them all their money upfront. Call all the kids you gave a free ride to; leave my kid the fuck alone!

One Angry Rant

I was going to write something completely different. Then I sat down to do my taxes and I didn’t have what I needed, and I was looking at all the medical bills from my daughter’s trip to the ER and the doctor back in November, including the financial assistance form the hospital sent to her. The end result is I’m pissed.

I try to be in a good mood. I try to focus on the positives. Then real life storms in and I’m knocked on my ass.

Taxes? Well, I thought I had all of my documentation. I was going to do my own taxes this year instead of sending them off to my friend. I had what I thought was a tax document from my money guy who now has my IRA. I took money out to pay to break Rock Star’s housing contract back in June. I knew he had taken taxes out for that. I thought that was what the form was. But no! It was actually a tax form from Jerry Lee’s old employer where the 401k had been. I’ve got a tax document that shows me making 3 times my salary because I withdrew the money from the 401k. I don’t have a document showing where I put the money into an IRA. So I have to go look for that. That’s going to be fun. If I can’t find it I’ll have to call my money guy and have him send me another one so that the IRS doesn’t think I’ve made over $100k this year.

The other document that I thought was my W-2 from work was actually just documentation showing I had health care coverage. Thank God! I don’t have a W-2; I’m pretty sure I threw that away when the other form came in the mail and I no longer have a working printer.

I still have to submit my tax forms for Rock Star’s FAFSA. That will take an hour or more. Every year it does. What should be a simple task that takes five minutes max always turns into a clusterfuck that leaves me fuming for an hour or more. This year I’m prepared for it to take an hour. I’m also fully prepared to put in my password and have them tell me it’s incorrect and for me to try to get into the site for, well, an hour. All the while cussing up a storm because what should be so fucking simple takes forever.

Next on my agenda is to pay these medical bills that keep coming in. $5 here. $25 here. $200 there. Oh, and let’s not forget the $4200 ER bill.

If I get COVID-19 and have to go to the hospital I’m telling you right now I’m returning back home and dying. I don’t have the fucking money to pay yet another $5500 in deductibles. Hell, if Rock Star gets it she’s going to have to either pull through on her own or fucking die. I don’t have the goddamn money.

They sent the financial aid form to the house. It looked exactly like another bill. It’s to her but I’m fairly certain I’m considered the responsible party. They want my tax forms from last year (or this year but we’ve already established I haven’t done them yet and I don’t have a printer anyway). They want W-2s. They want income of everyone in the house. Long story short, I don’t believe they’re going to give us any kind of financial help. I’m going to be stuck with this entire bill.

Apparently when your yearly earnings, including spousal and child support, fall right around $50,000 you are rich beyond measure! You can pay a $4200 medical bill- on top of all the other small bills here and there that add up.

I would consider taking her off of my medical insurance but I don’t think that would help. It could help me, I suppose. Every time she gets sick she ends up going to the Urgent Care center because she doesn’t have a doctor down there. I don’t think that goes towards my deductible. I just have to pay out of pocket. If I took her off my insurance I’d probably get $65 more per paycheck. $130 a month x 12 months. That’s $1560 I could put aside for all of her doctor visits. Since I still claim her as my dependent I don’t think she can get Medicaid but even without it- an additional $1560 in my pocket for the year? Unless she continues to go to the ER on a regular basis, of course.

Every time I get just a little further ahead my kid needs something. I’ve been faithfully putting the child support away so that I don’t have to quickly budget to live on almost $1000 less when Picasso graduates. I guess I could take the entire amount I’ve built up in savings and send that to the hospital. Start all over at zero. I was thinking maybe I could pay off some credit card debt or pay more towards my car so that it’s paid off before October. Nope. I’ve got a $4200 ER bill to pay. That $1200 stimulus check I was going to use to either cushion my savings or again, pay off some debts? Yeah, that’s all going towards her fucking ER bill. I haven’t even paid this off and she’s already whining, “I need to get my wisdom teeth out!” She probably does. She’s been complaining about it for about two years now. I don’t have the fucking money for it.

On top of all of this wonderful news she didn’t correctly calculate how much she was going to need for rent. Probably because she insisted her lease ran from August-May. I repeatedly tried to tell her I didn’t think that was correct. But no! She insisted it wasn’t a full year long lease. Well guess what? It is.

I paid her rent in December when she ran out of money. I just paid her rent for April. She’s got no money in her account. It looks like I’m going to be paying her rent in May as well. So that’s another almost $500 I get to come up with. Thank God Jerry Lee is paying because if he doesn’t? Well, Rock Star’s going to need to get her ass up here and work at the hospital.

I feel bad bitching about this. I am the parent. I should be the one taking care of her. She spent 15 years never needing to worry about any of this. Then her dad walks out and life has never been the same. I’m pissed off that I’m in such a shitty financial situation that I actually want my kid to avoid medical care because I can’t afford it. What kind of a decent parent tells their kid to suck it up and not go to the ER when their symptoms aren’t improving? Hell, what kind of a decent parent tells their kid they need to wait yet another year to get their wisdom teeth out because they can’t afford it?

I’m pissed that I have such shitty insurance and that I’m court ordered to maintain it, although not for her. It’s ridiculous. I pay what amounts to over $430 per month and it covers almost nothing. Oh, I can get a flu shot for free every year. I didn’t until last year because I needed the points for the extra money, but I can. Immunizations are free. As I saw with Picasso’s original bill, that would have been over $1000. Then again, I could have paid for that in roughly three months. I can get a Pap smear and a mammogram. Don’t care. I went 3-4 years without getting one. I’m probably getting a deal on high blood pressure medication. And her anxiety medication. But that’s it. I’m pretty sure for what I pay in premiums I could set that money aside and still have more money in my account.

I’m also pissed at myself that I made such horrible decisions- the decision to marry him, the decision to have children with him, the decision to move all over the country with him instead of focusing on a career of my own, the decision to stay at home with my kids. All horrible, horrible choices. He couldn’t have left back when I was younger and still had a chance. Nope, he had to wait until I was almost 50, had been out of the workforce for 15 years, and had almost no chance of ever getting a decent paying job. Thanks, asshole!

I’m mad and frustrated with my daughter because of shitty choices I’ve made and shitty circumstances; it’s not her fault. I’m the one that didn’t teach her to budget. I’m the one that hasn’t put the brakes on her spending. I’m the one who tries to keep doing for her. I’m the one that doesn’t want her life to completely change.

She’s a good kid. She’s a hard working, driven kid. She’s been working since she turned 16. She is generally very responsible. She’s taken out student loans to pay for her college education. I couldn’t even help her with that this year.

The first year I paid the remaining $4000 balance that loans and scholarships didn’t cover, and gave her money for books. Her second year, as I said, I couldn’t help her at all. Her student loans paid her tuition and paid for her books. They paid for her rent all first semester except December. Second semester they’ve paid for her books, her tuition, and apparently 3 months of rent. I was paying $500 a month last year when Jerry Lee was paying what he was ordered to, so this shouldn’t be any different.

I know it’s not what I wanted to spend the money on but I suppose I’ve got it. I may as well pay her entire bill so that the hospital can continue to cover those who get all that free medical care.

Day At the Races

I should be in Virginia right now. It’s a little after 5 pm so our race would have been long over. We should have been taking pictures at the finish line. I should have been congratulating him on a race well run and he should have been cheering me on as I slowly jogged across the finish line 20 minutes or so after him. We should be talking about where we’re going out tonight, maybe playing some Pokemon. Last night I should have been having a pre-race spaghetti dinner with the mobster, despite me being on a low carb diet. Thursday after work I should have got in my car and started the drive to Virginia. We should be together. Period. Instead, I’m sitting here in bed in Indiana. I’m surrounded by 3 dogs. I’m waiting to go take a run. The weather is crappy- gray and rainy and not all that warm. In fact, I’d say it’s downright chilly.

I know I’m not the only person who has had plans interrupted. The Indiana governor has declared schools will not re-open and eLearning will continue through the end of the year. My nephew graduates this year. I have no idea if he’ll have a graduation ceremony. I have many friends who have graduating seniors this year. I feel awful for them. Many of these kids were looking forward to Senior Day, prom, the last high school musical/choir performance/orchestra or band concert, their last spring sports season. They won’t get to celebrate their last day of school. They may not even get to see their friends again, assuming the schools are up and running in the fall.

I feel guilty, too, because the truth of the matter is if it had happened when either of my kids were a senior it wouldn’t have been a big deal.

Rock Star hated her last two years of high school. She never felt like she fit in. She didn’t really have friends. If she didn’t cheer I don’t think she would have gone to a single football or basketball game. She didn’t have friends over. She didn’t go out. She went through the motions, put her head down, and did what she needed to do to graduate and get the hell out of there.

Picasso hates school. Hates it. He has no interest in prom. He never played school sports. Most of his friends are a year older than him so it’s not like he would have missed anyone and been upset over not having a chance to say goodbye.

My supervisor’s father died. Those of us working at the downtown location couldn’t do anything except sign a card for her. I don’t think they could have a visitation and even if they could those of us at the new location wouldn’t have been allowed to go. I believe the funeral was pretty much family only.

The Virginia governor has put the commonwealth in lockdown until June 10th. My vacation was scheduled to start the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Unless he rescinds the order it looks like I won’t be going to see the mobster in May.

In the Dallas, Texas area the lockdown has been extended to late May. I can’t remember if it was the 21st or the 27th. Either way, it’s a long damn time.

My mom heard that somewhere a governor has banned all sales of non-essential items. So, if you’re at WalMart to buy food and toilet paper (good luck!) you can’t also buy a lunch bag or toys.

In Michigan the governor is banning short term rentals and Air BnBs. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before other states do the same, which means if we do decide to say, “Fuck it!” and meet up we will have to make the full trip to either Indiana or Virginia. Flying is cheap now, so there is that. At least until they ban flying and start having check points at all the state and county lines.

I try not to think about it because it’s so frustrating and disappointing. I want to scream but there’s absolutely nothing I can do about any of it. I try not to count the days because it pisses me off. If that order stands it will be 3 1/2 months before I get to see the mobster again.

This world is surreal right now, isn’t it? Gas is at an all time low and flights are cheap. But you can’t go anywhere. People are being arrested for going outside. They’re limiting how many people can go into a Wal-Mart or Target or any other type of store at a time. There are food shortages and it’s difficult to find toilet paper still. Millions of people are out of work or working from home (not me but millions of others). Facebook is flooded with posts from people telling others to stay home and flatten the curve. Or, talking about Tiger King and what to binge watch on Netflix. Others talk about how much weight they’re going to gain during this quarantine. Still others talk about all this great quality family time they’re getting now since they’re no longer running the kids to a million different after school activities.

I guess part of my bad attitude is the fact that this stupid virus isn’t giving me any benefits, like extra family time, time off of work, Netflix binging, time to organize, comfort eating… My list goes on and on.

My time to run kids around for activities has passed. I have a 19 year old still down on campus (well, off campus apartments) and a 17 year old who spends most of his life in his room online. It’s not bringing me extra family time. In fact, I completely forgot next week is Easter. The bank gives us a half day on Friday and I don’t really give a shit this year. I’ll work the whole fucking day. I don’t care!

I doubt I will be buying Easter baskets. Can’t get to the store. If I get to the store I have to wait in line. I don’t have time for that shit. Perhaps I will buy something online and ship it directly to Rock Star.

Easter dinner will be the three of us- me, my mom, and Picasso. I’m doing low carb anyway so most of the stuff we would have I can’t eat. Quite honestly I don’t feel like celebrating. I have never been a big fan of making big huge holiday dinners for the same people that you see every day.

I still go to work every day. I’m essential. I qualify for Medicaid and don’t make enough money to actually have my own home but goddamn it, I’m essential! I’m so essential that they’ve taken me out of my regular building and plopped me down into our downtown office that houses hundreds of employees. I’m so essential that I park two blocks away and walk to the building because they’re too fucking cheap to pay for our parking in the garage that is connected to the damn building. Meanwhile, back at my old building they’ve got people stuffed into cubicles like sardines. My partner said she had never seen the building so full.

On one hand they email us every day about social distancing, washing our hands, and all of us doing our parts. They’ve eliminated all business travel. They are doing their best to limit our personal travel by making us self report if we leave the area and then forcing us into quarantine for 14 days when we come back. They’re limiting riders in the elevator to four people and even have handy dandy little floor diagrams in case we’re too stupid to figure out where to stand. They want everyone to stay on their own floor and not move around the building (even though the only break room in the building with vending machines seems to be on the 2nd floor). They have a brand new maze to get to said break room with the vending machines so that you aren’t passing by people’s offices. They are forbidding you from sharing food. They’ve taken away the ice machines and the coffee pots. In our new office space we are now forbidden to go into the mail room to drop off our mail because the hallway is too narrow and we wouldn’t be able to maintain a six foot distance if anyone else should come in. In fact, we are forbidden to use that hallway at all (people use it as a shortcut to get to the other side of the building). Yet, back at my old building people are seated less than six feet apart all day long. Two of my co-workers measured the distance. Side by side they sit approximately four feet apart. The people behind and in front of you? Probably less than three. We didn’t measure that.

They are testing to see if some of these so-called essential workers can work from home. I was one of the six or eight test subjects so I worked from home one afternoon last week and then for two hours in the morning a day or two later. But I’ve heard that they’ll only have us work from home as a last resort.

Meanwhile, HR apparently sent a letter to those who are high risk in our company and told them they could work at home. My partner is one of those people. She’s 65 so her age alone qualifies her. She started Wednesday, I think.

I’m glad I have a job still and that I’m not relying solely upon Jerry Lee paying spousal and child support, and yet it still grates on the nerves when I hear over and over and over, “Stay home!” I would love to, but I can’t. I’m not binge watching Tiger King; I’m not binge watching anything. I’m not running out of things to binge watch. I haven’t watched much TV in two to three years. I don’t have shit tons of time to organize things and make sure my house is in tip top shape. First of all, I don’t have a house and second of all I’m still working 40 hours a week. And running three days a week.

I’m trying so hard to look on the bright side and it’s so difficult. Even the job thing… The rumor is those on unemployment are getting an extra $600 per week. I realize that for many people that would barely make a dent in what they make; however, after paying taxes and insurance premiums and contributing my piddly amounts to my HSA account and 401k, I don’t bring much more than that home every two weeks. So if I were laid off I would be doubling my income. Hmmm…. doubling my income and not having to do anything? That does sound better than going to work forty hours a week under increasingly horrible conditions.

Still I try to be positive. At least I’m not in the situation where I have no job and unemployment doesn’t come close to paying the bills needed to pay. I’m not worried about paying rent or a mortgage (although I do find it interesting that off campus apartment complexes aren’t giving the kids a break on their rent- so much for not paying). I’m doing okay financially so long as Jerry Lee continues to pay. I know from my 20 years with him that his new company not only produces corrugated but a lot of paper products. Combine that with the fact that many corrugated plants run for a lot of food vendors and I am confident that he will be working throughout this pandemic.

With me still working and going to an office every day I am not one of those people wanting to bring back days of the week underwear because they don’t know which day it is. Life remains fairly normal for me. I leave the house sometime between 7:30 and 7:40, work until 5, get home sometime between 5:30 and 6, run for 45 minutes, come home and eat, shower, talk to the mobster and then go to bed. I’m not losing my mind. I’m not homeschooling young children. My mom is usually the one making the grocery store runs on Senior Day, although I told her today we should probably switch over to InstaCart.

I would love to throw caution to wind and partake in some amazing comfort food. A pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey, a bag of salt and vinegar chips, maybe some chocolate chip cookies or a chocolate cake with vanilla icing. Hell, I’d appreciate a nice bowl of soup. But, instead I’m making due with low carb choices. Bacon or sausage and eggs for breakfast on the weekends. Just a hard boiled egg or maybe some heated up sausage patties on weekdays. Rediscovering pork rinds so I can actually snack occasionally. I found a really good low carb ice cream bar; I can’t eat it often because it’s still 8 or 9 grams of carbs and I’m trying to stay below 30. My lunch many times consists of a hard boiled egg or two and two pieces of string cheese. Or tuna fish salad minus the bread. Dinner is always a toss up. Last night my mom and the boy had tuna fish and noodles. I had the remaining leftover piece of KFC chicken and green beans.

The good news is I’m down 16.8 pounds since beginning the weight loss challenge at work. We started March 9th.

I’m still running, as I alluded to above. I’m up to 45 minutes. I’m focusing on time now instead of distance which is a good thing. I think I’m usually running right around 3.2 miles. The part that really sucks is that the path back home is an incline. It’s not a steep incline; I’m not running up a huge hill. It’s an incline, nonetheless, and when I’ve ran 40 minutes and I’m at the end of my rope I really don’t want to be running on an incline. But, I do. I’ve got no choice unless I want to be a good 15-20 minutes away from my house when I finally finish.

That’s about as positive as I can be on this gray, gloomy day when I should be with my love in sunny Virginia.