There’s That Word Again- Change

A few weeks ago I was teasing my daughter, telling her that now that she had a new boyfriend she was going to leave me and move in with him and I would never see her again. She told me not to be ridiculous and that she intended to live with me for at least two years after college graduation. Then the other night we were out to dinner and she announces that she’s going to be looking for jobs at hospitals further south in our state. Apparently they pay more.

I know it’s not unexpected. Children grow up and they leave the nest. It’s what we’re meant to do as parents. It’s a sign of successfully raising our children, not a sign of failure.

Meanwhile, Picasso has long spoken of his desire to get an apartment and be on his own shortly after high school. Who knows how that will play out? Maybe he will. Maybe he won’t. I’m not rushing it by any means.

Nonetheless it resulted in me thinking about this whole parenthood thing and how it changes.

They start out as these little babies who are completely dependent upon you, and then grow into toddlers who must be watched constantly so that they’re not painting your walls or climbing on top of refrigerators, or cutting their brother’s hair. Or was that just my experience with toddlers? You get to that point where you think you’re never going to eat a meal without interruption again. You may never go to the bathroom again without an audience. I swore for the first three years or so of my daughter’s life that I was never going to take a shower by myself again. I was really really looking forward to having one in kindergarten and the other in preschool so that I could have two hours to myself again.

Then school begins. If you’re like me you get weepy eyed and start projecting into the future where your five year old is now going off to college instead of into kindergarten at the school two miles away. But you adjust. You begin to volunteer at the school and you run your kid around to various extracurricular activities. Even in kindergarten Miss Rock Star was a busy one. She had Bible Club, gymnastics, dance. Eventually Picasso was signed up for gymnastics as well, although he didn’t stick with it.

You’re busy with classroom parties, book fairs, talent shows, volunteering at Career Day, and helping them make Valentine’s Day boxes. You’re helping them get together an outfit for the Wax Museum, overseeing them at the 6th grade Valentine’s Day dance, and picking up cards, and Christmas gifts, and school supplies and all those little items you don’t even think about until your child is in school.

Before you know it you’re escorting your baby into the middle school so they can figure out their locker combinations and tour this new school. You think the world is ending and your poor baby is in peril from all these “big” kids.

The real shock comes when they enter high school. You listen at orientation as the seniors assure both them and you that they’ll love it here; it will become their new home and that those four years will fly by.

They’re not lying. Those high school years really do fly by. Next thing you know you’re attending their graduation, planning their graduation party, and shopping for items for their dorm room. Then you drive them down to that big school, help them unload their things, maybe shop for a few groceries with them. Finally you drive away, holding back your tears, knowing they’re entering a brand new phase in their life, and that things will never be the same again. 

All this time you’ve been running kids around. You’ve invested your time, your money, your life into these little humans who are not so little anymore.

There were so many things I didn’t do because I had kids. So many things I would have liked to have tried or participated in, but I didn’t because I put my kids first and I was always busy with them and their activities. 

I don’t want it to seem like I did nothing because I did have a pretty full life. As the kids got older I volunteered. I had friends. I played Bunko. I met people for lunch and breakfast. There were definitely things I couldn’t do though because I had to think of my kids. Jerry Lee was not much help and would whine and pout whenever he was left with the kids by himself, so I never had a girl’s weekend with my friends. I didn’t go out in the evening much, especially when the kids were little. The only reason I was able to throw myself a birthday party years ago was because my brother was willing to come up and watch all of the kids. It got easier as they got older, but there were still things I wouldn’t do because they needed me and they came first. This entire life after divorce has been about them and their needs.

Now, in another 2-3 years I won’t have any kids at home more than likely. Rock Star will probably have an amazing job offer before she’s even graduated. May of 2022 will be here before I know it. I’ll attend her pinning ceremony and she’ll probably move directly from her little house she’s renting with her friends, into an apartment of her own. If her plans pan out she’s going to be a good 2 1/2-3 hours away. I will rarely get to see her. I know it’s not a huge distance considering I moved 23 hours away from my own mom, but she’s a busy girl. I don’t see her coming home frequently. She already doesn’t come home frequently. 

Oh, I know. It’s the way it’s supposed to be. It’s yet another change. I’ll go from being a mom first to being a person first. No more will I have to consider my kids before making plans. I’ve long said that by the time I’m finally able to buy a house my kids won’t be living with me any longer. That makes me sad.

You put so much time and effort into being a parent. So much money. I think back on all the things I did without so that my kids could have what they wanted and needed. I think about all the times my days or weekends were filled with their activities. Even looking back on our summers, which I fully enjoyed, I realize they were all centered around entertaining them. Long days at the amusement park, the water parks, hikes, the rollerskating rink, the museums. And then one day it’s over. Your job is done. They leave the nest and you’re all alone, trying to figure out the next step.

I’m not as traumatized as this is making it seem. I know you never stop being a parent. I know that in many cases they return home or they still need you for advice and support. I am exhibit A, after all. Nevertheless, it’s a huge change. One that I’m trying to wrap my mind around. Once both of my kids are out of the house and on their own a large part of my identity is going to leave with them. The only constant seems to be change.

What Is It With This Post?

Jesus Christ on crutches! What is it with this post? I have had three people now have a bone to pick with me over this.

If you haven’t read this post I’ll give you a real quick Cliff Notes version. If you choose to stay with your spouse but you’re still pining after your affair partner get the fuck out! Go to that person and stop wasting your spouse’s life.

How does this get so many contentious responses? I am begging the cheater to go be with the other person. You would think they would be happy about this. But no! They react as though I’ve suggested branding them with a scarlet A or placing them in the stockades and letting people throw rotten eggs at them. 

One person suggested I sounded like a very bitter person who surrounded herself with a lot of cats. First of all, I don’t have any cats. My daughter does. I love my grand cats very much. They are delightful. Do not diss Poppy or Maverick. Second of all, I’m more of a dog person. Between the mobster and myself we’ve got four. Third of all, what kind of an insult is that anyway? Yeah, you must like cats! Oh burn!

The next two want to get all philosophical with me. Kate let me know she found this very “therapeutic” and that she, too, used to feel that way about “the other woman.” I’m guessing that stopped when she began an affair of her own. Funny how you’re okay with it when you’re the one doing it. She wanted me to know that I didn’t really know the other woman was a whore and that even though I “knew” I had squeezed every last bit of information about the affair from my cheater he was probably still unlikely to be honest about whether or not he missed the affair or affair partner. She then goes on to tell me she realizes I believe he’s one in a million and different from most men.

Did she read my blog before commenting? I do not think Jerry Lee is one in a million or that he’s different. I think he’s an entitled ass. I told her as much, too.

Finally, she chastises me for calling the other woman a whore, letting me know it sounds silly and people will get nothing out of my posts. I told her if she had no problem with some woman riding my husband’s dick then she could get off my ass for calling that woman a whore.

Oh, I forgot this gem: Trust me, one day you’ll be a lot less critical of people and happiness will follow.

Yes, I’m sure embracing whores will make me giddy. I suppose not having a moral compass can be freeing for some.

Then, just a day or so ago I get another comment taking me to task. This one, calling herself sorrynotsorry, let me know how wrong I was about the other women and this idea that the affair is not real life.

“It is real life!” she insists. I have no idea how many women are out there, doing their cheating lover’s laundry, making his meals, taking whatever leftover scraps of his time he’s willing to offer. Of course, in her situation it was the wife who was the secret; everyone knew them as a couple. So there! I’m wrong, wrong, wrong!

It happens. It’s rare, but it happens. Sure, some people get played. If it came as such a shock that her beloved was married after spending all of these nights, holidays and weekends with her, then I’d say he’s one hell of a liar. Probably a sociopath as well. Great catch there! She’s so busy patting herself on the back because this man uses his wife’s home as a boarding house and treats her with disrespect, that she doesn’t realize he’s no prize.

Once again, my favorite parts are where she’s calling me pathetic. I’m pathetic because I’m trying to fool myself into thinking the affair is meaningless. And pointing the finger at the other woman is also pathetic and desperate. Can’t forget desperate. Oh yes, I will probably never measure up to the so called whore and that’s why he’s stayed with her for so many years. He only stays with me because of the children and finances. Also, I’m bitter and hurt because the man I love has chosen to love someone else.

OK, first, does anyone actually read my blog before they comment or do they see the word “whore” and lose their shit? He’s not staying with me for the kids and financial reasons. I’m not with him; I left his cheating ass. He has abandoned his children for his gold digging, jailbird cousin. Yes, she is a whore. No, I don’t worry about measuring up to her; there is no comparison. No, I don’t want him back. I’m not bitter or hurt; my new guy is so much more amazing than Jerry Lee could ever hope to be.

Can you imagine the vitriol I would get if I was actually slamming them? I’m encouraging them to leave their spouses in order to be with the affair partner and they lose their freaking minds! Don’t call me a whore! How dare you say our affair isn’t real life? Who cares if it’s real or not? I’m doing you a freaking favor. I’m on your side, if you will.

I mean, sure, I don’t think it’s going to be all sunshine and roses for the happy couple. One of them is a person who cheats on their spouse, and the other is a person who has no problem with fucking someone else’s spouse. They’re both liars and people with no moral compass. Nonetheless, give it a go. Grab the bull by the horns. You only live once. Stop wasting a good person’s life while you fuck around on the side.

Sorry, haters, the advice remains the same. Shit or get off the pot. If you miss your affair partner so much then leave your spouse and go be with that person. Stop being a cake eating pussy. If this advice hurts your feelings? Well then, bless your heart.

Father’s Day 2020

Another Father’s Day is here. Neither of my kids have any plans to wish their dad a happy Father’s Day. To my knowledge neither of them bought him a card (not that they have his address, of course) or a gift. My daughter did say she messaged the mobster to wish him a happy Father’s Day. Picasso mentioned how he should buy him a goofy mug because he knew he would love it and use it. Basically, we’re doing nothing around here today in honor of Father’s Day.

My first Father’s Day without him my daughter recognized me on this day. Maybe the second year as well. I don’t remember. One year I bought myself a fire pit for Father’s Day and one of my co-workers texted me to wish me a happy Father’s Day.

I know I’m not Dad. I’m simply a mom who is doing the work of both parents because Daddy Dearest is busy with his new life, pretending to be a wonderful father to a kid that isn’t his.

I am part of a Facebook group called Chump Lady Nation. If you’ve been cheated on feel free to look it up and ask to join. It’s open to anyone who has experienced infidelity.

Someone asked what fathers who abandon their own offspring must be feeling today, or what do they say to justify it? Interesting question.

Mainly, I think they feel just fine. You don’t abandon your kids if they’re important to you. He walked away. He’s got Harley blowing sunshine up his ass, telling everyone who will listen what a great father he is. I guess she doesn’t count those two kids he abandoned and never sees. They don’t fit the narrative. Just concentrate on everything he does for her child. See? Great dad!

The other thought I had is that this is the perfect time to play the victim. It’s his chance to post a public message on Facebook and talk about how much he loves and misses Picasso and Rock Star. He’ll get another chance to tell the world that even though they probably won’t see his message to him he loves them to the moon and back. He loves them more than they will ever know. It tears him apart to be away from them. Poor, poor, sad, wittle Jerry Lee, longing to be acknowledged by his children who have been brainwashed by me, the evil, satanic, demonic ex-wife.

People will rally around him and tell him to never give up! They’ll assure him that one day the kids will know the truth! They’ll tell him that as they grow older they will be able to make their own decisions and come to their own conclusions. No longer will they be manipulated by their horrible mother who uses them as pawns.

Of course he doesn’t mention how he lived in the same house as his two kids for six months after his affair was discovered and outed and yet he never bothered in all of that time to go downstairs and talk to his daughter. The last time he talked to her she was crying and demanding to know where he was. He never texted her, never called her back. He had one conversation with his son, who was 13 at the time. He told him he wouldn’t deny he had a girlfriend but we hadn’t been happy since we had kids, which I suppose makes him fucking his cousin an okay thing to do. Not sure how appropriate it is though to tell your 13 year old that he and his sister are the reason for the demise of their parents’ marriage. But after that conversation with Picasso where he played the sad sausage, complete with telling him that I took all of his money and I had a lawyer and he didn’t, he walked past his son’s room every day for six long months and never popped his head in to say hello again. At the age of 13 my son was astute enough to realize that he was the child and his father was the adult so his dad should be checking up on him; not the other way around.

He doesn’t mention that in the time he remained in the same house he never took them out for a meal, or a walk, or an ice cream cone, or on a shopping trip. He told them they would never do without and then he turned around and made sure that the whore’s kids had everything their little hearts desired while turning his back to his own kids.

I know he doesn’t tell his well wishers about walking out the front door as though he was going to work and then driving off to his new home in a new state with a new job. He won’t admit to any of them that he couldn’t even bring himself to tell his kids that he was moving out of the house, never mind the fact that he was moving out of Virginia. He won’t tell them how he didn’t even take any of his possessions. He was just living in the spare bedroom one day and gone the next. It took me almost a week to figure out he was finally gone. Of course, he didn’t bother to tell me he had left his job either. That was going to be a wonderful surprise when my checking account was repeatedly overdrawn with all the bills I paid the day after his regular payday.

If I had to place a bet I would lay odds on the fact that he has not told all those sympathizing with him that he has not yet told his kids that he has remarried. It’s been two years now. He still hasn’t found a good time to mention it. Okay, to be fair it’s not quite two years. Give it another week and then I can truthfully say that.

They probably also aren’t aware that the only reason he has had almost no contact with his son in the four plus years since he walked away is because he doesn’t have his phone number. Yes, the man who is so intelligent that he could qualify for membership in Mensa has no idea how to get his son’s phone number. What a pickle!

I’m sure he also neglects to mention that while he could drive 12 hours roundtrip every weekend for six months to see his whore of a cousin, he has not made that drive one time to see his children and spend a weekend with them. Major props to him for being able to tear himself away from her pussy long enough to see his daughter graduate; however, once again he made it all about himself and didn’t so much as say hello to his son. See above: Doesn’t have his phone number so no way to contact him. 

I’m also positive he never mentions the fact that he neglected to send a dime in child support for ten months, refused to pay the correct amount of his modified child and spousal support for another ten months, or that he has dodged at least two attempts to garnish his wages, whether on purpose or not.

The reality is he has shut his kids out of his life. He hasn’t bothered to tell them where he currently lives. That’s not surprising considering he didn’t bother to tell them he moved out of Virginia after moving them 2000 miles away and destroying everything they had ever known. Nor did he tell them when he moved from Kentucky to Mississippi. I think the only reason he put his correct address on their Christmas cards is because he knew he wouldn’t be there much longer.

He does not contact them regularly. He has not talked to them on the phone in almost five years. He sends them a card or a Venmo transfer twice a year- if they’re lucky. He might have a little more contact with Rock Star (because he has her phone number) but she hates interacting with him because he always tries to guilt her.

Abandoning fathers don’t have much of a conscience. At least not in my opinion. The one in my kids’ lives is being fed a lie by his complicit whoring cousin/wife. You’re so sparkly and shiny; you’re just the best daddy out there! Then he takes that lie and he plays sad sausage for the rest of the world, never ever taking any responsibility for the state of his relationship and certainly not telling the truth about how it ever got to that point.

I’d wish him a happy Father’s Day. Sure I’d throw in, “Fuckwit,” after it, but I’d do it; however, he doesn’t deserve it. No, worse than that, he’s no kind of father. My kids deserve better.

Sunk Costs

We’ve all heard that term before, right? People will tell their sad tale of love gone wrong with a cheating man (or woman) and how they can’t leave because they love him (or her). Someone will come along and say, “Kick him to the curb! You can do better than him. You deserve so much better.” Typically shortly after that another person comes along and pats the grieving person on the back. “There, there. They don’t understand. It’s not so easy. You’ve got sunk costs- children, a mortgage, ten, twenty, thirty years with this person. You don’t have to leave if you don’t want to. We understand. You’ve got sunk costs.”

Those sunk costs are a killer, folks. They keep us tethered to toxic people who abuse us and take us for granted.

I sometimes wonder, too, is it really that we’ve invested so much time and effort into this person, or is that we’re scared of the unfamiliar? Kicking your cheating spouse out might feel liberating in the moment, but then you’ve got to live with that. Where are you going to live? Will you be able to keep your home? How are you going to pay for everything? What if you have to share custody of the kids? What if you never go on a date again and never find love again? What if, what if, what if?

I get it. Believe me, I do. You’re reading the words of a woman who lost pretty much everything in her divorce. Sunk costs? I had them in spades- twenty years of marriage, a stay at home mom for fifteen years, no idea how I would support myself much less my two teenagers, a brand new house we hadn’t paid the mortgage on for even a year, brand new furniture throughout the entire house, a $57,000 inground pool, a brand new car that had been purchased less than a year prior to my discovery. On top of that we had just moved 2000 miles across the country for his dream job, completely uprooting my life and the lives of my children. Plus, we had three dogs and had just taken in 3 cats. How’s that for sunk costs?

I ended up losing our home when Jerry Lee was forced to resign and then refused to get a new job, figuring he could play the system and get out of paying adequate support. I had to move back to Indiana with my tail between my legs- defeated and deadass broke. For ten long months he paid nothing in support and then the next ten months he paid a fraction of what he was supposed to. I worked two jobs to make ends meet, even living with my mother. I applied for Medicaid for me and my kids, and for free lunches and textbooks, as well. There were many days I cried and cried and didn’t want to ever wake up again.

I didn’t believe I would ever date again. I had absolutely no plans to date again. I didn’t want to put myself out there again. Just between you and me I don’t really consider what happened in my situation to be dating. The mobster fell out of a tree onto my head. End of story.

Pretty much every horrible thing I thought was going to happen to me, happened to me. I spent an awful long time in that dark place.

I completely get sunk costs. And I sympathize with those who don’t want to lose everything. I didn’t want to lose everything either.

Tracy Schorn has an excellent post on her blog entitled, “You Don’t Need It That Bad.” It’s an ode to putting on your ass kicking boots and telling yourself that nothing is worth suffering through a cheating spouse. Your spouse is lying, gaslighting, and cheating on you but you really really love your vacation home? Get to the point where you tell yourself, “I don’t need it that bad.” You love being a stay at home mom and know that the only way you can continue to do that is if you look the other way while your husband beds every available female in the area? You don’t need it that bad.  You’ve spent twenty-five years with a liar and a cheater and you think you can’t leave because of your “sunk costs”? Do you want to spend another twenty-five with a liar and a cheater? Do you want to get sick and find out that your twenty-five years don’t mean anything to this liar and cheater? They’re out of here as soon as you cease to be useful.

Here’s another part of that equation that most people don’t think about when figuring in their sunk costs. Sometimes you may decide it’s not worth it to leave. You’ve got history. You’ve got a great home that you couldn’t afford on your own. You love this person. You don’t want the other person to “win”. You don’t want to share custody of your kids. Sometimes that shit happens anyway. Sometimes they leave despite all the crap you’re willing to take and all the shit sandwiches you’re willing to eat. They take it further and further underground and they get better and better at cheating and getting away with it. They hide money and make their plans, or they wait until the kids are all out of high school so they don’t have to pay child support, and when they’re ready they walk out the door. Nothing about you. All about them.

You better make damn sure those sunk costs are worth it. You might still end up losing everything you clung to so tightly and you will definitely lose your dignity when you realize you tolerated so much for someone who cared so little and still ended up with nothing.

I bought into all of that crap the first time Jerry Lee was exposed. I could tell myself that it was only an emotional affair, that they never hooked up, never met in person. I did the ol’, “I’m not going to let one moment in our 18 years together define our entire marriage.” I did the marriage police for a period of time. I looked at my home and my kids and my comfortable lifestyle. I didn’t want to be divorced and I didn’t want Harley to win. I measured my sunk costs against everything I would be giving up and I took a chance on a liar and a cheater. I lost. The next time he did it I didn’t get the chance to measure those sunk costs. He was going to leave. Twenty years of marriage didn’t matter to him. Me moving all over the country for his job didn’t matter to him. Our two children didn’t matter to him. The fact that we had just moved, just bought a new house, new furniture, new car, and just put an inground pool in our backyard didn’t matter to him either. All that mattered was this new life that was calling out to him, promising him happiness.

When you break it down you’ve got two options really. The first one is to decide your sunk costs are all that matter. You’re willing to hitch your wagon to a liar and cheater because that’s what you know and look at everything you might have to give up. But you’re stuck with a liar and a cheater, a person you probably can never trust again. Your second option is to throw caution to the wind. To tell yourself, “I don’t need it that bad.” Yes, you might lose a whole lot. You might even lose everything. But in exchange for those losses you no longer have to be tethered to a person who treats you with no respect, who will cheat and lie as easily as they breathe. You may even end up with a pretty damn good cheater free life.

In hindsight I wish I had focused a whole lot less on my sunk costs and decided a whole lot sooner that I didn’t need any of it that bad.

The Rules

I know there is a book with the same name. Something about all these silly rules women are supposed to follow in order to snag a man. At least I think that’s the gist of it. I’ve never read it.

I’m 51 at this point. There are a lot of things I believed to be true. Get grades in school so you can get into college. Graduate from college before you get married. College graduates make more money than high school graduates. You’ll never marry the guy you dated in high school and you shouldn’t because it will never last. You need to date around to see what you like. Getting married because someone is pregnant is not going to end well. You’re married until you’re no longer married. You should never date someone who is separated or recently divorced. You need time to heal after a breakup or divorce.  All kinds of things which, throughout the years, I’ve come to find are a bunch of b.s. in many cases.

I went to school with a couple who met in high school. She was a freshman and he was a junior. They dated throughout all of high school and all of college. They are still married to this day. Are they happily married? Well, I don’t socialize with them enough to know whether or not that’s true, but they seem to be. They’re certainly not divorced. They’ve been together for more than 30 years at this point. I guess it’s really closer to 40 years at this point.

My niece and her husband are another example. Met as sophomores in high school. She’s never dated anyone else. Granted, they just got married after nine years of dating so it’s a little early to say they’re a success story, but I don’t think they’re going to end up divorced any time soon, if ever.

My brother and his wife met in high school. They’ve been married over twenty years. Their marriage has lasted longer than mine.

Several of my daughter’s teammates back in Utah are now married. They are all roughly the same age as her. Two of them married at 19 and one married at age 20. One has a baby already and I fully expect to be hearing an announcement from another one soon.

To me this is crazy. I look at my daughter and see how happy she is with her friends, her new boyfriend, her sorority. She has big plans. She begins her nursing clinicals this fall and she plans to work for two years after graduating and then go back and become a nurse practitioner. When I think of my daughter married at this age… I can’t even begin to imagine.

Yet, it happens, and many times it’s successful. One of my childhood friends got married right around age 20. She and her husband have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. They seem very happy together.

I have no reason to believe that any of those three girls will end up divorced either in the near future or someday down the line. All three come from intact homes. My guess is that all three sets of parents also married fairly early. It’s simply a different culture in many ways.

I grew up with the expectation that I would go to college and graduate before I would ever think of settling down. That’s what I’ve tried to instill in my own kids. But honestly? Look at me. I did everything right and I’m still living with my mom at age 51 after my divorce. And statistically? We weren’t a high risk couple- both college educated, no financial difficulties, married more than 10 years. Still happened.

So why do we cling to these rules so tightly? Is there just a comfort there? Do we think that if we do everything “right” then nothing bad will happen?

I look back on my entire life and I think to myself, “Why did I ever follow along? All of this was for nothing. There is no set of guidelines that will make everything okay.” I got good grades in school. They weren’t excellent but I was a solid A/B student and graduated with honors. I went to college and I graduated. Even a year or two out I found myself thinking, “Well this is a load of crap!” I couldn’t find a job and was working as a waitress, barely making ends meet. Meanwhile, the people that had gone on to get jobs at factories were bringing in a heck of a lot more than I was. That’s still the way it was.

My mother was talking the other day about both of my nieces and comparing the life Florence Nightingale has with her new husband, the college educated basketball player, to the one Queen Bee might have if she ends up married to her current live-in boyfriend. Florence Nightingale and her husband bought a big, beautiful house right before they got married. They travel. Money will not be an issue for them. Meanwhile, Queen B’s boyfriend did not go to college. He has a job through the state, though, I believe. He bought a house on his own at age 21 or 22. It’s a small house from what I understand but it’s his. Plus, they did just take a cruise to the Bahamas for her birthday back in February.

I pointed out to my mother my childhood friend. She didn’t finish college. She did eventually go back to school to get a job in the health field. Her husband didn’t go to college. And yet they have a nice house with an above ground pool in the back. They vacation together. They spend a lot of summer days on the lake in their boat. They don’t have a bad life.

And while my brother and sister-in-law struggled in their early years he’s now making six figures working in a factory. Yes, he makes that money through overtime, sometimes working seven days a week for months at a time, but he makes six figures. His wife works a part-time job, probably making more per hour than I do, and since she works at a hospital if she goes in for an extra shift she gets short notice pay where she is definitely making more money than I am. They’re able to take nice vacations several times a year. They have plenty of money to spend on the things they value. Plus, she has a brother who has more money than common sense; he wants to buy them a house so he has somewhere to come back to if he decides he wants to catch a Notre Dame football game. From where I stand, the two of them with no college degrees between them, are doing a hell of a lot better than me with my college education. I live with my mom, for crying out loud, and if I ever did buy a house it probably wouldn’t be much.

My other brother doesn’t have a college degree either but he owns his own business and he’s a fulltime firefighter. Lots of vacations for him and his wife, as well. I know their mortgage is small and he’s handy so he’s added on to that house over the years. Yet another example where the person with no college education is doing much better than the person with.

Marriages that begin when someone is pregnant are doomed to fail, right? Not necessarily. Again, I know a person. He was the best friend of an ex-boyfriend. He married his girlfriend when he got her pregnant. He was maybe 21, 22. I remember the one and only time I ever met and talked to her. She said something about him never seeing his son again if he left her. She said it so nonchalantly, like it was the most normal thing in the world. I remember thinking, “Oh, this is not going to last.” Well, they ended up having four kids together and now have a granddaughter who is just as cute as a bug. They’ve been together over 30 years and they seem very happy together.

Even the mobster married his wife when she found out she was pregnant. As he tells the story he was actually thinking of ending things with her when she told him the news. But once he found out she was pregnant he married her and never looked back. He would tell you that the first half of his marriage was fantastic and that she had been a great wife. Until the drinking and the cheating began. But had those things never happened I have no reason to believe they would have ever ended up divorced. He adored her.

Yes, I realize those are only two stories and one of them ended in divorce. The point is it does happen, yet we’re so set on doing the “right” thing that sometimes we miss out.

I suppose the moral of this story is this. I don’t put much stock into all those rules. I’ve known far too many people who have broken them and who have ended up a hell of a lot better off than me, the consummate rule follower.

My Son

I know I always tend to write about Rock Star. Mainly because she’s the one who has a lot going on. Picasso sticks to his room, playing online video games with friends far and wide and organizing Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.

This pandemic has not been easy on him. As much as he hates school he said it’s so much easier when he’s in a physical building and knows he has to do the work. We did make it though. I sat with him night after night after realizing just how far behind he was and he passed the semester with nary a D or F in sight. I’ll take it!

Within the last 6 months or so he’s expressed an interest in getting his driver’s license and getting a job. Him driving scares the shit out of me. Oh, I’m fine with the idea of him finally getting his license and him driving off on his own; I just don’t want to be in the car with him. That scares me. I think it’s because he was so terrified of driving for such a long time. Rock Star was easy. She was confident and she was itching to drive even before she was legally able. Picasso was in absolutely no rush. He only got his learner’s permit when his cousin tried to get his.

Recently he applied for a job. One of his good friends and her mom both work at this place. It’s a grocery store. No need to be super secretive. Anyway, her mom pulled his application and made sure he got called for an interview. The interview was on Saturday. He got the job offer today and has orientation tomorrow.  I’m so excited for him.

I know he really struggles with his social anxiety. It manifests itself in a much different way than Rock Star’s does. But he went to that interview and did a great job and now he’s a working man! I hope this job gives him some new friends and a newfound confidence. The mobster was a grocery man before he left it behind. He has told him store managers can make some really great money.

Picasso also went to a graduation party and out with some friends these last two weekends. Both were major scores, simply in getting him out of his room.

He’s a very interesting boy. He keeps to himself and plays online with friends most of the time but if you get him out of his room and talking he won’t shut up. He’ll talk for an hour straight once he finally gets going. I have learned so many interesting things about him lately. For example, he thinks he would like to live in Alaska. He wants to go fishing again. He would like to go tent camping. He’s really looking forward to our weekend away with the mobster (we’re renting a cabin). He thought fencing seemed like an interesting thing to do although he didn’t want to sign up for a class. He thinks he will appreciate road trips more now as an older teen than he did when he was much younger. Because of that we plan on taking a trip after he graduates to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Maybe a few other states. We’ll have to see. He really wants to go to Maine though.

He remains the same sweet boy as always. He’ll give me hugs without me asking. Tells me he loves me. Just the other day when we were talking about our weekend getaway I mentioned checking into horseback riding. He started talking about the summer he and his sister took riding lessons and how much he had enjoyed that. He told me I had provided some really great experiences for him growing up. I sighed and replied, “I used to be a good mom.” He was quick to tell me I was still a good mom; I just didn’t have the same mom budget through no fault of my own. He went on to say that he thought they probably took it all for granted back then because it was so plentiful.

This sweet, gentle, not so giant boy turns 18 in a few weeks. It’s hard to believe that both of my kids will be legal adults. I’ve got one more year of him being in school. Who knows what he will accomplish after graduation? I’m looking forward to hanging around for the ride.

Here’s Your Bitch Cookie

If you’ve gone through a messy divorce with a fuckwit and maybe an accommodating cheating accomplice you have probably heard this before. I don’t ever badmouth you. It’s probably a lie but they tell it to you anyway, hoping you’re too stupid or gullible to know it’s not true. Or maybe you’ve heard it from friends or family members. “I don’t understand all of your hostility towards Bob. He never says anything bad about you!”  As Chump Lady would say, “Here’s your bitch cookie!”

This brings me right back to Jenny Ball’s problem she has when people tell her she needs to move on, get over it; her ex has and she should, too. Well, as I pointed out back then they didn’t go through the same experience. The same can be said about this situation.

I will never forget reading years ago on the old board I used to frequent. It was a debate board for moms and stepmoms, debating the issues that go hand in hand with such a thing. There was a young woman who had been cheated on. Apparently, since she made it through being cheated on she decided to gift another woman with the experience. Her cheating boyfriend divorced his ex and married her. For some unknown reason his ex insisted on 50/50 custody and it turned out the kids liked her. She was pregnant and studying for the bar exam. I don’t remember what exactly was said but I do remember Little Cheating Lawyer To-Be asking how long this woman was going to hate her and hold the affair against her, and saying she didn’t understand why the ex felt the need to badmouth her because she never said anything bad about her.

Huh, that’s a real head scratcher. How long will she hold you fucking her husband behind her back against you? My guess is eternity but I could be wrong. Oh precious, sit over here so we can all comfort you. Yes, you are such a wonderful human being for not speaking ill of the woman whose husband you fucked behind her back. You are an incredible example of humankind by not speaking badly about this woman whose life you entered and ripped apart. She should be thanking you for the part you played in her divorce. You are a peach. Too bad there aren’t more like you out there! Why on earth would this woman, who has lost everything, including her kids who think you’re so wonderful, want to say anything bad about you? I, personally, love to compliment the people who firebomb my life. Said no sane person ever!

You don’t get points for not speaking ill of the person you help destroy. Cheaters and their affair partners who think they are somehow taking the high road can fuck right off. You don’t say bad things about the person you betrayed and left behind because there is nothing bad to say. You are in the wrong. Period. If they want to rage against you and share all of your evil doings with the entire neighborhood that’s their prerogative. You cheated. You lied. You betrayed them. You don’t get to act like you’re an angel because you’re supposedly not saying anything bad about them. You did not have the same experience. One person cheated; the other person got cheated on. Which one of those people do you think might have a bigger complaint against the other?

Same goes for friends and family. “Karen, do you know why you don’t ever hear him talk badly about me? Because he’s in the wrong. There is nothing that I have done or could do that is nearly as bad as what he did to me in blowing up my life for that hillbilly whore. We are not on equal ground.”

Although in my case we all know that Jerry Lee takes every opportunity he can to talk smack about me, even to our kids that he abandoned.

Hey kids! I know I walked away without saying a word. I know I haven’t bothered to come see you one single time see I walked out that door. But let me tell you how horrible your mother is. You know? The one that has raised you since I took a powder. The one that donated plasma for months on end to be sure to be able to afford Christmas for you. The one that has been there for every milestone and every tear. Yeah, her. Let me trash talk her to you.

Huh. That’s rich. Funny that the cheater has so many complaints about me and my behavior. It’s really funny because I don’t badmouth him to the kids. Mock him? Sure, but only if the kids start it. Badmouth him to my friends and family? You betcha. The reality though isn’t that I’m badmouthing him. I’m simply telling the truth. The truth makes him look really bad. Well, his behavior makes him look really bad.

When you think about it, what could Jerry Lee really say about me? God knows he’s said plenty but 99% of it has been an outright lie. What could he truthfully say about me? I’m a terrible housekeeper? I run out and buy fast food too often for dinner? Oh the horrors! He already tried that routine in court. He lost. Yet my perceived faults pale in comparison to what the two of them did.

What could Harley the Whore say about me?  Is she going to whine because I call her a whore on my blog? Is she going to complain that I point out her lengthy arrest record and compare her multiple mugshots? Don’t fuck married men and I won’t call you a whore. Stop getting arrested and I won’t have more mugshots to compare. She knows nothing about me except what my lying ex has told her. I didn’t invade her life. She invaded mine. Quite frankly I think she absolutely knew what she was doing the entire time. She wanted someone who could support her expensive habits and Jerry Lee fit the bill.

For those keeping score: I was not always a fantastic housekeeper. I would sometimes let the laundry go for weeks before doing any (remember, we had a lot of clothes- no one was wearing dirty clothes). I didn’t make a home cooked meal every night. On the other hand, he was cheating on me. He had begun to drink heavily. He locked himself up in the bedroom and cried all the time. He cut me off financially while he spent like a drunken sailor on Harley and her kids. He abandoned his own kids. He lied repeatedly. He tried to get me to send naked pictures to him while he was with her. He showed naked pictures of me to her and God only knows who else. He has called me disgusting names, mocked me, disrespected me, and been condescending in his dealings with me. He has repeatedly ignored court orders and he left us penniless for 10 whole months while draining his smaller 401k. He told me he lost his job and was working to find another one and then never bothered to let me know he had another one. As for Harley?  She was sleeping with my husband. She freely took thousands of dollars that should have gone to his kids. She posted all over social media about her relationship with him and when she got called out for it she blocked my daughter, probably so she couldn’t “go and whine to her daddy” again. She cheated on her own husband. She cheated on Jerry Lee with her estranged husband. She gleefully got rid of her middle son. In her quest for happiness; she now has one out of her four children living with her.

Call me crazy but I don’t see how me not being the greatest housekeeper and not keeping on top of laundry amounts to being worse than what they’ve done. I can hear it now.

“Jerry Lee left Sam for his cousin. He lost his job and he refused to help support his kids. With the exception of Rock Star’s graduation he hasn’t gone up to see either kid in over 4 years. Sam and the kids lost their home and had to move 600 miles back to Indiana.”

“That may be but did you ever see the pile of laundry in the bedroom?”

“What does that have to do with anything? He cheated on his wife and abandoned his kids.”

“You can’t blame him. I would have left, too, if my house was in such disarray. And don’t even get me started on how often she would run out and pick up food instead of making it with her own two hands!”

Don’t believe the whole “I never say anything bad about you,” narrative anyway. It’s generally fake AF. They may not say it to your face. In some instances they may not even say it to the kids. But they are definitely spreading their own narrative. That’s why there is this insistence to tell everyone that you “grew apart” and to make the split look amicable. You follow the party line; meanwhile, they are trashing your character to anyone who will listen. They simply do it on the down low.

In the end it doesn’t matter. Liars are going to lie. The next time someone tells you that your cheater never says anything bad about you tell them, “Here’s a bitch cookie. Feel free to give it to them.”

What Is Going On With My Body?

I am not complaining, mind you.

Last I wrote about this I had lost .4 pounds since my last weight in after my week of debauchery. I was very happy with that. This week I lost four pounds. No decimal point in front of this one. I haven’t lost that much weight in a week since the very beginning of switching over to low carb. I don’t know if my body reset itself after a week of not paying attention to carbs or what.

I have actually read about that. Some people have found great success in adding carbs back in when they begin to plateau. I wasn’t so much plateauing as I was losing a lot more slowly. The biggest weight loss I had in those last 7 weeks was 1.8 pounds. One week I only lost .8. Average was somewhere between 1.3 and 1.6. I added it up and I lost 25 pounds the first 7 weeks. The next 7 weeks I lost 10 pounds. Maybe 11, because I’m down 36.4 pounds.

It could also have been the heat. Our air went out on Tuesday of last week and it was a little over a week before they could come out and replace the furnace and A/C unit. I lost 1.4 pounds in a day. I’m pretty sure it’s because I sweated it all off.

Maybe the muscle that I am imagining I have gained is finally doing its job and burning more calories. I have been very hungry lately.

Oh, and here’s some more exciting news. I have long maintained I am a very slow runner. I’m not ashamed.

I have signed up for several virtual races. I completed one on June 3rd and emailed them my time. The time I submitted for the race was 41 minutes, 51 seconds. Not horrible. Certainly nothing to brag about either. Then on Friday the 5th I ran again. I ran the same distance (5k) in 40 minutes, 29 seconds. It was a better time by almost a minute and a half. On Sunday the 7th I did a four mile run. I ran the 3.11 miles in 38 minutes, 43 seconds. I completed the entire 4 mile run in 50 minutes, 56 seconds. I shaved almost another 2 minutes off my time! And running 4 miles has always taken me over an hour. I was very proud of myself.

Of course I’m back to being slow. I think part of it is I have strained something. I’m usually fine while I’m running but afterwards it feels like my muscle running from my buttocks down the back of my thigh is tight and it’s very difficult to stretch it. I took the weekend off but will be hitting the streets again around 6 am tomorrow. Strangely enough I actually look forward to these morning runs. Getting up an hour earlier doesn’t even bother me anymore. Who would’ve ever guessed that? Certainly not me. I may end up running outside in the dead of winter after all.

P.S. I know I shouldn’t have but I got on the scale again today. Weight is up .6. Maybe my body did not reset itself after all.

I had eggs and sausage for breakfast, went on an hour plus long walk with my mom, and then stopped at my favorite Mexican restaurant. I did order the fajitas with no tortillas but I also indulged in the chips and salsa and Ranch dressing; I also had a frozen pomegranate margarita. So good. So worth it. Tomorrow is another day, right?

I Didn’t Remember

Have I mentioned before what an amazing memory I have? I’m not bragging when I say this. People talk about it. Friends comment on it. My best friend will sometimes say, “I don’t remember this but I’ll ask Sam because I know she’ll remember it.” The mobster will sometimes comment, “I keep forgetting that you remember every little detail.”

I do forget things. I’m not like Marilou Henner who can remember every day of her life. I have indeed forgotten some things. Like the fact that I used to strip off my clothes when I got drunk. That one escaped me until I was having dinner with a group of friends. You’d think something like that would stick with you, but it didn’t.

My memory also is not a surefire thing. I have forgotten to pick up my kids before. I forget to make phone calls. Things slip my mind. But in general I have an amazing memory and it retains a lot of information. My brain retains significant dates as well. It has been really difficult to train my mind to no longer associate December 10th with my anniversary or October 18th with his birthday. I’m doing better but there is still that little voice that tries to pipe up.

Do you know what today is? It’s June 13th. Doesn’t mean a damn thing to me. It’s somebody’s birthday. Nobody I know. It’s somebody’s anniversary. Again, no one I know.

Do you know what Wednesday was? It was June 10th. That was the day Jerry Lee texted me to let me know he had lost his job and wouldn’t be sending anymore money my way. That was the day I knew I was going to have to leave my home, move my children again, and move back to Indiana and in with my mother. That’s the day that things started to get really, really bad for me. All the plans I had made- up in smoke. My daughter’s chance to graduate from her high school- crushed. I would end up leaving almost everything behind and starting over 600 miles away.

I thought I would never forget that day. It would always be a date of significance, one I couldn’t get away from.

Last year I almost missed it. I didn’t realize the significance of the date until late in the day. This year I didn’t remember the date until today. Maybe next year it won’t even cross my mind.