Cheating Is NOT Just Sex Between Two Consenting Adults

I read a post the other day about a young mother, not quite 40, who was in the hospital dying. Her cheating husband gave her HPV. The HPV turned to cancer, which turned to a four year battle fighting for her life, and in the end, it eventually killed her. 

She leaves behind a son who is a college freshman and a daughter in sixth grade.

Two kids have lost their mother way too early because of two “consenting adults”. It’s difficult to tell them with a straight face that the affair was between their mother and their father and didn’t concern them when that affair ended up killing their mother and left them without her. Jesus Christ, those kids are 18 or 19 and 11 or 12 and they will spend the rest of their lives without a mother. Because of their dad.

The person who spoke about this said that fortunately they have a good relationship with their dad but I wonder…. Do they know what happened to their mom? Not just that she had cancer and it eventually killed her. Do they know their father transmitted HPV to their mother and is responsible for her death? I can’t imagine ever wanting to have anything to do with my parent if their behavior killed my other parent.

I think about those who say that people who cheat on their spouse can still be good moms or dads. Or the ones who say the affair is between the parents and the children shouldn’t know why their lives are being ripped apart. The ones who say those are adult matters and that when you cheat on your spouse, leave them even, you’re not cheating on your kids or leaving them.

His affair literally led to her death. Good dads don’t kill their children’s mom. It’s a little difficult to try to sell this idea that the affair was between good ol’ Dad, his whore, and their mom. It was simply adult issues, kids; don’t worry your cute little heads about it. Oh, until your mom gets cancer and dies. And then we’ll do what good people do and we’ll lie to you and tell you there was no way to prevent it and that it was just one of those things that happen. Nope, no correlation to Dad going off and fucking strange.

I think about all of those people who say it’s none of their business and not their place to tell a person that their spouse is cheating on them. Maybe if she had known she could have sought earlier testing. Maybe she wouldn’t have continued sleeping with him. Maybe she would still be alive today.

Cheating is not just consensual sex between two adults. It absolutely CAN and DOES affect other people outside of the spouses and the affair accomplice. Sometimes you end up losing the life you used to live; other times you end up losing your life.


Random Rant Number Who the Hell Knows

This is a series of rants and wonderments about totally nothing. For instance….

What do those people who use u for you, ur for you’re/your, and b4 for before do with all of their extra time? Honestly, it’s the single u that gets me. Spell it out, people! 

And what in the hell is going on with “Sis”?

Sis, he’s not the man for you. Move on.

Listen to me, Sis; dry those tears and get on with your life.

I don’t know who needs to hear this but, Sis….

WTF? Now, that’s not me taking a short cut. That’s me being polite and not spelling out fuck. 😉  Back to my outrage…

It’s not just memes either. You see people calling others “Sis” on message boards, too.

Hey, Sis, I gotta tell it to you straight, he’s never going to change,.

Come on, Sis, you’re fooling yourself.

He’s never going to change, Sis.

How did this come to be a thing? I’m not your sis. My own brothers don’t walk around saying, “Sis, he screwed up,” or whatever platitude they’re supposed to be spewing.

Maybe if I could pull it off I wouldn’t hate it so much but walking around saying, “Hey, Sis, let me tell you something,” feels as unnatural to me as referring to everyone I encounter as “Sweetie” or “Darlin’”. Those are typical names I reserve for those that are close to me. I must have used it a lot on Rock Star when she was young because I remember her asking a friend of mine about her “little darlin’”.

I can also solidly get behind the whole, “Oh, honey!” when someone is believing some bullshit but that’s as far as I go. Sis is a no go for me.

Hey, Sis, I know you don’t want to hear this but this whole “Sis” thing is stupid. Knock it off.

Wait! Are they referring to being sisters in solidarity? That might make sense but I still don’t like it. I’m going to stick with, “Oh, honey! Wake up and smell the coffee,” or some other wise advice.

I’m mad at my optometrist. It’s not his fault really but I’m still mad. For the last two years I have amazed the eye doctors with my lack of need for reading glasses. Apparently that placed me in like 2% of the population that didn’t need reading glasses at my age.

The trade off was that my near-sighted prescription wasn’t as strong as it could be. If I could still see okay he wouldn’t increase the prescription.

Well, it happened. This last visit about six months ago or so I had my first increase in probably 10-15 years. I cannot remember the last time my prescription increased. 

He warned me that increasing my ability to see things far away might jeopardize my ability to see things close up. And boy, he was not kidding. It is a struggle all the time.

I’ve got the mobster telling me I look like a sexy librarian while I struggle to see *anything* after around 7 pm at night.

That’s right. My contacts are starting to wear on me. I can’t see far away. I can’t see close up. I actually take my contacts out so I can read. Then I can’t do anything else. With a -5.5 prescription I’m pretty much blind without my contacts.

Last night we came home and decided to do a 3D puzzle. It was a small, 39 piece crystal 3D puzzle of Olaf that the mobster bought me for Christmas.

We cracked open a bottle of wine (also a Christmas gift- from my son) and I joked that this should take about 5 minutes to put together. It took over an hour! And this was after Picasso stepped in and helped us.

Turns out they have step-by-step directions. I know what you’re thinking- excellent! This should be a piece of cake.

It is not a piece of cake. They’re written on this tiny piece of paper. Very tiny. Maybe the size of a cell phone. And keep in mind, there were 39 steps so that’s a lot of information on a very small piece of paper. Turns out the parts are labeled with a number as well. Also, teeny tiny. Practically invisible when you consider it’s a clear number etched on a clear piece of plastic. Try reading that after 7 pm while you’re drinking and you can’t see a damn thing. I actually had a damn magnifying glass out trying to read the numbers.

Good news. The mobster enjoyed it so much he wants to do a Level 3 3D puzzle. The one we did last night, that took over an hour, was a Level 1.

Also, does anyone ever wonder how much of the lotion and shower gel from Bath & Body Works actually gets used? I was thinking about that today in the shower. I’m still using the big bottle of Body Sugar shower gel I bought probably close to a year ago. I know I have bottles and bottles of shower gel in a bin somewhere. I remember stocking up on it when Bath & Body Works had their semi-annual clearance sale. I’m sure I still have some of it; I hope it doesn’t go bad.

Same with lotion. It tends to be a popular gift. Here- here’s some lotion. Merry Christmas or Happy Birthday! I’m not a big lotion user (I should, but I’m not) so a bottle will last me a very long time. In fact, I could probably channel my mother and say I have enough to last me the rest of my life.

That’s all I’ve got. Rant over.

Whoopi Disappoints Me

Have you heard about the Reddit thread where people ask if they’re the asshole in the situation they’re in? If not, I assure you it exists.

Right before Thanksgiving a woman wrote in asking if she was the asshole because she didn’t want to invite her cheating neighbor and his side piece to Thanksgiving dinner.

As she states in her post: I am part of a group of friends in my neighborhood. We take turns hosting dinner parties between our households. One of our group recently moved out because her husband was cheating with his secretary. In the last month he moved her in and is acting as if everything is normal.

Turns out the letter writer was due to host Thanksgiving on her month because none of the people in the group could go be with family that year. The cheating neighbor asked the letter writer’s husband about the plans for that month, assuming he and the mistress would be invited. When her husband informed him that no, they weren’t invited and that due to the circumstances none of the wives wanted either of them around, the mistress jumped into action.

She approached me right as I was getting home from work so I’m assuming she was waiting for me. She wants to try to mend fences and build friendships with the wives of her boyfriend’s friends and neighbors as she’s now part of the community.

The letter writer was having none of that. She simply told her she didn’t want to be friends with a woman that screws around with married men and let her know that her “boyfriend” stopped being her friend the minute he destroyed his family and broke her friend’s heart.

Not to leave you hanging but of course, cheating neighbor was furious because the home wrecker was upset.  How dare you upset his side piece? And in a shocking twist the husband stuck up for his wife, told his friend he didn’t approve of what he had done either, and let him know his wife didn’t wish to continue a friendship with him or his whore (although in the thread she was called his girlfriend).

They discussed this on The View. How I managed to see this snippet I’m not sure. I don’t watch The View. Maybe it came up on my Google feed? Anyway, Whoopi brought this up and she was all but sneering at this woman. She said all the typical things you hear in their defense: It’s none of her business. She has no idea what their marriage was like. It was presumptive. Maybe the wife was relieved to find out her husband was cheating because it gave her an out. And then she goes on to say that when she has friends that break up she remains friends with both of them because you just don’t know what goes on in other people’s relationships.

Balderdash! I have this to say in return: No one is entitled to my friendship. I have every right to end a friendship for whatever reason. Hey, you wore purple on a Tuesday. I’m done! You watch The Bachelor. I’m done! You’re a Tom Brady fan. I’m outta here! Your favorite M&Ms are the brown ones. Nope. It can be anything.

Obviously those are some extreme (and stupid) examples but honestly, anything can be a deal breaker. And believe me, if I’m going to kick someone to the street for preferring brown M&Ms I sure as hell am not going to be embracing a husband stealing, married-men-fucking whore that helped destroy my good friend’s marriage. I don’t give a shit if she didn’t “owe” her anything or not. Don’t shit on my friend and think I’m going to welcome you into my life. If I don’t want to be around your lying, cheating piece of shit new beau then I don’t want to be around you either.

Furthermore, no one is entitled to be invited to my dinner parties either. You don’t get to demand an invitation. You certainly don’t get to demand I invite your mistress or play nice with her.

I don’t care if I supposedly don’t know the whole story or that I only know my friend’s side of what happened. Guess what? She’s my friend. Her side is the only one I care about! I don’t care if someone thinks it isn’t any of my business. I can’t un-know what I know and if I know someone is a lying, dirty dog then I know that whether it’s my business or not. And once I know I can decide I don’t want to be around that person.

I’ll say it again for those in the back. NO ONE is entitled to my friendship, my time, or an invitation to my social gathering. You want to be invited to my neighborhood Thanksgiving? Don’t fuck my friend’s husband. You want to continue being invited? Don’t cheat on my friend.

Be Here, Be Still… In Virtual Reality

Ah, nothing says embracing your word (phrase) of the year and living in the moment like a day out at a virtual reality arcade. Arena? Building? I don’t know the correct terminology.

Last year when my son changed his last name I planned on taking him and a few of his friends out for a day of fun. One of the things he wanted to do was this virtual reality game. He had gone earlier with another friend and loved it. Anyway, it was closed on the day we were going so we didn’t get to do it and I just haven’t ever gone back.

Fast forward to this weekend. The mobster has been begging me to buy him an Occulus (jokingly, of course…. I think….). Two of his sons have one and they’ve had so much fun playing it. Picasso bought himself one a few months back as well. He saw that we have several virtual reality places in town and really wanted to go. I really didn’t have much interest. I was going to go with my son because it was something we could do together. Despite my many campaigns to let him know how much I think he would enjoy a pedicure Picasso has remained steadfast in his belief that he would not enjoy such a thing. So I was willing to bend a little to have that time with him.

Then the mobster got me right in the heart. “You always said you’d try anything once.” Ouch!

Okay. Off we went. Me, reluctantly. The mobster and Picasso excitedly.

It was So. Much. Fun! I have to get my daughter and her boyfriend up here and have the five of us go one day. 

We did the zero latency game. Basically, you wear this life vest along with your goggles and headset. They give you a gun. You’re in a large room and you wander through this room. There were tasks you had to perform along the way. Thankfully you could never get kicked out of the game because I ended up dying four times.

If you’ve never done a virtual reality game I have to tell you it is so real. You know it’s not but your mind plays tricks. At one point we were supposed to go up this ramp that was outside a building. It was just like being outside and staring down God only knows how many stories as you stay close to the wall and get from one point to another.

I couldn’t do it. I was like, “Nope. Game’s over. I’m not moving.” The game master was instructing those of us who were big babies, letting us know that another worker was right around the corner and he’d take our hand. I finally came to the realization that all I had to do was lift my goggles. That’s what I did. Pushed those suckers up and walked right through that little bit of the game. Look up, my ass! Just take the damn goggles off!

As far as shooting zombies went I did not come in last. That honor went to the only other female in our group. Picasso was the overall winner and the mobster came in second. He actually had more kills than Picasso but Picasso had more head shots and a slightly greater overall score.

The game lasted 30 minutes but I swear, it didn’t feel anywhere that long.

We also played two rounds in the Omni Arena. Those are only 10 minutes but thank God for that! After the first one I think I had an episode of exercise induced asthma! I could not stop coughing.

This game says it’s on a treadmill but I think that’s a bit of a misnomer. They’re more like mini trampolines that don’t bounce. They aren’t moving. You are. You wear slippers over your shoes and they have little round monitors, like the ones you would wear for tracking time at a race, that they put into these slippers.

Our first game, of course, was battling zombies. The weapons changed so quickly I’m sure there were times I was trying to take someone’s head off with a pistol. I kept running into things (virtually, of course) and then I’d have to fight through a swarth of zombies that had me pinned in.

My pants kept falling down which was distracting. Well, they didn’t fall all the way down. They were just beginning to slide down. Still distracting.

We let the other group go ahead of us before we did our second game because we were all tired. In this game you’re constantly running and you have to run on that circle to make your character move. No movement, no game.

We ended up spending almost 4 hours out with an ice cream break in between games. We were exhausted by the end of the night.

What can I say? The mobster is almost always right and he was definitely right in this case. I had a blast and am looking forward to going back. I’m still not going outside the side of that building, though.

Even More Conversations With My Mother

We had been out shopping and had stopped to grab some Chick-Fil-A. The dining rooms are still closed so I pulled over into an adjacent parking lot so we could eat. We were listening to Christmas music on the radio when Bing Crosby comes on singing, “White Christmas.”

No one whistles anymore.

Me: What?

He’s whistling. Listen. No one whistles anymore.

I did not even know what to say to that. It’s true. There is not a lot of whistling in today’s music. I think the last great whistling solo might have been “Don’t Worry, Be Happy,” back in the 80s.

That’s my mom. Lamenting the lost art of whistling.

P.S. As I mentioned she’s down in Florida. A week or so ago she was out and listening to live music. She called to let me know that one of the performers whistled. She was very pleased. Told me she almost recorded it to send it to me.

It’s Not Fair

I often read about people lamenting the fact that their cheating spouse has escaped the marriage with no consequences. They seem to have everything and the cheated on spouse is left with a life in shambles. “Where is the justice?” they often ask. “Why does he (or she) get to ride off into the sunset with a new partner while I’m left all alone? Why has my entire life been firebombed and his (or her) life gone on unscathed? Why isn’t my cheater hurting like I am?”

It goes beyond that, of course. There are feelings of despair. They’re tired. Everything is difficult. Life is a struggle for those left behind. And yes, the cheater does seem to have it all- the new house (or maybe the old house), the new partner, vacations, toys. It sucks. It’s unfair. Why do the cheaters get it all while the ones that are cheated on are left to rebuild?

Of course it appears they have it all! They’re cheaters. No, seriously, they’re cheaters. I don’t mean that only in the sense that they physically cheated with another person. They cheated. Period. It was never a level playing field. They got a head start. They already had everything planned before they walked out the door. They’re not mourning the end of a marriage because they’ve either already done that, or they are incapable of doing that. No one dumped them. They weren’t blindsided by you. Their life was not turned upside down against their will. And life will continue to be unfair until you have a chance to catch up.

Yes, they’ve already got a new bed buddy and you’re all alone? Of course they do! It’s not because you’re unworthy and your cheater is awesome so naturally someone else has glommed onto them. No! It’s because they’re a cheater who already had their next victim lined up. You didn’t do that. You thought you were still in a relationship with this person. If you had known what they were up to you could have got your ducks in a row as well. But the “game” is rigged in their favor. They know and you don’t.

Them knowing what’s going on while you don’t means they can prepare for their new life while you’re preparing their dinner. They can hide money. They can blow marital assets on their accomplice(s). They can get you to sign things and take on debt you wouldn’t take on if you knew what was going on. Every move they make is designed to give them a leg up while keeping you mired in the muck.

They’re financially fine because in most of these cases the cheaters are the high earners while the one being cheated on keeps the home, shuttles the children, makes sure everything runs smoothly, and so on and so forth. It’s a non-paying gig. So they walk out the door and your income goes with them.

Strangely, cheaters always seem to profit, regardless of what side they’re on when it comes to financial matters. If the cheater happens to be the one being supported they’ve already figured out what the poor unsuspecting spouse is going to have to pay them in order to get out of the marriage. They have no conscience. Everything is about them so they don’t give a damn about what they’re doing to you.

It would almost be comical if it weren’t so damn tragic but I see it all the time. The stay at home wife that gets cheated on generally ends up getting screwed over by her cheating husband. She spends the rest of her life living way below the standard of living she enjoyed while married. But the cheating stay at home wife, or the cheating stay at home husband, always seem to end up flush with cash after their divorce. Again, cheaters cheat. And not just sexually. In all areas of their life.

New marriage? New baby? New house? Yes, of course. They have those things because their plan was already in motion. You’re still trying tto come to terms with the fact that you were married to a monster and the monster has been planning their exit for months, if not years. While you were planning a future with this person they were planning their exit strategy.

In the end I guess what I’m trying to say is that of course it seems like they have it all. And it’s easy to get down on yourself when you compare.

Remember though that the reason it seems so easy is because they’ve been laying the groundwork far longer than you can imagine.

The Case For Divorce

This is a difficult post to write and I need to be careful about how I write this. I have long said that the purpose of life is not to be happy; rather, it is to be useful. To have a purpose. To leave a legacy. With that said I think it’s easy to become a martyr in your unhappiness.

There was a discussion on another board about Adele and her divorce and new relationship. There were many people that thought she was selfish for leaving her marriage because she was unhappy. Some even accused her of cheating. I don’t know enough about her or her life to have an opinion but let’s for a minute say she’s telling the truth. She was unhappy in her marriage. She realized she would never be happy. She divorced him. She met someone else. She’s now very happy.

I think that’s very different from a cheater. The biggest reason it’s different, of course, is because if we’re going to take what Adele says at face value, she didn’t cheat on her husband. She was unhappy. She left. That’s completely different from, “I cheated because I was unhappy.” 

To put it another way: Cheaters lie. They have to reconstruct history to justify their behavior. So it’s not that they were unhappy; therefore, they cheated. It’s that they cheated, and because they are always the victim and need to save face the story becomes they were very unhappy. The unhappiness did not show up until they cheated and needed a victim-y reason to excuse their piss poor behavior.

I look at Jezebel and her three marriages. She uses people. She doesn’t care who gets hurt in her quest for whatever it is she wants. She helped bring a large church down. Yes, the pastor ultimately was responsible for his actions, but she did not hesitate to engage in an affair, lie to everyone, and honestly believe that when all was said and done, she would simply step into the shoes of the current wife. 

She devastated her first husband. Her second husband, no victim himself, gave up everything for her, and in return, she left him for yet another person. I have no doubt #3’s time is coming. If history keeps repeating itself she’ll be onto #4 within the next 5 years.

Each time it’s the same thing. He didn’t understand her. They didn’t communicate. This new person was her very best friend. And each time she completely remakes herself. She’s like Julia Roberts’ character in “Runaway Bride” not knowing what kind of eggs she likes.

I think that’s a lot different from the person who realizes they are in a shitty marriage with a selfish person. Or simply a person who realizes they made a big mistake in marrying the person they did and they’ll never want the same thing.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t tell a person there’s no excuse for cheating; get out if you’re unhappy but don’t cheat! Then turn around and say being unhappy is no reason to end a marriage.

I think back on all the stories I’ve read in the six years since Jerry Lee’s affair with Harley was exposed. So many of these people detail nightmare marriages. They give and give and give while the cheater takes and takes and takes. So many of them say, “I wish I had known about the cheating sooner because then I would have had an excuse to leave.” Or some variation of that.

Why does it take cheating or abuse or addiction (and you need to be careful of that one because there are those that think you should stand by them and help them through it) before we’re “allowed” to leave a bad marriage?

There is a huge difference between the prima donna that whines her husband is no longer telling her she’s beautiful 20 times a day and is too tired after working all day to wine and dine her, and the woman whose husband doesn’t even bother to hand her a birthday card on her birthday. Relationships are not going to be fireworks and hot sex 24/7 for the rest of your life. Puppy love turns to mature love. That new relationship that gives you butterflies and puts a goofy smile on your face is going to become familiar. You can’t sustain that level of obsession. It will literally kill you. I’m all for comfortable, familiar love. The kind where you can have a ;piece of lettuce in your teeth and your partner can say, “You saving that for later?” The kind where you sit around all day, doing nothing. Maybe he’s off playing video games and you’re playing a game on your phone. Or you’re off shopping while he’s doing a yard project. I’m not talking about bailing when the relationship gets comfortable and is no longer a new, novel thing in your life.

No, I’m talking about the people who spend years catering to spouses that don’t appreciate it. I’m talking about people who spend their lives tip toeing around their spouse’s frail ego. People who are used by the spouse and the spouse’s family. People who have to do things “just so” or the prima donna rages at everyone in the family. People who aren’t allowed to be friends with other people by decree of their spouse. People who are insulted and/or taken advantage of all the time by their spouse. People who put up with years and years of bullshit because they took vows and they take those vows seriously. So even though this is a nightmare marriage and has been for some time they are resolute in staying the course. Maybe the person they fell in love with will return. Maybe if they just love them a little harder things will get better. If they cook better, clean better, wear make-up, lose weight, whiten their teeth, pay more attention to what they like… The list goes on and on.

I was one of those people. I stayed. I would have stayed until one of us died. I took my vows seriously. I never wanted to get divorced. Many times I told myself, “You chose this person. You make the best of it. You choose happiness.” I threw myself into my kids, into volunteering, into my friendships. There was no throwing myself into the relationship because he didn’t participate.  

“Date night? Why would we want to do that?”

He was a victim. If he actually did something to make things better then he could no longer whine and complain. And I think he was perfectly happy watching TV, having me cook his dinner and bring him a plate, wash his clothes, take in his dry cleaning, take care of his children, and then spending a few minutes a day with his kids- when it was convenient for him.

There were many times I thought about leaving. But I never did. Because I made vows and he was the person I picked. It was for better or worse and I kept thinking it would get better.

You know what? It doesn’t get better. They never suddenly decide, “Hey! I’m being really unfair to you. You do so much for me and I do jack squat for you. I’m going to change that.” You spend your whole life catering to this person and for what? You don’t get a gold star. No one tells you that you’re wonderful for not leaving them or for putting up with their crap. And it eventually ends one of three ways. 1) You spend your entire life serving them, never being enough, and walking on eggshells.  In some cases you support them and they act as though they’re entitled to it. You take care of everything while they sit back and demand you wait on them. Your life is a living hell until the day you die because that person is not going to change. They will suck every last ounce of life and joy and financial support out of you, And then you die. Having never been loved. Having never been appreciated. Having never experienced any sort of reciprocity at all. 2) The spouse cheats and leaves anyway. You put up with all the bullshit for nothing. And no one cares. They’ll go on and on about the other person’s happiness, and how everyone deserves to be happy. Except you, of course. You’re starting over at square one. 3) The spouse dies and you’re finally free to live a happy, authentic life. After years of unhappiness. If you’re lucky you’ve still got quite a few years left to live that happy life. If you’re not so lucky it may only be a a year or two, if that.

I know the mantra seems to be, “Stay together for the sake of the kids,” or, “Think of the children!” While I’m not a big fan of the whole, “Kids are resilient and a happy parent results in happy children,” I also don’t think you do your kids any favor living in dysfunction. There’s a whole lot of talk about generational abuse/dysfunction and I think it starts with what we allow in our relationships and how we model our relationship with our kids’ other parent. If we model to our children that we let people walk all over us then they think that’s fine. If we model that we give tirelessly and never ask for anything in return they come to believe we’re their humble servant as well. If we model turning a blind eye or putting up with ridiculous behavior that becomes something they, too, accept. Sometimes they don’t think it’s fine though and unfortunately they come to believe they can either be the abused or the abuser and they choose being the abuser.

Again, let me be clear. I believe marriage is not something to be taken lightly. I don’t think you should get married with the attitude, “If it doesn’t work out we can always get divorced.” I believe that there are a lot of immature, entitled people out there that bail the minute it’s no longer fun and the minute they have to put an effort into the relationship. I think that’s sad. But I also believe that many times we stay far too long with a person who has no interest in having a healthy relationship. We don’t know about “cake eating” and “kibbles”. We believe that what’s important to us is important to them, and because we aren’t disordered we can’t think like the disordered. We don’t yet understand that we are of use to them. And we certainly don’t comprehend that once we are no longer of use to them we will be quickly discarded while they begin a new life.

I like to believe that what Chump Lady says is the truth- that a kid only needs one sane parent. Be that sane parent. Model boundaries and self worth. You cannot do that when you try to maintain a relationship with someone who does not love or respect you. Let’s be honest. If someone loves and respects you they show it; you can feel it. They want to make your life easier, not constantly demand you make their life easier. They don’t act like entitled assholes. They don’t move goal posts. They don’t keep you in a state of constant pick-me dancing. They don’t leave you always wondering, “What happened to that person I fell in love with?” You’re not always thinking, “If only I lost weight, dressed better, wore makeup, worked less,” or “I just need to not complain or not nag or not cry or not ask questions.”

Learn the difference. Accept that you can’t change it. And then get the hell out before you waste your entire life on this person. There is nothing to fight for in these cases.

More Conversations With My Mother

I think I could do a whole blog on my mom. She’s fascinating. I mean that in a good way. I think my only complaint is her tendency to take on my paternal grandmother’s habit of starting a conversation with, “If I’m still here…” Or, as I like to call them, The Death Conversations.

Now, when I die, I need you to know our money guy has all the information you’ll need. EXCEPT about this one account. Listen carefully…

I bought these beautiful Christmas cards for next year. If I’m not here next year this is where I’ve put them.

Mom: I don’t want a feeding tube. Whatever happens do not let them put a feeding tube in. They can take lifesaving measures but no feeding tube.

Me: Okay. No feeding tube.

5 minutes later…

Mom: I need you to witness this DNR for me.

Me: What? No, Mom! You said you didn’t want a feeding tube but you did want them to try to save you. 

Mom: Well then what’s a DNR?

Every time she pulls out her wallet and has to remove her ID… This $20 back here? That’s for Queen B. She’ll be looking for it when I die.

But I think my favorite has to be this past summer. We had been going to various local festivals and often times they’ll have a booth where the vendors are selling perfume. After the Apple Festival, which was the last one we attended, she looks at me and says, “I’ve got three bottles of perfume now. That should last me for the rest of my life.”

How big are these bottles, Mom?

Folks, my mother is in her 70s. I can’t elaborate further because she’ll kill me and I have not had death conversations with my children so they will be unprepared. She looks like she’s in her 50s. She’s in amazing health. She went to Israel two years ago. She hops in her car and drives to Virginia and Florida and everywhere else. She’s planning on going to Scotland this summer. She has three square meals a day, always has stamps, and gets things in the mail and down to the donation site in a timely manner. Maybe I’m just fooling myself but she’s not going anywhere! As I said above, how big are these bottles? 

Good news though. She had a home health visit for some reason and she got very good reviews so she’s thinking she might buy another bottle of perfume.

Happy New Year! Welcome to 2022

Hello everyone! Happy New Year! How is everyone doing? I hope I still have a few followers out there.

Again I apologize for the lack of posting. As I said before my computer is no longer letting me post. I don’t know why. I can read my site; I just can’t copy and post, or write a post directly from the website. So I have to write the post, copy it, email it to myself, retrieve it off my phone email, copy it, paste it into the blog on my phone, edit it for spacing errors, and then edit the rest of the post. It’s time consuming and I simply haven’t been in the mood lately to take those additional 10 minutes or so to get it posted.

On the bright side, I do have around 5 posts waiting to be posted, not counting this one.

Christmas came and went. There are all kinds of things I could say about the holiday but I’m not going to. Let’s just say the holidays continue to be disappointing and I am desperately trying to overhaul them for my own peace of mind.

I was all set to write about the wonderful weekend our family had in Indianapolis but that came and went and now it seems anticlimactic. 

To sum up: My mom has been lamenting not being able to get everyone together at the holidays. My niece got married 2 1/2 years ago so she’ll never be spending another holiday with us. My nephew is kind of a package deal with her. He’s not going to come up without her so we’ll never spend another holiday with him either. I finally sent out a text asking if anyone was interested in getting together for a dinner this year, and mentioning perhaps being able to extend it to a weekend next year. We ended up booking a house in Indianapolis for the 14 of us for the weekend. It was my mom, my 2 kids, Rock Star’s boyfriend, the mobster, my brother and his wife, plus their two kids, Queen B’s boyfriend, and then my niece, her husband, and my other nephew. We spent most of the time inside and together. Almost everyone took part in putting a Christmas puzzle together. Lots of football was watched on Saturday as my brother and mom were hoping Notre Dame would make it into the championship play off bowl. Didn’t happen. We ended up going to downtown Indy Saturday evening for a Christmas bizarre, which ended up not being that great. We ordered pizza Friday night, had breakfast casseroles Saturday morning, a big Mexican buffet Saturday night, and biscuits and gravy on Sunday morning. There were snacks and lots of alcohol and plenty of games. I made 2 pans of Scotheroos and 3 batches of sugar cookies. All in all it was a pretty good weekend; we left with everyone looking forward to doing it again. There was even talk of doing an extended weekend because as it was we really only had one day together.

I’m not sure that’s going to happen anymore. Neither my mom nor myself is really feeling up to planning yet another family adventure. But it was nice while it lasted.

The mobster survived his first holiday season in Indiana. I think I mentioned he went back to Virginia over Thanksgiving. He was here in Indiana over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but left Wednesday after and was back in Virginia through the 2nd. He misses his kids. I understand and sympathize, of course, but this raises my anxiety and leads me to think he’s going to sell his new route and move back. Ah, the perils of being in love with a man who is a genuinely good father. Harley had it so much easier. Jerry Lee was willing to walk away from his kids in order to be with her. I’m definitely not saying that’s the better man because it isn’t and I wouldn’t want to be with someone who could discard his own flesh and blood. But it does make it easier.

The biggest thing that’s happened in my life recently is kittens! I got two of them shortly after our trip to Indianapolis. I got them from a shelter and they came already named. I have a little black one that I seriously wanted to call Snowball, but alas, her name was Noël. Her sister is Holly. She’s a little gray calico. I’m not sure what the technical term for her coloring is but she’s not a solid gray cat. There are patches of cream throughout her coat.They are both adorable and highly active. It’s been a slow road getting them used to Milo and quite honestly, Holly has come a lot further than Noel. She still bats at him when he walks too close or too fast. Holly, on the other hand, likes to rub up against him and swish her tail along his body. I’m not sure Milo appreciates that.

My mom is down in Florida once again. She’ll be there through most of March. She always gives me a date she’ll be returning and then comes back 2-3 days sooner.

My daughter has one year left in nursing school. She finally conceded that trying to do three nursing classes in summer school was just not feasible so she’ll be returning for her fall semester.

My son is a mess. Ran out of his medication (which isn’t doing a bang up job anyway) and didn’t bother to say anything. I guess he felt the Prozac Fairy would drop off another bottle eventually. He quit his job at the grocery store. I understand there was a personality conflict between him and the manager. It didn’t help that he was the only person left in the department. So he applied at Chick-Fil-A. He lasted at that job for four days. When I told him that playing video games and working a solid 15 hours a week was not a life plan he got very upset and let me know he wasn’t quitting because he was lazy; he was quitting because that job made him want to kill himself. He then spent the next hour sobbing. Needless to say, I felt like shit and I’m still left wondering how much of this is truly a mental health issue and how much is him manipulating me. We’re still waiting for a referral to a psychiatrist in the hopes that proper medication will help. It’s been at least 6 months now and they said when they contacted us it could be 6-8 months.

There is also a sleep issue. He claims that he rarely gets much sleep. He tries to go to sleep but he just lies awake. I’m hoping our family practitioner can prescribe something to help him sleep, although the idea of him and sleeping pills scares me, too.

Also, for those who might be worried, he does not appear to be suicidal now. Once the stress of the job was over he was pretty much back to his old self. Aside from his reluctance to shower everything seems fine.

Honestly, with the addition of the kittens I thought he was coming out of his shell more. The litter box is in his room right now so his door is always cracked open at least a little bit so they can get in there. In the beginning we were told to keep them in one room. His room was that room so he spent lots of time with them and seems to really enjoy them.

I guess it’s true what they say: A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child. Mental healthcare in this country sucks!

I’m slowly coming to realize that yet another saying is true as well: Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

There have been very brief moments where everything seemed to gel: My money situation was good, my kids were both good, the mobster and I were doing great. Now it seems more and more like one or two areas will be good and then another one falls apart. Get a new job making almost double what you’re making now. And then…. Picasso’s medication stops working. It’s a series of those situations. It seems to always be raining so learning to dance in the rain is the only thing you can do.

Speaking of dancing in the rain… our bank revised their vacation policy. As of January 1, 2022 I now get an extra week and a day of vacation time. All salaried employees get 3 weeks per year. I was going to have to work another 2, possibly 3 years before that happened. If my boss went in front of the board and lobbied for me to get my 3 weeks at 7 years instead of 7 years, 11 months and 21 days I would have received it in 2024. If not, it would have been 2025.

We also got an extra personal day and the threshold for 4 weeks of vacation has been lowered from 20 years to 15 years.

I’m still ruminating over making New Year’s resolutions or coming up with a word or phrase for the year. I’ve been toying with, “Be Here; Be Still.”  At its core it’s about not letting my mind race to all sorts of disastrous situations. Possibly it could also be about accepting what I have instead of dwelling on what I don’t. And it’s also about being in the moment instead of spending so much time on my phone, playing games and reading. I am not a big Facebook user but I do usually spend a fair amount of time scrolling through the stories on Chump Nation, as well as checking out posts from friends and family. 

Facebook is really my only social media vice. I don’t have a TikTok account. I have a Twitter account but I’ve never tweeted and I don’t ever check out my feed. The amount of time I spend on Instagram can be measured in minutes for the entire year. And as I said, even with Facebook I rarely post anymore. 

The mobster and I bought poster board and Sharpies so we can do a vision board. We’re hoping to spell out our financial and physical goals, as well as changes we’d like to make. I’ll let you know how that goes.

One resolution I will make and will do my best to keep is to post more often. I’m hoping to be able to get a new laptop in the next several months but until then I will simply have to suck it up and do all that copying, pasting, and transferring.

Here’s to a brilliant 2022!

Back row: Rock Star’s boyfriend (holding Milo), Rock Star, my mom (holding Holly), and Picasso (holding Noël). Front row: Me and the mobster