Wedding Song Bans

Have you heard of this trend? Thanks to Google and whatever fucked up analytics it has devised for me I was treated to an article or two about couples who have banned certain songs from their wedding. I’m probably only greatly offended because a great many of the songs were songs played at my wedding, and I think they’re terrific songs to be played at weddings.

I am amazed at the production that weddings have become. No wonder our divorce rate is as high as it is. Weddings aren’t about commitment; they’re about a grand party that is staged from the very beginning until the very end.

What’s on this list of the most banned wedding songs?  The number one banned song is a personal favorite and probably why I’m so pissed off and offended- Chicken Dance. Followed by Cha-Cha Slide, Macarena, Cupid Shuffle, YMCA, Electric Boogie (Electric Slide), Hokey Pokey, Wobble, Happy,  and Shout all made the Top 10. Rounding out the top 20 were Love Shack, We Are Family, Blurred Lines, Celebration, Cotton Eye Joe, Dancing Queen, Don’t Stop Believin’, Single Ladies, Sweet Caroline, and Turn Down For What. The final 10 songs were Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae), Mony Mony, All About That Bass, Baby Got Back, Booti Call, Gangam Style, Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), Stayin’ Alive, and Sweet Home Alabama.

Sweet baby Jesus! I think we played twenty out of the thirty. Keep in mind some of these songs hadn’t even been produced back in 1994.

Why? According to one DJ it is because wedding couples “want to be unique.” Seriously? The fact that you’re getting married is not unique enough? Are people seriously afraid that their guests will be all like, “Yeah, they had fireworks, a Viennese dessert hour, and Goldendoodles as wedding favors, but can you believe they actually played The Hokey Pokey? Most. Boring. Wedding. Ever.”

There were also concerns that some of the songs might be cliche, overplayed and just downright cheesy.

There’s a reason so many of these songs are played. They get people out on the dance floor! Even people who can’t dance can do the Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance.

I wasn’t even aware that the Chicken Dance was a thing until I had graduated from college. A friend of mine got married and it was played at her wedding. I guess I don’t have a lot of experience attending weddings because I live in an area that is heavily Polish and the Polish wedding dinner is a mainstay- fried chicken, Polish sausage, noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, sweet and sour cabbage and rolls. If you go to a wedding around here it’s about 50/50 if you get Polish wedding or something else.

My grandparents lived about two hours south of here. My grandpa was a farmer and my grandma was a housewife. They went to Hawaii once but that’s about all I ever remember them doing. My grandpa went to college up at Western Michigan but aside from that I think he spent his entire life in a small farming town. They didn’t vacation. They didn’t dance. They did play cards.

One of my fondest memories is my grandparents at my youngest brother’s wedding. The DJ played the Hokey Pokey and the Chicken Dance and both of my grandparents were out there, dancing. They had the greatest time. They wouldn’t have gone out and danced to the newest tunes. My grandma loved her Glenn Miller and they were both big Lawrence Welk fans. But they got out there when the DJ called everyone to the dance floor for those two songs.

At my own wedding I remember my stepsister out there dancing along to Shout. The story goes that after the wedding someone said, “I didn’t think she danced!” But she was out there having a great time and joining in.

I can see banning a song if it will bring up bad memories. If your parents are divorced you might not want to play their wedding song. The only song we asked the DJ not to play was my stepfather’s late son’s favorite song. He died in a house fire when he was 12 and my stepfather never recovered from that. I’m not sure if he ever listened to that song again.

I also get it when people don’t want songs with explicit lyrics played, or songs that you can’t dance to, or even songs about heartbreak and love not existing. Think Robbie singing, “Love Stinks” on “The Wedding Singer”. It’s a wedding. Time to be happy.

Come on people. Take the stick out of your ass. Lighten up and have some fun. Get the people out on the dance floor. These songs are classic wedding dance songs for a reason!

Advertisements

Weekends to Remember

I am back to posting about once a week or less. I wish I had a good reason. I suppose I do. I don’t always have a lot to write about. Or what I’m thinking about is a difficult topic so I’m not sure how to proceed. I do best when I write in the moment- either angry or happy or fired up about some injustice. So when I’ve mulled things over for a while in my brain it takes a while to get out on paper. Plus, this time change has really messed me up. I’m ready for bed around 8 pm most nights!

Enough of my excuses! I’m going to share my past few weekends with you. It’s something, right?

If we go back to September 21st-23rd we go back to Family Weekend at my daughter’s college. My mom and I headed down there and the mobster met us.

We picked up Rock Star and took her to dinner. We didn’t go until 8 or 9 in the evening so it was a pretty short night. With my daughter there is always shopping involved but I can’t remember if we shopped that night or not.

Saturday we went to breakfast at a very crowded IHOP. We ran some errands, did a bit of shopping, and then headed over for the football game. It was a good game although our team was robbed! Bad call after bad call.

 

After the game we tried out a “historic” restaurant which ended up being a really good choice. It was far enough from the main strip that it wasn’t crowded when we got there; it did pick up quite a bit later on. It was your basic burgers and fries and ice cream place, with a few other things tossed in. It was decorated adorably! Historic signs and gas pumps all around. I’ve seen pictures of what they do around Halloween and they go all out. It was great food and a great time.

 

We ended up in Rock Star’s dorm after dinner and there was a fire alarm! How many times can you say that happens when you’re visiting your kid? And, that same evening as we were going in I was confronted by a crying a college student who asked me for a “mom hug”. So I did. I hugged her tight and told her everything would be okay.

Afterwards Rock Star asked me, “Did you know her?’ Nope. She said, “I turned back and saw someone hugging a person who looked like my mom. And then I realized it WAS my mom!”

Sunday we went out to breakfast again and ran some more errands. It’s tough not having a car on campus. We dropped her off at her dorm in the early afternoon; she had a sorority function around 3. The three of us continued to walk around campus. My mom wanted to see her old residence hall and the old gym where she took most of her classes (she was a PE major).

20180923_123906

I almost got into a brawl with a spoiled, entitled college boy. He and his friends were on skateboards and apparently the three of us were taking up too much of the sidewalk for his liking. The mobster actually stepped off the sidewalk onto the grass and my mom got over on my side of the sidewalk but I guess it was done a little too slowly for Prince Douche. He kept talking to his friends about how awful we were for not getting over and taking up all of the sidewalk. I let his initial rant go but when he kept talking I stopped, turned around and watched him as he continued to skateboard away. At this point the mobster grabbed my hand and told me to forget about it. As he told me later, “I saw you stop and turn and I thought, ‘Oh no! What is she going to do?’”

Truthfully I wouldn’t have done much. I planned to stare him down and if he had dared to say anything else I was prepared to let loose on him. I don’t think it would have come to fisticuffs but I was prepared. I’m spunky when threatened.

Two weeks after Family Weekend was Fall Break for Rock Star. She headed home and we both went to our alma mater’s Homecoming game. She got quite the reception from her cheerleading friends. Everyone seemed really excited to see her. Our team won so that was good. I prefer winning to losing.

20181005_193955

I took her to one of her favorite restaurants around here and made the meals she requested. My niece even came out one night because she heard I was making chicken packets.

Her visit was way too short but I’m happy I got to have lunch with her the day she left. I also sent her back to school with her Halloween care package. She had to wait until she got back but she did have it.

The following weekend I was missing my mobster so I jumped in my car after work on Friday and headed to see him! I was going to totally surprise him but I suck at surprises. I have no idea how I pulled off his surprise party or surprising him by just showing up! He only knew for a couple of days though.

I stopped about 7-8 hours into the trip and spent the night at a hotel, and then got up and made the rest of the trip. He had to work in the morning anyway so it worked out nicely. I got there and he made me breakfast. It was good. Eggs, bacon, a big cup of coffee. I’m pretty sure he included toast.

Later that day he, T, and I went to the mall to try to find a dress for T. Then we were off to a hockey game. I love me some hockey! I like it even better than football. I had a great time despite the fact that we scored two goals within less than a minute with five minutes left in the game and we STILL lost! The other team managed to tie it up and then won in overtime. It was a fantastic game regardless of the outcome. To top off our evening out we headed to Texas Roadhouse for dinner.

 

It was a quick trip. I was on the road the next day by around noon. It was still totally worth it.

The following weekend I went to the Garth Brooks’ concert. It was freezing! Literally. The concert was delayed for almost an hour because of the freezing rain we had. We walked almost a mile from where we were parked to the stadium where the concert was held- outdoors. I discovered my boots were not waterproof about a minute into our walk. On top of that we walked around the entire stadium trying to find our entrance. Then we get in and we were probably ten rows from the very top.

20181020_195550

I admit it. I’m a seat snob. As I told someone, “I think it was Garth Brooks. I mean, it could have been anybody really. They could have just put a hat on some random guy and played the tracks. We wouldn’t have known the difference.” Seriously, we were so far up that even with the Jumbotron it was hard to see. If I can’t have at least a decent seat I would prefer not to go. I guess I figured all the seats would be good. They watch football games there, right?

Nonetheless, I was crowded into my seat like a sardine along with about 84,000 other people. It helped keep us warm, I guess. My feet were still frozen at the end of it. However, despite all the setbacks it was a good time.

He is a great performer. Honestly, after hearing all the rave reviews I was expecting a little more, but once the music started playing and the crowd got into it a good time was had by all.

20181020_201447

The following weekend I was once again headed down to see my daughter. I left on Saturday morning since it’s only about three hours away and we didn’t need to meet until 11.

It was Ladies Weekend for her sorority so that was fun. I got to meet her big sister in the sorority, or her “big”, and her “gbig”. I also met a few of the other girls, along with their families.

We started off with a scavenger hunt downtown, finding various stores they had set up for us. Afterwards we went to lunch with her big and gbig and their families. Then we were off to the mall to try to find a dress for Initiation for Rock Star. We didn’t find one, but she did get a few other things, plus some snacks and water for her room.

 

We went to Texas Roadhouse, one of her favorite places to eat and then headed back to the hotel where we did face masks and tried to follow along to a Bob Ross painting video.

20181027_222855

Let me tell you, it’s not as easy as he makes it look. Mine sucked! At one point I was prepared to say that Bob Ross and I were mortal enemies, but #1 he’s dead so it’s really hard to feud with him, and #2 I have finally figured out what our problem was.

20181028_103119

We did not have the correct tools. We were using acrylic paints; he uses oils. He had already put a nice coat of titanium white on his canvas and we did not use the wet on wet technique. He uses a very large canvas and we were confined to a 9×6; it’s very difficult to give justice to majestic mountains when you have to paint them small. Plus, where will you put the trees? We also did not have a palette knife or a spray bottle. All very useful tools. It makes a huge difference. I’m willing to give it another shot with the proper supplies. In fact, Picasso wants the three of us (me, him, and the mobster) to give it a try as a fun family activity.

The next day I took my baby girl out for breakfast and then back to the mall for one last effort to find a dress. For a final fun activity we painted pottery at the local pottery place, which we discovered while we were- you guessed it- on the scavenger hunt!

That takes me up to last weekend which I spent with the mobster and which I have already detailed.

And just so Picasso isn’t left out… he got his learner’s permit back in October. He hasn’t driven at all since then but he has it. He is the polar opposite of his sister. She couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. He’s more like, “I really need to have a tutorial before I get behind the wheel of a car.” Nonetheless, we went out to dinner to celebrate. I had been craving sushi and he indulged me.

Last night he had his fall String-Along. He looked so handsome in his suit. We went out to eat after that, too. I suggested Steak-n-Shake but he wanted Chinese. How could I say no?

 

I’ve offered to take him to see The Grinch this weekend. It’s snowing here and it has put me in the holiday spirit. He has declined, however. He told me it didn’t look like that great of a movie. Bah humbug!

Sometimes those jam packed weekends make writing a little difficult. I bring my computer with me almost all of the time but I rarely open it. I’m way too busy having fun and making memories! I’ll try to do better with updating the blog here. I do enjoy it and as I said in my very first post, the sad part about following blogs like this is that when you begin to recover most people stop writing. I don’t want to be that person. I’d like to think I still have a lot of material left!

A Year Ago…

I’m a bit late but a year ago on November 3rd to be exact, I was in court for my divorce. I didn’t know it at the time but I was giving him quite the ass kicking. I wouldn’t find that out until a day before Thanksgiving. In many ways it seems like it was forever ago; in other ways I find it hard to believe it’s actually been a whole year. Of course, I haven’t been divorced a whole year. That anniversary comes next month.

On the anniversary of my court hearing I was with the mobster; we spent the weekend in Columbus. He seems to be with me on a lot of these days for which I am glad. It’s always nice to spend these milestone dates with him.

I had another eventful drive to my destination. Lots of construction. When I got off the toll road my exit was closed so I had to go the opposite way and then turn around. I wish that was the end of it. I was halfway down a road that takes me to a connecting highway when I came upon a Road Closed sign. I sat there with a stunned expression on my face for a moment before deciding I was heading east anyway and I had a GPS so what the hell? I turned left and let the GPS reroute me.

I finally arrived at my destination and he came out to help me take my bags in. He led me into a room lit by candlelight. He had a bottle of wine and a single diet Coke chilling on ice (the other five were in the mini fridge). He bought me chocolate covered caramel apples, cheesecake, and chocolate covered popcorn. He bought 2 coffee cups with pictures of Hocking Hills, a previous destination for us, on them. There was even a pack of Phase 10 cards. Then he led me over to the bed, telling me he had bought me slippers and he wanted me to take my shoes off, relax, and put the slippers on.

I followed along and was greeted with a pair of red and green sequined elf slippers with bells on the toes. I howled with laughter. He told me as he helped me put them on, “Now we’ll know where the other one is at all times!” Oh how I love this man!

20181102_224418

20181102_224354

The next day we enjoyed a free breakfast (waffles were included!) before taking off to find a Dunkin’ Donuts. The mobster is always complaining that it’s difficult to find a good one where he lives. We ended up pretty much on campus minutes before kickoff. It was a total zoo over there! Thank goodness he was driving because I wanted no part of that. It was kind of neat though because this was the same Dunkin’ Donuts we had gone to when we had our girls with us when he and T came up to watch Rock Star’s cheer competition. We enjoyed a vanilla chai and some hash browns, and watched the throngs of students as they walked to the field to watch the game.

20181103_124141

After we finally finished up there we headed over to yet another winery. This one is a sister winery of the one we visited in Lancaster. They, too, had wine slushies which I love! The other thing I really like about this one is that there are no set flights; you choose what you want to taste and it’s only a dollar per tasting. We ended up getting two different bottles to take home with us. One tastes like a giant sweet tart and the other is cranberry wine. Delicious! I’m bringing it out at Thanksgiving.

20181103_131403

We ended up spending about 3 hours there. We sampled 6 wines each, plus I had a mug of the slushie. We had a bread board and a cheese and fruit board and ordered the trio sample of the wine cakes to go.

After the winery we took advantage of the Jacuzzi tub in our room. Did I forget to mention we had a huge Jacuzzi tub in our room? We did. It was fantastic. We probably spent more time in there than we should have but it was fun. We spent a lot of time talking about religion and the big bang theory and creationism and God. I know. Exactly what you would think people would talk about in a Jacuzzi, huh?

Later on we headed out for a late night dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. We didn’t get there until around 9 and there was still a line! Fortunately our wait was only about 10 minutes. We did take a short walk after dinner to let our meals digest before heading back to the hotel. I was so tired from the wine, the food, and the Jacuzzi that I was falling asleep on the ride back and I fell asleep with 10 minutes of getting back to the room.

On our final day we ended up checking out an area called German Village. It’s a quaint little area with brick lined streets and gorgeous older homes. They’re quite pricey judging by the open house flyers. We stopped and had lunch at a deli. Their sandwiches were HUGE! I had some sort of club and I could barely eat it. I ended up only devouring half of it and taking the other half back home with me. The mobster went with the reuben. It had an half pound of meat on it! We also tried the potato latke, the cherry kuegel, and the original knish. We decided the knish was kn-not, and the potato latke was not-ke. We really liked the cherry kuegel though. Who knew a cherry noodle concoction could be so tasty?

20181104_133229

We walked a little bit more after lunch, almost went to an open house, and then finally said our good-byes. I hate leaving him but we both take comfort in the knowledge that our time apart is drawing to an end.

received_300897477193872

received_190412745174582

So, last year my Freedom Weekend was spent at the beach. This year it was spent in Ohio. Who knows what next year will bring? Personally, I hope we’re celebrating it in his new home with no goodbyes in sight.

P.S. Congratulations Boston on your World Series win! My man is a wicked Red Sox fan.

My Reply to Your Opinions

First, I want to say thank you so much! I figured I would get maybe 5-8 responses. Instead they kept pouring in. It definitely gave me a lot to think about and gave us a lot to discuss. I appreciate all of you who took the time to respond. I didn’t respond as each one came in because I wanted people to be able to comment without any interference from me. I didn’t want to make excuses or defend my actions. I thought that by offering up counterpoints to anyone I didn’t agree with it would water down the conversation. I wanted opinions and I didn’t want anyone to feel that they had to debate me in order to get their point across.

Second, I am doing fine. To those of you who wondered how I was doing I say again, “Thank you!” I am sincerely touched that you care enough to wonder how I’m doing after a post like that.

Where to begin after getting the formalities out of the way? Well, I suppose I should start with an update. The mobster and I are still together, if any of you had any doubt. We have talked and talked about this. Just the other night he read the comments and we ended up talking about it some more- for around three hours.

Also, regarding the hand holding… We have come to a consensus. He agrees that he shouldn’t have agreed to it.

Now, for a few clarifications:

  1. While they did indeed take a picture of just the two of them, as he describes it everyone who walked down the path stopped at the bridge for a moment while the photographer snapped a picture. They were not off in a private photo shoot.
  2. When they did the unity ceremony he told her she could just go ahead and dump the dirt, so they didn’t actually both dump the dirt in together. I don’t know why I felt that was a necessary piece of information but I’ve already typed it out so it’s staying.
  3. I did not create a huge scene or throw out hypothetical situations before his son’s wedding. The hypothetical situations came about after the wedding when we were talking about this. They came about because of this idea that it was all about the bride and groom and what they wanted. If that’s true then I think it’s only fair to ask what else could they have asked for that he would be willing to do? Fuck her on the altar? Kiss her because the bride’s parents are going to kiss? End things with me? Recite their vows at the front of the church? Spend the night with her? Accompany them on their honeymoon as a couple? Dance with her all night long? I did not start off with, “Oh my God! Would you have done this?”  I also did not ruin anything for anyone. The bride and groom did not know, nor would they have cared, that I was upset. They got exactly what they wanted; they had a perfect day, as they should have. The mobster did not realize I was as upset as I was so I didn’t ruin the wedding for him either. He went to the wedding and made the best of it. He thought it was actually an amazing wedding despite the awkwardness that his STBX brought to the event (and that was how he put it; that’s not me “painting a picture” of her as being batshit crazy or making things awkward). I’m pretty sure he had a good time and enjoyed himself immensely. It wasn’t until he wanted to tell me all about it that he realized I was upset and angry.
  4. Regarding the issue of jealousy. After I reread that I realize it seems like he tossed out, “Oh, you’re just jealous!” That’s not what happened. We were calmly talking about this and this conversation happened after the situation had been diffused. He didn’t understand why I had a problem with any of what had happened because it was done for his son and his son’s wedding. He asked me, not in a judgmental way, but as more of a exploratory way, if I thought maybe it was due to jealousy. He never meant to imply that the only reason I was upset was because I was jealous, and I never meant to convey that he had tried to pull the ol’, “You’re just jealous,” routine with me. It wasn’t like that at all.
  5. His kids did not know about the countersuit and allegations of abuse from their mom. The mobster did not tell them any of that. I know some people talked of the kids being so used to craziness, or wanting to pacify her, but they were in the dark about her allegations.
  6. And finally, just so it’s clear, I was fine with him walking up beside his STBX. I was fine with him dumping his dirt in and then her dumping hers in. I was fine with family photos. I knew all of that was going to happen regardless of whether or not I liked it. Like it, hate it, didn’t matter. I fully expected it. They are both his parents. To a certain extent I was okay with them sitting in the same row, although etiquette books all say that when you are dealing with separated/divorced parents who don’t get along you sit the mother in the front row and the father behind her. I think whoever set that arrangement up had absolutely no empathy for their situation and was much more concerned with what was easy and what looked good. What upset me was him “escorting” her like they were together. That was before I even found out they actually held hands (and again, he has admitted that shouldn’t have happened and will never happen again). I was also not real happy with the fact that someone decided they should be seated at the same table for dinner as well. I was not upset at him, however, because he didn’t control where he was seated. Again, it displays an astonishing lack of empathy.

I’m not going to go into detail about everything we’ve discussed. I will share this: He does care deeply about how I feel. He wanted me to know he never wants me to feel disrespected or dismissed. I care very much about how he feels. I don’t ever want him feeling like he has to walk on eggshells around me.

You all gave me a lot to think about in regards to peacekeeping, boundaries, and being married to an alcoholic for many years. I really appreciated that. It made a lot of sense to me. I also took to heart Jojobee’s declaration that you start in the way you want to go forward. That is so true.

So many of you had such great insights. I took to heart many of the points that you made. I appreciated those of you who examined this from a very even handed point of view. It wasn’t a right or wrong thing. It was quite comforting to feel understood and have others empathize with me, and then point out another way to think of things. Everyone seemed to realize that the mobster is a good dad who was trying to do the right thing for his son and the wedding.

I do agree with those who said the marrying couple should have discussed their wants with him far before the week of the wedding. I think this is where the peacekeeping comes in. I know he doesn’t want to burden his kids with the divorce stuff. I know he thinks they will cringe if he ever outright asks questions about whether or not she will be someplace he has to be, or whether or not her AP will be there. I can’t explain it but basically he feels like his kids don’t ever want to discuss their mother with him regardless of the situation. I think he feels awkward bringing it up because in his mind her presence should be no big deal at all. I think he has every right to ask those questions and be prepared. But he wants to spare his kids all of that so he doesn’t.

I also think that getting married doesn’t entitle you to be an ass who forces people into uncomfortable situations. I’m not saying that his son and DIL were asses, but I saw a lot of, “It’s all about the happy couple,” and “It’s their day; it all comes down to what they want,” in the comments.

It’s your wedding and you want all of your guests to wear purple? Fine. You want to ban the color blue at your wedding? Knock yourself out. Don’t want certain songs played? No alcohol aside from beer? No vegetarian choices? No plus one for the single guests? No kids at the wedding? All good. It’s your wedding, your party, you call the shots. But you don’t get to demand things like, “You must play happily married couple with my other parent today,” or “Break up with your partner because it’s not convenient for me,” or “French kiss whomever you’re escorting once you’re on the bridge.”

Ask for civility? Sure. You may not stab my other parent. I don’t want there to be any knockdown drag out fights at my reception. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Please don’t call the AP your pet name for them to their face. Do not pour drinks or food on one another.

Seriously, it was never about me wanting him to shun her or to not be anywhere near her. I am aware of the fact that they have children together and that in most cases those children will want both of their parents there. As I said above I fully expected them both to be in pictures with the bride and groom. I fully expected that they would both participate in whatever ceremony the couple had planned. I also don’t think expecting him not to hold her freaking hand was too much to ask. Thankfully, he agrees.

Ironically, I would say that the comment from InsistOnHonesty was one that made a huge difference. It was her saying, “I think there are better people out there for each of you,” that had a huge impact on me. I felt gutted reading that. But I realized, no, there really isn’t a better person out there for me. He is an amazing man. He is so good to me. When I try to think of life without him I can’t imagine myself dating again. I wasn’t looking when I met him; I definitely wouldn’t be out there looking if he left me. As I told him once I haven’t been this happy since I was 17 years old and in love with Todd. It took me over 30 years to find someone who could make me that happy again. I would be a fool to give this up. So, no matter the trials or tribulations I’m not walking away. We’ll work through it. And really, we’re going to toss away an amazing relationship over one disagreement? So thank you; the thought of ending things over this made me miserable. Ultimately though it reaffirmed the fact that he is the one I want to be with.

I also want to be clear that I did not “rage” at him. He asked me what was wrong and I told him. Believe me, he prefers that over getting the cold shoulder. I was not yelling or screaming at him. We were having a disagreement. We used our words. I had a relationship for over twenty years where I was never allowed to be upset or angry or unhappy. I have no desire to go back to that. i deserve much better. If something upsets me I’m going to tell him. If he disagrees with me he can tell me. And vice versa. Together we can work through it.

Sophia, I love you. You are such a spitfire. I’m sorry you feel CF and the ExWife won. I’m not sure how CF got in the game, but the fact of the matter is there was no way that the ExWife wasn’t going to win. It’s her kid. If both of us can’t be there then the one that shouldn’t be there is me. I accept that. What I don’t accept is this idea that they should behave as a couple because their kid is getting married.

I felt that me being there would be very uncomfortable, what with them not knowing how she would behave. At one point we thought she would be in jail during the wedding so that kind of paved a way for me to attend. Ultimately though, most of her sentence was suspended and days she served prior to her court hearing counted towards her time so she was out in time for the wedding. As I said in my previous post had I been there I’m not sure how she would have reacted and any bad behavior on her part would have undoubtedly been pushed my way.

I’m a Pisces but I still don’t want to mess up anyone’s wedding. If she’s at the next three weddings and my presence will cause her to act like an ass I will once again remove myself from the day. Hell, come to think of it his daughter graduates this spring and I don’t know how that’s going to work out. I know we have a good relationship and she likes me, but if only one of us can attend without a horrible scene, then it should be her mother.

Ultimately, I am doing as most of you suggested and moving forward. We are moving forward. We have talked about it; we have drawn boundaries. Things are good. They’re back to normal.  I’m going to be seeing him this weekend so I will definitely be giving him a kiss and making up.

Opinions Wanted

This is going to be an interesting post to write. Before I begin I want everyone to know that this post was the mobster’s idea. He wanted me to write it. Thought it would be good to get other people’s opinions. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

The mobster’s son got married on Saturday. Those of you who have been reading for a while may remember that I removed myself from the situation back in February or March. For those of you who are new here is the backstory.

Basically, he and the mobster were talking about the wedding and his son told him that he and his fiancee were still trying to decide if they were going to give both of his parents a plus one, or if neither one would receive one. He also made mention of the fact that they had arranged with other guests to remove people who got out of line.

I let the mobster know that he could tell his son he needn’t worry about my presence. I would not be attending. It was Rock Star’s senior year and vacation was in short supply. I decided I was not going to stress over keeping a day open for a wedding where I was clearly not wanted. I was also smart enough to know that if Batshit Crazy showed her ass it would undoubtedly be blamed on me and the fact that I was there. I opted not to attend so the happy couple did not have to worry about anything spoiling their wedding. With me not there there should have been no awkwardness, no fights breaking out, no angry words, etc.

I did have a moment of weakness in late September and asked the mobster if it was too late to change my mind. He had been telling me for months that it wasn’t too late and I could still go, despite the fact that he hadn’t spoken to his son about it. I asked him on a Sunday and the very next day my mom called me at work to tell me she had bought Garth Brooks’ tickets for us. I then had to tell him that I would be sticking with the original plan and wouldn’t be going to the wedding.

Everyone following so far? Excellent. Fast forward to the week of the wedding.

Tuesday his oldest son flies into town for the wedding along with his girlfriend and his son. I know that this is going to mean the mobster and I won’t be spending much time talking because he will be busy with his kids and grandson. There was lots of quality time spent with his three sons, their girlfriends, his daughter and his grandson. Through this quality time he finally learned that his STBX was indeed invited to the wedding (there was a point where the bride and groom were upset enough at her stealing T’s television and then damaging it that they weren’t going to invite her). I don’t think he ever found out whether or not her AP was invited, despite the fact that I was not going. He also began learning about things they had planned for the wedding, like the unity ceremony.

Wednesday she answers his divorce petition by asking that it be thrown out and her own counter suit for divorce be granted. She accused him of physically and mentally abusing her, and followed that up with claiming he had tossed all of her things into a garbage bag and told her to “Take her shit and get out!” while she begged him to let her stay because she had nowhere to go.

Thursday he tells me that he has told everyone involved in running the wedding that he is willing to go up and do this unity ceremony with her. C and C wanted her siblings and his siblings to dump a vial of dirt into a planter, and then her parents and his parents to do the same, followed by them. He agreed to do so although he told them he didn’t want to walk arm and arm with her and didn’t want to hold her hand while they dumped the dirt. He also told them he didn’t want to escort her to her seat.

I am perfectly fine with this. They are both his parents. Walk up, she dumps dirt, he dumps dirt, they return to their seats.

Friday evening he calls me after the rehearsal dinner. He tells me he has agreed to escort her to her seat. He will walk her across a bridge, stop for a minute so the photographer can take pictures of the groom’s happy parents, and then apparently go on up to do the unity ceremony. He has also agreed to have both of them use a single vial of dirt and both dump it into the planter together. They sat together in the same pew and were seated together for dinner- him, his parents, their daughter, her, and her parents. I later find out that he didn’t “escort” her across the bridge and to her seat. They held hands as they walked.

Important to note is that the bride’s mother had a contingency plan in place if he refused to do any of the above. She had a fifth vial for dirt so they could each have their own. Her husband was going to escort the groom’s mother to her seat.

Also important to note is that neither the bride nor the groom actually told him what they wanted him to do. He admitted later maybe he should have asked them if any of this was important to them.

Still following? Great, because this is where you and your opinion comes into play.

I was absolutely furious. I told him I felt like he was playing happily married couple and I had been completely disrespected and dismissed. I asked him what the hell he would have done if I had attended the wedding, and let him know I would have been beyond humiliated had I been there. The bottom line for me was that I felt like they were presenting themselves as a couple and it was inappropriate. He’s the father. She’s the mother. They do not need to be walking hand in hand and posing for pictures together when they are in the middle of an acrimonious divorce. If you bother to google where to seat divorced parents you come up with multiple options, all which are a much better plan than the one the dipshit wedding planner managed.

He was gobsmacked by my anger. He said he did what he did for his son and he had no regrets. He has no desire to get back together with his wife. He was not playing happily married couple and it was actually a very awkward situation for him. He didn’t want to be around her; he didn’t talk to her aside from replying, “Fine,” when asked how he was. He believes this was simply a transition time what with them not divorced yet and that I won’t ever have to deal with this again because none of the other kids would ask him to do anything like that. He thinks I go to extremes and came up with outlandish examples, i.e. If they wanted you to renew your vows with them would you do that? If they wanted you to fuck her on the altar to show you’re a happily married couple, would you? If they wanted you two to pose together, all comfy and cozy, and coo over a new baby along with them and her parents, would you? What if they wanted you to dance together? What if they wanted you to honeymoon with them; would you do that, too?

Yes, I know. I can get outlandish. I was simply trying to establish where the line in the sand is for him. No, I don’t necessarily see any of the above happening. However, to me that’s not the point. The point is what would he do if it were asked of him? He’s not saying he wouldn’t do it again. He’s saying that none of the others would ask.

The bottom line is he doesn’t think there was anything wrong with walking hand in hand with his STBX, posing for pictures with her, pretending to be a happy couple for the sake of his son. In fact, he says that wasn’t what he was doing at all. Remember, it was very awkward. He also says it’s not about me or us or even her. It’s all about the newly married couple. He did what he did to keep the peace and make the wedding planner happy. As someone who agreed with him asked, “Why is she upset because you walked with the mother of your son?”

I, on the other hand, feel like I didn’t exist that day in order for the wedding to look picture perfect. Divorced people spoil so much. I guess I don’t understand it because as I told him, “I would never in a million years walk hand in hand with CF. Not because I’m a terrible mother who doesn’t care about her daughter (or son, as the case may be), but because we’re not a couple and I would never do that to you.” Also, he’s done horrible things to me and I don’t want him touching me. My kid getting married doesn’t erase all the shitty things he did.

The best explanation I’ve heard is this: I can understand his point of view. He wants to be a good dad and do right by his son. But in doing that he did something very intimate with another person who wasn’t his partner.

At one point he suggested that I was jealous of her and that was the root of the problem. I told him I had no worries about him leaving me to go be with her. I trust him; I trust what we have. And honestly? If he wants to give it another shot with the alcoholic, lying cheater, I can’t stop him. I also know he would regret it in no time. And no, I would not be willing to give him a second chance once he realized he fucked up.

She, on the other hand, I pointed out to him, is batshit crazy and who the hell knows how she will interpret the events? And wouldn’t you know, she ended up calling him this week. She’s blocked so he only got a notification and she didn’t manage to make contact but she attempted it. He thinks maybe she called to talk about the divorce but ultimately says he does’t care why she called; he just wants to be divorced from her. I think she called because she thinks they’re back together. Or she thinks he’s at least willing to consider fooling around with her behind her AP’s back.

Right now we are pretty much at an “agree to disagree” truce. I’m not sure he will ever understand how I feel, and why I feel it, although he did say had I been there he might not have agreed to do pretty much everything he did. To be fair, I don’t understand why he made the choices he did, although I comprehend the words, “I did it for my kid.” As I said above, I would never make those same choices so it’s hard for me to understand why he did.

He said he wondered how others would feel and suggested I write this post to see what your thoughts are. He thought it would be a step up from, and an improvement over my post entitled, “Happy International Fake Happy Couple Day” which I wrote in a fit of anger. I thought long and hard before hitting “Publish” and I probably should have thought some more because it was mean and uncalled for. I took it down and I have apologized sincerely to him. I felt it was important to mention that post though because it explains why he suggested I write this one. I didn’t want people wondering why on earth we’re asking the blogosphere to moderate our disagreements, or thinking that he’s just leaving it up to all of you.

So… how about it? How do you think it should have played out? Is it rational to expect a couple in the middle of a nasty, drawn out divorce to walk arm in arm, or hand in hand, down the aisle together? Pose for pictures together as an intact, happily married couple? Sit next to each other during the wedding? Be seated together at dinner? Would you do it? Would you want your partner to do it?

Am I overreacting? Is he totally oblivious? Am I a green eyed jealous monster? Would you have thought it was no big deal? Would you have been angry and upset in my shoes? Should he have said, “No, I’m not holding hands with my STBX; she just accused me of abusing her.” Or, is he just a really great dad who is willing to do whatever it takes to make his kid’s big day special?

Head Exploding, Part 2

I don’t think my head would have exploded had the author quit at this idea you can do divorce well and have a wonderful life post divorce with you being best buds and new kind of family with the ex.

But no, she has to go on and say this:

I do also understand not all divorces are wrapped up in a nice neat bow. Infidelity and lies do lead to harsh feelings – but even then, if we can take a step back and try to see the other human being as just that – a human being, and take our egos out of the equation then it’s possible to overcome this too. Stop asking, how could they do this to US? Why did he/she do that to ME? And instead understand that infidelity is less about us and more about them and their way of trying to figure out how to fill their own voids. We don’t have to agree with their decisions and we’re allowed to feel hurt but then at some point we need to brush ourselves off and make progress towards a better life and own OUR happiness. Everyone deserves to be happy. And not just happy on the terms that WE’VE given them. They need to find their own way, their own path. If it doesn’t include you then that’s ok. If their decisions bring them down the wrong path, that is their cross to bear. Not yours or your children’s. Your strength will get you through any hardships associated with their bad decisions and that strength will trickle down to your children as well. Your happiness has always been within you anyway.

I. Can’t. Even.  Really? Take a step back and try to see the other human being as just that? How about no? How about instead of seeing them as just human I see him as the manipulative, conning liar and cheater that he is? Why encourage people to open themselves up for more abuse? This is the problem. When we see monsters these days we are told they are not really monsters. Why lie to us like that? Why encourage us to lie to ourselves?

My life was napalmed. This wasn’t some small, innocuous thing. It was the systematic dismantling of my life as I knew it. My children suffered as well. They lost everything they knew and then once they finally began to get their footing he pulled the rug out from underneath them all over again. Harsh feelings doesn’t even begin to cover what I felt towards that bastard.

Sweetie, I assure you, my ego is not the problem. The problem is that I married and bred with a liar. My children’s father is a perpetual victim despite the devastation he has caused- both to me and my children.

By my ego I assume you mean my anger or my outrage. We can’t have any of that, can we? How can we possibly sell cheating and divorce as a good thing when people appear to be so angry over it? We can’t have the cheating spouse feel bad about themselves. If you would just please eat the shit sundae, stuff all of your feelings way down deep, and smile real pretty, this could be a real swell ride for you!

It’s all psycho-babble bullshit meant to ease the guilty conscience of a cheater. She paints it as some existential crisis: Stop asking how could they do this to US? Why did he/she do that to ME? And instead understand that infidelity is less about us and more about them and their way of trying to figure out how to fill their own voids.

Are you kidding me? If the cheater in my life didn’t do this to ME and to US and to OUR KIDS then who exactly did he cheat on and whose lives did he impact with his selfish behavior? I assure you that when he told me not to worry if I saw a wire on our bank records because he was sending his mom money for groceries that he most definitely was lying to ME and affecting ME. When he let me coach him to be able to drive to go meet up with his whore he most definitely was doing something shitty TO ME. When he lied about where he was going and tried to get me to send him naked pictures while he was with her that was something done TO ME. When he siphoned off over half of his paycheck and put it into an account with Harley so that she and her kids could have whatever her evil, shriveled little heart wanted, forcing my kids to have to do without, he did that TO US. Every shitty move he made affected us and was purposefully done to inflict the most damage.

Oh, but ignore that and focus instead on the fact that they were fucking strange because they needed to fill their own voids. Even though your life may have been gutted and irreparably damaged please try to remember this isn’t about you. It’s about the cheater’s journey of self-discovery. God forbid someone suggest yoga, or meditation, or journaling. Hell, maybe try a therapy dog. But don’t cheat on your spouse and then try to excuse it by calling it self-discovery. The only thing being discovered is that you’re a selfish, entitled asshole.

We don’t have to agree with their decisions and we’re allowed to feel hurt but then at some point we need to brush ourselves off and make progress towards a better life and own OUR happiness. 

Bless her Pollyanna-esque heart! I wonder if she has a timeline? Month 1- vomit, be unable to eat or sleep, lose twenty-five pounds, cry every day. Month 2- Resume old life, cry only once or twice a week. Month 3- Decide that this new life, sans life partner is absolutely terrific. Start telling everyone that your spouse’s affair was the best thing that ever happened to you and how you are so fortunate to be given this unique chance to start your life over completely from scratch. Month 4- Can’t even remember you were once married.

Thanks so much for giving all of us cheated on people permission to disagree with our partner’s choice to fuck another person and for allowing us to feel hurt for a moment. We sure do appreciate it.

I even understand, to a certain degree, what this author is trying to say. Yes, divorce sucks but we all have the power to make a new and better life. Well, at least a new life. I suppose better is in the eye of the beholder. And yes, we shouldn’t spend the rest of our lives reliving what happened and wishing it was all some nightmare we could wake from. But that doesn’t mean we need to forgive the person who gutted us, who betrayed us in the most intimate way. Getting on with our lives is not synonymous with forgiving or even getting along with the ex.

Everyone deserves to be happy. And not just happy on the terms that WE’VE given them. They need to find their own way, their own path. If it doesn’t include you then that’s ok.

I’m going to call a big load of bullshit on that one. No one deserves to be happy at another person’s expense. Period. And that is what cheating is. If you were to take a gander at Harley’s Facebook page she talks nonstop about how happy she is. She is happier than a pig in shit that she managed to snag her married man. Yep, she’s the luckiest gal in the world. Her brand new husband left his wife of twenty years and deserted his two children to be with her. What a prize! She is ecstatic! Over the moon! Everyone tells her she deserves it. She deserved another woman’s husband. His children deserved to be deserted so that they could live happily ever after.

That also seemed to be the overriding theme in CF’s life with his mom and sister telling him he deserved to be happy. Hell, his mom encouraged Harley to call him because he seemed so sad and miserable. Now he’s supposed to be happy. He’s turned his kids’ lives upside down. He’s pretty much turned his back on them. He put me through hell. But hey- he had a right to happiness no matter who suffered! Am I right?

Here’s the thing: I believe people do deserve to be happy. I also believe they have every right to decide you don’t make them happy. Furthermore, I believe and accept that they are free to end the relationship. Here’s the other thing: You do that shit before you go looking for another warm body. No one has the right to destroy another human being due to their selfish behavior in search of “happiness”. If you’re unhappy get out. Don’t waste your partner’s life while you search for love.

Sadly, I think the author is woefully misguided when she chimes in with: If their decisions bring them down the wrong path, that is their cross to bear. Not yours or your children’s.

CF’s decisions did end up being my cross to bear. It ended up being my children’s cross to bear. His decisions had far reaching consequences for us. We lost our home. We were forced to move 600 miles away. I lost almost everything I had ever owned in my life. It’s magical thinking to tell betrayed spouses that it’s not their cross to bear. There is almost no way that can be true. Actions have consequences and often those consequences are far reaching.

She ends with more psycho-babble: Your strength will get you through any hardships associated with their bad decisions and that strength will trickle down to your children as well. Your happiness has always been within you anyway.

That’s just another way of saying, “Play nice. Let bygones be bygones. Eat shit and smile pretty. Let’s all forgive and forget and be best friends once again.”

You know what? My strength did get me through the hell I lived in for over two years. I still remember that long period of time where I just wanted to lay down and die; I felt no joy, no happiness. I had no hope. My kids did see me as a kickass role model; I’d like to think my strength has trickled down to them. I’m happier now than I ever was with him, so yes, it has always been within me.

That doesn’t change the fact that none of this should have been done to me, or my kids. So no, there will be no playing nicely with the person who cheated. He might be a human being but he’s a shitty one. I do not forgive and forget. His happiness was not more important than mine or our kids’. Start telling that story instead of trying to package adultery up in a beautiful box with a great big bow.

 

Head Exploding, Part 1

I think the title says it all. I was reading a new blog called Best Divorce Ever, Happily Ever Divorced. It’s a newish blog with only two posts. I think it may no longer be active.

The author is one of those that believes divorce doesn’t have to be an awful thing. That’s fine. I can get behind that in certain cases. You both decide the marriage isn’t working. There are no lies, no deception, no financial shenanigans. She advocates for “divorcing well”, which sounds all well and good, but I don’t think most people divorce well. It hurts like a bitch even when you haven’t been cheated on and discarded, and when you put that dynamic into play it gets even worse.

We have the obligatory “let’s look at this as a restructuring of the family, an extended family”, to which I pretty much always say, “Let’s not.”

Seriously, I think part of the problem is everyone wants to wrap divorce up in a neat and tidy little bow. It’s not tearing a family apart; it’s creating a larger family with more people to love the children! You haven’t lost a partner; you’re developing a different kind of love, a more mature love rooted in your past which grows stronger with cooperation. Seriously?

No, divorce ends a family. Period. Mommy and Daddy may go on to find new life partners and have more babies with the new and improved version of a spouse, but those kids are now straddling two different families. In probably 99% of the situations they aren’t going to celebrate Christmas or go on vacations with both of their parents and all of their siblings. It will be a constant round of spending part of their time with one family and part of it with another. No matter how well the parents get along it will never change the fact that they now have two homes- or one home, and one place they visit.

That’s assuming that everything goes splendidly- the kids like both of the new spouses, there is no favoritism towards the kids that live full-time with the parents and no biases towards the stepkids, all pre-existing kids get along, all the adults get along and agree on everything. What are the chances of that happening? It’s hard enough to get the two adults that created these kids to agree on everything and now we’re believing that FOUR adults are all going to come to a consensus? And that none of the kids are going to get shafted!

Holidays? That ought to be fun. If you thought trying to make it to each other’s parents’ homes while still carving out time for your family was a Herculean effort, now try adding two more families to the mix. I’m sure that all of them will be super understanding about having to rearrange holidays plans to accommodate your new spouse’s ex-husband’s schedule.

I’m not saying it’s impossible, or that certain accommodations couldn’t be made if all were willing. I am saying that it’s not as easy as most people who spout this kind of crap make it out to be. If you’ve ever tried to plan an extended family vacation you know how difficult it is to coordinate schedules of many busy adults. Those are people that you hopefully like and want to spend time with. Now imagine trying to do that when you don’t know half of the players. Plus, how do you ever come up with your own family traditions if you are so busy trying to include everyone you’ve ever known?

Being married should mean that you have each other’s backs. It’s being a family and working for the greater good of the family. You don’t have that when you divorce. Your allegiance is now to the new spouse. If we’re being honest, for most non-custodial parents the allegiance is also to the children living full-time with him or her.

You can’t have your ex-spouse’s back when you’re married to someone else. How would that impact your marriage if you and your ex were in agreement together while your current spouse was the odd man out?

I’ll go one further. I don’t think most people want to spend a great deal of time with the current partner’s ex. I know I have no desire to spend holidays with the mobster’s ex. I do not want to vacation with her. I do not even want to double date. I want to do those things even less with my own ex and Harley.

I will once again go on the record as to say that I am not discouraging people to work with their ex if they already have an amicable situation. I don’t encourage it if your ex is a selfish asshole but that’s a whole other post. I’m not knocking people who have a cordial or even great relationship post divorce. I’m not discouraging cooperation or both parents showing up. I will say, and in fact have said, that your ex is probably not the best person to include in your support system.

I think what it all comes down to is that this is something that sounds very nice in theory, but it rarely works out that way in reality.

I know what you must be thinking. “Why not, Sam?” I know; it sounds so pessimistic and uncharitable. Let me hit you with some truths.

First, it’s not uncommon for one parent to move, especially if they are non-custodial, once they remarry. I’m not talking about once the kids are out of high school, off to college, off living their own lives. No, I’m talking still in school. Young. Need rides to school. Need rides everywhere. Need help with homework. Need constant supervision. It doesn’t matter. Love has spoken and they must heed its siren’s call. Off they go. Sometimes it’s only across town. Sometimes it’s only an hour or two. Other times it’s 4-6 hours, or clear across the country.

Second, it’s not uncommon for the new partner to put the kibosh on him helping you out. That was something that used to be discussed quite regularly on the other board I read. If a man is caught between two women who want competing things he’s almost always going to choose to piss off the woman he is not sleeping with. So, if you used to be able to depend upon the ex to pick up Sabrina if you were running late at work, or take her to the doctor’s if you couldn’t get away from work, and now the ex has remarried you might find yourself in a pickle. Imagine he’s married a woman who has two kids of her own, and he is a devoted stepfather to them, and they also go on to have a baby together.  What do you think the chances are that he will still be willing to drop plans or rearrange things so that he can help you out? His first priority is going to be his wife’s children and their shared child. If she starts throwing her weight around and declaring that you use him as a built in babysitter whenever you’re too lazy to make other arrangements, chances are he’s not going to defend you and tell her he wants the extra time. He’s sleeping with her; he does not want to piss her off. He’s no longer sleeping with you; he does not care if you are pissed off.

Along those same lines: If you truly think you’re best buds and will always have each other’s backs, because, hey, we’re family- forever- just in a different form… then try calling him when you’ve run out of gas and are stranded on the side of the road, or at 2 in the morning when the furnace goes out and you and your kids are freezing. Give it a shot and see if he’s willing to leave the new, naked woman in his bed to go fix your furnace, or leave his new partner and kids who are eating dinner to pick up you and your kids. Again, chances are very good that even if he might be willing to do it for his kids, the new partner is not going to be happy with him running out and helping you. And when it comes to choosing who to upset- you or her- he will choose to upset you more times than not.

I guess you are a different kind of family, an extended family, only during daylight hours and only if his new schedule allows for it. That’s some kind of family.