The Accusations

I apologize for the choppiness of these next few entries. I have a whole bunch to say and I want to make sure no one misses anything so it’s going to be broken up into a few different posts. I may end up repeating myself sometimes. Deal with it. Things may be out of order. I’m going through a crisis right now so deal with it. You’re all smart. I’m sure you can follow along. With that caveat let’s begin, shall we?

What happened, you may be wondering? Hell if I know.

What I do know is he stood in my office one day in April or May and said, “Don’t cry. This isn’t goodbye. We’re just going back to our old plan until we figure out a new plan.” What I also know is he moved back the beginning of June. We saw each other a grand total of four times since he moved back.

Well golly, Sam, that doesn’t sound normal!

No, no it doesn’t. Let me explain.

He asked me not to pressure him to get together when he first got back because he needed time to get his house back in order. His son and his wife had moved into the apartment above the garage while their house was being built and they had moved everything out of the Air BnB into a room in the house. I guess maybe he felt the need to reclaim his house from his daughter and her best friend/roommate. So I was a good little girlfriend and I let him lead.

I’m going to add in a little extra background on this. I always felt like I was the one pushing to see him more. It’s probably not true. He definitely did ask about getting together so I don’t want to paint a picture of him being totally bored and never wanting to meet up. When we first started dating I almost ended things with him one time because he canceled on me to go see his son’s wedding venue and I was like, “Look, you’re saying you’re going to move up here and we will have seen each other a grand total of approximately 12 times. This is never going to work.”

I took it back immediately but I said it.

There were other times where we made tentative plans and then they would be changed because of his kids. I don’t even remember the second time it happened but I do remember telling him I was canceling on our weekend because I was going to go do something with my daughter.

I always felt like he put his kids first and I put him first. Not to say I neglected my kids, but if I had plans to meet up with him and my kid wanted to do something I wasn’t afraid to say, “I already have plans. Let’s do this another time.” Obviously if it was something like prom or graduation my kid came first, but daughter’s boyfriend’s graduation party? Sorry, sweetie, I’ll send a card and check; I’ve got plans that weekend.

I sometimes thought he was almost afraid to tell me no or to cancel on me because he feared my reaction.

So this time around I was not going to pressure him.

We finally saw each other the last weekend in August.

Looking back now, of course, I wonder if maybe I should have spoken up. “Hey, how long does it take to get your house in order?” “Hey! Let’s get together sooner than August. I miss you. I want to see you.”

But I didn’t want to pressure him. This is what he asked for. I gave it to him.

Maybe he was pissed that when he’d throw out, “Oh, I thought about maybe trying to get together this weekend but then I thought, ‘No, too late for that,’” I wasn’t begging him to follow through. It’s not like he asked if I wanted to get together those times. He told me he thought about it but decided against it. Again, trying not to pressure him. Trying to respect his wishes. Trying to let him lead this.

I remember him hugging me in the room as we packed up to leave. “We’re good, right?”

“Yes, we’re good,” I assured him.

I went down to his place the following weekend. We ended up going down to Charleston and having a marvelous time. We spent 9 or 10 days together.

At the end of that week together he tells me, “You know what’s coming up and how I get.” Yep, he filed for an extension on his taxes and they were due October 15th. He didn’t want to even attempt to get together until after he had filed his taxes. I left September 11th to go back home. We didn’t get together for another two months. Again, I gave him what he wanted. I never pressured him into meeting up. He finally suggested getting together.

We met in Chillicothe and had a great time. That was the relationship goals weekend. The, “We are having the best time watching you two laugh together,” weekend.

I flew down to Virginia the first weekend in December. He told me he wanted to be my ride or die. He told me I was so cute when I was tipsy and telling him how much I loved him. I thought we had a great time.

I thought we were getting back on track with seeing each other more regularly.

Shelby’s graduation was 2 weeks later. He had volunteered to come up for it. He was deathly ill the week before and still had a bad cough. He canceled on us.

Then he tells me the week after Christmas, “Hey, we could get together over New Year’s Eve.” I tell him we sure could.

After a few days with no further conversation regarding the get together I say to him, “So I guess we’re not getting together on New Year’s after all.”

He said no, he really needed to get his house straightened up.

When I mentioned this to him the night he ended it he told me I didn’t seem that interested in getting together so he just dropped it.

Apparently I was supposed to throw him a parade or something. Maybe jump up and down and shriek with glee that he finally wanted to see me. Thank him profusely for acknowledging my presence and honoring me with his. I’m not sure what he wanted. All I know is my response was lacking in appropriate enthusiasm.

A week later he hung out with co-workers after work on a Friday night, ignored my phone call, got drunk, and stayed out until 4:30 in the morning.

We got into a fight. I stood my ground and made my case. After a few days of acting like nothing had ever happened he suddenly dropped the hammer- he’d been thinking about talking to me and ending things since July.

Oh, and of course he wants to remain friends. He was absolutely shocked at the thought of me blocking and deleting him on everything.

Ultimately, when he’s not asking why anyone has to be the bad guy or why can’t it just be a case of it didn’t work out, he blames everything on me.

I suppose that’s good, right? Because that means if everything is my fault if I ever get into another relationship then I know what to fix. Hooray!

What are my litany of offenses?

Where do I even start?

He believes we have different definitions of what a future together means. He told me I had no desire to assimilate into his life, that I was fine meeting up with him for a weekend but that was it. He told me I’m crazy insanely jealous. He accused me of being perfectly comfortable living at my mom’s and I had no real desire to have a place of my own. I didn’t see him; I was always on my phone, even when we were talking on the phone. I played Candy Crush or was catching Pokemon or reading instead of focusing on him. He claims that I would ignore him when I got home from work when he lived in Indiana and not speak to him for hours and remembers many dinners eaten at the table where I would be reading on my phone. When he moved up here he was pissed because I hadn’t carved out a space for him. He was pissed that he had to clear a shelf off in the bathroom and had to bring in a dresser to put his clothes. He was pissed that I wouldn’t defend him against my son and even when I would defend him then he’d be pissed because Picasso had dared to say anything that might anger him. He told me he felt like we were only friends. He told me he felt like he was a bauble in my bracelet that had lost its shine. He kept asking me what had changed to make me “see” him once again because up until that week I supposedly hadn’t asked him about work or focused entirely on him. Now I was texting him at work. What changed? He reached way back in time and told me I had ruined a near perfect weekend for him when his son got married because I had accused him of fucking his wife on his son’s wedding alter. Oh, and I don’t like sex.

Yeah, don’t worry. We’ll be taking most of these one by one.

You know what pisses me off the most? He never gave me a fucking chance. He never opened his fucking mouth unless it was to bitch about my son. He has the nerve to tell me I have shitty communication skills. Not once did he say, “I feel disconnected from you.” Or, “I feel like we’re drifting apart. What can we do to get us back to a good spot?” Or, “You’re ignoring me.” Or, “I don’t feel like you want to get together anymore.” He didn’t even say, “I think we have different visions of what a life together looks like. I think we should have a serious talk about this and see if there is any common ground.” Nothing. Not a goddamn thing. I’m just his fucking ride or die one day and the next day he’s ignoring my phone calls to get drunk with co-workers and the day after that he’s dumping my ass.

My Favorite Stepmom Story

As you can all probably guess from my “Weirdest Burial Ever” post my stepmom is one of a kind. I thought with all the drama going on I could cheer you up with a really funny story. It’s legendary in our family. I even had a longtime friend bring it up the other night.

My stepmom is weird. I’m just going to say it. There’s really no beating around the bush with it. She made us eat French fries with a fork when I was growing up.

My dad’s name is Mike. Michael is his given name but he was always called Mike. His parents called him Mike. His sister. My mom. His friends. Everyone in his life called him Mike. Except her. He was always Michael.

She does the same with the grandkids. If you had a James and you called him Jimmy, she would insist upon calling him James. And she hates the fact that my nephew goes by Bubba. She always refers to him by his first and middle name (he was named after my brother and my brother gets first name only; his son gets both names to differentiate). My dad used to like to give the grandkids his own personal name. They were always awful- things like Pearl and Mabel. Maybe an Ethel. She got on him about that and he had to stop.

Another time she called me up asking me if I’d like a plain wedding band to wear for those times that perhaps I didn’t want to get my actual engagement ring welded together with my wedding band dirty. You know, like when I garden. I don’t garden. I try not to dig in dirt.

I very politely told her, “No, thank you.” I didn’t think I would have a need.

Much like the year I told them I didn’t want an electric typewriter she went ahead and bought it anyway. It sat unused for 3 years until I gave it to my brother to give to his own wife. They were short on money and I had an unused wedding band.

She found out that I gave it to them and actually called me to chide me for giving it away…. because she had purchased it for me. Apparently despite all of her etiquette knowledge she did not realize that once you give a gift it is no longer yours and the recipient is able to with said gift anything they wish. I wished to give it to my brother and new sister-in-law.

This is just a brief sampling of the things she has done over the years.

But our very favorite story is the peaches story.

When she gave my brother things, like green tomatoes for fried green tomatoes, she would include the bacon grease and the flour in separate containers, along with directions. I think one year she sent up mistletoe and included a hammer and a nail.

This time she sent him a bag of peaches. Included with these peaches was a set of directions on how to eat the peach.

Wash and eat like apple OR

slice into quarters and remove pit.

I swear to God! Those were the directions. I actually had a photocopy of the directions on my refrigerator for years. I think I finally th

rew it away when we moved from Utah out to Virginia.

I remember Jerry Lee had an excellent comeback. One of the few times he managed to show off his humor.

I don’t feel like I have enough information. If she thinks I’m so stupid I don’t know how to eat a peach what makes her think I know how to eat an apple?

It’s probably been 20 years and we all still laugh about the directions on how to eat a peach.

The Weirdest Burial Ever

I buried my father today. I already knew it was going to be very bare bones and weird. I’m not sure I expected it to be as weird as it was.

It was graveside only. You would think that would mean graveside services but you would be wrong. We literally all drove to the cemetery where his casket was waiting, stood around for a couple of minutes, and that was it. There was no preacher. There was no service. This was apparently our chance to say our final goodbyes. Which was a little strange considering it was only family and almost everyone at the gravesite had been at the hospital.

My stepmom had texted me to let me know this was not going to be a fancy event. She wore sweatpants, snow boots, and an old work jacket. Now, it is Indiana in the winter so I can understand the snow boots. I wore my cute little boots, too, but I sure as hell wasn’t in sweats.

The older of my two younger brothers spoke up and asked for a moment of silence. We also stayed while they lowered the casket into the grave and secured it in the vault. Then the three of us took a shovel full of dirt and tossed it onto the casket.

As the oldest I went first. I didn’t realize the dirt was going to be so frozen so I ended up taking a clump that was aside from the rest of the mound. I tossed it into the ground. It hit the vault and made a ton of noise. My brothers put their foot on the shovel and managed to get a good shovelful and their dirt landed with much less aplomb. My nephew told me later that I had scared the shit out of him when the dirt hit it. He thought he was pounding to get out for a moment.

My brothers and I went to lunch along with their wives, almost all of our kids (only my daughter was missing) and the boyfriend and husband of the two nieces. My stepmom and aunt both declined to join us.

That was it.

We’re having a Celebration of Life on February 12th. My stepmom is not happy about it. She tried to stop us but the younger of my two brothers just said, “Let me rephrase this. We are doing this. You are free to participate or not.” I don’t think she’s happy about it. For whatever reason she’s afraid people will come and tell stories that paint him in a bad light.

This is really funny because she’s the other woman. She was the final nail in the coffin. I would just think that if you were perfectly comfortable fucking a married man that maybe you wouldn’t concern yourself so much with being proper and dignified. You left that behind a long time ago. Observing proper manners does not reduce the stench of infidelity. It’s ironic that someone like that would be so concerned with others thinking poorly of him or painting him in a bad light. I’m pretty sure they both did that when they fucked over my mom.

Also ironic is the fact that my mom is coming to the Celebration of Life. Huh- my mom may be there and my stepmom probably won’t be.

Just to show you what a classy lady my mother is she asked for my stepmom’s address so that she could send her a condolence card. I will never have that kind of grace.

Will This Ever End?

Again, this is not what I planned on writing about. I actually meant to combine this with the post yesterday and I apparently forgot and now I have experienced this trauma not once, but twice!

I have gone out to Logan’s Roadhouse two times this week. It’s kind of ironic actually because I am down to about one meal a day and I don’t eat my entire meal when I go there.

Anyway, I’ve been twice this week. The first time was on Tuesday with Sweet J. I’ll spare you the story behind it. The important thing is while I’m finishing up my drink the song, “What If” by Kane Brown comes on.

That was a big gut punch. That was one of “our” songs.

In the beginning I was quite skittish and he was completely confident. He wanted a second shot at love and happiness. He was going after it. I wasn’t so sure about a new relationship, trusting someone, opening up to them. But Matt melted all my fears away. It was easy to fall in love with him. One of the first songs we claimed as our own was, “What If?”

You say what if I hurt you

What if I leave you

What if I find somebody else

And I don’t need you

What if this goes south

What if I mess you up

You say what if I break your heart

in two then what

Well I hear you girl

I feel you girl but not so fast

Before you make your mind up

I gotta ask

What if I was made for you

And you were made for me

What if this is it

What if it’s meant to be

What if I ain’t one of them

Fools just playin’ some game

What if I just pulled you close

What if I leaned in

And the stars line up

And it’s our last first kiss

What if one of these days baby

I’d go and change you name

What if I loved all these what ifs away

I couldn’t get away. I had to sit there and listen to this song, one of the very first songs we shared with each other. We went to this concert together. We sang this song together at the concert.

Well, he did hurt me. He did leave me. I guess it is up in the air whether or not he found somebody new and realized he didn’t need me.

I can no longer listen to this and think I’ve found my person, the one who was made for me and I was made for him. I thought I’d had my last first kiss.

I suppose technically I could have. I have no guarantee there will ever be anyone else. So maybe that part is true.

If that wasn’t bad enough tonight I go there with my son and “The Fighter” comes on. Yet another one of our songs.

See a theme? I was afraid of being hurt again and he was the guy who assured me he would never do that.

I know he hurt you

Made you scared of love, too scaredto love

He did’t deserve you‘

Cause your precious heart is a precious heart

He didn’t know what he had andI thank God, oh

And it’s gonna take just a little time

But you’re gonna see that Iwas born to love you

What if I fall? (I won’t let you fall)

What if I cry? (I’ll never make you cry)

And if I get scared (I’ll hold you tighter)

When they’re trying to get to you, baby

I’ll be the fighter

Look in the mirror

You’re beautiful, so beautiful

I’m here to remind you

You’re my only one, let me be the one

To heal all the pain that he

put you through

With love like you never knew

Just let me show you

Awesome! Another gut punch to sit through. Where do you go?

I forced myself to listen to it, all the while thinking, “This song is such a fucking lie.”

He did let me fall. He did make me cry. He’s nowhere to be found now. He didn’t fight for me. And all those things he told me? I don’t believe them anymore. I don’t know if he was ever being truthful or if he got caught up in the moment, Either way he broke me.

Goddammit! I am so sick and tired of crying over this man, especially because I’m sure he hasn’t lost a moment of sleep, hasn’t missed a meal, hasn’t shed a tear, and is probably fucking someone new already. At the very least he’s out there living his brand new life and having an amazing time.

Meanwhile, I wake up around 4 am every day and have to coax myself back to sleep. If I make it until 6 I’m doing well. I spend my days feeling nauseous and if I eat twice in the same day it’s a miracle. I cry off and on all day long. I cannot wait until the day comes that I make it through the entire day without crying.

I know; I know. It’s only been a little over two weeks. I’m trying to give myself grace. I’m exhausted though.

When You’re Going Through Hell….

Keep going, right?

I have not been doing well. I’ve cried more this week than I did last. Driving home yesterday I was crying and talking out loud when I finally let out this guttural scream. I was hoping it would release all of the pain and anger and I could go back to feeling nothing. I say feeling nothing because I’m certainly not going to go back to feeling happy.

This is not what I planned on writing as a follow up to my original post but it’s what you’re getting today. I’ve been watching a lot of TikTok on breakups and recovery. There’s a lady I like a lot but this one video gutted me.

As always they want you to believe that this (the breakup) is only setting you free to find what you really need. I don’t believe that. Honestly, I believe I will be alone for the rest of my life.

I know I said the same thing during my divorce from Jerry Lee and then I ended up with Matt. And yet technically, I was correct. I didn’t find my person. I thought I did but I was wrong. Didn’t find the person I would be with for the rest of my life. Thought I did but I was wrong. He didn’t want to be with me. My ex is happily, or maybe not so happily married and I dated a man who dumped me 5 1/2 years later. They’re going strong and I’m by myself.

I’m getting off track though. Back to the video.

She says, “Yes, you may still love them. You may always love them. But you may find someone who stays by your side, who doesn’t just leave.”

Two problems with this. First, I don’t just want somebody who won’t leave. I mean, obviously that’s what we all hope for, but I don’t want a ho-hum relationship with somebody just because he won’t leave me.

I want what I thought I had. I want the relationship where people look at us and say, “You two are having way too much fun together.” I want someone who makes me laugh and who laughs at my jokes. I want someone who wants to do things together.

The way she puts it it sounds like settling because this next person is safe. I thought I had safe when I got married. It wasn’t the romance of the century but I thought it was safe and secure. Turns out I am really a terrible judge of character.

The second problem dovetails nicely into my shitty ability to judge people. I thought I was with someone who wouldn’t leave. I thought I was with someone who would stay by my side. I was terribly wrong.

“Find someone who you are so comfortable with and they just stay and you’re like they’re not going anywhere… You can exhale and relax with someone like that.”

There is peace in being with a person who brings you that security. Imagine the feeling of being with someone who makes you feel like they’ll never quit on you.

Those are the inspirational points she has scrolled across her TikTok.

Sorry, Darlene, but I thought I had that. I thought I had that peace. He made me feel like he would never quit on me. Until the day he did.

You know, I never thought Jerry Lee would cheat on me but I did sometimes question whether or not he would leave me. I dreamt many times that he left me before it actually happened.

With Matt I never dreamed he would leave me. I knew his story and how he and his wife had gone to a VanHalen concert and they were never apart after that. He put up with over 12 years of shit from her- drinking, smoking behind his back, cheating, telling others he was abusive and controlling, endangering his children. I thought to myself, “Here is a man who will never walk away. He will never quit on me. When he falls in love he remains in love.” Hell, he’d still be with his wife if she hadn’t left him.

But apparently me not decorating a fucking Christmas float and playing on my phone too much was a burden too heavy to carry.

While I enjoy the tips to help me get over him and I delight in her unbridled optimism that he will miss me, too, I don’t see myself ever getting into another relationship. I am clearly not good at them.

If I was so completely fooled this time despite all the vetting how can I ever expect to get it right?

And I don’t want to settle. I don’t want to be with some boring, bland guy just for the sake of saying I have someone. I don’t want to have bad sex for the rest of my life. I don’t want to be bored out of my fucking mind. I don’t want to have to change who I am. I want what I thought I had with Matt. Only next time I want to have it with someone who isn’t a fucking liar.

He’s Gone

It’s after midnight as I write this. My dad passed away at 10:15 on Monday night.

I had planned on going home Monday afternoon but the nurse that checked him in the morning told us, when asked, that more than likely he would pass sometime within the next 12-24 hours. He made it about 14.

It was the strangest thing. He was taking longer between breaths, so long I would jump each time he finally took a deep breath. His breathing sounded more like a rattle. He had lost his ability to swallow so we thought it might be secretions that needed to be suctioned. He had been on a patch for that. So we called the nurse in and he gave him a few drops of a medication that could be absorbed and came back to suction him. He noted his hands seemed cold so he told us he would get him a blanket from the heating machine. The nurse came back with the blanket, laid it over him, and left the room.

And just like that my dad died. I don’t think Dad ever took another breath. We waited a few minutes to make sure and then I went to find the nurse again.

My. brothers are taking it very hard. I’m doing okay. As I said we weren’t that close but he was still my dad.

Tomorrow I return home. Burial will probably be Friday or Saturday.

There’s really nothing left to say.

Fingers Crossed

Thankfully the really awful years are behind me. I’m sure something new can come along and kick me in the ass but I don’t see myself completely broken and financially destitute again.

That’s what I wrote on January 1st. January 10th Matt, aka the mobster, dumped me. This week I got word that my dad is not doing well and is likely not going to make it through the weekend. I am heading back down to the hospital shortly.

So which bombshell would you like me to delve into first?

Let’s take my dad because that will be easier. First, I want to say upfront we were not close. He was not a great dad. He was a really good grandpa and I began to enjoy him more as I got older, but as a dad… eh. It is what it is. But he’s still my dad and I’m still feeling some sort of way about all of this.

He’s had Alzheimer’s for a while now. I’m not even really sure how long. Six years? Eight years? Maybe longer. My brother called me on Wednesday to say Dad was in the hospital with pneumonia, a partially collapsed lung, sepsis in the blood, and a urinary tract infection, plus he had lost his ability to swallow. We were planning on going to the hospital today, Saturday, but then my sister-in-law called on Thursday to tell me they were shutting off all fluids and that my brother and I needed to get down there.

Shelby had planned on going down on Friday so I called her as well. When I told her what was going on she said that wasn’t good at all and he didn’t have much time. She said she’d be surprised if he made it through the night, and then changed it to say 8 that evening.

So I left work and rushed down to the hospital. He lives two hours away so if we were talking only a matter of hours I might not be able to wait until my brother got off work.

It’s just as well because he stayed down there and I went back that night.

Yesterday he told me Dad’s vitals were looking great. Today he tells me his oxygen has dropped to 88 and once it drops to 85 he will begin to have a tougher time. I’m back on my way down there and will probably spend the night.

2023 is getting off on the same foot that 2020 did when the whole world went into lockdown. Matt dumps me. My dad is dying. Do I dare ask, “What next?”

Maybe you’re shocked by the announcement. Maybe you’re not. But I’m devastated.

I’m not financially destitute this time. I’m not sure about the completely broken part yet. As my mother tells me, “You’ve been through much worse.”

’Tis true. I’ve lost my home, my furniture, all of my belongings. Sadly, I missed my lifestyle a hell of a lot more than I missed my husband. He was a shitty partner for most of our marriage. I didn’t have years and years of memories with him because he didn’t care to engage with us. But with Matt I don’t have bad memories. We had great times together. We laughed and laughed. So many times when we were out together people would comment and tell us we were having too much fun together. The last time we were in Chillicothe, in fact, a woman at the gym came up to me after we were done running.

“I just have to tell you. You two are so cute together. I love it all- the fist bumps, the high fives, the selfies after the run. You two are relationship goals.”

Yeah, we are such relationship goals that he dumped me less than 2 months later.

That same weekend we were sitting at a bar in a restaurant, watching videos on YouTube, laughing our asses off. A group of four people later told us they were having the greatest time just watching us laugh.

This man bought me flowers. He printed off my list of 100 things about me and bought things off of it for me. He set up romantic moments for us. He buttered my biscuit. He cut my meat up for me one time because I asked him if he would. He rubbed my back and didn’t ask to quit after 60 seconds. He said my snoring didn’t bother him. He washed my shitty jeans out for me, for crying out loud! He called me by my name and laughed at my jokes. He told me I was beautiful, sexy, funny, amazing. He knew me. He could read me. He went places with me and brought me out of my shell. He met my family and my friends. He accompanied me to funerals and employee parties. He was my mobster, my lobster, my person. And he doesn’t want me anymore. When I thought this was still a discussion and we might be able to work this out I told him that I still loved him and asked him if he loved me too. Because if we love each other we can work through anything, right? Instead of hearing, “Yes, yes, I still love you, ” he told me he didn’t know where he was with that right now.

I adored this man. I loved him more than I have ever loved anyone before. I fear I’ll never love anyone as much ever again. I always told him he was the best thing that ever happened to me, that he was the smartest man in the world. We used to joke about who loved each other more. Guess I win, huh?

If I loved him that much, trusted him implicitly after what happened to me, and was willing to uproot myself, pay 3x what I do in housing costs, and move down to him and that wasn’t enough what ever will be? Why am I never enough?

If you were to ask him I’m sure he would say that no one was the bad guy. It simply didn’t work out. He would probably tell you that ultimately he felt that we had different definitions of what a future together meant. He might say he felt like we were nothing more than friends anymore. Maybe, if you gave him a little bit of wine, he might open up and tell you he feels like a bauble in my bracelet that has lost it’s shine. That he feels like I don’t see him. I’m always on my phone. I don’t want to assimilate into his life. I don’t like his friends.

I’m going to be breaking this up into more manageable pieces instead of one long block of doom. There’s a lot I want to say. I’m going to be doing a lot of emotional vomiting over the next few days so look away now if you can’t handle it or feel it’s too personal.

I’m going to leave now and drive down to a hospital so that I can go sit by my dying dad.

I always thought when this day came Matt would be with me. He’d be by my side. Because he was my person. He was my love. Instead I’m doing this all alone, just like I’ve always done. My brothers will have their wives. My daughter and nieces have their boyfriends/husbands. I guess I’ll stand in solidarity with my nephews and son because they are the only ones not paired up.

He fucking left me. I adored that man. I gave him everything I had. I trusted him with my heart. I was willing to date him as a married man forever because he will never divorce his wife since he doesn’t want to have to pay her out. I was willing to move down to him even though I knew that if I were having a heart attack or had been in a car accident and he was supposed to go out to dinner with his kids he’d continue on with his plans with his kids instead of rushing to be by my side. I was willing to support him in our old age. I loved him more than I’ve ever loved anyone in my life. Told him all the time he was the greatest thing that ever happened to me. And in the end he looked at me and said, “It’s not enough.” Or rather, “It doesn’t mean anything if it’s not backed up with actions.”

If my everything is not enough then where do I go from here?

Fast Food Foibles, Part 3

I wrote this back in November. I have not fallen off the wagon quite so easily. Plus, today is Friday so this wouldn’t make much sense.

Well, it happened again. Another disaster.

I got home from a weekend away with the mobster. My son had spent most of the weekend hunting with my brother. In other words, my mom had no idea when we were going to be home so she had no dinner plans.

I offered to go out and pick something up for us. She suggested KFC. Fine. I can do chicken. I get their orders- my mom wants a two piece all white meat meal and Picasso wants chicken tenders. Got it.

We had a discussion on where there were KFC locations. I know of two. Both are about 15 minutes away from the house but in opposite directions. I chose the one that was in the more upscale part of town.

I take my 15 minutes and drive over there. Imagine my surprise when I realize the KFC is now a Taco Bell. Uh oh!

Now I have to go back to where I came from and head in the opposite direction another 15 minutes. It’s a hassle, but hey, they want chicken and I’m now on a mission.

I pull up to the drive thru at the second KFC. I decide to place Picasso’s order first and let her know I’d like the chicken tenders meal. And…. this is where we derail a second time. No chicken tenders.


I don’t mind KFC but it was not my first choice so if I have to go somewhere else for Picasso I’m not going to get myself a chicken dinner.

I end up ordering my mom’s meal, pay for it, receive it, and leave.

Then I drive over to Culver’s for Picasso. Culver’s never disappoints. They had everything I wanted. They were polite and friendly. Glad to see me. They didn’t make me park and come inside. I love them.

Did I mention I didn’t leave the house until around 7:15? I’d already driven over 5 hours that day coming back home. I didn’t get home until almost 8:00 with all that running around.

To sum up: I drove approximately 15 minutes to the first KFC only to find out it was now a Taco Bell. Drove approximately 30 minutes to the next KFC because they were in opposite directions from my house only to find out they had no chicken tenders. Finally ended up at Culver’s.

Will this madness ever end?

Take Small Bites & Let It Go

I really need to make my phrase more succinct. Small and free? Praise progress & don’t stress the small stuff? Hmmm… not really more succinct. Maybe affirmation and acceptance?

I first started doing a word or phrase for the year a few years ago. I copied Anne, one of my readers. She has a word each year. I liked the idea.

I feel like each word or phrase builds on the next year’s. For example, my first word was “change”. That was 2020. I don’t mean to imply my word of the year caused the pandemic but I can attest to the fact that I dealt with some serious change that year! But in the words of Patty Loveless, “life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same,” so I continue to try to embrace change, even bring about change. Maybe that’s in the way I frame something. Maybe it’s in a new life experience.

The following year it was “attitude”. Sing your praises, Sam! Don’t let negative thoughts take over. That’s what attitude was all about. Take charge. Focus. That’s not something you leave behind at the end of the year. You continue to build on it.

Last year it was a phrase: Be Here, Be Still. For the most part it was about not envisioning the worst. Kind of like attitude. Don’t worry about the plane crash until it actually starts to crash. Some might say that’s poor planning but I think it’s equally accurate to ask, “Why bother to borrow trouble?” Rejoice in the moment. Don’t worry about what might happen. Focus on what you do have instead of dwelling on what you don’t. Be more present.

That was really a big one and I think I failed on that. I still spend a lot of time reading and playing games on my phone. I’m becoming quite the hermit. I used to have a lot of friends and I used to do a lot of things. Now… not so much.

Anyway, this year is going to be spent trying not to let the little things, like traffic and stupid drivers and fast food restaurants that can’t get their shit together, bother me. It’s going to be tough. We’ve got another road closure coming up in the exact same spot where the road was close for a good five months. I don’t know what the hell they did for five months and which is going to take them even more time come spring, but that’s what I’m hearing. I’m preparing myself to put on a happy face. I can’t change it so I can either bitch each day I have to drive into work, or I can simply plan on leaving earlier and accept my fate. And all the damn traffic that comes with it.

But wait- there’s more! I’m also taking to heart the article I wrote about a few years ago, the one that talked about the Boston Marathon of weight loss. I’ve pretty much put back on all the weight I lost. Hell, I may weigh more. I don’t know. I won’t step on a scale right now. I will know I’m headed in the right direction when my fat clothes start to fall off of me again. Anyway, I was really disciplined for four months. Really disciplined. Between the beginning of March when I began and Memorial Day I did not have a single cheat day, not even when everyone else around me was chowing down on Chinese food for Mother’s Day. I took my mom to Olive Garden for her birthday in May because that’s where she wanted to go and I ended up eating nothing except salad because the salmon I would have ordered was not on their limited menu during this time of Covid. My first time cheating was when I went on vacation down to Virginia. We ended up flying up to New Hampshire for the mobster’s son’s wedding and I had Chinese food, wedding cake, lobster rolls, ice cream. It was awesome.

I continued to do a good job when I was at home. I had my cheat weekends when I was with the mobster and it definitely slowed down the progress. Instead of losing 2 pounds or so a week sometimes it would only be a half a pound. It was really discouraging considering how hard I continued to work and the foods I continued to avoid.

We also started back up with the Couch to 5K program. We finished it right before December and I think I got about another week in and I haven’t ran since the first Sunday in December. Instead of throwing up my hands and telling myself I have to start all over I’m going to give myself some grace. I figure I’ll either attempt to run a mile without stopping or I’ll try for 20 minutes, and if that doesn’t work I’ll run for 10, walk for 5 and run for another 10.

I’m going back to low carb eating but this time I’m trying not to be so hard on myself. I obviously can’t treat myself every weekend, but I can have a “cheat day” once or twice a month. I also need to reign myself in because I find myself going hog wild when I do finally allow myself to cheat. Instead of saying, “I’m going to allow myself to eat that piece of cheesecake,” it turns into, “I’m going to have that cheesecake after I finish off that steak with a baked potato and fifty yeast rolls.” I find that on my weekends with the mobster I allow myself to indulge a little too much. Instead of just enjoying a bismarck at the bakery, we order 6 and each eat 3 throughout the day. We go to the other bakery the next day. I allow myself a Milky Way coffee also at the bakery and then eat a carb laden lunch and dinner.

I never really got to the maintaining part of my lifestyle change because I still wanted to lose weight but maybe this time around I need to be satisfied with a smaller weight loss, maintain it, and then after a month or so go back to trying to lose again. And again, if I lose anything that’s a win for me. Just because I don’t get to a specific number on the scale or down to a certain size doesn’t mean I haven’t accomplished anything.

So again, not really sure how to word this phrase. Maybe this year it isn’t so much a phrase as it is actual resolutions. But since I don’t much care for resolutions we’re going to call it a phrase. For now, Take Small Bites & Let It Go is the phrase for 2023. If I come up with something better I’ll let you know.