Look At This!

That was what my daughter texted to me, along with a screenshot from her father, about a month ago.

She was indignant because he had the audacity to text her and tell her he had seen on Facebook that she was going into her last semester of college, he wondered if that meant she was graduating in December, and he told her he hoped he would get an invite. Also, her boyfriend seems like a really nice young man and he’d love to meet him one day.

She was pissed that he was fishing for an invite to her graduation and more importantly, that he thought he got to be a part of her accomplishments when he was the one that put up stumbling block after stumbling block for her.

I’m not proud of this but I’ve always been honest with those of you who care enough to read my blog. Wait. That didn’t sound right. The thing I’m not proud of is my feelings when I read the text, not the fact that I’ve always been honest with those who read my blog. Let’s try this again.

I’m not proud of this but my heart leaped into my throat when I saw the text message, especially because I could see earlier texts between them. Then I realized she was wishing him a happy Veteran’s Day. This was May. That happened back in November. And then I realized those messages were from 2020. Now maybe they communicate in other ways but Jesus Christ on crutches!

You have no contact with your daughter for a year and a half and you want an invitation to her goddamn graduation? Fuck you! Who do you think you are?

Obviously, I am going to go along with whatever she wants to do. Right now she says she isn’t inviting him but she also said she’ll decide when it gets closer. I think she will end up inviting him and I’ve already told her I will support whatever decision she makes. But I can vent with you in my safe space.

For the most part I don’t think about him and I try not to dwell on what happened and everything he cost us. I’m not perfect. I slip up every now and then. I think it was realizing he hasn’t communicated with her except for the possible Venmo transfer since November of 2020 and then just casually slipping in, “Oh, I’d love to be invited to your graduation. I want to celebrate with you.”

Fuck you, motherfucker! Where in the hell was he when she needed rent money? Where was he when she needed money for groceries? Money for gas? Money for anything? To this day I still send regular Chewy shipments to her house for her cats. I buy them treats, kitty litter, and food. I paid what was left after financial aid towards her tuition her first year. Paid for her books. Her sorority fees. Then he lost his job mid-way through her second semester. My mom came to the rescue and paid the final $1000 until he started paying me again. Dickhead actually had the audacity to ask me why her tuition was not paid already because it obviously was all due at the beginning of the semester AND insinuated that I had filled out the FAFSA incorrectly because she shouldn’t owe a dime for tuition with my salary. Rock Star took out additional loans for her sophomore year because I didn’t know if I was going to be able to help her out. I ended up paying her rent once her first semester and from April on her second semester. I also paid all of her sorority fees. Junior year I paid her rent, utilities, and food bill, along with the sorority fees. Senior year I once again paid her tuition. And her sorority fees. And gave her money when needed. And paid all the bills for her cats. Where was he for any of that?

I remember him asking her one time to let him know if she needed anything. I think it was freshman year. She replied that she still needed to buy books. He went on to tell her some story, probably about himself, and finished up with (again), “If you need anything, let me know.”

“I literally told him exactly what I needed and he ignored it,” Rock Star told me.

I don’t believe he’s ever sent her money randomly. Maybe he has but I doubt it. And if he has I know it wasn’t a frequent occurrence.

He’s washed his hands of both of his kids but when it comes time to celebrate he thinks he should be there.

And it’s not just the money. Where was he when she called, convinced she was never going to make it into nursing school? Where was he was she was overwhelmed and wanting to drop out and come home? He was part of the reason she was overwhelmed. She felt the weight of the world on her shoulders because she knew how I struggled. She felt like she had to get straight As. She felt guilty telling me she didn’t have enough money for rent. She felt guilty anytime she had to ask for something. All of that was caused by him.

Everything she has experienced since she was 15 years old has been because of him. She lost her amazing high school experience because of him. She lost gymnastics because of him. She had to move out of her home with her roomy bedroom and her own bathroom because of him. She had to switch schools because of him. She had to worry about how to pay for college because of him. She ended up at Ball State instead of some school in Utah or Virginia because of him. Hell, she’s on anti-anxiety meds and anti depressants because of him. Just this past December she admitted she always feels like she’s not good enough. Why wasn’t she worth it? Why did her dad abandon her? How could he walk right by her and not say goodbye or tell her that he loved her? She feels like she always has to prove herself to him.

He took this young, bubbly, beautiful, confident young woman and turned her into an anxiety ridden mess. He did a number on her and her future, but by all means, let’s have him show up and take a bow. He took everything he could away from her, made things so much more difficult than they had to be. But by all means, preen about like a peacock. So proud! Daddy of the Year, right there. You were so instrumental in her upbringing.

No, you asshole, you were instrumental in attempting to orchestrate her downfall. But you didn’t succeed. I stepped in wherever you lacked. My mom stepped in wherever I lacked. I’m the one that told her she was exceptional. I’m the one that told her I was proud of her. I’m the one that was always there, always supporting her, always nurturing her, always encouraging her, always assuring her that she could do it. I’m the one that told her she was worth it and to never let her worth be measured by her father. I’m the one that told her she was going to be an amazing nurse. I’m the one that has paid for therapy, and I’m the one that has kept her going.

Here’s the funny thing. I don’t take credit for her accomplishments. I’m proud of her. I’ve supported her, both financially and emotionally. But I didn’t do it. I’m not why she succeeded. She succeeded because she’s incredibly driven. Disciplined. She knew what she wanted and she went after it. I didn’t take those classes. I didn’t do the labs or the clinicals or the homework. She did all of that. She has had an intense schedule for years. The achievement is all her.

It still chaps my ass that Jerry Lee thinks he should be able to show up and celebrate. Sit the fuck down! I’m the one that raised this kid. You were too busy off fucking your cousin and trying to impress kids that already had an involved father.

Child-Free Weddings

You gotta love Google. You click on one article or do one internet search and all of sudden you get tons of similar stories. Currently, I am getting a lot of stories from Reddit’s Am I the Asshole threads. Why these are Newsweek featured stories is beyond me but it is what it is.

Today’s story was about a bride who wanted a child-free wedding. Her sister, who has two children, wanted to know if she was the asshole for not planning on attending. Her reasoning was she had two children; attending the child-free wedding of her sister would entail finding and paying for a babysitter. She also felt that weddings were family events and if her two kids weren’t invited she didn’t care to attend.

Apparently everyone on Reddit ripped her to shreds and believed she was definitely the asshole.

I have to admit I was puzzled at this outrage. She didn’t complain and whine or try to change her sister’s mind. She simply told her she wouldn’t be attending the wedding. “I congratulated her, but I told her as it’s child free and I have two sons, I wouldn’t be able to make it. I would send a gift with our parents though.” When her sister got upset and pointed out that it was unfair that she had attended their cousin’s wedding the author of the post reminded her that the cousin didn’t exclude children from her wedding.

My point of view is it’s your wedding and you can make whatever crazy or not-so-crazy demands you want. If you want no children at your wedding you are within your rights to say, “No children, please.” You are not, however, within your rights to demand that your guests attend your child-free wedding. You do not have the right to demand that your guests all pony up for a babysitter so that they may witness you getting married.

You don’t want kids at your wedding? Then you may need to accept the fact that some people won’t be able to join you. Others will choose not to. And that is perfectly within their rights.

I think I mentioned before that when I got married eons ago we asked that all children under three go to the nursery, which we staffed with a Girl Scout troop and their leader. We had a lot of people coming from out of town and we had a lot of people with small children. In hindsight I probably should have just let them all come and cry it out at the wedding but I didn’t. I did, however, take responsibility for finding someone who could watch the child (or children) for the 30 minutes or so it took for us to get married. They were in the same building as their parents. And after the wedding they were all welcome at the reception. Bring your baby; I don’t care.

Had someone said, “I won’t be attending because I don’t want to leave my child in the church nursery for 30 minutes,” I would have accepted that. I would not have whined and cried and carried on and demanded that they dump off their child and come see me get married.

I’m not against child-free weddings. In fact, I think it’s extremely rude to disregard the host’s wishes when they let you know it is a child-free event. I certainly wouldn’t defend someone who brought their children to a child-free event. 

On the other hand, if you are adamant that your wedding must be child-free you need to be prepared for some people to say, “No, thanks.” And it doesn’t really matter who they are- co-worker, friend, sibling, best friend of 25 years, some other relative. No thanks, is an acceptable response.

I’ve attended child-free weddings before. In fact, both times that I was told children were not welcome I had to travel quite a distance to attend the wedding.

The first wedding was my cousin’s. It was probably a 6 or 7 hour drive. Tammy Faye and Pastor Fake lived only an hour from them so I drove to their house and spent the night, left the kids with them and attended the wedding the next day.

My brother and his wife said, “Fuck the rules!” and brought their kids, but I did respect their wishes regardless of how I had to contort myself to get this done. No kids! And then I drove back to my in-laws that evening, and I’m sure the following day we headed back home. I think Picasso and Rock Star were 4 and 6 at the time, maybe 3 and 5.

The second time I was informed no children were allowed was for my best friend’s wedding in 2012. My kids were 12 and 10 at the time. I lived in Utah. She was in Indiana. I had mentioned bringing Rock Star with me as Jerry Lee wasn’t planning on coming along and that’s when she nonchalantly told me the only kids allowed were the groom’s kids and the immediate family’s children. So I hopped on a plane by myself, left my kids behind with their dad, and attended this wedding. Even if Jerry Lee had been willing to go with me I don’t know how that was supposed to work.

Either we find someone to take the kids for 2 or 3 days and pay hundreds of dollars for the both of us to take a flight from Salt Lake City to Chicago or Indiana for a long weekend, or all four of us fly out here and then I try to figure out who might be able to babysit for me while we’re at this wedding. And if I can’t find anyone then all four of us flew out for nothing.

My mother had been invited so it’s not like I could have asked her. I suppose I could have asked my brother but seriously…. I was not going to pay close to $1000, if not more, for the four of us to fly out for a wedding that only two would be attending. And it’s not like Jerry Lee really wanted to go. So, I went by myself.

And did I mention I was matron of honor at the wedding? It was a little too late to pull out at that point even if I had wanted to.

So I’ve done the whole, “No kids at the wedding” thing. A lot of times it’s a pain in the ass. You’re either shelling out huge amounts of money for someone to watch your kids (not to mention, in my case doing a lot of extra driving) or you get the honor of going to the wedding by yourself while your spouse watches the children for you.

My point is I don’t have a problem with people asking you to leave your children at home. I truly don’t. But I have a huge problem with them asking you to leave your children at home and then throwing a tantrum because you decline the invitation.

I was honestly amazed at the comments some people made. 

“Your children don’t have to go everywhere you do.” No, they don’t. But if someone doesn’t want to go anywhere without them there’s nothing wrong with that. either.

“You’re showing your sister how little you care for her!” Isn’t her sister showing how little she cares for her nephews? In this specific situation it’s not like she can ask her parents to watch them while she attends the wedding. And while I never had a problem with not-a-family-member watching my kids, some people refuse to leave their children with anyone that isn’t family.

“This is why people complain about no one ever asking them to go anywhere.” Yes, because an hour and  a half at a restaurant eating a meal is exactly the same as leaving your husband and children behind to attend a three or four hour event.

“The ‘If my children can’t go, I won’t go,’ attitude rarely works out in the long run. This is how mothers end up losing their identity and being completely lost as their children grow up and become independent.” Again, if she doesn’t want to get a babysitter and would rather not attend events without her kids that is her prerogative. I don’t think she needs to attend child-free weddings in order to keep her identity intact.

“She’s the sister of the bride. She should make more of an effort to go than a regular guest.” If it was important to the bride that her sister attend I think she would be cognizant of the fact that her sister has two children.

“Her children won’t remember one afternoon they were with a babysitter for a few hours, but her sister will ALWAYS remember that she willingly chose not to attend her wedding.” Jesus people! This is a wedding invitation. It’s not a freaking summons. No one is obligated to attend your special day. 

It’s this whole piling on that she should move heaven and earth to attend her sister’s wedding and whatever her sister wants she should rejoice and be willing to do it. No.Questions.Asked. Ever!

“When you love someone, you are willing to do at least the bare minimum to attend their special events. In the case of the OP, that would be asking the children to stay home with their father for a single day.” Really? She’s expected to attend her sister’s wedding without her own husband? 

Obviously I did a lot of shit without Jerry Lee but for someone to actually say that I should leave my kids with my husband and attend a wedding by myself… Wow! I have no words. And yes, I realize her parents will be there as well so it’s not like she won’t know anyone. Nonetheless, I can’t imagine being expected to attend a wedding without my spouse because the bride (my own sister!) doesn’t want my kids around that day.

The poster did say her sister was getting married in the park. No mention of the reception so maybe it would be a short, simple ceremony followed by cake and punch, or a lunch at the park. I might be willing to do that without my partner. But if it’s a full on dinner with dancing event? No, I’m not leaving my spouse at home unless I want to leave my spouse at home. 

“Weddings seem to bring out the absolute worst behavior in people. I could not fathom missing my sister’s wedding even if I hated the dude she was marrying… I’d have had to be on my death bed.”  What bad behavior is she exhibiting? She declined a fucking wedding invitation. She’s allowed to do that. Yes, even when it’s your sibling.

Everyone keeps going on and on about how it’s her sister and it’s her wedding day and she should be there and she should be supportive. No one ever stops and says, “Hey, you know what? Her sister is aware she has nephews. She’s putting her sister in a tough spot.” I mean, you either want the person to attend or not.

When I was getting married I asked my uncle which weekend he had off. He was a pharmacist that worked nights at Walgreens. His schedule was seven days on, seven days off. It was important to me that he be there so I worked around his schedule. I didn’t say, “It’s very important to me that you and your family are able to come to my wedding. Now please take vacation time so that you can attend.”

“…YTA and one of the reasons weddings have become toxic and shitty.” Really? I think the reason weddings have become so toxic and shitty is because there are lot of very entitled people out there getting married. There are lot of people who have never been told, “No!” getting married. There are a lot of people who take the whole, “It’s my day and it’s all about me!” attitude and run with it. It’s not toxic because someone doesn’t attend your wedding.

“This is her sister and the wedding is not a destination wedding. I’d be pissed and hurt if my sister didn’t come to my wedding. No excuse. She has plenty of time to find a sitter.” I think we’ve found the asshole…

And hey, just curious. Let’s say the sister reconsiders. She says, “Sure, Sis, I’ll show up at the park and watch you get married. But because the rest of my entire family is sitting at home I’m leaving after the ceremony.” Is that acceptable, or is she expected to ditch not only her kids, but her husband as well, the entire day?

Something tells me that once sister dearest has children of her own she won’t react well to someone telling her to leave them and her husband behind while she does something for someone else.

In my opinion, that poster was NOT the asshole. The commenters were. Her sister is just a whiny, entitled brat.

Random Rant Number Who the Hell Knows

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come on, Sis, you’re fooling yourself.

He’s never going to change, Sis.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That’s all I’ve got. Rant over.

Entitlement, Thy Name is Cheater

I saw this meme and I thought to myself, “I have no words.” Then I thought about it and decided I did have words. Unfortunately, I have been so bad about writing that I never got around to it. Before I could point out the absurdity of such an asinine statement I was slapped in the face with this drivel:

Folks, this gets to the very heart of what Chump Lady always says about cheating. She maintains it’s about entitlement and crappy character. What better example of that entitlement is there than these two memes?

Don’t lose a loyal man because he’s occasionally unfaithful? As they would say in “The Princess Bride”: I do not think that word means what you think it means. A loyal man is not unfaithful. Feel free to interchange the pronouns as necessary. That’s like saying, “Don’t give up on your law abiding husband because he occasionally murders someone.” “Don’t give up on your honest investment banker because he occasionally embezzles.” “Don’t fire your favorite teacher just because she occasionally sleeps with her students.” I guess if you only do something occasionally it’s okay.

You say he hits you? Does he do it regularly? No? Only occasionally? Oh yeah, then you don’t want to lose a good man like him because he occasionally hits you.

He occasionally molests your kids? Well, it’s not like he does it all the time. You don’t want to lose a good man over something that only happens occasionally.

I could do this all day. She only tried to poison you once! What’s your problem? She occasionally shoots up in front of your kids. It’s not like she’s a junkie. He occasionally lies to you. Where’s the red flag in that?

As you might be able to conclude I think the idea that you would want to hang onto this gem because he’s only occasionally unfaithful is a load of crap. Being occasionally unfaithful is a lot like being a little bit pregnant. You either are or you aren’t.

It’s also an entitled attitude. He’s so fucking phenomenal that it doesn’t matter what kind of shitty behavior he engages in. You don’t want to lose him, do you? Just look past him sticking his dick in other people. It’s no biggie. You don’t want to lose a loyal man like him because of the occasional cheating. Where on earth would you find someone better?

Then we move onto this brilliant advice, otherwise known as, “How to eat shit sandwiches and keep a smile on your face.”

Cheating is apart (sic) of ups & downs of a relationship tho. Every man is gonna hurt u, u just gotta find that one worth hurting for. Millions of happy wives have been cheated on & absurd but they fought for their marriage to work. If you not willing to fight for love then stay single.

Oh Professor Douche, there is so much wrong with this. We’ll begin with the obvious. No, cheating is not a part of the ups and downs of a relationship. Cheating is, or should be, a deal breaker. It should not be normalized. If cheating is a normal part of the ups and downs in a relationship then you are in a very toxic relationship. My advice is to get the hell out!

Secondly, pain and sorrow is not a normal part of a relationship. You should not expect to be hurt. You should expect to be loved and treasured. Supported, cherished. Not writhing around in agony because the person you’re with is an asshole and you think this is just the normal course of an average relationship. I don’t find any man worth hurting for. Whether you’re a man or a woman I would hope you wouldn’t find any man or woman worth hurting for. That’s not love. That’s abuse. Let’s stop selling these tortured relationships as love affairs of the century.

I find it astounding that he actually believes “millions of happy wives have been cheated on & abused but they fought for their marriage to work.” Those women are not happy. They’re desperate. And where are all the men fighting for their marriages to work despite wives that are out there sleeping with everyone? I guess being hurt and being cheated on and being abused isn’t part of a man’s normal relationship. At least not as a recipient.

I do have to give him props thought. He dared to take the conversation where others normally don’t. He’s actually suggesting that if a man only hits you occasionally you should continue to fight for your marriage. Sounds amazing. Yeah, he gets drunk and beats me but it only happens a few times a month. He cheats on me, slept with my sister, gave me an STD, but that’s just part of the ups and downs of a relationship, you know. I stuck it out. I fought for my marriage and my lying, cheating sack of shit abuser. I am so lucky! I know how to stick with it unlike you losers out there. You give up too easily and that’s why you don’t have a lasting relationship. Unlike me.

This is the crap the RIC peddles. Fight for your man. Fight for your marriage. Who cares about your dignity? Keep him at all costs. It’s far better to have a man, even if he’s a shitty excuse for a human being, than to be alone.

I’ll let you in on a little secret. The idea that love means never having to say you’re sorry is bullshit and so is this idea that you need to fight for love. Love is freely given. It is reciprocated. Relationships may not be all sunshine and roses all the time but you shouldn’t have to be fighting for your relationship either. Nor should you have to navigate through hell for a relationship. That’s not a relationship worth nurturing.

Oh, and third? This idea that if you’re not willing to fight for love then you should stay single is another way of getting you to continue with the pick me dance.

If you not willing to fight for love then stay single.

No, bro, how ‘bout if you want me to continue to be in your life you get your shit together from the very beginning? He’s making a declaration, folks. If you can’t fight for your man then you should stay single. If you’re not willing to overlook his cheating and his lying and the abuse he foists upon you then don’t even bother trying to find someone. It’s much better that you remain single. Any of you people out there that believe you deserve to be treated with decency and respect need to readjust your expectations. You should willingly accept the crumbs someone tosses your way. Who do you think you are anyway? You don’t get to make demands. You don’t get to make a choice.

All snark aside these two memes are shining examples of what I talk about and what Chump Lady talks about when we keep shouting from the rooftops that cheating is not a marriage problem; it is an entitlement problem. That’s what all of this is about. It’s what the RIC is built on. They truly believe they are entitled to forgiveness. It’s a given. Any real woman would do the right thing and fight for her man, her relationship. Of course she would forgive him, take him back, and never speak of it again.They believe they get to call all of the shots. They get to decide to cheat on you. Then they get to decide if they want to stay with to you or if they’re going to leave. They are entitled to do whatever they feel like and you need to sit there and take it like a good little woman. Sadly, many of us have been indoctrinated to believe this bullshit. To believe that cheating is just a mistake. To believe you owe it to them to give them another chance. To believe that you don’t throw away years for one bad moment in your relationship. We’re taught to forgive and told that relationships take two people. We’re told to look at ourselves and ask ourselves what we did wrong, how we made them cheat, what we did to drive them into someone else’s arms.

That. Is. Bullshit. Cheating is not a relationship problem. It is an entitlement problem. They feel entitled to cheat and they feel entitled to your forgiveness.

Am I going to find that one man that is worth hurting for? No, Professor Douche, I’m going to find the man who doesn’t believe that cheating and abuse are normal parts of a relationship. 

Am I willing to fight for love? I don’t know. What’s the prize money like? Come on! I’m way too old to fight for love. It’s either there or it’s not. All of this “fight for your relationship” bullshit is just pick me bait.  I’m not fighting to keep a relationship with a lying, cheating, entitled asshole. That’s a solid “No.”

Am I going to lose a loyal man just because he’s occasionally unfaithful? Oh honey, I’m not losing anything. I’m kicking that sonofabitch to the curb! He’s the one that lost something.

#riseup

Stupid People’s Comments Regarding Affairs

A brave soul from another site replied to an article written by the mistress on Scary Mommy. I don’t know exactly what the person said, probably something controversial and sensible like, “There is no excuse for cheating. You have options. Communication. Therapy. Leaving before you find a mistress.” She later reported that she was getting eaten alive on the Scary Mommy site. I guess they have a disproportionate number of cheaters and cheater apologists on that site. Good to know.

I thought I’d share with you some of their wisdom.

Stop with the woe is me. Nobody owes you anything. You don’t own someone because you married him or her.

Nobody owes me anything? Oh, they most certainly do! We’re not talking about any random person out there. We’re talking about a person who has asked me to marry them. Not only did they ask me to marry them, they went through with it and exchanged vows with me. They’ve made promises to me. We’ve made plans together. I’ve given up my own dreams to help support theirs. We’ve made agreements and decisions based upon us being partners. Oh hell yes they owe me something. They owe me honesty. They owe me loyalty. They owe me fidelity. If they didn’t want to “owe” me any of those things then they shouldn’t have married me. This isn’t some casual coffee date; this was supposed to be a lifetime commitment.

I moved all over the country for Jerry Lee. I gave up my established life time after time so that he could advance at work. I left friends behind. I left family behind. I held down the fort while he was living and working hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away from us. I agreed to uproot my life and the lives of my children from Utah where we were perfectly happy to Virginia based solely upon what he wanted. I cooked for that man. I made him a plate every night. I did his laundry. I took care of his children. I cleaned his house. I bought his groceries. I took care of everything. You bet your ass he owes me. I was not some random woman he passed on the street. I was his wife of 20 years and the mother of his children.

This attitude is why I have the issues I do with truly merging my life with another person. It’s why I am so reluctant to share everything with someone else, to go all in knowing I could lose everything once again. You have all these idiots out there who act like getting married is no different than going to the movies with someone. You get fucked over? Oh well! They don’t owe you anything. You don’t own them just because you got married.

Honestly, if marriage means so little then why on earth would anyone ever get married? Why not just casually date for the rest of your life? That’s about how much importance some of these people put on marriage and the vows you take. Why do anything for the other person? Move across the country or even out of the country for your spouse’s dream job? Give up your job to stay at home and raise the children? Put your career second to your spouse’s? Give up time with your own family in order to spend it with your spouse’s family? Compromise at all on anything? Why? Why would you when they don’t owe you anything at all and all of those things you are willing to do for your partner don’t mean anything?

I see it every day on Chump Lady’s blog and the Chump Nation Facebook page. Women who have been stay at home moms for 5, 10, 20 years. Discarded for the new shiny. Left without a home. Left without any income. In many cases there is no alimony. They’re left trying to rebuild their lives while the ex-husband rides off blissfully into the sunset with the new supply. And society’s answer to that is: They don’t owe you anything. You don’t own them.

Fuck that. They absolutely do owe us something. And needless to say, but I’m going to say it  anyway, expecting fidelity does not equal thinking you own someone. It means you expect them to be faithful.

I would go so far as to say I think all of us realize we don’t own our spouses. We do, however, have expectations. If you’re unhappy and you want out, then do it ethically. Get out before you start fucking around. Don’t lie. Don’t cheat. Don’t waste our lives while you begin a new one without ever cluing us in until you’re ready to discard us.

Therapy? No. If you’re unhappy therapy won’t fix anything.

Really? The only thing that will fix being unhappy is having an affair? You sure about that? 

I don’t think the person who suggested therapy believes that it will automatically cure any ills within a relationship, but it does seem to be a much more mature approach to repairing a marriage than having an affair. The person who is unhappy may find that therapy won’t save the marriage after all but it’s certainly better than screwing around behind your spouse’s back, devastating them and blowing up your children’s lives. You may still end up divorced but you’re not a cheater.

Some people don’t seek out the help they need and then wonder why their spouses chose to cheat or leave. Nobody should live a life of misery simply because he/she exchanged vows with you. Cheating is a symptom of a bad marriage/long term relationship.

Wait. So now it’s my fault that my spouse cheated? If only I had been a better little wife he might not have needed to go fuck his cousin?

No, we do not cause people to cheat on us, just like we don’t cause people to rape us, or beat us or kidnap us, or mug us. In all of those instances, people have chosen to do those things to another person. They are responsible for their choice. No one made them do it.

I always find it interesting that those who believe you caused your own abuse never think people abusing them is justified. Your husband (or wife) cheats on you? Pfft… you deserved it; if you hadn’t done A, B, or C or had done X, Y, or Z, they wouldn’t have cheated on you. You run that cheating sonofabitch down with your car? Well that is just wrong! There is no excuse for that.

I also love how there are only two choices- you live a life of misery or you cheat/leave. God forbid you actually work on your relationship. Nope, that would be too hard. It might actually take some effort. Much easier to just cheat, or call it quits. Your kids might end up suicidal or needing therapy or end up dropping out of college, but hey, if you’re happy that’s all that matters.

Cheating is a symptom of a bad marriage/long term relationship. No, it’s not. It’s a sign of shitty character and a poor moral compass. It is a choice. People are in bad relationships all the time and they don’t all cheat. Hell, most of the people who end up cheated on have horror stories about the things they endured because of the cheater. Yet they remained faithful. They continued to fight for their relationships and their families.

Too many people out here acting like they’re helpless. You have a choice. Your spouse doesn’t want you. Leave! You don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences.? It’s a message. Stop being in denial and go find someone who wants to be with you. If postpartum depression is making you intolerable to be around, then yes, your spouse may choose to not stay committed to you. You can’t be a miserable jackass and expect others to tolerate that life.

Oh, there’s so much to this I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s begin at the end: You can’t be a miserable jackass and expect others to tolerate that life. This person specifically references postpartum depression. Basically what they’re saying is if a person has an illness and they’re no longer fun they should expect their spouse to cheat and/or leave. Wow! I hope that if they are ever diagnosed with cancer or some other life threatening illness or disability that they are equally as understanding when their own spouse deserts them because they’re no longer fun.

Again it’s that whole, “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health” thing. You made vows to this person. You made a commitment. But for these people, that means nothing. Remember, being married doesn’t mean they owe you anything. You don’t own them.

Too many people out here acting like they’re helpless. You have a choice. See, that’s where you’re wrong. The choice is taken from us. We’re lied to and deceived so that we don’t have all of the information. It’ s not a level playing field. It’s rigged. That’s what cheating is all about. People are told, “Oh no! I’m not having an affair! How could you even think that?” when the reality is their spouse is in fact having an affair. They’re told they’re crazy and paranoid. The cheater is playing their part beautifully so that we don’t catch on, and if we suspect something, we’re always told we’re imagining things. “Everything’s fine. Nothing’s wrong. It’s work stress. I’m tired.” No, we are not given a choice. We’re given lies.

I also find it interesting how everything falls on the betrayed spouse. Your spouse doesn’t want you. Leave! Why am I the one that has to do anything? If my spouse is so miserable they must cheat on me then shouldn’t they be the one that leaves? It appears to me that I am the one getting shit on and yet the naysayers are looking at me and asking, “Why aren’t you doing anything about this? You need to take care of this.”

You don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences.? It’s a message.

No, I don’t think he or she has thought about the consequences. They either think they’re so damn brilliant they’ll never get caught, or they don’t believe their good chump will ever grow a backbone and start looking out for their own best interests instead of serving them. When consequences do occur they immediately try to turn it around and play the victim. Most cheaters don’t have any intentions of leaving their marriage. They enjoy eating cake. Those that do? They do not enjoy having any consequences levied. Again, they think they’re the victim when that happens.

Stop being in denial and go find someone who wants to be with you. 

Yes, because when you’ve been lied to and deceived, and your whole world implodes around you the first thing you think is, “I need to go out and find a new partner.” You’re not traumatized. You don’t have trust issues. It’s all, “Wow! I’m so lucky I get to find somebody new!” The fact that your whole life has been turned upside down and in many cases you don’t know where you’re going to live or how you’re going to pay your bills is not an issue. No, Jackass, all we’re thinking is, “I’m going to pull on my big girl (or boy) panties and find someone new. Someone who wants me.”

These people are idiots. End of story.

Why Karen?

I keep seeing the Karen memes and tweets. Everywhere you turn it’s, “Way to go, Karen,” or “Do you want to talk to the manager, Karen?” Why Karen? What age demographic are people trying to hit with this insult? I always thought they were going for the 40 year olds, maybe early 50s. I’m 51 and I don’t know very many Karens. I can think of two off the top of my head. I had to check my Facebook friends list and it turns out I have three of them on my list, so bump that number up to five! I know a lot of Jennifers though. Also, a lot of Angies and Stacys. And quite a few Julies and/or Julias, now that I think about it. Amy is another popular one.

Rarely known fact: I was this close to being named Heather. It was between my actual name and Heather. My mom said at the last minute she decided she was going to go with Heather but then my dad showed up with a gift that read: To Baby Sam. So Sam it was. I was so damn close to having a normal name.

The meme makes me think they’re going a little younger than the 60s generation, and while it does have a point I think if you’re going to generalize an entire generation the smarter bet would have been on Jennifer. It was the top baby girl name from 1970-1984. Fourteen years, folks! So far no other name has matched the popularity or staying power of Jennifer. Like I asked in the beginning, how old is this Karen? 30s? 40s? 50s? If she’s anywhere from 36-50 she really should be called Jennifer. Maybe even Jen.

Perhaps they’re reaching even further back- 1969 and earlier. That may very well be, but the number one baby name in 1969 was Lisa. Followed by Michelle, Jennifer, Kimberly, and Melissa. Surprisingly Amy came in at #6. I thought it would be higher. Rounding out the top ten were Angela, Mary, Tammy, and Laura. To be fair Karen did come in at #13. 

After doing some research (aka Googling the top baby names for 1960-1969) it turns out the insult may have some teeth behind it, depending upon how old this Karen is. As it turns out Karen was actually a fairly popular name in the early part of the 60s. Early, being the operative word. It wasn’t Jennifer popular but it was the 4th most popular name of the 1960s.

It peaked at #3 in 1965 and held onto the #4 spot in 1960, ’62, ’63, and ’64. It was #5 in popularity in 1961 and 1966, and then slid to #6 in 1967 and down to #9 in 1968. As I said previously, it came in at #13 in 1969. Like I said, it was no Jennifer.

I’m back to asking: How old is Karen? if she was born in the 60s Lisa was the overall #1 girl name, followed by Mary and Susan. Wouldn’t it make more sense to use one of those names instead of the #4 name? Maybe Karen is always in such a pissy mood because her name came in at #4 instead of #1. But we don’t hear anything about bad attitudes from Kimberly, Patricia, Linda, Donna, Michelle, or Cynthia, do we? Those were #5-10 in case you were wondering.

And if she is younger, born sometime in the 1970s, you would be better off calling her Jennifer (of course!), Amy, Melissa, Michelle, or Kimberly. Lisa dropped to #6 in the 70s. Heather, btw, was #8.

I think Karen is more popular now than it was in its heyday beck in the 60s! Way to go, Karen.

A Question To Ponder

Editor’s Note: Obviously this was written a few days before Christmas, but the question still stands.

I know it’s all things Christmas right now, but I had this question pop into my head and it’s really been bugging me.

If Michael Myers supposedly has super human strength and is practically immortal then why doesn’t he just break out of the mental institution? Why does he always need to wait until he’s being transported on a dark Halloween night? Why can’t he just take out a few guards and walk right out to freedom any damn time he chooses? He doesn’t need to wait until a bus crashes or he’s able to steal a car.

I thought maybe it came down to being medicated but that doesn’t really work for me either. If they know they need to medicate him why wouldn’t they be sure to medicate him when they know he’s going outside the institution’s walls? That’s basic common sense right there, although I will concede it doesn’t make for a very long movie.

I’m going to get back to all things Christmas. I’ve got a quartet of Christmas in Evergreen movies to watch and I’m going to occupy myself with those. In the meantime, if any of you have an answer to my question I’d love to hear it.

The Chipmunk Song

What is it with that guy on that Christmas song? Is his name Dave? I know it’s Dave in the movies; not sure it’s ever mentioned in the song.

First thing you hear as the song begins is him asking each adorable chipmunk if he’s ready. 

Okay, Simon? 

Okay! 

Okay, Theodore? 

Okay! 

Okay, Alvin? Alvin? ALVIN!!!  

What is this guy’s fucking problem? He’s screaming at a poor little chipmunk. What has Alvin really done? It’s not like he’s goofing off. He’s simply not responding as quickly as his two suck up brothers. Dave calls him twice and then he loses his damn mind. Why is he yelling at him and what is with his short fuse? He seems like a horrible manager.

Has he ever thought that maybe if he talked to Alvin in a nicer tone of voice Alvin might be a bit more responsive? Alvin might be more inclined to pay attention and give his best efforts towards this Christmas song. I don’t blame him for not wanting to work with that jerk or for not paying attention.

Then he does it again- after insulting him! He compliments Simon and Theodore (That was very good, Simon; that was very good, Theodore!) but tells Alvin he was a little flat, and when Alvin doesn’t immediately tell him he’s so sorry about his failings as a singing chipmunk he yells at him AGAIN! Alvin. Alvin! ALVIN!!!

Whenever I listen to this at work I get irritated with him every single time. Stop yelling at him! Maybe if he treated him with a little bit of respect and kindness he wouldn’t have these issues with Alvin. I think we all respond better to constructive criticism instead of screaming and yelling.

At the end of the song, when he’s telling them they’ve sang enough and need to rest, it sounds like the chipmunks are getting ready to attack him. They are chattering up a storm. Now, maybe it’s just Alvin. Or maybe Alvin has finally galvanized his brothers to rally around him. I don’t know. What I do know is I wouldn’t want to be that guy that spent the day yelling at poor little Alvin. Because it sounds like they’re really pissed. And we all know the last thing you want is a pissed off chipmunk. I’m solidly rooting for Alvin if it comes to that.

You’re a Better Person Than Me

I think we’ve all heard that before. Usually spoken when someone does something we would not be able to do, or maybe something we wouldn’t ever want to do.  As in:

You celebrate all of the holidays with your cheating ex and the AP? Oh, you’re a better person than me!

You invited your cheating ex and the AP over for dinner? You’re a better person than me!

You met up with the AP and had a heart to heart? You’re a better person than me!

You don’t hate the AP and you guys go get mani/pedis together? You’re a better person than me!

You bought baby gifts for the affair baby so your kids could give their new “sibling” something? You’re a better person than me!

Are they though? Aren’t they just better at eating shit sandwiches?

Then, of course, you get the whole, “It’s so great that you are moving on and not letting bitterness and anger rule your life.” Because obviously if you’re not best friends with your ex-husband’s ho then you must be bitter and/or angry. Who wouldn’t want to be besties with the person that fucked your husband behind your back and helped blow up your life? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Do you really have to eat shit sandwiches in order to prove you’re no longer bitter and have a fulfilling life without the fuckwit in it? I say, “No. No, I do not.” I don’t need to be friends with someone in order to prove that I don’t hate them. I don’t need to buy them gifts, have them over for dinner, or have heart to heart conversations with them either. Not being friends does not equal remaining bitter or angry. It could simply equal rock solid boundaries.

Why do we keep perpetuating this idea that the only healthy way to divorce is by cozying up to the people that hurt us? Do we want to encourage people to debase themselves in order to prove something to others? I’m not encouraging people to deliberately be antagonistic. By all means, be civil when you must interact. But this idea that you need to celebrate the holidays together for the sake of the children, or that you must welcome the interloper with open arms as another parent? No fucking way. It is not necessary.

I’m sure that in a lot of cases the divorcing couple and the AP could have an amicable relationship. How difficult is it for the cheating spouse and affair partner to be amicable? They weren’t blindsided. They’re skipping off into the sunset, living their brand new shiny lives. They haven’t lost a damn thing. You wanna act like you’re friends? That would be swell! It’s image management at its finest.

Look! Look! What we did wasn’t that bad! Would my jilted spouse hang around me and my paramour if what we did was so awful? Look at what great friends we are! All is forgiven! I’m still a wonderful person despite the fact that I lied and cheated. My affair partner is still a wonderful person despite the fact that they fuck married people.

I don’t know why this narrative gets so much play. Nor do I understand why so many betrayed people buy into it but I really wish it would stop. You don’t have to befriend the person who gutted you, whether that’s your spouse or the affair partner. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone. Go live your best life and let the swine roll around in the muck. You don’t owe them a minute more of your time.

The Incompetence Astounds Me

I know I promised you memes but something came up. I was going to write about it but I went to the gym and ran 5 miles so when I came home I took a shower and pretty much collapsed, and then I had to pack for my weekend away with the mobster. This isn’t what I was originally going to write about but it’s going to have to do.

I was having a lovely weekend with the mobster. Truly lovely. We drank three bottles of wine last night and ate a bowl of shrimp cocktail. We got up this morning and ran three miles. Came back and took a shower before leaving again. We had just visited one of our favorite spots in Chillicothe- New Systems Bakery- and had left with strawberry bismarcks in hand, along with an iced Milky Way latte for me. We were headed to this magnificent park to walk and play Pokeman Go when I get a text from Jerry Lee.

The fucking state of Mississippi garnished his goddamn check! This was AFTER the caseworker assured me they had dropped the case. This is also AFTER she had told me from the very beginning that any modification through the state has to go through a judge in the state where the non-custodial parent is residing. It is also AFTER Mississippi dropped the ball for six fucking months and did nothing. They were supposed to have this situation resolved in February. I went ahead and took matters into my own hands and paid out shit loads of money to get a new order.   I don’t know who the hell knows what the fuck is going on but I sure wish someone would get their head out of their ass and figure this out. I cannot believe how incompetent all of these idiots are. No one has any idea what’s going on and they’ve got it set up so I can’t call anyone directly and get answers.

I know what you’re thinking. Not my problem, right? Looks like I’m making $140,000 a year right now. Except I’m not. Yeah, he’s the one that has no money from his paycheck. I’m sure Harley is loving that right now.

He asked very politely if he could stop his direct deposit until we get this sorted out. I told him I would prefer to keep it in place and send him back the money. The man has a whole new attitude since court. I appreciate that. Seriously.

Why is this my problem? For starters, I don’t need Mississippi screwing up my arrears. Secondly, it doesn’t sound like Mississippi is garnishing arrears for the spousal support and I know they’re not doing it for the legal fees. Third, and this is the most important reason right now- I don’t have any of the money that is owed to me.

Because the state gets their cut first the amount his company directly deposited into my account, or will deposit on Monday, is approximately $800 short of what I was expecting. My daughter’s rent is due on the 1st of the month. I have a huge therapist bill to pay for my son. I took almost all that I could from savings to pay off my lawyer. Side note: Isn’t it great that I paid around $3500-$4500 for a new support order and now I’m dealing with this shit? NOW the fucking state finally wants to show up and get their hands in this?

I suppose I could send the money that his company deposited into my account back to him on Monday when it hits. But I have no idea where the money Mississippi garnished is. I have no idea when I can expect to receive it. I have no idea how I will receive it. Knowing those fuckwits it will take them another 6 fucking months to get something set up to get the money to me and meanwhile I either have no support, or Jerry Lee gets no paycheck.

I looked at the mobster this morning as we were driving and told him, “I’m a good person. Why does this shit keep happening to me?”

Maybe that’s part of the problem. I am a good person. I’m an honest person. So knowing that I’ve inadvertently taken every dime from Jerry Lee’s paycheck does not delight me as it should. It horrifies me. Because I’m a good person.

I should be sitting back without a care in the world. I’m not the one with no money in my paycheck, right? I’m getting money on Monday and somewhere in the universe I’ve got even more money. Don’t know when I’ll get it but it’s coming.

If I were a total bitch I wouldn’t care about this at all. You’ll get your money back when I get my money. I shouldn’t care about this. He didn’t give a flying fuck when I was working two jobs, getting up at 1:30 in the morning, working 21 straight days, stressing over bills and Christmas, or wondering how I was going to pay for college. He walked away without saying a word. When he lost his job it was a simple, “I lost my job today. I won’t be sending any more money.” That was it. I was on my own. And thanks to that I lost my home, I had to move my kids once again, I lost decent insurance, and I quickly used up my savings. I make a fraction of what he makes because I wasted 20 years of my life moving all around the country for him and raising his children. After all the nasty things he’s said and done, the condescending way he has treated me, and all the hell he has put me through I shouldn’t care one bit that he has no money from his paycheck.

Let Harley support the family. She can work overtime a month or two while this gets straightened out. Maybe she’ll have to give up tanning or getting her nails done. Stop blowing $900 in a single trip to a store. Stop renting out vacation rentals at $1800 a pop. Let her do without for a while. I’ve done without for five years.

Or, he can get a second job to bring some money in. Door Dash is always hiring, I hear. Let him feel the pressure of financial stress.

That’s how I should be looking at it. Unfortunately, I worry that this is somehow going to screw with our original order and I don’t want that to happen. At one point I told myself that Mississippi could garnish him until they’d taken what they figured he owed. After that they would garnish him for child support only and he could directly deposit the difference between what Mississippi was taking and what Virginia said he was to pay. I think that gets a little tricky; he could possibly try to have Virginia’s court order thrown out and abide by Mississippi’s ruling.

Needless to say I emailed the caseworker. I suppose I’ll wait another week until she finally gets back to me.

One day this nightmare will be over, right?