Checking In, Part 2

Life with the mobster so far has been bliss, aside from the fact that I think he’s going to kill me. Seriously. Just the other morning we were out to grab a Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. That’s his most favorite place in the world. We had not gone since he arrived in town so we were woefully overdue for a visit. I jump in the car in my jammie pants and a long sleeve shirt I had just bought because it was a little chilly out in the morning, especially compared to the 150% humidity we had just experienced earlier in the week. I only slightly exaggerate on that statistic. Anyway… we hop in the car, go through the drive-thru and then he says to me, “Where’s the nearest park?” I’m thinking, “Oh that will be nice. We’ll drink our coffee and have our donuts in the park.” That is not what happened.

We drove to a beautiful park that I don’t recall ever going to. It was huge! Trails all over the place. We got out of the car and began walking the trails. Folks, I will remind you. I was in my jammie pants. They were obviously jammie pants. A long sleeve shirt. No bra. I was a walking advertisement for one of those People of Wal-Mart memes. I think we walked a mile. And we encountered numerous people, most of whom we spoke to! By the end of the hike I needed to arrange for golf lessons and buy cross country skis. ‘Cause we’re going to start doing all of that.

We then went to the Farmer’s Market (for the second time), bought way too much stuff, had breakfast, took our wares home and put them away, drove to Ironhand Winery and bought a bottle of East Race Red for the three of us to share (it was cheaper than all three of us buying a single glass) plus an appetizer, picked Picasso up from work, dropped him off, then drove up into Michigan to go to Gravity, another winery. We had samples there and ordered food from the food truck. We stayed until closing time, and then drove back to Indiana and went to McKinley Tap where we had another drink, ate some more food, and then played two rounds of darts. That was Saturday!

Sunday we took the dogs for a walk and then as we finished up he asked me if I wanted to take a bike ride. No! We were planning on going down to the Blueberry Festival and would be walking around for the next four hours or so! I had to stop the insanity.

Again, I bought way too much. Of course, every year I buy my dogs gourmet dog treats from one of the booths. I also bought some other little things. I also ate way too much. We had the most delicious steak tips with mashed potatoes and mushrooms, and then we each had a grilled pork chop. They wrap it in aluminum foil and give you a napkin. It’s amazing! I ended up having a pineapple whip after the fireworks and didn’t eat a single blueberry donut so that’s something to be proud of.

The fireworks were outstanding! They always have an amazing show. Honestly, this is a small town. It’s a mostly rural county. But they have the best fireworks I have ever seen. Mid show they have what would normally be most town’s grand finale. And they do it several times with all sorts of fireworks going off at once. At this year’s grand finale the fireworks created a canopy of color in the sky and the show ended with a loud boom and the hillside on fire. And I do mean on fire. Flames were shooting up from the hillside. I have watched this display every year since 2017 (minus last year when Covid canceled the festival) and every year I know I’m watching it with an expression of awe. The mobster filmed some of it but I’m not sure how well it looks on the small screen. In person though it’s wondrous. Absolutely marvelous. If you’re ever around Plymouth, IN on Labor Day weekend I highly recommend the fireworks at the Blueberry Festival.

Last part of my check in rolls out tomorrow!

Checking In

I meant to publish this at the beginning of the month when I was actually in D.C. but I had some problems with the internet. I wouldn’t mention this except I do mention timelines a little bit so it may be a little confusing. Just imagine you’re reading this at the beginning of September, instead of the end.

My, my, my…. time flies when you’re having fun! It’s been two weeks now since the mobster has made his big move. So far, so good. He doesn’t seem to be sick of me yet. He starts running his new business this Thursday which is why he’s back there and I’m sitting in an Air BnB in Washington D.C., waiting for my son and his friend to wake the hell up so we can get on with our day!

This was my graduation gift to him. We didn’t do anything else. No party. No graduation announcements. He chose not to walk. Hell, he almost didn’t graduate! He had an English final to take by 11 am on a certain date and that day came and went without Mr. Chill Guy bothering to take the final. Must have slipped his mind.

Yes, yes, yes. There was something I was supposed to do today. Can’t, for the life of me, think of what it was. Water the grass? Nah. Feed the dogs? No, that’s not it. Oh yes! I needed to take an English final so I could graduate. Hmmm…. bummer. Oh well! Maybe next year!

I swear to God, when I pressed him about it, all shocked and outraged as a mother with PTSD from arguing with her kid about school since freakin’ 2nd grade might be, he looked at me, not a worry in his eyes and said, “Whatever will be, will be.”

Are you fucking kidding me? You don’t get it, son. This is not about you not graduating. This is about me not being able to take another year of fighting you on the importance of graduating from high school.

I’m dead serious. I have been fighting this kid on the school issue since he was in 2nd grade, rolling around on the floor having a meltdown because “school is boring!” Of course, when I talked to the teacher, who in turn talked to the gifted and talented specialist, he then complained that he didn’t know why he was being punished for being smart by having to do more work. He had seen the other kids, the ones that struggled with school, be rewarded with getting to play video games when they completed their work. Why couldn’t he get that deal? Second. Grade.

He did well in school through eighth grade and then came high school which was a nightmare. He went from being an A/B student to being an A/B/C/D/F student, depending upon the class and the teacher. Sometimes he was pretty much a one A and the rest Ds and Fs student. Except for that one grading period where he got straight As, of course.

I went from, “I’ll support your decision to not go on to college but don’t shut any doors; you might change your mind later,” and “Do your best whether you’re going to continue on with school or not. I know you’re capable of this,” to “Just get a fucking D and pass the class!” And again, he had problems with that stance. I apparently had given up on him. Jesus Christ! I had to explain to him that I hadn’t given up on him but I had certainly given up fighting him. As you can probably tell it has been a blissful four years. Not!

Thankfully, the counselor called me the next morning, also freaking out about this (See? She didn’t want to have to deal with him for another year either!). She let me know that another student also hadn’t taken the final and the teacher was willing to unlock the test so that both of these lovely students who obviously didn’t understand the importance of taking the final in order to receive credit for the class so that they could graduate could, in fact, graduate.

The funny part of this is the final in his English class consisted of two questions- both essay questions. Question 1- Describe your high school experience. Question 2- What advice would you give incoming freshmen? I think the teacher asked for a couple of paragraphs and the boy wrote a book. It basically boiled down to: High school was the worst experience of my life and depressed me beyond belief, and high school is an absolute waste of time and no one should bother with it unless they’re planning on going on to college. He pretty much advocated for homeschooling. Thankfully, he passed.

So here we are. We’re in a lovely basement apartment in the middle of D.C. I passed out around 11 our first night here and all I can tell you is that both boys were asleep when I woke up to take out my contacts at 3 am.

The next day we walked all over the nation’s capital. My phone registered over 26,000 steps. We’re still recovering today. I got up around 9:30 this morning and both boys slept until after 2 pm.

This was supposed to be about the mobster and his big move, though. Sorry. Seem to have gotten off on a tangent.

This seems to be as good a place as any to stop. This check in got way too long so I’m going to break it up a bit.

The Day Has Come

This is the last Thursday night I spend being separated from my love by 600 miles. Tomorrow I hop on a plane after work and I fly to him. The next morning we are meeting his son for breakfast and then making the drive back to Indiana. It’s hard to believe that this day has finally come.

When I first “met” this guy I didn’t think it would turn into this. We lived 600 miles apart. I had traumatized children. He had traumatized children. We weren’t going to uproot their lives for our own. Eventually he made the decision that he wanted to move to where I was once his daughter graduated. She graduated two years ago.

Yes, our plans have shifted quite often. So often, in fact, that there were times I didn’t think he’d ever make the move. First the plan was to move up here shortly after T graduated and went off to college. Unfortunately, despite stellar grades the college she wanted to attend didn’t give her much in the way of financial aid and there was no way she was going to be able to afford to go away. So instead she planned to go to a local extension there in town. The countdown was going to begin anew. Two more years, he told me. Then August arrived and she went to college for less than a week before deciding she didn’t want to do that. She didn’t know what she wanted to do. Now all of the plans were up in the air. I couldn’t very well ask him to leave his daughter behind while she struggled to find a job and her place in this world. I would never have done so anyway. I love this kid and I want what’s best for her, even if it’s to my own detriment. I always told him I was willing to do long distance forever if that’s what it took.

August of 2019 she decides college is no longer in her future. It took her a while to get a job and then Covid-19 hit and closed everything down. Finally I went to see him after three months of being apart. Shortly after that visit he threw all planning into high gear. His newly revised plan was to be up in Indiana shortly after the holidays.

Of course, that didn’t go as planned either. He started advertising his business for sale. Made contact with the people who said they were definitely interested. One backed out and the other just ghosted him. He thought he had a buyer but that didn’t work out. Finally, in April he came to an agreement with someone. They closed on the deal in June and he’s been busy renovating the apartment above his garage for an Air BnB for most of the summer, with the exception of the three weeks he spent with me. And tomorrow I fly down so that we can drive back up here together.

I am both exhilarated and terrified. The three weeks we spent together this summer was the longest period of time we’ve ever had. And it was awesome! It flew by. Yes, we were on vacation for 10 days of it but we were not on vacation for 10 days of it, too! It was nice meeting him for lunch, having him take me to work, seeing him here when I got home.

So I suppose I’m mostly exhilarated. I have no reason to believe there will be any major problems. I love being around him and spending time with him. It will be amazing to be able to spend our weekends together. I can take him to the Farmer’s Market that I know he’s going to love. We can check out wineries up in Michigan. We can go up to the lake and walk around. We can go running and kayaking and biking together.

I’m also a little terrified. I worry that I’m too much of a slob for him. I worry that he’ll regret moving away from his kids and his family. I worry he’ll come to believe that I wasn’t worth it and he wishes he could take it all back.

This man has given up *everything* for me. He sold his business. He moved away from his two kids that still live in town. All of his siblings live in the area so he’s leaving all of them behind. I hope like hell that he is happy with me and that I am enough.

Mostly exhilarated though. This has been our goal for almost four years. Tonight is our last night 600 miles apart.

Entitlement, Thy Name Is Cheater, Cont’d.

Speaking of entitled cheaters the mobster’s STBX called him while he was on vacation. T-Mobile lets you block a person but it doesn’t really block them unless you pay an extra fee. What it does is prevent them from directly reaching you. The texts go into the archive history and the phone calls go to voicemail.

The mobster wrote a post about it before I could write my own post (copycat!) and I’ll link to it if you want the transcript in its entirety. The gist of the conversation was this: She didn’t understand why he wouldn’t take or return her calls. He was her best friend and always would be. The fact that he won’t talk to her kills her and she doesn’t understand whyyyyyyy.

We’re right back to: I do not think that word means what you think it means. I don’t know about you people reading this but I don’t gaslight my best friend. I do not tell them bold face lies and expect them to believe those lies. I don’t accuse my best friend of abusing me… or my children. I don’t lead people on to believe that I need to be “rescued” from my best friend because of their abusive behavior. I don’t ditch my best friend by trying to slink out of the house without saying a word to them about the end of our friendship and then bring my new best friend to a kid’s ball game and proceed to act as though my former best friend never gave a shit about any of my fake injuries and illnesses- all caused by my former best friend, of course.  

Thankfully we are far enough along in our relationship that this kind of nonsense doesn’t bother me. As I told him, “I’m not upset by the fact she called; however, I have to point out the absurdity of her claims.”

It’s another sad sausage feeling sorry herself. Oh believe me, she was choked up. Practically in tears. Why, oh why, won’t you answer my calls? You’re my best friend and you always will be. Doesn’t that mean anything to you? Doesn’t it make you forget all the horrible things I did? Surely the knowledge that I’m willing to allow you to stand in the radiance that is me must be thrilling to you. Why won’t you take my call? How can I bless you with my presence if you keep ignoring me?  

As the mobster said, “What a chameleon she is.” Whenever her affair accomplice isn’t around she gets to feeling lonely and reaches out to him. It hasn’t happened in a long while but I know the routine by now. She just wants to hear his voice. Wants to let him know he was the very best husband. Now apparently it breaks her heart he won’t talk to her. He’s her best friend and always will be. But when the accomplice is back in the picture she becomes angry and combative. I don’t know if she’s putting on a show for him or what but it’s a completely different kettle of fish when she’s with him. The mobster surmised it must be an exhausting way to live.

I don’t think she’s exhausted. I think she’s entitled. This is the woman who seemed to think it was fine to send pictures of herself in a bikini to another man behind her husband’s back. She seemed to think that, “All I did was show him my pussy!” was a valid defense when questioned about a possible affair with yet another man. She fed her sad little tale of woe to someone else and he fell for it hook, line, and sinker. He was going to be her brave Prince Charming, rescuing her from her angry, abusive husband. Then whenever she was left alone (new guy apparently is gone for work quite often) she would call the mobster and expect him to fall for her lies and offer to rush right over. For so long the mobster overlooked everything; his entire focus was on getting her sober and making their marriage work. She felt entitled to his love and devotion and can’t believe he finally walked away.

In the beginning I would almost feel bad. I remember telling him that I didn’t want to be the reason they didn’t reconcile. If he still felt like he had a marriage to save then I would step away. He also assured me though that he was done that night she brought the affair accomplice to their kid’s game and proceeded to put on a show. That was when he finally had had enough. He filed for divorce the next day. He has also pointed out that she is all talk. She’ll say these things hoping to keep him on the hook but she never does anything. She misses him so much but then says she can’t leave her affair accomplice. She misses him but makes no moves to come back or to try to make amends. As he so aptly puts it, “She probably doesn’t even remember the conversation the next day.”

I believe it goes back to what I said in the very beginning: He was supposed to be her Plan B. He was not supposed to move on; he was not supposed to meet someone else and fall in love. She could replace him but he was supposed to pine after her forever.

When I say they’re entitled this is exactly what I’m talking about. Only a cheater could sneak around behind your back, lie to your face, leave you for another person, malign your character, and then turn around and pitifully cry, “You’re my best friend and you always will be! Why won’t you take my calls?”

Summer Time!

The unofficial kickoff to the summer has come and gone. I spent yet another Memorial Day weekend down in Virginia with my mobster.

Picasso and I left after I got off work on Friday. We were going to stop and drive the remaining distance Saturday morning but I couldn’t find a hotel room and by the time I was actually trying to stop for the night we were only about 2-3 hours from his house. I ended up driving through the night and getting in at 4 in the morning.

The drive was the worst part of the trip. It rained almost the entire trip. It wasn’t terrible through most of Ohio but as I got to the eastern side of the state it began to pour. I can barely see to drive at night as it is, but add in a torrential downpour and I am definitely on edge. I thought I hit not one, but two, potholes. Turns out one of the potholes must have been an animal because when we stopped to get gas (at a gas station that had lost power and therefore had no way for us to get gas into our cars) there was blood splatter on my side of the car. I felt horrible but tell myself that I hit a dead animal. It was pouring so hard out there I find it difficult to believe any animals would have actually been out attempting to cross a highway.

As always we had a great time. He finally took me to a Salem Red Sox game. T actually bought tickets for her and her boyfriend and invited us to come along. Picasso wasn’t feeling well so it ended up just being me and the mobster.

We also played a lot of Pokemon Go, had a bonfire, went out to eat, and took a bike ride where he tried to kill me. Okay, I’m exaggerating but I did fall off the damn bike. I bruised my hip and skinned my knee. I am not real good at shifting gears on a bike and when I tried to shift on one of the last hills I went nowhere and then pitched over. He kept saying, “I don’t understand. The last time we did this you loved it!” The last time I was on a bike with him I shit my pants and had to have him hand wash my jeans for me while I cleaned myself up in a port-a-potty. I don’t know that I would call that love. Plus, I’m not going to lie- I was worried about snakes. Virginia has those dreadful huge black snakes. And, at one point, he yelled, “Try not to fall into the river!” as he cruised over the tiniest of a ridge next to the water. Now, I probably wasn’t anywhere close to falling in but you know how it goes when someone calls attention to it. I’m pretty sure I screamed. Which reminds me- I got going fast, was slowing down, and mistook a dog for a deer. I screamed; there were like four other dogs, and I looked and felt like a complete idiot. But, the good news is I refused to let my disastrous trip to the end of the trail derail me. I got back on the bike, so to speak, and rode the hell out of that trail on the way back. I told the mobster it was very much like ice skating. I went around once, almost died, and was ready to call it quits despite my lifelong dream to be on a hockey team. But, I recalibrated, caught my breath, and got back out there and ended up having a really good time. I did the same thing with the bike. Breathed, recharged, and got back out there. The mobster and I are going to enjoy many long bike rides in our future.

I took Tuesday off so we were able to spend all day Monday with him as well. Sadly, I came down with what I thought was allergies, but turned out to be a cold. I fought through it while with him but once I returned home I crashed, especially once it didn’t go away like I thought it would, proving it was not allergies. I went into work on Wednesday but felt so bad I took my first sick day ever on Thursday. I spent all day in bed and sucking down cold medicine. I needed to be healthy for the weekend because….

Rock Star turned 21 Thursday! Despite being at home sick I called her and sang Happy Birthday to her. On Saturday, Picasso, my mom, and I picked up her best friend’s mom and headed on down to Bad Axe Throwing Company in Indianapolis. My sister-in-law and my niece, Queen B, joined us, as did Rock Star, her bestie, and her boyfriend. We threw axes for 2 hours and then headed to Oliver Winery about an hour away. Rock Star loves their wine. Now how she knows that having only turned 21 two days prior to this is beyond me but it was her one request. We then drove back up to an Indy suburb, had dinner at a hibachi grill, and then headed over to another winery called Urban Vine and Brewery to finish up the night.

It was a great day spent with my two favorite kids. As an added bonus I love my kid’s best friend’s mom! She was awesome. We took a selfie together and started calling each other bestie. She was so much fun.

My summer is only getting started. So much more is yet to come. The mobster, Rock Star, Picasso, Rock Star’s boyfriend, and myself are all heading out to Utah for an amazing ten days, starting on July 2nd. I’m leaving work, driving to Chicago and getting on a plane. Rock Star and the boyfriend fly out on the 3rd. 

We’ve got a family chat going and a bucket list of things we want to do while we’re out there. There are a few favorite food places we want to hit up and between the kids and myself we want to go to Lagoon (the amusement park), Thanksgiving Point (the dinosaur museum), the zoo, multiple hikes, and downtown Salt Lake City. The mobster wants to see the Great Salt Lake and although it’s a dreadful, smelly mess I am willing to take him so he can say he has seen it. Rock Star wants to go horseback riding and we are thinking we might go rafting so we’ll play it by ear. I am so looking forward to this trip. I can’t wait to see my friends and visit all of my favorite places and spend a bunch of leisure time with my family. We are going to be making memories!

Finally, at the unofficial end of the summer, Labor Day Weekend, Picasso and I, and possibly the mobster, are heading off somewhere for a week. I thought my son wanted to go to Maine and New Hampshire and Vermont, but apparently he has changed his mind and would like to go to DC. We may spend a few days in DC and then see about checking somewhere else out. We may spend all of our time in DC. I don’t know. It’s up in the air. There’s also the possibility he’ll change his mind again and we’ll end up going somewhere completely different.

I’m really looking forward to this summer. It should be an amazing season. 

How about you? Do any of you have any plans for the summer months? I’d love to hear them.

The Biggest Mistake We Make

I was reading Chump Lady the other day. Someone had written in to see if she would put his STBX-wife’s texts through the UBT (Universal Bullshit Translator). Seems cheating ex-wife thought they should come together for their son’s graduation and present a united front- for the children, of course.

Surprisingly, this post is not about presenting a united front, or all the insane things people think divorced couples should do for the sake of their offspring. No, this is about something else.

At some point in his letter he mentioned that he had met a wonderful new lady and they had been dating for about six months.

One regular reader made the comment that one of the biggest mistakes divorcing chumps make is to date before the divorce is final. Among his reasons for thinking this is the biggest mistake you can make:

1. It’s too soon which isn’t fair to your new partner because you haven’t had time to heal.

2. You’ll probably be bringing baggage into your new relationship because of #1.

3. It might look like you were the cheater.

4. You’re still technically married.

5. It can give your cheater ammo to use against you.

I’ve written about this before. I’ve also admitted that I used to think exactly like that. You’re still married until you’re divorced. Don’t date. Keep your marriage vows. Then I divorced a lying, cheating fuckwit. Let’s just say that experience changed me. If you’re in a state (or country) where you can get a divorce in 6 months or less? Great! You probably can get through your divorce without dating. You certainly don’t have to, but you could.

There are many of us, however, where we can’t even file for divorce until we can show we’ve been separated for a year or more. In my situation I had no desire to begin dating; I had no plans to date. I resisted other people’s suggestions that I try online dating. I wasn’t looking and I was fairly certain I would never be in a relationship again. I didn’t even know the mobster existed until almost two years after D-Day. D-Day had been approximately 1 year, 9 months, and 20 days prior. My first divorce court date had already been continued, thanks to Jerry Lee and his claims of PTSD. I had a new date lined up. While I was working two jobs, supporting our two children with no help from him, and navigating all the emotional hurdles with them, my “husband” was living over 300 miles away with his cousin/mistress and her kids. He had financially cut us off that August of 2015, approximately 2 weeks after being caught; he, Harley, and the mulligans were living it up and living their best life ever. I hadn’t seen him in over a year. The month the mobster fell out of a tree and landed on my head marked a year since Jerry Lee had paid any support.

I’m solidly on board with the line of thinking that says I will not let him take one more minute of my life. Obviously you don’t need to be partnered up in order to live a full life, but if someone enters your life and they make things better I see no reason to avoid that person just because your cheating spouse wants to drag this divorce out. And often, they do. It’s the last means of controlling you they have. And because so many “helpful” people tell you that you need to keep your halo shiny and remain true to your marriage vows, they know they can get away with living their new lives, complete with a new partner, possibly new kids and a new house, while you’re left twisting in the wind, waiting for them to finally release you from your matrimonial bonds.

I would never have the relationship I do now if I listened to all the naysayers who say you need to wait until you’re officially divorced. It took me over two years to get my divorce. How much more time was I supposed to wait before I began dating once the divorce was finally finished? Another year? Two? Three? The mobster is still trying to get one. How long is he supposed to put his life on hold while she merrily goes about her life, doing whatever she pleases, shacked up with her boyfriend? We would both be missing out on the best relationship we’ve ever had while our spouses are shacked up with their new loves, doing whatever the fuck they want to do. Why are we supposed to forego our relationship?

Oh yeah- Reason #1- it’s too soon which isn’t fair to your new partner because you haven’t had time to heal.

Who is anyone to say what is too soon? In my case almost two years had passed and I was still married. I can tell you this though. I was way too busy working and trying to survive to go to therapy or do any work on myself. Year one hadn’t been too bad as we were still in our house the first 10 months, but year two sucked! I was thinking of nothing except survival and how much my life sucked. I was also pretty sure it was never going to get better.

I didn’t want Jerry Lee back. I wasn’t mourning him. I wasn’t mourning the loss of my marriage. Again, I was way too busy trying to keep afloat financially. Maybe people with plenty of money have that kind of time to navel gaze and overthink every little nuance of their past relationships.

I actually did fear that the mobster was moving on with me too soon. We met only two months after his wife walked out and less than a month after he had filed for his online divorce. But as he said many times, his marriage had been a living hell for 12 long years by the time he met me. He craved an honest partner. As he wrote once upon a time he wanted honest love; he was ready for that.

In the early days I grappled with a lot of self-doubt. I sometimes thought the love he had shared with her was far too big for me to ever measure up. They had twenty-five years together! But over time the fears lessened. I don’t worry about that at all now. And honestly, it probably wouldn’t have mattered if he’d been separated or divorced for a year or two. The issue was mine and it was mine despite the fact that my marriage had been over for almost two years, I had no lingering feelings for Jerry Lee, and I absolutely knew his cheating had had nothing to do with me.

Not everyone needs a year or two or more to heal. Not all of us need years of therapy and time to heal from a major trauma. Some people have been detaching for years, and once that person is out of their life it’s like a weight has been lifted. The mobster would say that he had been grieving the end of his marriage for twelve years before I came along. All those years he spent trying to get her help and get her sober he was grieving the end. I don’t think the mobster used me to replace her. Truth be told I wasn’t the first person he had dated after she left so it’s not like he just took whatever he could get. He chose me. He told me he fell in love with me the moment he laid eyes on me, crazy as that may sound. He was determined to not let her be the last chapter in his story. He moved ahead with full intentions of finding love again. And, as he always likes to point out, he knew when he was done with her. He didn’t need months or years to recover once that point was reached. When he finally got to that point recovery was well under way. The further away he got from her the clearer his mind became.

Similarly, point #2- you’ll probably be bringing baggage into your new relationship because of #1, isn’t true of everyone. Or maybe it is true of everyone regardless! I think I brought a certain amount of baggage into this relationship and it would have happened no matter how long I had waited. Anyone who watched twenty years of their life go up in smoke is probably going to be a little jumpy now and again. There are certain things I learned while my life unraveled and I don’t think I’m going to unlearn them any time soon. I also don’t think time heals all wounds, and I think everyone heals at their own pace. One person may be ready right away, while another person might never be ready. So, don’t date because you might bring baggage into this new relationship? Honey, I think we all bring baggage into our new relationships, even if that baggage is Louis Vuitton. We can’t help it but we can learn. Again, everyone does this at a different pace.

I’ve already gone over what I think of the “you’re still married” bullshit. Yes, legally I was still married. Legally Jerry Lee owes me somewhere around $60,000. Whether or not I’ll actually get that is a whole other topic. If it makes you feel better to say you didn’t date until the ink was dry on the divorce decree, knock yourself out. I’m certainly not advocating that you must date while you’re in the middle of that. But I no longer see anything wrong with it. Fuckwits are going to do what Fuckwits are going to do. They like to drag it out. Case in point- BSC. She’s been living with her boyfriend for 3 years now but has absolutely no interest in getting a divorce. It’s stall tactic after stall tactic, lie after lie, outrageous demand after outrageous demand. Any time the mobster starts talking settlement she gets all crazy and expects to get everything.

Point number five- you give your cheater ammo to use against you. Well, not really. If you’re in a no fault state they really can’t use the fact that you’re dating against you. And you can always remind them that if they want to try to drag you through the mud because you’ve dared to date before divorced that you’re only dating because they cheated on you. Which in effect means they’re dating, too, and they did it behind your back while you thought you were in a committed relationship.

But what if you live in an at fault state? As a person who divorced in an at fault state I can tell you that all three of the lawyers I met with were very clear that even if I could prove adultery it wouldn’t result in anything extra for me. Debts would still be split 50/50; assets would still be split 50/50. The judge wouldn’t give me full custody because of it. I wouldn’t get everything while he walked away with nothing because he cheated. I was advised to not date but the other side of that coin was that I was also told he could run around town declaring his love for Harley and make out with her in the middle of Main Street. Unless I could prove they were actually having sex I couldn’t prove adultery. The bar is set pretty high when it comes to proving adultery.  Jerry Lee and Harley were living together. He had moved out of the state to be with her. My lawyer still said she didn’t know if she had enough to prove adultery. They. Were. Living. Together.

Plus, it’s only a potential problem if you’re the spousal support receiver. If you would be paying spousal support you can do whatever you want. It’s not like you’ll have to pay more because you’re dating. Even if you’re the receiver you’re allowed to date; you just can’t have sex. Unless your spouse can prove you’re actually having sex and not just going out to dinner and the movies with this new person, you are operating within the law. Personally, I wouldn’t announce it to the world (and I didn’t) because cheaters don’t like consequences and they are always looking for a way out of them.

Finally, I take issue with this little gem, otherwise known as point #3- it might look like you were the cheater.

To whom? The cheater in my case is a perpetual victim. Even if I hadn’t met the mobster until months after the divorce was final Jerry Lee would still be whining and crying. It’s what he does. I don’t care if he likes it or hates it. I don’t care if he thinks it’s unfair or that I’m a horrible person or that he says  horrible things about me. The opinion of a man who cheats on his wife and walks away from his kids means absolutely nothing to me. Furthermore, what on earth do I care what his family thinks? They are nothing to me anymore. They will always side with him; they have supported and encouraged him throughout his entire affair. They know beyond a shadow of a doubt that our marriage ended when he began carrying on with Harley again. They know I was blindsided and that there was no one the entire time I was living in Virginia. They know, and he knows, that he was the one packing a bag and leaving his kids every weekend to go meet up with Harley. Not me. More importantly, I know none of that matters to them. So why in the world would I care if they think I cheated on him?

The people that matter to me know the truth. They had front row seats to the Jerry Lee Divorce Chronicles. They were there when I found out. They were there when he moved out without saying a word. They were there when he lost his job, forcing us out of our home. They were there when I moved back with my poor kids in tow. They were there during those long, long months where I worked two jobs while he worked none and sent no support for his children. Those are the people that matter to me and they all know that I’m not the cheater.

I can say the same thing about the mobster. The people important to him know he didn’t cheat on his wife and leave her for me. They know about everything she put him through. His dad, a Baptist pastor, even told him at one point that maybe it was time he considered divorce. When he told me that story he admitted that his dad suggesting that, when he had always grown up with the idea that marriage was forever and you just did not get divorced, shocked him. It must be really bad if his dad was offering up divorce as an option. They also know that I didn’t come into his intact marriage and break them up. She was gone before I came into the picture. His parents know that. His siblings know that. His kids know that. Jerry Lee can spin whatever kind of lies he wants to about me. His family can judge me as being a homewrecking tramp. I don’t give a flying fuck. You know why? Because the people who matter know the truth. Jerry Lee and his ilk don’t matter. And they wouldn’t know the truth if it came up and bit them on the ass.

Time With the Mobster

Finally! After three long months we are together again. It has been heavenly. There have been a few snags but nothing to do with us- just little things forgotten or eaten.

For example, I forgot to pack my pick. I had packed pretty much everything a day or two before. I knew there were a few last minute things I needed to add, along with my toiletries, but my flight didn’t leave until 4:15 so I wasn’t terribly worried.

Then we went out to lunch before leaving for the airport and since the restaurants are at half capacity and the wait staff seems to be at about 25% capacity we had quite the wait, which meant I had all of about 15 minutes to finish packing before we needed to leave.

Somehow I forgot to pack my pick which I KNOW had to have been right there on the sink by all the rest of my toiletries. That was Friday. This is Saturday, over a week later, and I have finally bought a new brush. Seven days of no comb, no brush, no pick.  Thankfully my hair is short so I was able to fluff it out with my fingers.

I also realized once I got here that I forgot to pack two of my sports bras. I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to do a lot of laundry but if I’m going to run I guess I’ll have to.

If that wasn’t enough my dog, Ripley, ate my damn jeans the first day I was here. They’re not completely gone but they definitely have bite marks in them and I can no longer wear them.

Those were the snags. Small things compared to all that’s going on in this crazy world.

I arrived around 9 pm on Friday. They picked me up in Roanoke and we had an hour drive back home.

We left to board a plane to New Hampshire around 10:15 the next morning. The flight was pretty uneventful. We made a few stops along the way to his oldest son’s house.

The mobster showed me his old house on Haig Street. We pulled into their very nice liquor store which is actually called an outlet. It was huge! State run, of course. We bought the sparkling wine for the wedding on Monday and another bottle of peach Moscato just because it sounded good. We also grabbed an apple cider donut for each of us. They were delicious!

We finally made it to A’s house. Nothing is open in New Hampshire, or so it seems. You can grab take out but they only have outside dining right now. We eventually ended up at a little roadside ice cream stand. It sold dinner as well. We inadvertently paid over $80 for 3 lobster rolls. They were listed as “market price” and we never inquired as to what “market price” was. The mobster picked up the check and was stunned when the cashier told him it would be over $150. On the plus side they were very, very good!

Sunday the mobster and I went for a run first thing in the morning. A and Little Miss Sunshine bought whole lobsters for all of us for lunch. Two each! Sadly, they paid less for 10 whole lobsters than we did for 3 large lobster rolls. And if it wasn’t less then it was right around the same amount.

We played some Pokemon, walked to the park, and went up to Weirs Beach to walk around as well. It was great just spending time together.

Monday was the wedding. It was very short, very simple, and very sweet. It was exactly what they wanted. The mobster and I bought the cake and the sparkling wine and her mom paid for the Chinese take out.

Tuesday was return home day but we managed to work in a trip to the Flume. I saw pictures of this place in a Family Fun magazine when we were living in Virginia, so probably late 2014, early 2015. I really wanted to take my kids but life had other plans for me. When I found out I was going to be visiting New Hampshire we checked out their website and it said they were closed until the end of May for repairs. Fortunately, that turned out to be false so I got to go.

I have to say, as much as I hate all this social distancing bullshit, it was really nice having the park to ourselves for all practical purposes. I mean, I’m sure there were other people there but we didn’t see anyone else until the very end, when we were coming out and they were going in.

Needless to say, my “lifestyle change” has been upended this week. I did fine Friday, the day I left, but I have to tell you, we stopped at Dunkin’ Donuts every day we were in New Hampshire. I stuck with regular coffee with Splenda and cream or half and half, but I also had a donut. I’m not sorry either. And on Tuesday coming back home we stopped at Chick-Fil-A and I had an entire meal- sandwich, fries, and a diet Coke. First diet Coke I’ve had since May 3rd. While I did fall off the diet Coke wagon I only drank half of it and I haven’t had another one since.

These past 3 days I’ve spent a lot of time sitting on the couch, watching TV and playing games on my phone. I haven’t even been blogging. The first day back I got up at 6:30 and helped him load his truck before coming back to the house. I showered because I was all sweaty and disgusting. I read until around 9:30 or so and then I kept getting woken up every hour on the hour. The mobster called me at 10 and then again at 11. Then the alarm clock started going off at noon. I couldn’t get it to shut off completely so I had to keep hitting snooze every 10 minutes or so. I finally gave up and got out of bed. I didn’t get up until after 11:00 on Thursday. That was nice. Then on Friday I woke up around 9:30, took both dogs for a walk (big mistake!), and then went for a 3 mile run. Came home. Showered. All in all it was a very relaxing week once we got back.

It’s also been raining a lot. We went out for dinner Thursday night and to go raiding (Pokemon Go) and we got stuck in a downpour!

Went back to the same place on Friday night. Thankfully, there was no downpour this time. Plus we found the most adorable new antique store in town. So many cute things inside.

Today I went out on his route with him. I don’t feel like I’m much of a help but it was nice just being together. We grabbed lunch at Chick-Fil-A. I was good and had the Cobb salad with grilled filet. We did a little bit of raiding and we did a little bit of shopping. He grilled salmon, tilapia, and rock fish out on the grill tonight and we’ve polished off a bottle and a half of the wine we bought at the Wine and Chocolate Festival back in February. Honestly, I’m a little surprised I can even type this. 😉

Tomorrow is our last full day together. Oh, I guess that’s the last thing that went wrong actually. I was scheduled to fly out tomorrow around 3:30. I got an email while I was in New Hampshire telling me my flight had been discontinued and I was rescheduled on this new flight, taking off at 7 am on Monday morning. Yeah, I’m supposed to be at work Monday morning at 8 am. Fortunately I was able to work it out with my boss and I’ll be showing up around noon, maybe 12:30 instead. But I am thankful for the extra day with him.

Then it’s back to the grindstone. Fortunately things are opening back up and we have solid plans to spend his birthday next month together. At most it will be a month before we see each other again. Maybe we’ll even sneak in another weekend in between.

It’s been a great week. Sorry I haven’t written much this week. I had big plans to do so but life got in the way. Til next time….

This Day

On this day, three years ago, WordPress sent me a notification that a reader had liked my post, The Wacky Things Cheating Women Say.

If you have a WordPress account then you know every time someone likes or comments on your post they suggest you read their blog as well and link to three different posts. So I did. I figured I’d see what Divine Doorknobs had to say.

I read a heartfelt blog by a man who had put up with more crap than a person should have to. I read his blog as he detailed the ups and downs of being married to an alcoholic. One entry would be positive and almost giddy with relief that she was sober and working. Then the next would be the sad realization that she was drinking again. I read the whole thing from the very beginning until it culminated in her leaving him and his heart being shattered. His subsequent posts were heartbreaking in his yearning to get over her and find, as he put it, an honest love.

That day changed my life. I was going to meet the man that would turn out to be the love of my life, although I didn’t know it yet. We hadn’t made contact. I had no idea who he was. Our stories were so similar though that I had to comment. I didn’t do so thinking I was going to strike up any kind of a relationship with this person. I was just struck by the similarities and wanted him to know.

It wasn’t until the next day he responded to my comments and offered up his number with an invitation to be someone I could vent to. I told him then that I was an awful texter, plus I worked two jobs neither of which was conducive to texting. AND, I went to bed at the same time toddlers did, thanks to my super early job at Target.

The rest is, as they say, history. I have fallen madly in love with this wonderful man. He is the best thing that has ever happened to me. He is the sweetest, funniest, most romantic man in the world. He has staged elaborate, romantic evenings and he has washed out my shitty jeans. He makes me laugh and he listens when I rage on about injustices in life. He rubs my back if I ask and he’ll run and grab conditioner for me if I forget it and we’re at a hotel with no amenities. He is the smartest man evah! He is handsome and sexy. He knows exactly what to say. He is always up for anything- canoeing, kayaking, camping, ice skating, hiking. You name it he’s willing to give it a try. Because he’s up for anything I’m more likely to go outside of my comfort zone. He believes in me. He thinks I can do anything. He is exactly what a partner should be. He is my mobster, my love. He is the one that made me smile again after two really awful years.

Happy Anniversary, baby! These last three years have been fantastic. I love you more!

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Virginia Bound

I am off to see my love. It has been a very long 3 months since we’ve seen each other. I will be spending an entire week with him. Can’t wait!

I am actually sitting on a plane in Chicago, waiting to take off and fly to Virginia. I am dying! This stupid mask is suffocating me and I’m dying of heat stroke right now. Dying, I tell you!

Tomorrow the three of us are flying to New Hampshire for the holiday weekend. His oldest son is marrying Little Miss Sunshine on Monday. I’m very excited for two reasons.

First, they wanted me there which was nice. Little Miss Sunshine even asked me if I’d like to come with her when she gets ready. I love this girl.

Second, I’ve never been to New Hampshire. I’m excited to get to see where the mobster used to live and to let him show me around.

I went out to lunch with my mom and my son before I left and I found out Picasso would like to go to Maine. I have also recently discovered he would like to tent camp and fish, and that he doesn’t really remember most of the places I took them to when he was younger but he is definitely interested in road trips now. It is amazing the amount of information I find out when that boy is finally lured out of his room! So, I think next year the boy and I (and the mobster and my daughter, if they’re interested) are going to take a road trip up along the coast. Maybe we’ll fly to Maine and then rent a car. I don’t know. I have a year to plan.

I am hoping I can get some writing in while on vacation but it may not be possible. This is going to be a busy weekend and we’ll have to see how the week goes. The best part though is that I get to spend it with my love.

COVID-19 and Long Distance Relationships, Part 2

I have tried to write this twice before. Each time it gets very dark and angry. We’ll see how the third attempt goes.

If you haven’t already heard the governor of Virginia has called for a shelter in place order until June 10th. Yes, that is correct. June 10th. More than 2 months from now.

I had planned on spending a week of vacation with the mobster. I see the man a handful of times throughout the year and most of those times we see each other for less than 48 hours. I don’t usually get to wherever it is we’re meeting until sometime between 10 and 11 at night on Friday. We have all of Saturday and then depending upon the time of year we leave to return home sometime between noon and 3. Occasionally we’ll have a longer bit of time but for the most part that’s what we get. So, out of the 14 days of personal and vacation time I get, I like to take 5 of those days and spend them with the mobster. It’s the one time each year I get to do that.

My vacation was slated to begin May 22nd, about 2 weeks before the governor’s order is up. Yes, I could violate the order. I’m generally a rule follower but I could tell the governor to fuck off, get in my car or on a plane, and go to Virginia. I might not be able to actually get into Virginia but I could attempt it. I guess I will have to wait and see what happens.

Maybe the governor will rescind the order. Maybe things will get a lot better a lot sooner than everyone is thinking. I sure hope so. Because this separation sucks. It sucks a lot.

I feel like Sally Field’s character at the end of Steel Magnolias. I’m just so angry. I want to hit something. I want to hit something and make it feel as bad as I do. That pretty much sums it up.  She couldn’t do anything about her daughter dying and I can’t do anything about this stupid COVID-19 and the havoc it’s wrecking. It’s kind of like my divorce. All those horrible things forced upon me and I had no choice but to keep going and hope that eventually it would get better.

So I’m trying to be optimistic and upbeat. Honestly, what good does being pissed off, sad, and/or angry do? It doesn’t help. It doesn’t stop the spread. It doesn’t make the governor open up the commonwealth. It doesn’t make life go back to normal. No, you’ve just gotta hang on and ride out the wave. Nothing else to do. With that in mind I’m trying very hard to adopt a, “WTF ever,” attitude.

Vacation canceled? Oh well. No big deal. I’ll go next year. Can’t see the mobster for 3 months? Who cares? I’ll see him in six months, I guess.

The problem with this is I don’t do Zen real well. Oh, I can. I definitely can do it. It’s just that every time I have it’s boomeranged back and hit me in the ass. The pool that took 10 weeks to complete instead of the promised 3? After telling myself not to sweat it and I would have it for years to come I got to enjoy it for 6 days before my life blew up. Garnishing Mr. Jackass? After telling myself it would all be worth it and he could never fuck with me again I’m right back at square one. He’s moved to yet another state and I still don’t have a garnishment order. I probably never will. He will do whatever the fuck he wants to do until the end of time. So… telling myself not to stress and that I’ve got all the time in the world or we’ll spend the rest of our lives together one day, doesn’t really work for me. Mainly because I’ve never seen it come to fruition.

I suppose I should be thankful that our relationship is so strong that we can withstand a three to four month separation. I’m sure a lot of people couldn’t, especially in this day and age of immediate gratification.

I mean, we already get a raw deal. Our spouses walked out on us, leaving our kids behind. We’ve both chosen to do the right thing by our kids instead of creating yet more turmoil in their lives. This means instead of moving our kids we’re remaining 10.5 hours apart. Because of that we get to see each other typically every 2-6 weeks. Usually more like every 3-4 weeks. And we get ONE full day. One. I’m sure no one expected it to last but here we are- almost 3 years later.

Will it suck if I have to cancel my vacation? Yes. Will it suck if I don’t get to see him until late June? Yes. Yet what am I going do? Absolutely nothing. Grin and bear it. Try not to think about it.

I’m thankful I’m not a teller and going through this. A week lasted forever because I was always so bored. At least with my current job the week tends to go by somewhat quickly. When I was a teller I would go crazy when it was three weeks or longer before we could see each other because each week was agony. It went by so slowly. It was like our weekend together was never going to get there.

We’ve said many times that we probably talk more than most couples who live together. I call him every morning on my way to work. We FaceTime at lunch. We FaceTime again at night. Sometimes those conversations don’t last very long. Sometimes there’s a fourth call. Or a fifth. Sometimes we’re doing other things while we talk. But we do talk. A lot. Again, probably a lot more than most people who live together.

I’m thankful we’ve got FaceTime and email and text messaging and free long distance. Years ago I dated another guy from Virginia. He was my first love. We wrote letters to each other. Every week. Aside from that initial meeting I think we got together two, maybe three times more. There was no texting. Not even phone calls. Long distance was expensive back then. Ironically, we reconnected four years later. I think I did see him a few more times that time around, and we did talk on the phone. Long distance was still expensive but we both had jobs. Our phone bills were outrageous! So yes, I’m definitely thankful for technology. Even though I’m not right by his side every day it is still very easy to feel connected to the mobster when I talk to him and am able to see him via video each day.

I’m not going to think about it. If I can’t go next month I’ll cancel my vacation days. Even if I can go I’m still not going to think about how far in the distance that time is. It does me no good. It just depresses me. And makes me hate everyone who does get to be with their love. So I’m going to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and declare, “I’ll think about that another day.” I’m putting my head down and plowing onward.

I plan to do the same with everything else this stupid virus has effected. I know there are a lot of people at work that are complaining they aren’t letting us work from home. Honestly, I don’t care. I found that I’m very distracted working from home. I’m on my phone. I’m checking stuff out online. I’m not very productive. Maybe if I were swamped with work I would be more diligent but the day I worked from home for a few hours, I was not. I’ll continue going in, not that I have a choice in the matter. I’ll tell myself that parking two blocks away is good for me because I get my steps in. What a bonus for me! And I’ll continue to pack my lunch and eat downstairs in the atrium. Thank God that’s still open because otherwise I’d be out in my car eating. It saves me money. I’ll continue to stand where they want me to in the damn elevator and try to think of all of this as one grand adventure. A positive attitude is a wonderful thing! Call me Mary fucking Poppins. That’s me.

In all seriousness though I have everything I need to do my job. I have a fairly large work space. I’m six feet away from all my co-workers. I’m not working in a dungeon. If I can work up my nerve to go to the 2nd floor and get some snacks it might be okay.

I’ve got a job; I’m getting paid. I’m supposed to get a check for $1200, which I don’t technically need. Jerry Lee is paying his court ordered support. I’m putting money away so that I’m only living on spousal support and my pay.

I’m going to cut way back on Facebook because it’s driving me nuts. I can’t take the self righteousness and the sanctimony. No, we are not all self-quarantined at home! We are not all sitting at home on our asses, eating junk food and binge watching Netflix. End of story. I cannot even with those people.

I am going to try to catch up on my Hallmark Christmas movies. I’ve already watched three of them. I’ve got quite a few to go.

I’m going to keep running three times a week. Maybe I’ll even up it to four times a week.

Life will be back to normal one of these days. Eventually, I keep telling myself, the mobster and I will live in the same state. I’ll keep plugging along until then.