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Archive for March, 2009

 are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.

Thanks, Edgar A., I’ll keep that in mind.

I’ve been divorced a long time and in that long time, there have been a small handful of times that me and “Dad,” as I’ve taken to calling him, because the only time I really ever talk about him is with the girls, whose dad he is,  so it is perfectly reasonable to call him “Dad,” have had a pleasant chat or shared a laugh without this heavy undercurrent of discomfort. 

Well, at Senior Band Night for the Senior, where the parents walked her onto the field and posed for the worst picture ever, a picture, whilst the announcer announced who she was and who we were and where she was going to go to college and what she wanted to be when she grew up.  It was the first in our many kid-related Senior activities where I just said screw all that tension, I’m going to enjoy this one…because, she Senior is our last one to do Senior Band night…EVER.

Anyway, so, I’ve never really had a dream with him in it that I would call “good.”  I’ve had dreams where he was mean to me and his parents were mean to me and I was trapped in a house with all of them being mean to me, but I’ve never had a good one.  So…

Imagine my surprise when, as I am lying there dreaming away and I realize I am having a most pleasant dream with him and Dianna and his folks, and some other people, and the kids and Rob and we’re all having a big ol’ barbecue and I’m cutting up with him and his parents and they aren’t throwing rocks at me and I don’t have that feeling of OHMYGOD IHATETHIS DREAM LET ME WAKEUP.

Nope, it was perfectly pleasant.  And I looked pretty cute in this bathing suit top and this sarong thingie, only I had a tattoo that was sort of crooked on my midsection, so that was sort of tacky, but other than that I looked good, and I like it when I look good in dreams…and I made jokes with his mom about how come the potatoes I needed for the potato salad were on their bedside table and numbered har har what’s that all about LORETTA har har.\

It was all very funny and over the top dreamlike…what with me in a BIKINI TOP, FURREAL.

Now, if I go poking around in my grey matter about why in the world I am having dreamy barbecues with my ex, I’d have to go out on a limb and say it’s probably because he and Dianna and the Teacher loaded up and went to Austin to bring some of the Longhorn’s stuff back for the summer and my brain was sort of in family mode, with family including “Dad” and Dianna and his folks, etc.   I think it also could mean that I am for real finished with the uncomfortable way it has always been.  I think I am realizing that with the impending graduation of the Senior, our last daughter, and then the college graduation of the Longhorn next year, that our NEXT get togethers are more than  likely going to be wedding/weddings and baby birthings and the last thing I plan to be while I’m being the mother of the bride and the Nani of the grandbaby is uncomfortable, and by gosh, by the time the Senior graduates from college, we oughta be bridge partners or something.  Seriously.
So.

It’s time we get on with the barbecuing.  I’ll make the potato salad.

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there seems to be a lot of throwing around of the word ‘deserve’ lately.  I first noticed it while watching Jon and Kate plus 8.  If you aren’t familiar with J and K plus 8, it’s a show on TLC about Jon and Kate and their twins Mady and Cara and the ‘tups, as they are called on the internetz…the adorable sextuplets (Aiden, Joel and Colin…and the girls who are going to grow up to treat boys just like their mother, unfortunately).   anyway, Kate throws the word deserve around a lot.  Like this one time when they were on this one family vacation (totally free vacation) to Disney (or the ski trip to Colorado or Hawaii, etc) when Kate says over and over how her kids ‘deserve’ to travel.  When they moved into their 3.6 million dollar new home mansion on 26 acres in Pennsylvania, Kate talked about how her kids ‘deserved’ to grow up in a place like that.

Then, the other evening I was enjoying a nice drive in the country on the way to the Senior’s winterguard competition in Aledo, TX (aka the most perfectly gorgeous little town ever) when this commercial for these ‘free’ laptops came on the radio.  And to be honest, I couldn’t even tell you the particulars about what all hoops you have to jump through to get one because i was so fixated on the lady in the commercial talking about how her kids ‘deserve’ to have themselves a shiny new laptop computer delivered to the door FOR FREE.

And talking about commercials, that commercial where the people owe the IRS 20 bazillionty dollars but they are only going to have to pay 2000 DOLLARZ gets on my last nerve.  Is it just me, or is it annoying to hear people talk about how they aren’t going to have to pay what they owe, they’re going to pay JUST A FRACTION OF WHAT WE OWE.

Well, excuse me…but when I was growing up my mom ingrained in me that you work hard for what you want, whether it be our first fancy new 19-inch color television or my first 400-dollar car or a laptop, or newnew to us leather furniture (that we bought off craigslist from the fire chief from the most perfectly gorgeous little town ever) for the den.  You get cool stuff because you EARN IT…or maybe it is because I’ve always had to work so hard for the things I have and for the things I give my kids that it sort of irritates me to no end this whole sense of entitlement that people have…this I am here gimme gimme.  I don’t like it.

As my mom would say…I wasn’t raised that way.

and please, don’t even get me started about the tax thing.  you know what i owe?  394 dollars.  you know what i’m going to pay?  394 dollars.  And in the years where we owed 3900 dollars, we paid that, too, even if it meant a payment plan where we paid til it was paid of.

Oh, and i also paid off my credit card debt, even though it meant getting rid of all my credit cards and enrolling in a debt consolidation program and making payments forever 5 long years and change.

Is any of that fun or instantly gratifying?

nope.  not even a little bit…

so, it may just be me, but i think you appreciate things a lot more if you work for them and they aren’t just handed to you.  I mean, I’m pretty sure that if the credit card debt fairy had swooped down and paid off all those cards for me, i would have probably turned right back around and gotten 5 new ones and i wouldnn’t have learned 1 single thing about managing money.

eh. i don’t know. call me crazy, but I also don’t pay my kids for good grades either.

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Purge

Yesterday was March 1, but really should have been February 29, which means I would have gotten my hypothetical 3-month chip. It’s only been three months, but if feels like forever ago that so much of my time was so misused.   The Change, as I’ve come to call it, has been much more significant to me than I thought it was initially, which must mean that those nasty little habits I had were probably more significant than I initially though, as well.

It is a good thing, regardless of the packaging it came in.

Speaking of the packaging it came in, Rob had his CT scan this morning. One would presume in a few days we will have an answer as to what is going on in there exactly…and it is safe to say that I am equal parts of ready for that and wishing we didn’t have to.

In other news, I finally have the answer to a question I have pondered about for years, that being: Is it easier when a loved one just dies suddenly or if you have a long time to get ready, i.e. they are ill for an extended period of time? After the sudden and unexpected death of one of my very dearest friends last Monday, I am here to say unabashedly that it is most certainly easier when you have a head’s up.

The only other person I can compare this to is my mom… I mean, my dear mother was sick, sick for a year before we had to resort to the nursing home and only lived a month once there, so when she passed away, I could truly say that it was more of a blessing than anything else. People chided me about my lack of grieving…WHY AREN’T YOU SAD WHY AREN’T YOU CRYING???

Because, they didn’t see me crying that year she lived with us…when I lived in terror every morning I would find her dead…when I would pray to God please let her be alive this morning before I turned the doorknob to her room. They didn’t know that the moment she went into the nursing home was the moment I knew I’d better brace myself for the end because I knew very well that there was no way she was going to allow herself to live if it meant eating INSTITUTIONAL FOOD.

So, yeah…while I was sad my mom died, I didn’t have a “grieving period” afterwards. Sure, there were times when I’d be baking bread or making pork and ‘kraut that I’d get a little sad and tear up, but then I’d get tickled thinking about her up in Heaven saying I was doing it wrong and the sad would pass.

I have had other people I love die, but they’ve all been old or sick or old and sick, so for me it was easier to deal with…it was a blessing…they had a good life…they are in a better place…and all that other bullshit that you spew when someone you love dies and you need to be able to bear it.

So, when Bill up and died with not so much as a warning, like, wow, I haven’t been feeling right, or man, my diabetes has really been out of control lately, I was, in a word, dumbfounded. Paralyzed. I’ll never forget the profound words I finally found, after sitting there in silence for what felt like an hour. Well, dadgum.

As in… well dadgum, one of my best friends who was only 4 years older than me, who had just wrapped up his eleventy millionth Little Dribbler’s tournament last week, who was planning to go to Austin for his and Bobby’s eleventy millionth Boys’ State Tournament, who I just talked to last week on IM about the tournament, was dead.

well dadgum, a man who wasn’t family but sure felt like it, a man who was my champion and always had my back when the assholes came barking up my tree when I ran the Little Dribblers program…the person who helped me do the brackets and open the gym and close the gym and refereed games when the other referees didn’t show up…a man who loved my children nearly as much as his own, and really, if we’re being honest, one just like his own…a man who was 6’9 and redheaded and had a heart that big, too…was dead.

well dadgum…

The funeral was Friday and we went, Rob and I, and while it was a nice enough service, if I’m being honest I’d have to say that it lost a lot because the guy who did the service just talked for 5 minutes or so about how much Bill liked basketball and the Longhorns and his kids and his job…and then went to preaching on John 3:16.

The music was good, though, and I smiled sitting there listening to Boston and James Taylor and did my own eulogy in my head.

But I’ll tell you this much…I didn’t waste a second before I told my kids if all they could come up with was some guy who didn’t really know anything about me other than I loved my kids and the Longhorns and Top Chef and Survivor to just skp that part and let’s all just sit and listen to Boston and James Taylor and Jackson Browne and let Rob and Margaret and Sue and Amber and Johnny and whoever else wants to talk shit about me after I’m dead stand up and do so and let’s laugh and remember mom properly…because that is what mom would want.

Anway, this has been really weird for me and I miss him and I hate this.

Enough then.

Want to hear something weird? Our neighbor, the one who banished me….well, he and his wife have been just gone for over a week…her mom is here taking care of the kids, but we haven’t seen hide nor hair of he or Kelly in 10 days or so….

Yes, I know it would be easy enough to ask the Grandma where they are, but then that wouldn’t lend itself very well to the mystery theatre I play in my head, would it?

OH!

 Look what I got

Supposedly that is going to help my carpal tunnel/excruciating elbow pain. See, it’s a mousepad/armrest thingie so you don’t have to stretch your arm out to mouse. I’ll let you know how it goes… Also.

OH!

Look what I did Friday night

CUPCAKES…48 CUPCAKES…Chocolate with White and Yellow with Chocolate CUPCAKES…for the Senior’s Band garage sale…I know, I know…it was a garage sale, not a bake sale, but I don’t really hold onto stuff, so I didn’t have any junk to chunk, so this was my contribution to the cause…and a few printers that didn’t sell and some old clothes of the Boy’s. Let’s see…what else.

OH! Got my hair cut I swear, if I ever make it big, Kim is going on staff. I love her.

Okay, kids. I think that’s about all I have for now…so I’ll leave you with this… Tell the people you love, you love them…today. Call your dad or brother or mother or sister and tell them. If you’ve been estranged, tell them anyway.

Life is short, love big.

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