Thursday, August 20, 2009

two months of excuses - part one

In typical fashion, I've taken something that looks bad enough by itself and made it worse by dragging my feet. Procrastination isn't something that normally turns up on my (getting longer by the day) fault list, but perhaps I need to re-examine that. I've turned a lot of my personal lists upside down this summer, so it would stand to reason that not everything will be a "positive". Oh, well. It is what it is, and even though I'm afraid you're all going to find my reasoning kind of flimsy, I hope you'll maybe cut me a little slack this one (two? three?) time(s). Even if not for any reason other than the fact that I'm asking really nicely. It's not much, but it's all I've got.

Trust me. It has been that kind of a summer.

My first clue was my wholly unexpected reaction to two of my three kids being gone. One was away for a month and the other for about two weeks between two different trips. I stressed mightily for weeks leading up to their departures and worried that I would be a basket case the whole time they were gone. That was my expectation anyway, and, based on previous experiences, I had no reason to think it would go any other way. So with fear and trepidation I put them each on a plane and headed home to have a nervous breakdown.

I can't remember a time in my life when I've had more fun.

If this summer had a key word to it, one simple tag to describe the whole damn thing, it would be timing. Timing has affected every single aspect of the last few months - for better, for worse, for right, for wrong...for real. The marquis boxing match of the summer featured the heavyweights of Timing vs. Control, and although the fight went the full nine rounds it ended with a pretty spectacular knock-out. I'm not sure anyone believes that a control freak can really change her spots, but I'm officially laying down the gauntlet. I bow to the power of timing, in a way I never would have before. Sometimes the fight just isn't even worth it. And let me tell you right now...that's a hell of a lesson to learn at my age.

My kids left town right about the time that I mentally reached the end of my (self-imposed) year of hiding out. Since January 2008 I've gone to work and come straight home. I've kept food on the table and dog bowls full. I've done the kid things I needed to do and avoided the rest. I've done the dishes and the laundry and not much else. I'm still not sure why I felt I had to retreat entirely, but that's exactly what I did. I've turned down social invitations, I've turned down friends, I've turned down men, I've turned down life. I was ready to start living again.

And this is exactly where the timing stars start to collide.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I got some 'splainin to do

I'll be back in a day or two. I promise. With the full scoop of news.

I'm afraid you're all going to find it very...anti-climactic.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

hair flips and giggles

Something really strange happened here last night and I'm still a little freaked out by it. There was a girl. A really stinking cute girl. In my house. Sitting about two inches from Sasquatch in front of the computer. And about every two minutes or so she would flip back her hair and giggle.

Sweet Jesus. It took seventeen years, but the day has come. The party is over.

My friend Laurie came to pick me up for Tuesday night volleyball and headed toward the bathroom as soon as she walked in. I stood mutely in the living room as she headed past the room they were in, watching as his second mother started to call out a cheery "hey, Sasquatch". She stopped dead in her tracks, looked back at me (still standing paralyzed in the living room) and headed straight to the laundry room - the furthest away room - to quietly have a stroke. I met her there, accompanied by the sound of giggling, and we engaged in a manic mime routine that all boiled down to one pertinent question - WTF?

It didn't get any better when we got to volleyball.

"You know they're totally having sex right now, don't you?"

"Have you had the condom talk lately?"

"Funny. You don't look old enough to be a grandma".

"You want me to go sneak in the back door and see what they're doing?"

It was a long ninety minutes.

Today I talked to him about it, knowing full well it was going to be damn near impossible.

"So," I said casually, "she's really just a friend?"

"Uh huh," said he.

"Not a girlfriend, eh?"

"She has a boyfriend," he said. "I've told you that".

"You told me a few months ago that she had a boyfriend. Things change," I replied.

"Well," he said woodenly, "she still has him".

Ah. My boy is in waiting game hell. Now I get it.

"So she's not your girlfriend?"


"Is there anyone you're interested in?"


"Would you tell me if you were?"


"Would you really?"

He looked at me and shot a grin that has become lately become quite fetching. I've seen the way teenage girls look at him, and even though it makes my life flash in front of my eyes, I totally get why.


I understand that when they're seventeen you have to take every bone they throw you, and I get that I've been lucky that it's taken this long to happen. But all night I kept hearing the sound of teenage giggling in my dreams...

And I know it's just a matter of time.

Monday, June 22, 2009

candle time

Please join me in sending birthday wishes to LFG today. Otherwise known as Larry (his real name) and my confidante, buddy, alter ego and sometimes whipping post for well over half of my life. (Sometimes I'm the whip and sometimes I'm the post. Sometimes he talks such circles around me that I'm not really sure what the hell I am. I'm sure he'd say the same. About the talking circles anyway.)

This is one of those "milestone" birthdays, and one which I, thankfully, will not reach for another two years. Not that milestones are bad, exactly. It's just that I've reached my milestone quota for the last year and am not accepting any new applications until January 1st of next year. In the meantime I'm perfectly happy to sit back and comment on other people's milestone moments. That's just the kind of gal I am.

I have to say that in reading comments over the last few weeks - as you've all gotten to see us go at each other - that I really love the idea of co-writing a post with him. Maybe a He Said/She Said type thing - describe your relationship in a hundred words or less. No? A thousand? Possibly? (As he said to me a couple of weeks ago while reading a (really long) email that I wrote - "Damn, you're long winded. I don't think I could write that much if I was getting paid by the word.")

Well, we all know I can. Without being paid a cent. And I bet he could too.

Wouldn't that be fun?

Friday, June 19, 2009

on track

Sometimes you understand that you're turning the corner as you actually do it. And then there are times when you're a mile down the road and you realize that you don't even remember turning the corner. It's just nowhere to be seen in your rear view mirror - not that you're really looking anyway. The road ahead looks much more interesting.

And that's where I'm at. Where I've been for the last several months, as a matter of fact. The last post-marital blow up was, indeed, the final straw, solidified the end of May by one last typical FX trick - a trick that didn't even get a rise out of me, so little did I care. May I take this opportunity to say how thrilled I am that the only reaction these things bring out in me anymore is the sort of bemused detachment that one might feel watching The Jerry Springer Show? I'm even more thrilled that I'm seated in the audience and not sitting center stage. Those lights are hot and they always make my mascara run.

My counseling session tonight was just a little on the brutal side, and the themes that came up aren't new at all. What is new is that I'm finally ready to do something about them - have, actually been doing something about them. This is the Summer of the Shrinking Comfort Zone, and, rather that kick and scream as I have before, I'm biting the bullet and just doing it. All my kicking and screaming in the past haven't changed a damn thing, so why not just shut up and get on with it?

One kid gone for a month.

Another leaving tomorrow for the first of two trips.

My relatively new realization that sitting at home on the nights the kids aren't here isn't the best idea. So, kicking and screaming, I've stepped outside of my box, forced myself to engage,even during times the kids are here. I've gone past the point where hiding from the world is helping me, and finally get that I need to bust out.

Last weekend was a perfect example. Multiple things stacked on Friday night. Ran like crazy Saturday with out of town friends. A beer driven bitch bash straight out of a chick flick Saturday night. Of course on Sunday I collapsed, but at least I got out into the world and made nice.

It may not be obvious to everyone that I've turned that corner. But it sure is to me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

the valium diaries

Thirty six hours.

In thirty six hours, Surfer Dude is off on the camp adventure of a lifetime. For four weeks.

Thirty six hours.

In thirty six hours, I'm going to make Girl, Interrupted look like the Brady Bunch. For four weeks.

I've calculated how many days Gumby is going to be gone, too. Between spending time at the lake with the grandparents and going to visit his best friend in Texas and the days in between that he'll spend with his dad, I feel like I'll not be seeing him much at all until we go to California the middle of July. I'll spare you all the hourly countdown - for now - but when he goes, they're both gone. And that leaves me with Sasquatch, who, in typical teenage fashion, isn't home much at all.

What the HELL am I going to do with all this free time????

Monday, June 15, 2009

fighting fires

Picture this.

An elderly - and quite demented - gentleman, who evidently had retreated back into his boyhood fantasy of being a fireman. A nurse - sweet, kind, and wholly unsuspecting - who walked into his room to give him a warm blanket. Out of the goodness of her heart, I might add. Whereupon he whipped out his "fire hose" and doused her - but good - as she dodged, ducked, dipped, dived and dodged, trying (futilely) to escape the seemingly bottomless water tank.

Her mantra - as she skidded out of the room - sounded just a little demented itself. "It's the only sterile bodily fluid, it's the only sterile bodily fluid, it's the only sterile bodily fluid..."

Gee. And I thought I was only a shit magnet.