Last night I got a late night call from a photographer..... I saw her name on my phone and I knew I didn't want to answer... because late night calls from her always mean a Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep call ... which usualy isn't good news for a Mom and her baby in my area.
This photographer and I go way back to setting up NILMDTS together at two hospitals in the Portland area - she was my mentor in bereavement photography and the family in need were good friends of her. I couldn't say no.......
So earlish this morning (well... early for me, lol) - I packed up my gear and raced to the Children's hospital to capture the last moments of this family before they went from a family of four to a physical family of three + one angel baby.
I made it.
It never gets any easier, watching a person die. There's ..... there's a moment in time, somewhere between life and the last breath where it feels like everyone in the room is bargaining with G*d with everything they have to turn the clock back, to change it ..... to stop it.
Sadly..... the bargaining turns to tears of painful acceptance as breath leaves and doesn't come back. And... it's done. Now, a deeper level of pain sets in. What happens next is always the same and ... it's brutally emotional.
You can't do these sessions without crying.
You can't... rather, *I* can't do them without that baby and her entire family leaving it's finger prints on my heart.... forever.
So, I shot and shot and shot and shot..... thanks to the ole' Gary Fong dome- they turned out very nice.... well, poingant.... sp? sorry... too tired to spell check tonight (yes, I hear you - do I *ever* spell check.... lol).
I read somewhere that afterwards, a lot parents can't remember what happened - what they did - what they said.... they wonder if they held the baby enough? kissed the baby enough? So.... I just tried to get every single kiss and cuddle and .... tear. Of which, there were many.
I know some people might even be offended by this post.... which will make me two for two on potentially offensive posts this week..... but, this is what I did today. This was my morning.
And you know what - I'm grateful for it. Grateful that these strangers trusted me enough with one of the most prescious moments of their life. They allowed me capture their pain and their love and ... their joy. It's.... truly a humbling and amazing experience.
My heart is heavy as I edit the images tonight so that I can deliver them tomorrow.
And then my heart is joyful - because I am lucky beyond words to have both my children here with me tonight. It's yet another reminder, in what was an emotionaly hard week for me with El Capitan - that I need to grow a pair and get a f*cking helmet.... before something *really* *really* REALLY bad happens.... and you know what - there just IS NOT a 'helmet' for losing a child.
I need to buck up and move on so that I don't waste another minute of my life - of my children's life - on crying over El Capitan and his lies and his stupid Yoga Girl. What a f*cking waste of human life..... sometimes, you just don't have any more life to waste.
I'm done wasting mine. Every time I think I can do that.... another lie rises up and drags me back down.... it's so hard not to care. So HARD to move on. I actually counted the months... it's *only* been 4 months since I even found out Yoga Girl existed....
Today. Someone had a worse day than me. A worse day than I have ever known (thankfully). And the worst part of that day played out in front of me.... I need to take that with me, and make the most of *my* life in recognition of the fact that not everyone gets that opportunity. Otherwise... I'm just some blubering b*tch in the corner with a camera. When G*d shows you a miracle... I think it's best to sit up, take notes and listen carefully for the life lesson you can find in it.
Today was a miracle, a miracle of pure sadness.... but a miracle none the less.
Babies and caskets.... two words that never belong in the same sentence. Ever.
This has been a rough week with El Capitan. I'm not sure what it is, but there's a running theme with people who have been cheated on which is: the truth.
I often feel like the kids and I get a few feet down the road towards healing and the whatever kind of future we're goign to have... and then I get sucker punched by some new "truth" of my situation that I did not yet know.... and suddely, we're all sliding backwards all the way back to square one.
It's like a really effed up game of Douche and Ladders... and I'm always sliding on the douche part.
I won't share the latest..... but ... it's a doozy.
The hardest part is that I feel like I'm two people. In the first place, I'm still my kids Mom and I'm always having to organize drop off and pick up and what day of the week that El Capitan will see the kids. I'm The Mom who has to deal with The Boy who *knows* that his Dad lives with a girlfriend and spends more time with her than he does with us.
Just two weeks ago we had a rough visit. When I went to pick up the kids The Girl was DIS.TRAUGHT. She was crying and screaming.... "Daddy, don't go.... I want to stay with Daddy..... I want Daddy......".
El Capitan doesn't realy know what to do when the kids do this... then he gets mad that I won't "help". However, *I* deal with the children and their emotions ALL THE TIME because I'm the once tucking them in at night... and I'm the one getting up early with them, playing with them...... I'm the one here *parenting* them all the time .... I'm the one handling these questions frequently - and what do I say? "Yes, ______ I see that Dad's choices are making you sad. I'm sorry about that. Can you tell me how many people love? OR Can you tell me how many people think you are special? (and then they list Daddy - I say - "Yes he does!") ..... but then on the one occasion of the week that El Capitan is faced with the emotional trainwreck of our 3 year old melting down in the Mall - well.... I kind of think he needs to deal with that on his own. *HE* needs to talk to his child and talk out her emotions. *HE* needs to say the things I say like... "I see that you're really sad right now - and I know that you are sad because I don't live with you anymore and I'm sorry about that."
But.... he doesn't.
Instead he gets pissed at me because I'm not "stepping up" and handling The Girl. My point is that The Girl doesn't need to be "handled" ... she needs to be LOVED and REASSURED and CALMED. There *is* a difference.
So, after The Girl had a blow out... then El Capitan and I had a blow out.... though *his* version later is that I say "vile" things to him to "rile" him up and get him upset and piss him off.... of course when I point out that he *did* a vile thing ... well - then he get's mad and tells me that I just need to stop "throwing that in his face". by "that" he means- the affair.
Anyway..... we get in the car and The Boy say's to The Girl, "________ - you have to stop crying...... [and just as I'm leaning back to tell him that it's ok if The Girl cries - he continues...] - you have to stop because you know that Daddy doesn't want to come home with us. Daddy wants to live with his girlfriend..... it doesn't mean he doesn't love us - but he doesn't want to live with us."
Yup.... and *THAT'S* right about the time that a hole - a giant, gapping hole blew right through my sole...... I mean - soul. No, really, I was gutted. What do I say? Did he *say* that because he heard me on the phone? Have I "influenced" him against his Dad?
The Girl settled down as soon as big brother started playing games and making goofy faces at her.... I CANNOT tell you how thankful I am for their relationship..... We got home and I called the counselor, concerned that damage had been done to The Boy to have him say such a thing to his baby sister and what the hell was I going to go and how the hell was I going to fix it.....?
She listened to the hysterical fiasco and then I told her what The Boy had said and I asked her what I should do.... she replied, "What can you do? Nothing. He's 7 - children at 7 know when they aren't being picked for the 'kick-ball' team, they know when other kids play a game and they aren't invited to join. His father moved out, got a new 'family' and he's not currently invited..... you can't fix it because you didn't do it. You can't hide it from him because he's living it. You can only reassure him that he is loved by everyone involved and leave it at that."
I just want to make it go away... for all of us. I want to make it better.... but, how much "better" can I make this? I can't change what has happened.... though I really, really wish I could.
So.... then the Mom half of me gets to hurt twice as much watching each child move through this situation in pain and in tears..... and then the Ex-Wife part of me STILL gets hurt over and over and over by more and more "truths" that come to light. Each truth sends me spiraling back and each and very time - it sadly drags the kids with me. :(
So today, as much time as possible was spent reading and snuggling and donig things the kids wanted to do.... I know that the best thing I can do right now is give them *me* - my time, my words, my laughter - even if I have to fake it a little..... because, my kids are pretty damn funny. lol - but.... they just need me - even if I feel a bit like the Bernie - propped up on a couch, sunglasses on to hide the puffy eyes and popcorn and juice boxes littered at my feet... a PG and emotional 'Weekend at Bernie's' that's all my own.... lolol
I'm not sure ... but I'm starting to wonder if the hole isn't a hole at all... but rather it's the start of the two halves of me ripping apart..... anyone got any duct tape?
What's that sound you hear......? It's me building a soap box.... yes, yes - I know, I'm surprised I didn't have one before - but I'll be done with this one in a second......
OK. So, the summer has sucked. Try as I might, there are still days where the sadness is like a stink that swirls around my head, clouding my vision and robbing me of the ability to smile and enjoy my life. In the past the summers and their weekends were swallowed up by weddings, weddings and more weddings. Each year was spent watching the various summer fairs, movies in the park and general frolicking pass us by and I was working each and every weekend. So each summer has always ended with me feeling like half the Mother I should be because they miss out on so much because I'm at work.
*THIS* summer was going to be different. I was going to make it to alllll those summer playdates and playgroups, I was going to return to the time when our social calander was so busy we were having two or three playdates a day. We *were* going to make it to Oaks Park, The State Fair and The St. Paul Rodeo. We *were* going to read all the stories from Story Book Lane at The Enchanted Forest...... However, instead of the kids were lost not on an abyss of fun and laughter, but rather in a sea of tears and confusion. I, for the most part, was just...... lost.
There was getting the divorce, then cleaning, packing and prepping the house. HUGE amounts of work where the children were in the trusted hands of The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon. (Honestly, however said that TV can't be a totally appropriate babysitter is a lying b*tch and I thank her for taking her judgement and perfect life elsewhere... lololol). NOT my proudest moment, but really there isn't anyone else (family and friends) who can sift through all our stuff and pack and donate and garage sale the contents of our home.
Then, in mid-July I thought I was done and that summer in all its warm, orange-glowy-yumminess was finally upon us.... and then The Sign happened. I really do feel like I lived 7 years in that five week period.... not in a bad way perse' - it was crazy and certainly a new adventure, but time consuming to say that least. Only, at least this time The Bubbie was at the helm of child care keeping the The Boy busy handwritting and reading and The Girl busy with shapes, colors, number and letters. Thank G*d for The Bubbie.
So *this week* I've been determined to *DO* things. The kids have been seeing El Capitan once a week for a few hours.... working for a Big Box Retailer, he say's he can't see them anymore than that. So this morning they were meeting him for breakfast and then I thought I would take them to do something fun. The Boy wanted to go to the park and The Girl wanted to go to the movies.
The park was easy..... the movies, however, posed a challenge as it seemed Madagascar 3 was no longer in theaters, there was some weird looking baloon movie? And then.... ParaNorman. The Boy, being OB.SESSED with allllllll things Halloween, it seemed ParaNorman was our best bet.
Little did I know.... the ugliest, scariest thing my kids would "see" would be a gay joke. No... really.
The movie opens on a quirky little boy who is talking to his Grandma in the living room. He goes to the kitchen where a gruff Dad figure is installing a light bulb, the obnoxious teenage sister on her cell phone and the mousy Mom is doing everyones bidding. Norman speaks up and say's, "Grandma wants to now if you can turn up the heat, she says her feet are cold."
This prompted said gruff Dad figure to launch off at Norman for being weird and claiming to see ghosts and the Mom is quick to defend him saying that it's how Norman is dealing with the death of the Grandmother.
Then the Dad launched off at the Mom saying....."... it has to stop - I'm tired of this LIMP-WRISTED, left-wing, hippie.... " blah blah blah.
What.... WHAT THE F*CK?
Limp-wristed!?!?!?! That's a homosexual slur. Used... in the olden days while we were still burning witches at the stake, to refer to gay men who were somewhat flamboyant. He may as well have called Norman a fag and been done with it.
This was a KIDS movie. *A KIDS MOVIE*.
Aside from the fact that it is TOTALLY IN.NAPPROPRIATE to even make *any* kind of gay slur PERIOD. It is most especially disgusting when you're sitting next to your kids in a theater for a rated PG movie. I was *fully* expecting to see a movie about a kid who talks to ghosts and gets bullied and triumphs when he saves the town from the witches curse. NOT some kind of ill-tempered Archie Bunker type.... (which - for the record, is *not* how all "conservative" or "old school" Dads still talk) who bullies his own kid.
Now, let me be clear.... my *favorite* comic is Lisa Lampaneli. She makes the *best* "gay" and ethnic jokes on the planet.... and in the *right* place and time - JOKES ARE FUNNY - even if they are innappropriate and rude and somewhat offensive... honestly - I think the more offensive the better - but that's just me.
However - JOKES are made to be funny. To poke fun at ourselves, to poke fun at life and all it's problems... to exaggerate stereo-types for the purpose of getting a laugh. JOKES are fine, even if they are borderline, over-the-top offensive ... but ofcourse, The Bubbie raised me watching Andrew Dice Clay, so what do you expect?
Norman's Dad, however, was *not* making a joke. He was USING an offensive reference to insinuate that the parenting of his son was "not strong enough" and that the by product of that was that he was.... a fag? There were a thousand different ways to make the suggestion that Norman's mother
Honestly, I would have preffered that. Just called a spade a spade... why beat around the bush?
Now.... the rest of the movie shows us Norman being bullied RE.LENTLESSY for being "different", for talking to dead people and ... for walking to the beat of his own drummer. HOW MANY KIDS go through that everyday just for being different in any way? And - HOW MANY of those kids are .... "limp-wristed"?
I'm sorry, but I expect *more* from Hollywood. I certainly expect *more* from movies I show to my children other than to make suggestive comments like that. NOT OKAY.
I fully understand that the world is a big place. Some people like blacks, some people still run around in pointed hats like effing morons.... some people like "gays"... and some people still believe that AIDS came from a man having sex with a monkey (remember *that* one in the 80s?) and that's it's sole purpose is to wipe out gays from the planet..... shame though - because it's mistakenly taking millions of other innocent "non-gays" with it.
At the risk of losing a few readers..... I feel compelled to make this point: not only am I *ok* with either of my children growing up "limp-wristed" - I'm also 100000000000000% percent sure it'll have NOTHING to do my parenting style.
By the same token that I believe my liberal use of "time-outs" in place of the spanking isn't going to make my son grow up to be a black man (and G*d forbid that because we all know they're good for little more than stepping and fetching my laundry and cooking my rice Uncle Ben style - certainly, it's not *they* get to be President or anything... right? - please tell you get the sarcasm here??!?!) - I'm also realy sure that my super adherance to the use of full back booster seats at the age of 7, my insistance on full pads being used during skateboarding and my desire to snuggle him every second of his life.... isn't going to make him grow up for a fondness of other boys.
However, in an effort to ensure my comical and sarcastic approach to this topic isn't lost on anyone ..... not only am I TOTALLY *OK* with either of my children growing up to enjoy a same-sex lifestyle.... *if* by chance The Boy wants to be a drag queen... I can *assure* you he'll have only the *finest* of top-drawer size 13 heels and pageant style dresses. He'll be raised to appreciate MAC make-up and learn to apply is *properly* so he can be the prettiet he can be.
If The Girl grows up to like the ladies.... then by golly - she's going to like the ladies and do it in style.
I only want my children to grow up to the *THE BEST* PEOPLE they can be. The BEST versions of themselves that they are already destined to be. I am of the humble belief that people are born to be WHO THEY ARE.... and in the words of Lady Gaga - they are either "born that way" or they're not......
The use of the term "limp-wristed" in a KIDS MOVIE is..... saddening. Are we NOT past this yet people? We're soooo focused on bullies in schools - but it seems like we're not addressing that BULLYING STARTS AT HOME. That needs to stop.
I put faaaar more effort into trying to raise my children to be kind and empathetic and compassionate.
When The Boy was in 4s preschool, half-way through the year he ended up going to a new school. About week four the teachers came up to me at the end of the day to tell me that thought The Boy was... unique.
They explained that there was a little girl in class, who had been with these same kids for 3's and 4's class and that she had serious epilepsy which left her with speech and learning disabilities as well as ticks and verbal cues that some of the kids didn't like. Over the two years, most of the class didn't ask her to play, didn't invite her to join their games. Then The Boy showed up.
Everyday before preschool I would said, "What do we say about friends?". The Boy would reply, "Caring and sharing is more fun for everyone." Then I would ask, "and... what's your job?" The Boy would reply, "To make sure everyone get's a turn and invite everyone to play the game."
So, in the new school, The Boy sought out the "weakest" social link and kept inviting this little girl to play, kept taking her by the hand and walking her over to the kitchen area to play house, etc.
The teachers told me that he had a level and understanding of compassion that they had *never* seen in the 20 plus years of teaching. That The Boy had taken a kid that a lot of the other kids had kind of given up on... and turned her into everyone's friend again. (Have I told you this story before.... I appologize if I have).
Yup.... THAT'S my boy.
Everyday I would see The Boy and this little girl running out of class at the end of the day holding hands - and one day the little girl's Mom came up to me. She was a little teary eyed and told me how grateful she was that The Boy had joined class because it has sparked the little girls growth- socially and emotionally. She was no longer sitting alone during 'recess' time, but was running and playing with the kids and she was *sure* that this was down to The Boy always inviting her to join them because The Boy having an interest in this little girl made all the other kids take a new interest in her as well.
I was both completely proud and ..... very sad. Shouldn't *all* kids be doing this?
I've certainly fallen off the 'good mother bandwagon' as of late..... BUT - it occurs to me that, our political differences aside, as parents we *have* to teach our children more than tolerance. TOLERANCE is not enough. Tolerance is the basic thing we owe each other as humans on the same planet.
We need to be teaching our children ACCEPTANCE. We are only truly *equal* when we accept each other. Period. End of Story. There are *lots* of things in this life that I have to learn to accept... for instance, let me assure you that I have a sh*t load easier of a time accepting the lesbian couple who live on my street than I do that fact that Yoga Girl made out with El Capitan in my car parked behind work.
I don't expect everyone to agree with my view on same-sex lifestyles, or my personal acceptance of it, but we have to get to a place where we all try.... I mean - look - a black man became The President. It wasn't that long ago that people thought he wouldn't have been fit to *vote*, let alone read, write or had the ability to use logical thought. Now, an African-American man runs the entire free world. Who'da thunk it?
That's what I have to do now... try to teach The Boy and The Girl to accept - on whatever level they can - what El Capitan has done. They have to find a way to love him inspite of his recent short comings and... in years to come, forge a new relationship with him where they can move past the wrongs that have been done. *I* only have to find a way to suffer through it and accept he is still their father - I don't have to like it and as I sure as sh*t will never approve of it.... I only have to be tolerant of him, but I have to teach my children to accept him. See the difference? :)
Several different situations.... but acceptance is the key to success in each one.
Refering to little cartoon boys that talk to ghosts in any-way-shape-or-form as being the product of "limp-wristed" parenting .... well - that's not acceptable. Not with with Mommy anyway. Life is full people and sometimes we don't like them and sometimes we don't like their choices but..... but have to be tolerant and we have to teach acceptance even when we don't like it. I don't like it.... and I'll be honest that I'm kind of faking it right now where El Capitan is concerned.
But, the goal is TWO WHOLE children from one broken home... even if that means they both grow up wearing high heels, too much rouge and share their favorite lipstick, or they both grow up riding Harley's and perfecting their mustache's..... so long as they grow up to life, laugh, love, to be kind, compassionate and caring.... the only thing that will ever dissapoint me if they grow up to be cheaters. THAT I refuse to accept or tolerate.
It's funny to me.. the idea of "dating" ..... at my age? Seriously? There are days when 37 feels like a 107.... I swear. Not to mention.... I'm not.... shall we say - top drawer?
I have a friend - and she is SMOKING. HOT. Like - you don't want to stand too close to her at parents night at school because.... she shines like a gold penny and I look like a dollar someone crumpled up and left in a gutter. No really... she's THAT pretty. Plus- she's super nice, she's a great friend - the kind of friend who brings you food when you're sick and take loads of magazines to the hospital when you're stuck in bed. She's a great Mom, a hardworker.... she's really a great person.
And guess what...... *she* has had a hard time dating..... I mean - c'mon, if dating in our thirties was *that* easy, there wouldn't be a need for eHarmony and Match.com and Christian Single, and JDate and Chemistry..... so that tells me that the dating world is tough out there and I'm not sure I'm battle ready.
This girl has *scars* .... let me tell you. I honestly don't think I could *ever* trust another man again. Ever. When you tell someone allllllllll your secrets - they've caught you picking your nose, heard you fart, seen you cry, watched you lose a baby....a. whole. entire. baby. and all the dreams you *had* for that baby..... they saw you in your darkest, screaming, crying, red eyes, blotchy face - and they stood by you through all of it. Said they loved you through all of it - and you *trusted* them with that. You trusted them until one day they were standing next to someone else and you were crying again.... red eyes, blotchy faced, watching the dreams of your entire family end... and they don't care anymore.
That's just not something I think I'm going to sign up for again.... I could be wrong - I welcome being wrong... but- somehow, I'm just not sure that'll happen.
Plus..... and here's the honest to G*d's truth: I can't have any more kids. When we were pregnant with The Girl, *we* decided that *I* should have my tubes tied because El Capitan said that we could barely afford the two children we had and that we couldn't have more.
*ME*? I would have had a dozen more.... two dozen more. I love kids - my kids, your kids, just kids in general.... and kids LIKE me. When The Boy was in preschool we used to have this 'reading time' that the parents did either to their kid alone or to other kids that had arrived for school. One day, by the end of reading time all the kids were sitting my lap and gathered around my feet while I read and one of the parents commented, "It's like having Snow White in the classroom - she only needs the birds." lol
I love kids and babies... oh babies How I love love love ... babies.
BUT. I can't have any more kids - how fair is that? El Capitan can have all the kids he wants.... and no doubt he will. Which is ironic because El Capitan has complained for YEARS about his own family and said a millions times that the introduction of his Step-Mother was the reason so many things went wrong in his life and that's *mostly* the reason he hasn't talked to them in 8 years. In fact, El Capitan's parents have never met The Girl. They were never invited to our home, to birthday parties, etc. He refuses to have anything to do with them or his half-sister.
A few years ago we heard from his brother's wife (who would later be cheated on and left for a younger woman that the brother had gotten pregnant..... does anyone else see a potential pattern here?......) - anyhow, she had called to say that they thought that the Dad had had a heart attack. I thought El Capitan should go to the hospital, bury the hatchet and work through their differences. We fought for TWO WHOLE days because I felt he had "unfinished business" with his Dad and that once someone *dies*, you can't go back. You can't say things, or get closure.... and I thought that A LOT of the problems El Capitan had (that would later blow a whole right through our own marriage *sigh*.....) but.... El Capitan REFUSED.
In retrospect that should have been a sign I think...... in fact, A LOT of things that El Capitan's parents tried to warn me about are now coming to the surface..... I should have fought him harder to go to counseling, but El Capitan thinks that therapy and counseling is a "racket" that they just "tell you what you want to hear and drain your bank account".
However... when Yoga Girl is around he say's things like, "I just need some time to find out who I am and go to therapy and find out why I did this....." - BUT, when it's just him and I he tells me what he's told me for years, which is that there is no way in hell he's going to waste money on therapy because he thinks it's a racket. Whatever....... I digress.
The point is..... El Capitan is WELCOME to move on with a new life and new apartment and a new girlfriend - he *has* all THREE OF THOSE THINGS And some of his friends that are believing lies and are duped into thinking otherwise need to wake up...... HE HAS A NEW LIFE because HE wanted one.
I don't want a new problem to deal with. A new person with baggage that *I* end up paying the ultimate emotional price for..... because THAT IS what happened here. This whole thing had nothing to do with me or my weight.... it had *EVERYTHING* to do with issue's that were seeded into El Capitan's skin long before I met him and kissed him under the shooting stars of a meteor shower. Period.
Nope.... not gonna' happen.
I need to focus on me and *THE KIDS* - those two perfect beings who are slowly being dented and scratched and deflated by the situation. I need to focus on fighting *for them* - fighting to keep their world whole and happy and.... sane. Dating? Dating is *not* sane - even in the best of times. lol
No.... I *need* to find a damn job.... truthfully. I need to find my son a better support group of kids his own age that have been through this. I need to celebrate The Girl going pee in the potty for one week straight without an accident! I need to prepare for the classes I teach in the fall - Graphic Design and Photography- I need to prepare for the homeschooling program The Boy starts in two weeks......
No man is ever going to want to date me - because I'll be honest...... The Boy and The Girl will *always* come first. ALWAYS. PERIOD. Not in a spoiled kind of way - like, choosing what to eat, where to go, etc. But - their emotional needs, their physical needs, they as PEOPLE will always be *who* and *what* I think about first everyday - all day.
I'm not sure that's very fair to do a man..... know what I mean?
So, when the man called to ask me to coffee.... I told him no, because the truth is - I'm doing him a favor. It was super sweet of him to ask.... but I don't bring much more to the table than my super sunny disposition, a sense of homor, a lot of fbombs, a love of the word c*nt (BEST WORD EVER), a love for the outdoors - but like, as in the view from a hotel room with air-conditioning, or ... at BEST, from just outside the door of a plush and fancy RV, two of the world's FINEST children, a barren womb, a willingness to do anything, try anything at least once (unless it involves heights and then there's no effing way), a distaste for fancy restaurants, $300 jeans or tanning.... though I have to say, once you go UGGS, you never go back.... I'd rather go without and get my jeans from Walmart so that The Boy can have the latest VANS, and I'd rather go forego a fancy haircut so that The Girl can have the latest Disney Princess Doll.... I don't drink - but even if I did, I wouldn't spend my money on wine at the end of the night - because I'd rather save up to take the kids to the movies or out for a meal.... oh.... and lest we forget that I make well below the poverty line because I'm kinda sorta without a clear means to make money and support us. I don't need or *want* any man to "save me" (this excludes Tom Welling, because... *that* man can save me anytime - preferably in tights though), I don't to just find someone else, move in and let them pay my bills. I need to do ME as they say in Tyler Perry movies... I need to take care of me and mine and sort out my own life and find a way to take care of myself. I've never traded my independence for financial affection and I don't plan on doing that now. hahahaha
See what I mean......? It's not that I've don't see "value" in myself - but I think it's more than I put more VALUE on being a Mom than I do on .... being a woman. If my own husband didn't see and appreciate those qualities.... why the hell would anyone else? lololol
So..... there will be no dating for this girl. The only man I need for the next 9ish years is sleeping on top of Superman sheets right now snuggled next to his best friend..... and I'm so lucky for that. So lucky. I can tell you right now.... I'd rather be without a man than without The Boy.
Sorry.... today is a bit bitter.... perhaps tomorrow I can blog something a bit sunnier. :)
OMG.. in the first place, I think I *might* have made more money if I had strapped a mattress to my back and worked the streets the old fashioned way.... though, it would probably need to be a King Size mattress for obvious reasons.... lololol.
But .. good grief - sitting in the heat for 8 hours PLUS the set up PLUS getting everything ready... I don't think I cleared $8.00 an hour - AND I HAD GOOD STUFF dammit.... Toy Story Toys and Disney Princess and great clothes! Just... perhaps the wrong weekend? Not sure....
Yeah... I think I could have done better working 'the old fashioned way'. oh well......
I had big plans for that money - well, stupid, silly, petty plans. Plans that are NOT fiscally responsible and are waaaaaay out of the realm of reality for me now.... but - in the weeks BYG* (*Before Yoga Girl) - El Capitan and I were planning on using our tax return to take the kids to Disneyland.
The Boy is a HUGE holiday freak.... I can't put into words JUST how crazy he is for Halloween. It *not* at all about the candy - it's allll about the house decor - indoor and outdoor. At the start of August he'll start asking to go to Target and The Goodwill while he counts down the days until they put out Halloween.... every single day!
This year - he's been putting out Halloween for the last three weeks at the house we're staying in. He even makes his own 'Halloween store' signs with zombies drawn on them and they say, "Halloween: Spirit Store Opening in September".
Obsessed. Totally and completely.
So.... when I learned that Disneyland DECORATES for Halloween - well - it was decided that we HAD to go. The Boy would LOSE HIS EVER LOVING MIND.
But then El Capitan tripped over his own moral compass, and broke it in Yoga Girls g-spot. Shame about that.
So, instead of that money going to Disneyland - it went to the various fee's and whatnot of getting the divorce and then towards fixing the house.... So, the fun money was gone on stuff that was NOT fun for the kids.
Then... the magnets started selling and I hatched a plan to use some magnet money and any proceeds from a garage sale to try and save up enough to take the kids to Disneyland. (I haven't sold ANYWHERE near enough magnets! lololol) The idea being that they lost their summer to the divorce, and cleaning prepping and selling the house. That hasn't been very fun for them.
I feel dirty and greedy and shameful just writting that... For f*cks sake.... we don't have a HOME! I have NO FREAKING BUSINESS going to Disneyland!!!!!! It's sooooo irresponsible - I'm a SINGLE MOM! I have NO consistent income!!!!!! What the hell am I thinking?!?!?!?!
I'm thinking this: so begins a chapter in my children's lives where they will be giving up a lot of things. First the safety and security of the family they knew, then a lot of their toys.... eventually, they will most likely have to give up having a Mom who "stayed at home" because I'll have to work to support us. So... their entire lives will change.... I'm just trying to hold on to the one last thing WE had planned for the kids. I talked to my parents and the people helping us (and El Capitan) and it was decided that if I could make enough at the garage sale and magnet sales, then I could use that money to take the kids to Disney - because it was "found" money.
I'm not sure that makes sense..... I'm probably misguided and holding on to the wrong things... but, when you suddenly realise that you're falling over the biggest, most jagged cliff of your life- you'll pretty much grab onto anyfreakin'thing just to try to find your footing again.
So... I had high hopes for my garage sale... but today they were burned to the ground by an 80 degree sun and a state full of healthy people who do things like hike and run and go to the beach... instead of shop at garage sales on a sunny summer day.... damn healthy people! lololol
Pixar Girls' Mom came back and bought some tutu's and a few more dolls... I gave her a magnet told her to look for yesterdays blog.... she seemed a bit tickled. I was glad to know that her little chubby cheeks (Pixar Girls cheeks - not the Moms! LOL) would light up when she saw a few more dolls coming home!
Then... some lady rolled up and bought The Girls Rapunzel/Tangled doll... and announced it was for her dog to chew on. WHAT? WHAT? ...... but she paid full price and I couldn't really refuse to sell it..... damn.
Jenny-Jen-Jen spent the day with me - brining her happy, sweet brood and her own stuff to sell. It was nice to have company since the sale was sooooo slow! Good friends and good conversation seem to be softening a lot of blows for me as of late... bwahahahaha. But I had a nice time with her for sure.
I was trying not to be discouraged with the day when a nice looking lady showed up. She didn't really look around, she just kind of came up to me and asked me if the sign was true. I didn't see a gun in her hand, or one nestled in her waistband, so I felt safe enough to answer and said yes...... lol
She went on to tell me that her husband of 25 years - father of their two kids- had just left her, too. They had done counseling and she fought hard to save it... but down the toilet it went. He said she didn't "respect" him enough. Hmmm... I've heard that one, too.
I'm not saying that either cheatingbastard is wrong (and yes, I meant to type that as one word fellow proof readers - lol) - but..... what about YOU?
Is it RESPECTFUL when *I* have to take out the trash ALL. THE . EFFING . TIME because you *actually* think the Homer Simpson way of taking out the trash applies to people NOT created by Matt Groening? Homer never takes out the trash and the so the whole family will just fill and fill and fill the can until whoever puts the last piece of garbage into the can that causes it to all fall over - has to clean up the mess and take out the garbage.
Let me just assure you that this is a faaaar less funny practice in your own kitchen as opposed to the one featured on FOX every Sunday night.
But that's just it, right? Somewhere along the line it seems to have become ACCEPTABLE to be Homer. It's all shucks and awe and sheepish grins and oops - "I spent all our mortgage money at Moe's" - and with that Marge heads to bed and puts out with her classic "Oh Homey....." line because clearly she feels lucky that a balding, lazy, stupid sack of yellow crap with elastic in the waistband of his pants still wants to bone her and stay married to her?
I'm picking on Homer a little bit here to prove a point... though, El Capitan never spent our money at bars or gambling or whatever.... but you get the idea.
Whatever happened to Mr. Cleaver? I'll tell you what - *if* I had the *time* to get my hair done every week at the beauty shop... oh - and the money. and *if* I had been married to someone who RESPECTED ME enough not to blow up my ENTIRE LIFE using his penis as a lethal weapon in a clear battle to destroy my emotional sanity... well, yeah - I probably WOULD have put out more. Or... nagged less? But again... back to the trash can - I think asking ONCE should just EFFING get the job done.... if you FAIL to do it and I have to ask again- why does that make ME a "nag" and not YOU a fat, lazy, balding, sack of yellow crap?
And ps.... 'Homer''s" of the world: asking more than once or twice for mundane things to happen like... taking out the trash, putting your dirty underwear in the laundry basket, not picking your nose, brushing the children's teeth.. .hell- brushing YOUR OWN teeth.... *DOES NOT* put a gal 'in the mood'.
wow. This is taking a bitter turn tonight... lololol.
The lady and I talked (oh, my tangent is over, I'm back to talking to the lady in my driveway now) and I instantly felt sad for her... sad that she had spent so many years on her family, raising her children, keeping her figure and taking car of herself - and yet...... her husband left her, too. I gave her a magnet and a hug but it's hardly the consolation prize any woman deserves after 30 years of marriage.
Then I set about packing up what didn't sell to donate to the Goodwill. It was bitter sweet and emotional.... ok, ok... I cried like a freakin' baby.
I came across this 'puppy back-pack' that we had for The Boy when he was a toddler. I was *always* the kind of pre-Mom who said that I would NEVER use any kind of leash or tether on my kid in public... after all - *those* are for sh*tty parents who don't watch their kids and it's a leash and blah blah blah..... and then I *had* a kid and as soon as that speedy little bastard could dart out of my sight... I bought that puppy back-pack that has the "tail' that you hold onto and strapped it to his cute butt EVERY TIME we went anywhere super big and super busy. The Zoo, the beach, airports... (never the grocery store or mall... I *do* have standards you know.....) - but it occured to me, as I put him into the box, that this little puppy had seen us through our happiest times.
In those days *WE* were happy - life was good and those BYG days are sooooo precious now. So I cried like a damn baby because more than anyting I want to strap that back-pack to my kid - even sew it on him..... because now, more than ever, I don't know where our future leads, how he'll process his father's infidelity, and.... now, I'm more at risk of 'losing' him than I probably ever was.
So when at the end of the sale, a older man pulled up in a really cool old, old, car with white-wall tires from which he hoped out and gave me a big hug and said... "So, where are the tools darlin'?"
I asked him what tools he was looking for?
He said, "Your old man's tools - and his Harley or his car and his clothes... they gotta' be here somewhere?" and he laughed.
I told him that only things at the sale were mine and my kids... that I had packed and moved El Capitans things to storage long ago.
He walked over, gave me another hug and told me, "It'll only get better doll... I'm living proof."
Then he drove away. I hope he's right... I hope it gets better but mostly I just hope that I'm doing things as "right" as I can .... that's the last 'leash' I have to keeping my kids close to me........
As many of my friends already know..... I have a problem with 'hoarding'. Ok... so, it's not so bad that you can't walk around my house - but... at times, it
*might* have been close. lol
In general, it's just *really* hard for me to move on - especialy when it comes to the kids things. I literally cry over every single outfit they grow out of - I can pick
up ANYTHING my kids have worn, tell you where and when I bought and where and when they wore it... no, seriously. I want to keep every single thing... I think partly because may be if I can hold onto those items that are linked to memories that are BYG* (*that means Before Yoga Girl) - then for a brief moment I can hold onto that toy, or that shirt and just kind of live in that moment.... if only for just a second. It's really hard to try to let go when I've already had to let go of so much.....
But alas... we already have the *biggest* storage unit we can rent and... it's nearly full. :( So, in spite of what I really really really want to do (which is push pause on this life so my little babies will stay little just a little longer....) - and keep everything they ever pooped in, got dirty in, played in and partied in.... I had to accept that most of it had to go.
Months ago the kids went through their toys and a certain number were taken to the house we're staying at. Trying to fit ALL. OUR. STUFF into one small bedroom was.... a challenge to say the least. Then I went back through the toys and made a pile for storage and a pile for a Garage Sale.
Today was the day I have been dreading.... it was Garage Sale day.
I lined up all their toys, all of The Girls' Princess Dolls and a few of her fancy dolls, The Boy's Toy Story, Cars
and Superhero toys.... clothes... piles and piles of Easter dresses and t-shirts and TONS of skinny jeans... the Boy LOVES him some skinny jeans.
The morning was going ok... I guess they repeated my View episode, so lots of people showed up saying that they had seen me that morning on TV. Many people had been seeing our sign for months, or they saw it on facebook. I was fully expecting something negative to happen... which - toda, at least, I seem to have gotten a pass, but... there's always tomorrow. lol
Most people were nice... but a few people just... well - they pissed me off. You can CLEARLY see the sign where my husband HAS left us. OBVIOUSLY times are hard.... and this woman pulled up in her giant SUV with her husband and two teenage kids. She picks up a few things, some candles, a table cloth - and then she wants to pay me $3.00 for $8.00 worth of stuff. What.......? I kind of skirt the issue and she INSISTS that I "giver her a deal".
So I said, "I tell you what.... I will take your $3.00 for that stuff - BUT - I see you still have a husband and since *I* don't - I'm going to ask that you leave him behind and you can keep your $5.00... I think that sounds fair."
The husband started laughing and the wife dug out the extra $5, thanked me and went to her car.
After that, I put up a sign which read: "NO discounts or haggling. In light of our current situation, please be respectful of our very reasonable prices. Thank You."
Sadly... I had to point to the sign a few more times... because - NO, jacka**, I'm not wiling to accept $1 for the Gymboree shirt that STILL HAS THE TAGS ON IT! lololol
It was hard... and then at points it was easier..... then the CUTEST little girl showed up - I *swear* she was the cartoon version of the little girl in Toy Story 3 that ends up with all the toys.... she was all decked out in mis-matched jewlery and sparkle shoes and a bright green tutu topped off with long, dark brown pig tails. She was about three and totally, utterly in love with one of The Girls' Cinderella dolls.
The Mom found some cute clothes and then saw the Tinker Bell potty seat... coming down to her last few dollars - she had to choose between the potty seat and the doll... she went practical and got the potty seat.
The little pig-tailed girl was crushed... I swear they dropped down in a frowning shape around her face.... so I ended up chasing her down the driveway and giving her the Cinderella doll. I mean - if The Girl can't have Cinderella.... well, Cinderella deserves to be loved and I was pretty sure that the pig-tailed girl was going to love that doll for a very long time.... so I just gave it to her.
Shortly after that an old couple drove up and stopped at the end of the driveway. The old lady in the car yelled to me that she had seen me on The View this morning and that she wanted to stop by. I walked to the end of the drive and leaned over to see her and the husband and I said, "Hello".
Then the old lady said, "I saw your story on The View today and I wanted to come over - he's been doing that to me for the last ten years.... and everyday his lies break my heart. But, I'm not like you, I'm not brave enough to leave him and I don't have family to live with or money to fall back on... I'm trapped.'
And then she started crying. My hand to G*d - that actually happened.
The husband was still sitting there (in the driver's seat I might add) - and I asked him, "Are you proud of yourself? Is that how a real man acts?" He shrugged and just looked at the ground.
They drove off and the woman yelled that she would be back tomorrow.... I thought to myself - yeah, you'll be back tomorrow assuming he hasn't buried you by then.... what the hell......?
So the afternoon went on with shoppers and kids playing in the piles of toys..... and a older man came - he was looking around for a while and he settled on a Spiderman hat. It was a $1.00. He was clearly of modest means, and he said that hat was for his Grandson. He said that his Grandson was four years old and loved Spiderman and he really wanted to buy something to support me because the boys father had left a few years ago - just decided he didn't want to be a Dad anymore and left......
The old man said, "That little boy saved my life - and he's my reason to live everyday."
"Of course," I said, "Grandkids are the best!"
"Well," the old man explained, "I've had lung cancer three times in ten years... never smoked a day in my life, but I got the cancer anyway.... but I always make it through because I have to raise that boy on my own - I'm all he's got, so I gotta' stick around, you know?"
I looked around the garage sale and the only thing I had left was my beloved Spiderman fold out couch. The Boy was barely one when I bought it for him. I had thought he could sit on it to watch TV and then I could fold it out for naptime while I edited images during the day. The Boy LOVES that couch. It's one of those items from your childhood that you *always* remember because you spent so many hours sitting and playing and sleeping on it..... but it's a bit stained and the zipper/sleeping bag part broke on it years ago - so I had it priced at $8.00 - though I was hoping it wouldn't sell because I didn't really want to part with it.
But.... listening to the man, who was by now showing me pictures of his treasured Grandson from his wallet - I saw the couch. I walked over to it and picked it up, pulled off the price tag and handed it to the man.
At first he refused to take it... but then he saw tears streaming down my face and I told him... "this was my favorite thing of my sons - I watched him grow up playing on this couch but he's too big for it now, crushing the sides when he stretches out. It seems like the perfect thing for your Grandson... and I just want someone else to use it and love it - and I want someone else to watch their boy grow up on it.... so - it's yours."
He waved as he drove off... and I just sat and cried. Because life just isn't fair - and having to say goodbye to all these things because of something someone else did... it effing SUX. :(
But in the end ... today wasn't about the money I made (which isn't even enough to get one of the kids into Disneyland ... lol) - instead, it was about the things I gave away.
Having said that - I'm not giving any stupid greedy hagglers a penny discount dammit.... it's $5.00 - just pay the lady and go home. lololololol
Be sure to tune back in tomorrow for Day Two.....
Dear ____ _____ Mazda Dealership,
I write to you today to explore a) what *customer service* is and b) why there *might* be reasons your service department has trouble implementing said customer service.
In 2010 my dreams came true.... yes, I understand most little girls dream of growing up to Miss America or even the President.... however, given my current size I think any dreams I might have had about being Miss America floated away on a sea of Hostess Donuts and Diet Coke - and frankly, if Hillary can't get elected to the seat - I think my odds are slim at best. In any regard, at 35 with two kids, my Dream was a car with sliding doors, captain's chairs and third row seating.
That summer we had traveled to Leavenworth, WA and my parents had rented us a Mazda5 to make the trip in (because our 2005 Saturn Vue was a bit long in the tooth and my Dad worried we wouldn't make it over the passes). Anyhow..... upon arriving to the Enterprise lot I DAMN. NEAR. LOST. MY. MIND when the skinny, just out of high school kid, took me over to what *looked like* a compact car from the front and I (very) grumpily announced that we needed a V.A.N. (As we had already requested).
My hand to G*d.... when that skinny kid slid open the back passenger door open there was a chorus of angels singing over his shoulder, light shone all around the car with the kind of glow that I have to work in photoshop for hours to achieve.... and sirs: I was IN LOVE.
The whole trip up and back was a wonderland of just HOW. MUCH I adored this little car. It was FAST. It was GREAT on gas mileage. It was COMFORTABLE! The kids loved the sliding doors and our trip was made soooooooo much easier by driving this Mazda 5.... not mention that the gas mileage was fantastic in spite of the a/c being on and all the mountain passes! In spite of our meager finances, I set about a plan there and then to own a Mazda5 of my own.
See... that's the Dreaming part.
We had been saving out tax return because we were supposed to go to Disneyland in February of 2011 (looong story, but my bestestfriendinthewholewideworld was coming from Scotland to Disneyland and it took me years to save up to go). I did the math and figured that if we used our plane ticket money on a down payment for the Mazda5, we could *drive* to LA and come out with a trip AND a new car......
Yes, you read that right: I traded a trip on a plane with comfy seats and pretty people bringing me cool drinks and a few hours of fussy kids for a TWO DAY TRIP of boredom, heat, boredom, fast food, fussy kids, bored kids, tired kids and hotel rooms where one had blood ON THE SHEETS upon our arrival.
I happily traded that in to make my Dream Come True: owning a Mazda5.
With school starting in the fall having a third row meant car pooling with friends and pick-ups for play dates... and sure, I know that the *real* dream for most Moms is a Honda Odyssey... and don't kid yourself - I WOULD LOVE a Honda Odyssey... but that was never going to be in the financial cards for El Capitan and I. So, the Mazda5 became the Van of My Affection.
In the fall I had figured out my finances enough to afford the Mazda5 but *only* if the payment was $225 per month or less. After MUCH going back and forth...... it was. We traded in the Buick Park Avenue we had 'inherited' from my parents who had 'inherited' it from my Grandma years before and that coupled with my meager down payment - I drove home a Happy Girl in The WonderVan of My Dreams.
As with most dreams.... this one has been a bit short lived. When I purchased the Saturn (more on that later) - I took it to the dealer for EVERY. LITTLE. THING. Oil changes, routine maintenance... everything. And in the eight years we've owned that car it has needed NOTHING ELSE. Except tires and new brakes (at 50,000 and 70,000 miles).
See, I have this philosophy since I don't take my dog to the ER when it's sick and I don't show up at the vets office to have my broken leg set.... I figure that my new car should *always* go back to its own personal shop of trained mechanics to be worked on. Yes yes... I *know* this costs more and dealer prices are more than standard mechanic prices - but I figure if I'm making payments on a new car - it damn well better last.
While this philosophy has paid off in spades with my Saturn.... they great service department, knew me by my first name, and I never had a problem with the car.... YOUR SERVICE DEPARTMENT is a different story.
Every SINGLE TIME I go YOUR service department.... the men there act like *they* are doing *me* a favor. After I bought the car I looked on the intake sheet and YOU (as in, *you* the dealership) noted that the paint job had a lot of scratches.... that's YOUR WORDS, written in black pen.... I called back to inquire about this and asked if there was possibly an issue with my paint job......? YOU said no.
You were wrong. I could wash that car with a cashmere sweater and it'll scratch. The entire damn car is COVERED in scratches.... since DAY ONE. :(
Then, there's the need to have the BRAKES and THE TIRES replaced within the first 30,000 miles.... huh? It almost seems like, when you buy a house the contractor usually puts in 'contractor carpet' - it's either yucky beige or grey and it's sh*tty carpet.... it's *not* made to last forever..... I feel like Mazda put in 'contractor' brakes, tires and paint on my car.... like - I'm supposed to buy the damn thing and then decide I want it painted a new color and pay for that?
Then today. Oh.... *today*. Today your service department went down in flames and it went just like this:
MAZDA: "Service Department... how can I help you?"
ELLE: "Yes, I have a 2010 Mazda 5 in the driveway and it won't start."
MAZDA: "What do you mean it 'won't start'?"
ELLE: "I drove it home - about three miles last night - parked it in the driveway and locked it. I came out this morning and the key turns, but it won't move out of PARK, the wheel *isn't locked*, the lights come on, the dash lights up, the radio and a/c both come on - but nothing else happens - also - no matter what - the little red light saying the car is "locked" keeps staying on even when the car isn't locked......?"
MAZDA: "It's probably the battery."
ELLE: "Well.... may be? But ALL the lights and the radio and everything are running fine - and in my experience a 'dead battery' means nothing works - lights, radio, etc."
ELLE: "Okaaaaay. What should I do now?"
MAZDA: "I dunno.... I guess if you can get it here I can take a look at it......"
************Wait a friggin' second. For the record - I DID NOT CALL MCDONALDS and ask them for advice on my broken down Mazda - just like I'm not going to show up at the Mazda dealership and order a BigMac and a large fry and expect it to arrive..... However - I'm CALLING THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT AT THE DEALERSHIP FROM WHOM I PURCHASED MY CAR. The same damn dealership who I pay FOR ALL MY PREVIOUS SERVICES... oil changes, new brakes, blah blah blah.... Should I not be calling them when said car won't start? **********************
ELLE: "How do I get it there if I can't start it.....?"
MAZDA: "You could have it towed."
ELLE: "Ok... and if it turns out later that this is an issue covered under the warranty - will you pay me back for the tow?"
MAZDA: [insert muffle chuckle here] "Well, no *I'm* not going to reimburse you - but Mazda might."
WHAT THE EVER LOVING F*CK? I'm sorry.... I usually try to keep this blog somewhat "pg"... but anyone who knows me also knows that I have a loving and healthy relationship with the fword and I use it all the effing time. But honestly.... I'm surprised my head didn't explode right there and then.
So.... while cursing up a storm that would make my Grandma turn blue...... I find the MAZDA phone number, and call them. Then, they transfer me Mazda Road Side Service. *THEY* go through the same conversation with me only HE - Jose at extension XXXX - tells me that if the 'car locked' red light is blinking when the car IS NOT locked, then it's a issue with the Mazda - AND I'm well under the 36,000 for the warranty and they will send a tow truck out FREE OF CHARGE and fix it FREE OF CHARGE. (he looked that up using his magical powers of wisdom - because he's not a trained mechanic - and it says the thing about the little red light in a book about my Mazda - that's what Jose said.)
So, the truck comes - the car goes to the dealer.... upon seeing said service guy I politely ask him *why* he is so rude to me ALL THE TIME. He pointedly tells me that he's not... that I'm WRONG - that the car lock light is ALWAYS blinking even when a Mazda is NOT locked (a theory I will test later... believe me....) and he doesn't see what the problem is because the car starts now.
Well... I say, please look over the car and MAKE SURE I'm not going to get stranded with my kids somewhere and I leave my Dad's phone number because he knows my Dad because my Dad has a Mazda from the SAME dealership. (This is the THIRD car my family has purchased from THIS dealer).
Funny..... 30 minutes later my Dad calls - not only is there some kind of electrical problem that was causing it NOT to start... but there is a RECALL on my Mazda for a fuel line problem and they have to keep it for a few days......
Hmm...... really? REALLY? *I* - little ole' untrained me was RIGHT? No.... shocker.
Since when do we do the BARE MINIMUN for people? SINCE WHEN does a service department manager chuckle at distressed women who can't start their NEWISH CAR That they are still making payments on? Was it *too much* to expect that said service manager *might* pull up my car - see it's age/VIN/recal status and SEE that it was still UNDER WARRANTY and offer to HELP ME?
Again... I wasn't calling TARGET with this issue - I was calling the MAZDA SERVICE DEPARTMENT - a place brimming with mechanics and 'trained Mazda technicians'.... and got NO SERVICE AT ALL.
Perhaps you should re-title yourselves the Mazda Non-Service Department.. it's far more suiting.
So now. I am sans car. My Dream is long over. What was once a WonderVan of Happiness is now a Scratched Up Tin Can of Annoyance because G*d forbid I actually NEED any kind of servicing on the vehicle I have to deal with Chucko the Ass-Clown who offers me ...... nothing. nada. zip. zilch in the way of what anyone else on the planet would recognize as CUSTMER SERVICE.
Here's how it *should* have gone:
ELLE: calls and tells man on the phone car won't start and why... blah blah - see above
MAZDA: "Well, I see that you're within the mileage for warranty coverage, so let me put you in touch with our Road Side Service Department who will tow your car here and we can have a look at it. Regardless of the issue's related to starting the vehicle, there is a recall on the fuel line and we can also get that taken care of while it's here.... sorry for the inconvenience, but we'll get it worked out and let you know what the issue is."
THAT is good customer service. Was it really all that hard......?
These are my first world problems today..... that my newish car doesn't run.... it's not much, after all I'm not living in the damn thing - so life could be much worse. I'm just tired... tired of being surrounded by people who do a half-ass job and then get all uppity when I call them on it.
Again... it's a lesson in settling... settle for El Capitan and you get Yoga Girl. Settle for a Mazda 5 WonderVan and you get.... well... see above.
Now my Dreams are different.... now I have a new Dreams - and you can watch for me screaming past you on the sidewalk in my Black Honda Odyssey of Exhilaration & Service with Robbie Wiliams blaring out the speakers..... because, I heard that once you go 'Honda' you never go back....... bwahahahahahahaha
Rant over. Thanks for listening.
I don't often complain about the "life" of a single Mom..... mostly because El Capitan worked A LOT. Though.... looking back, I wonder what "work" actually meant now... though, at this age keeping up with the needs of a 22 year old *might* actually be work... but still..... he wasn't home a lot (before all this happened).
So, the fact that it's just me and the kids most of the time - with Bubbie of course.... well, it's what I was already used to. Working in the studio and then working on the computer all day to finish images and work on the website and stuff - I was already balancing work and the kids on my own. Having El Capitan gone is - in many ways - easier because it's one less person to clean up after... lolololol
The downside, of course, is that now that The Bubbie pretty much lives with the kids and helps me full time with them – and she's not keen on actual 'babysitting' at night. While I used to enjoy several Moms’Nights Out a Month with my friends - those are almost nonexistent now. I feel bad after working allll day and paying half attention to the kids while I manage work and phone calls and stuff - to put them to bed and run out for the night.
So I just don't do it... pretty much at all now. Plus, like I said, The Bubbie doesn't like to be the babysitter.
Tonight, however, was a rare night where The Bubbie said I could go on MNO at a friend's house.... I was super excited - I've been looking forward to it for days! The chance to sit around and catch up with my friends on their summer, their kids, finding out their school placements and what not... the usual 'end of summer' chit
chat. Like.... REALLY. LOOKING. FORWARD. TO. IT. lol
It was a lovely summer night and they have a beautiful back yard.... I don't "envy" my friends, but I’d be lying if I said that it isn't sometimes a wee bit hard to walk up to their beautiful homes with manicured lawns and multiple bathrooms.... I would neve begrudge someone else their success in life - in fact, I'm happy for them, because they don't know the pain I know ... and that's a VERY good thing. But, squeezing into a double bed with two kids and sharing one bathroom (with a usually peed on toilet seat) – well…. Let’s just say that the road to my heart is my own bathroom at this point! LOL
Anyhow, she had fancy little drinks and cocktails and mocktails and real glasses... like -you know - made of glass and they didn't have cartoon faces on them... it’s been a long time since I've had a drink from anything that didn't have Hello Kitty on the front.
Anyhow….. I did a good job for a while.... but soon, the conversation began to turn. It's like I'm that kid in the Peanuts... Linus is it....? No... That’s the one Lucy likes that plays piano. I'm like that kid with the blanket that has the bugs and dirt swirling around his head all the time... only it's not *my* dirt swirling around my head... it's El Capitan’s.
Sure, sure... I *hear* you - I'm the dumb ass who put a sign on my lawn - so just how *private* do I expect my life to be... right? However, even before the sign my *friends* knew about what had happeend... in fact, they know waaaaay more than just what the sign says. For months since this first happened... it seems like conversation almost always turns to be about me and El Capitan and Yoga Girl.....
Of course, people are interested... it's like a car wreck of the worst proportions -right? Like - if we all look and stair and take notes and ask for what and how it all happened... perhaps they could keep it happening from them? Which... I actually don't mind. I’d be curious and want to know all the details… in fact – I’ll be honest – I’m STILL curious and would LOVE to know any of the details… lololol
In fact, the other day I was at the mall I saw a couple, the wife was a wee bit tubby and it actually *cross my mind* to approach her and warn her that if she didn't take off a few pounds, her husband might, probably leave her... and if the world at large found out - they would decide he was justified in doing it. Life a Chubby Wife PSA...... perhaps it's a service I could start charging for? lolololololol
Anyhow... tonight I was having a lovely time but eventually the conversation turned to me and to El Capitan and ..... then I turn into Debbie Downer. Step right up ladies and gentlewomen.... see the woman whose ass is the size of a house.. whose husband left her... who blah blah blah...... It's like my very own Scarlet Letter of Social Pain and Shame… lol and then I feel *bad* because it's like I'm ruining everyone else's great night out with my stories of woe and misplaced penis'. Damn......
I think I need to ground myself.... like wait a few more months before I try to venture out into the world of happily married people.... my friends are GREAT. They would never complain - at least not to my face... hehehehe - thanks ladies! But, I feel like *they* deserve better... *they* deserve me to be happy and fun... not some kind of Debbie Downer of
Hopefully my friends are willing to up with me until I can get over this better…… it’s a slower road than you would think…. And while I can ‘fake it’ for the kids’ sake– it’s soooo much harder to fake it in front of your
friends….. I guess that’s the price of having great friends. See… there you go – silver lining and yet another thing I have to be grateful for friends: good friends. Oh… that and two beautiful babies who – to be honest – I love to snuggle with and I’m not sure I’d get a bigger bed if I could … they won’t be this small forever!
So, things are coming along nicely for the our buyers.... they are super nice! I really hope this works for them.... and I'm really actually VERY glad that I'm apart of them buying the house. Getting to know them, seeing their excitement for the house and stuff.... it's kind of healing.
They like alot of the things that I LOVED about the house and it's nice to know they aren't going to tear it all apart week one of moving in. The closer we come to actual "closing day" - the sadder I become... the reality of never seeing my kids grow up in the only house they've ever known is starting to really sink in..... now the idea of saying goodbye to the kids home is... well, it's getting harder and harder. Thankfully, the buyers are great people and I know how much they want to live there - so that helps ease the pain a ton.
The Boy is OBSESSED with holiday.... he's *already* running around stores to see if they put out their Halloween stuff yet.... the Goodwill already has so it's been a *daily* trip to the Goodwill. lol.... He likes to buy stuff and "set up" his own version of a Halloween store at home.... today he said to me, "You know.... if we still lived in our house then I could have a bigger Halloween store ..... I miss our old house."
So that sucked.
On a totally different note.... I was contacted by a publisher today..... not really sure *what* to make of that! Like.... really - that seems kind of crazy to me.... BUT - before I commit to anything, I thought I would ask the nice people who come to the blog to see what their thoughts were on the subject - so...... you can take my SURVEY BY CLICKING HERE
- and tell me what you think about the whole idea.
I think that's the craziest thing... AOL recently ran an article where they refered to me as a "household name"..... really? That CAN'T be true.... that seems really bizarre to me..... and I should think it seems strange to anyone who knows me. Another article said I had "new found celebrity".... WHAT? HUH?
So, I ran out and checked my bank account... still, mostly empty. I checked my closet and my clothes weren't any smaller (damn, damn and double damn......) - and I ran to the driveway to find my Mazda 5 with it's HUGE scratch still parked in my driveway. I'm not sure this "fame" thing is doing anything for me just yet.... well, except for the trips to NY and LA... THAT was cool.
Hey.... Yoga Girl got to smoke the same pole I've ridden for 10 (long and not-so-terribly-enjoyable) years.... and I got to ride on a Virgin plane... I'm not sure about "fame" - but I'm pretty effing certain that that was a fair trade. bwahahahahahahaha And yeah... Yoga Girl - you should REALLY think about that... hehehehe
In other news.... a nice local guy called to ask me out on a date... I was sure to disclose my E.NOR.MOUS size to him straight away.... as you do. But, he carried on chatting for quite a while. He seems super nice - no kids, divorced.... good job, nice sense of humor - like holidays in a fun Clark Griswold kind of way... which is a bonus (see aforementioned Boy topic)..... but nice as he was (and nice looking, too).... I'm not sure I'm in a place to "date". Know what I mean? That idea seems like totally foreign to me..... Aside from the fact that I'm fairly sure no one will want me.... it seems odd to like - get dressed up? Put on make-up and go on a date?
What the hell am I gonna' say.... "Hi, I'm Elle - the shamu-sized woman whose husband left her for a 22 year old - I made a funny sign, got International attention when it went viral and here I am - by the way, I'm 37, my tubes are tied (so I won't be having kids for you) and unless you're willing to do what El Capitan was NOT willing to do - and put MY KIDS first above everything and anything else.... I'm probably not your girl."
More to the point... I'm probably not going to be anyone's girl.... lololololol
In my twenties, this very idea would have sent me into a fetal position of crying and hysterical panic.... now, in my thirties.... it just kind of makes sense. I'm kind of ok with it..... I think that I need to be more focused on the kids, our financial future... I mean hell - just working to get us an upgrade to our own rooms and a place where we aren't sharing a double bed - THAT is probably where my attention needs to be. hahahahahah
I always wondered how Monica Lewinsky felt. Like... she was this SUPER young girl who - like *most* of the planet thought the President walked on water.... and - like any young girl - when he showed her attention she lapped it right up..... TOTALLY UNFAIR to Hillary and Chelsea - but you can kind of see both sides.... right? HENCE why I have yet to publicly "out" Yoga Girl....
Anyhow.... how does that work for her at Christmas dinner when she's dating.... EVERYONE at that table *knows* she had the penis of a PRESIDENT in her mouth..... I mean - let's call it what it was - no need to sugar coat it.... so, sitting around the table - do you ask her about that? If someone is standing next to her - are they able to think about anything else? Back in the day... I looked *alot* like Monica Lewinsky.... like ALOT.
I was actually pretty *proud* of that small fact... I mean - she was good enough for a PRESIDENT, so who the hell was I to complain about being told I looked like her? lolol. I always wanted to buy one of her purses... but she sold out and stopped making them before I could order one.
So, now here I am... alone with my rambling thoughts... do you see *now* why a book might be the best of plans? lol........ more to the point... will *I* ever be able to be at a dinner or a party and NOT be thinking that people realize they've seen my sign .... how strange... how totally strange.....
Life is starting to settle back into a place I once knew it to be.... it's totally mind blowing to think about the fact that it was ONLY FIVE WEEKS AGO that I put the sign up....
FIVE WEEKS..... what the.......? I just counted... we're at OVER 1.2 MILLION visitors to the site..... that is just mind blowing to me.
Even *more* crazy is that I'm at nearly 80,000 readers to the blog.... WHAT? How on EARTH do - 8 let alone - *80,000* people care about what I have to say.... that is truly humbling.
Years ago someone asked me how old Miley Cyrus was... she was like 15 at the time, I but I said, "Oh, that poor girl is more like 105 years old because Hollywood years are like dog years and you have to multiply by 7." Um.... yeah - no sh*t. I feel like 5 weeks ago was 5 years ago.... seriously!
In the last five weeks I've done..... honestly - I don't even *know* how many interviews - I wasn't writting them down... lololol. Seriously - I wasn't keeping track of who or when ... I was just trying to keep up with everyone and return every phone call and whatnot.... the kids and I went to New York and I was on The View.
THE VIEW. What the.......? Seriously - THE VIEW.
Then... as we all know- a certain model got us both on THE SOUP! THE SOUP!!!! Joel McHale SAID. MY. NAME.!!!!! It's like when you're in middle school and the boy you like holds your hand in the hall in between Algebra (that you're miserably failing) and Enligh class (where you're excelling... except for your grammar and spelling are rather tragic....) - but there leaned against the cement brick walls painted falsley bright colors as though to force happiness upon it's melancholy teens ..... and your palms are a touch sweaty but you're holding on for dear life... because at 13 boys *are* your life... lolol. Then at the end of the day you float home on hormones and Debbie Gibson lyrics and swear to NEVER. WASH. YOUR. HANDS. ever again.
Well.... it's kind of like that - only there's no way for me to keep my name out of the mouths of others to forever preserve the time Joel McHale said it. Damn.... lol - and I think for a split second El Capitan was a teenyweenybit jealous because we both LOVE Community and The Soup.... and especially Joel McHale.
Then there was the interview in The Enquirer...... I mean - I don't know think anyone is actually "famous" until you are on page of The Enquirer! I've been reading that since I was in middle school.....
Now we wrap up with two days in Hollywood with Jenny-Jen-Jen and we HAD. A. BLAST. In the first place, we flew Virgin - with it's fantastic blue cabin lighting and AWESOME seats and TV's in the seat back.... I was IN LOVE.... and I promptly informed the pilot as we left the plan that he had "popped my Virgin" cherry.
No... really, I did that. bwahahahahahahahhaha
We checked into our LUXURY hotel located on Hollywood Blvd - literally in the heart of it all. Then we went for lunch In and Out... yummy..... then we jumped on one of thosue tour buses. Usually I'm totally against doing anything that screams "I'm a tourist" - hence why I have never owned a fanny pack. just sayin'.
They drove us around Hollywood and up into Mullholland - pointing at either ACTUAL celebrity homes... or just large homes where they tell us "Gwen Stefani lives there" (which, I guess that good ole' Gavin is good for nothing? lolol) - and BEST OF ALL.... the THREE HOMES where Robbie Williams lives!!!!!!!
As I exploded in a round of applause and cheers and pure Beatlesesque excitement over the very idea that I was thatclose to Robbie Williams.... the driver busted up laughing and said I was the first American who had ever known who the hell Robbie Williams was.... lolol.
We had a GREAT time... I almost got a tatoo... more on that later I think... and we fell into bed far too late for someone who was filming the next day (not that I'm EVER going to get enough 'beauty' sleep in this life to make any damn difference... lololol)... and in the morning, we had breakfast at The Hard Rock cafe' (which totally sucked ... sadly) - and our driver picked us up to take to the studios.
I'll write more about the interview closer to it airing... but - we had a great time. I'm not sure HOW the hell I got here... or why - but I really am grateful. Really.
It's not at all lost on me that all of this is happening because of a sign on my lawn - and because of what
El Capitan did.... and as fun as doing interviews and flying to New York and LA has been... if I could go back and stop it all... stop him from being with *her* - I would trade it all in a heartbeat.... there aren't enough 'vacations' and interviews that could ever take the place of how happy our children were - how happy *I* was before I knew he wasn't..... but - that wasn't my choice, I wasn't given that option... so I'm just going to continue to make as much lemonaid as I can......
Now... I've got to think of a way to scale that fence to Robbie house...... night ya'll! :)