First of all... sorry I suck and haven't blogged. I really am. It's *hard*, so hard.... to try to raise two kids, do homework, work and go to night school which is Mon - Fri from 6-10 and all day Saturday and then turn around and work all day Sunday.... so, it's been a rough month and I can post more about that later..... but today I want to say this:
Of the *many* things that I have not gotten right as a parent, and of the *many* things that I feel guilty for - the worst of most of them is that I have not put The Boy's photos into an album since he was 6 months old.... and I have NEVER put The Girl's in an album yet.
Or printed them out.
Yes... you read that right.
Sure, sure.... I make the holiday card and I make prints for the walls, but, so far as printing small pictures or putting them into an album.... nope. Nada. Not a ONE. Sigh.
I have them all.... over 100GB of images saved onto my computer and (almost all) backed up onto an external harddrive... which, in a photographers world is about as 'safe' as dangling a million dollars from a ceiling and over an open flame... eventually: it's all gonna go up in flames.
So, with all this extra time I have on my hands (you know, because five hours of sleep at night was feeling just a tad too indulgent) - I thought I should start working on the kids photo books so that I can have them printed and not worry so much about losing the images. I want to make digital books so that I can write comments and stories with certain photos, or certain days -and I found out a long time ago that you can actually download your facebook wall - did you know that?
Well, you can. You can download you ENTIRE facebook - photos and comments and EVERY SINGLE POST that you ever made, from facebook to your computer. This is *fanFUCKINGtastic* because I have facebooked every single day since The Girl was born and probably a yearish before that - so that's A LOT of life alllll recorded there in black and white.
facebook for the win.
I have always felt like time and life were slipping through my fingers faster that I would have liked...... I can remember being in London when I was 19 and .... those days were hard. Really hard. I was coming to terms with the ..... person my biological father was (I moved there to get to know him and his family) - and I was desperately alone when a month into living with him, I ended up moving out to a hostel in Camden. I didn't know anyone.... not a single soul (outside of my dysfunctional relationship with my bio-Dad and his family), and I didn't have a single penny to my name.
Literally. Not one fucking sterling pound or pence. But I got a job at the McDonalds on the High Street and lived on soup and pasta and free grapes from the grocer outside our flat. (I had the shits.... A LOT. lol)
I was, emotionally spent and damaged and I was lonely and sad..... so sad. But, I would stand outside the door to the hostel that was lower than the street level with black wrought iron bars over it's heavily painted blue surface and I would run my hand over the curves of the bars and I would close my eyes and focus on the rounded edges of the cobble stone under my feet and I would just stop. I would stop and breathe in the dank smell of urine and urban life and Camden market and I would think to myself: I WANT to remember this. When I'm old and grey and dying... or when I'm a Mom with kids and a life... or where I am in the future: I want to remember THIS. This time. This place. This MOMENT, so that I don't take it for granted. So that I don't lose the importance and the motherfucking MAGIC of being 19 years old and living in MOTHERFUCKING LONDON.... to the desperate loneliness and sadness that I felt at the time.
After that I would frequently stop - backstage at a show I was working, lying on the top bunk in a tour bus, at a dinner party with friends, walking along Sauciehall Street or Argyle Street or sitting in the tiny wee park in Leicester Square: close my eyes and just breathe in the moment and *promise* myself not to forget all those little amazing moments that make up our life, but pass by us so quickly at the same time.
When I had The Boy, I thought A LOT about how fast the time was going. About how life changes and people grow up and grow old and how now.... ALL THOSE TIMES that my Mom would stand in the kitchen and just ask for a hug... and how I would, in all my 16 year old 'coolness', and throw an errant arm around her quickly and then dash out the door to my friends waiting in the honking car: because I didn't understand..... then. When you're a teeenager you dont' understand the *journey* your parents have been on to get you to this place - this place where slamming doors and angry words and breaking curfews now fill the place where hugs and kisses and hours of playing together on the floor and tea parties of 'air' once were..... Because now, as a Mom spoiled with tiny little baby hands that held me and hugged me and held onto me for *dear life*..... I understood that those same hands would grow up and stop holding onto me no matter how hard I wanted to keep my grip on them......
Because that's what kids do.... they grow up.
Man..... kids kind of suck.
So I would just sit and be grateful.
I would hold those baby hands with their sweet dimpled knuckles and trace the fingers as they interlaced with mine. I would kiss them and smell them and tell my heart and my mind to never forget them......
I would go to bed every night with The Boy's head placed over the top of my arm which would wind down and I would hold his feet in my hands.
Months rolled by and I would keep holding those feet and waiting for the day when those feet grew past my hands and I could no longer hold onto them.
And it came.
But I still cradled him in my arm.... every single night until The Girl was born.
Now the reality of that 'Hallmark' moment is that, more often than not, I woke up soaked in spit up or pee..... but, as I looked over my facebook wall...... I would post all the time - how I had woken up to a smiling giggling baby and a bed with a 'mystery wet spot'.... and how I was so grateful for both because you can't have one with out the other.
I did SO WELL at finding those little moments to try and train my brain to *never forget* those baby curls and first rolls and first words and first moments and first days of school..... but as the days turn into weeks and months and years... I see a picture of the kids as babies and I'm instantly aware of how much I DON'T remember.
I have blogged before about my Goodwill Christmas.... and I am so grateful NOW that I didn't waste that year being angry that we didn't have enough money to buy fancy stuff... I just focused on making it as good as I could and being happy with what we had..... and how that turned out to be one of the only Christmas's that The Girl would have with both her parents sitting under the tree together and how NOW... it was so much about being happy and 'making do'.... NOW that Christmas has such a larger meaning for the children.
A meaning and an importance I could have never planned for or seen coming......
Today's Blog is a challenge for you.
If you're anything like me.... you're running around, plying the kids with movies and cookies to stay in the living room so you can keep cooking.
You're knee deep in Comet cleaner and sweating your ass off because it seems like the more you clean - the bigger the mess everyone else in the house is CURRENTLY making... rendering your sweating/cleaning nearly useless.....
You're dashing out to stores and counting pennies and wondering how many deals you can snake on Black Friday.....
And.... if you're *really* like me at all... then you're raising your voice and sending overly excited children who are brimming with joy and teeming with anticipation for the holidays which is boiling over and getting the way of you GETTING THINGS DONE.... dammit.... to their rooms, or time out..... because in family and the in-laws and the neighbors or a co-worker are allllll coming over and by fucking GAWD you want to have one of the most, bestest Pintrestest Thanksgivings on the damn planet...... because that's what we've sold ourselves.
Images of Moms in tightly fitted sweaters and pearls and hair swept up with an apron tied at the waist.... and a husband who lights candles and carves the turkey and crazy relatives bringing nasty things like marshmallow jello molds....
Threaten time out.... less.
May be even cook less..... certainly, if you're stressed out and freaking out and brandishing wooden spoons covered in batter as weapons to small children running through the living room.... don't worry about making those cute cupcakes that look like turkey's with the nutter-butter shoved through the middle.
Just.... fuck it.
Make regular old cupcakes.... if time is getting away from you and you're losing those moments that MATTER to bullshit and picture-perfect standards that don't matter..... just let yourself stop.
The truth is, this could be your last something.....
May be this will turn into the last Thanksgiving you had before so-and-so got diagnosed with Cancer.... or someone died in a tragic accident.... may be it'll be the last year your Grandparents are here with you, or may be your kid is going off to college and NEXT YEAR, he'll be going to his girlfriend/boyfriends house on the East Coast..... aliens could invade the planet, pillage your home and we could all be living underground wondering if John Carter is *really* coming.... or, may be your husband will run off with a 22 year old..... who the fuck knows.
May be it's the last Thanksgiving of YOUR marriage....
If that's the case, and some kind of life changing event happens .... trust me.... FUCKING TRUST ME.... those Pintrest Turkey cupcakes will be the LAST thing you remember... but probably the thing you spent the most time on.... so don't do it.
Don't waste time you could spending holding your own Grandmother's hand, tracing the wrinkles between her fingers and listening to stories about USO dances and the war and living life on a budget..... just so that you can make sure the bathroom is cleaner.
Anyone who cares that you're toilet isn't 'clean enough' but it coming over for Thanksgiving dinner.... isn't really your friend.... just sayin.
Don't spend your time rushing and yelling and being annoyed that your husband isn't 'doing enough' to help you - because all he wants to do is sit and watch the game and enjoy the day and you want to get out the fancy holiday dishes and you forgot they were buried in the attic and now he has to climb up there and spend the afternoon digging them out..... fuck it: eat on paper plates. Just, eat together.
That's all that really matters.... just being together.
GIVE YOURSELF THE GIFT OF SAYING.... fuck it.
Cook your dinner and spend time with your family and give yourself countless chances to STOP and close your eyes and take it all in..... the smell of turkey juice burning on the oven floor, the feel of flour between your fingers, the sound - THE GLORIOUS FUCKING SOUND - of your children fighting in the living room because your son DOES NOT want to watch Sophia The First for the hundredth time that day.....
Because whatever happens down the road..... you'll remember that day, that time, when you *were* altogether, in your dysfunction and not-as-clean-as-you-want-it-to-be-house.... and even if it feels like it wasn't 'perfect' in that moment and at that time.... life could re-define for you what perfect is and you might just remember that day and that time as the most whole, perfect moment of your life..... burning rolls, fighting kids, lazy husband and all.......
Tomorrow I'll be waking up to the woman I love.
Writing Thankful notes to the kids on the bathroom mirror.
We might shower... we might not. I might brush their hair... well... probably I'll brush their hair.
We're having cereal and milk and then dashing out the door to use a GROUPON a client gave me to take the kids to see FROZEN... where we will eat shared popcorn out of our dollar store popcorn buckets, and drink water bottles I bought at Walmart and tucked into the band of my jeans and snuck into the theater.
I will be GRATEFUL when we sit Boy - Hail Mary - Girl - Me - because everyone rights over who gets to sit next to Hail Mary and not me... lol.
I will give The Girl the matching doll to the movie that I bought with a Toys R Us card that a client 'paid' me with... so she can hold the doll while watching the movie.
Then we will take the kids to El Capitan's house for a few hours while Hail Mary and I get to spend some time together.... then we will go to The Bubbie and The Papa's house.... and I'm not going to stress out about what time we get there and what we're wearing and what we're bringing and blah blah blah.......
I'm going to stop as many times as I want and just take in the voices and the sounds and the smell of the day... and just be Thankful for what I have and grateful for the people in my life.
I hope you do, too.
So I got this comment today:
last year I wrote to you and expressed some feelings to you---you blasted me but its ok----I told you you were wrong in pushing a relationship with the ow and el capitan,neither has the maturity for a relationship never mind parenting--people who lie and cheat have no morals or compassion---he really acted so mean to you and to abandon 2 kids is unforgivable-------I also said that she was afraid of the crazy wife as he im sure described you to her----he placated you all the time and you fell for it---he made sure you never gave out their identity and information about the affair,he was sure you would protect his ass-----YOU ALWAYS GAVE HIM A PASS<ALWAYS_----HE WAS LIKE YOUR 3 CHILD THE ONE YOU NEEDED TO PROTECT----I told you that the incident in the car with your son was going to be a problem emotionally for your son later on in life---this is the time the jerk did not want your son to go up to his hotel room,yelled at him,scared the shit out of him and all your son did was cry and cry and the jerk left your son out there crying --what a jerk he is----I also described to you how the ow abused my children---SOFTLY,SHE KILLED THEIR SPIRIT SOFTLY----no one saw it only my kids----they are still in therapy and the scars are deep---my fault because I wanted them to be with their father,little did I know that he never paid attention to them and she was doing her THING,SHE WAS KILLING MY KIDS SOFTLY----I will never forgive myself---I should have never insisted in the being together ----my children eventually refused to go see their father and he blamed me for it----my children have no contact with him as stipulated by the court and psychologist----you can imagine what my children have said behind closed doors and I will never know----we are happy alone just the 5 of us and I am enough for them---I have told them this is it this is what life has given us and we deal with it,no fantasies about "family"--WE ARE FAMILY,JUSY US---el capitan controls you emotionally he only tells you whay he knows you want to hear---he is not honest remember he is a cheater,he knows how to play the game,but he is not your friend or a partner in co parenting---he is just playing you---he always protectedla novia from you and he is still doing it---ELLE PLEASE WAKE UP AND SAVE YOUR CHILDREN FROM EMOTIONAL ABUSE___your son is already asking you to save him and you need to listen to him,dad yells and curses at us WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED_____I MISSED THE SIGNS,PLEASE SAVE YOUR CHILDREN AND GET THEM AWAY FROM THOSE TWO LOW LIFE ANIMALS__if he wants to see them then he sees them in your home----THEY DO NOT WANT YOU IN THEIR LIVES SO WHY DO YOU INSIST___HIDING IN THE BATHROOM___AND OF COURSE THE CHEATER GOES ALONG WITH IT___HE IS PROBABLY THE ONE TELLING HER TO DO IT____WAKE UP----AND WE ALL AGREE IT IS TIME TO POST TGEIR PICTURES<NAMES AND ALL ABOUT THR BETRAYAL____THEY ARE THE BAD GUYS NOT YOU____BUT YOU DO KNOW THAT THEY WILL SMEAR YOUR NAME AS THEY ARE DOING NOW--STOP TELLING THAT CHEATER ABOUT YOUR LIFE AND YOUR SECRETS___CUT TIES WITH HIM___YOU NEED TO LET GO OF HIM____YOU HAVE NOT__STOP TALKING TO HIM ONLY YOUR KIDS HAVE TO TALK TO HIM TELL HIM TO SEND YOU E_MAILS- STOP TRYING TO BE MISS GOODY TWO SHOES___BE THE BITCH THAT YOU ARE___YOU ARE WOMAN AN AWESOME CREATURE
I do remember the comment made last year (not quite last year, but I think perhaps last April?) - and I *did* try to use the search feature on the website to find the original comment that she made that she references, but I couldn't find it..... but if memory serves - Jules warning me *against* trying for La Novia to have a relationship with/meet the kids.... and yes, I believe that I totally disagreed with her - to the point where I believe that my point was that *if* I as kind enough and open enough and forgiving enough.... that *we* would all come through this - together somehow. Or, perhaps not 'together'.... but functional as a new 'family set-up' for the kids.
Well.... clearly: I was wrong.
I was wrong and Jules was/is right.
The reality is, however, regardless of what does or does not go on at their Dad's house - the children will have to go to their Dad's as per our custody agreement. Period. I would have to have mounds and mounds of 'proof' of wrong doing/neglect/etc... and at the end of the day - cursing and being an ass to your kids is not reason enough for a court to remove or reduce a parents visitation.
Fuck.... if we're talking about cursing - I'm in trouble. lol... mind you - I don't really curse *at* my kids - though.... and it *pains* me to admit this, but since The Boy has been bringing up how often and how much El Capitan curses at/around them - it's caused an automatic reduction in the amount that I do it.
We even have a curse jar.
Yup.... I said it. A curse jar.
Thankfully that jar doesn't have eyes and I can still write whatever I want on The Blog.
*This* week, however..... The Boy AND The Girl have both been saying cryptic things and about how "Daddy doesn't do that" or "Daddy doesn't do this......." - and upon a little of asking (ASKING not prodding) - The Girl told us that Daddy told them not to "tell Mommy when he uses naughty words".
This comes directly *after* I waited several rough visits to mention to him that a few 'things' probably needed to change between him and the kids..... and it got me that.
So yes.... JULES. You are/were right.
I will no longer 'encourage' anything..... if they see La Novia: cool. If they don't.... fine.
You hit the nail on the head when you said that I was putting them in harms way.... I totally did that. I send them over there - pumped up with hope and openness and willingness and it's getting slammed in their faces - and El Capitan doesn't GET THAT.... so their behavior takes a serious nose dive and he responds by screaming at them to "go to [their] fucking room"......
I've done that. Me. And .... *Rest assured* - that I won't be doing that anymore.
Am I going to "poison" them against anyone?
Am I going to turn their hearts hard and bitter?
But..... I *AM* going to start being waaaaaay more honest in answers that are *Asked* for.
I'm also going to stop wasting my time.
I've put waaaaaaay too much time and energy into the collective relationships rather than in the ones in *THIS* house..... I've quire literally been drowning in the tsunami of anger and denial and waves of hope and trying and .... and .... and.... it's all for nothing.
It's time for me to focus 100% on ME and them.
On the two of them together as siblings..... and on the four of US as a family....
La Novia's family is *her* problem.... and my kids are clearly not apart of that. Melissa commented that it was a bit unfair for me to want to 'take over' La Novia's holiday - which I actually think is a totally valid point.
However, invitations to dinner were turned down for selfish/stupid/douchey reasons - NOT because she's looking forward to donning an apron and cracking eggs for stuffing with The Girl in her own kitchen.... THAT I coudl totally respect. (and... had actually hoped for).
Instead.... there are no more trips to the zoo. No more craft days or afternoons spent coloring.... it's swimming and the park and yelling and them "not behaving" and yelling and fighting and the kids living in a place where they are made to feel like guests.... how do I know this?
I wrote months ago about how La Novia was putting together a "behavior chart" for their place and I asked for a copy of the same "rules" at my house to support the whole thing.... I never got my copy.
Anyhow.... rule number two is "Five when people arrive."
Which means.... when *anyone* comes into that house - the children are supposed to give them five minutes to collect themselves and relax before the children "jump all over" them (El Capitan' words) - or talk to them etc...... which is bullshit.
The good PARENT looks forward to that moment when they walk in the door from a day at work and their kids come running up to them with the joy and excitement that only children have.... and yammer on about the day and want hugs.....
Note: I said *PARENTS*...... sadly - it's clear that my children don't have 'parents' in their Father's home, they have 'roommates'..... and that sucks.
They are not the center of that home... they are annoying little guests who run too much, yell too loud (it's an apartment, El Capitan reminds me!), who doesn't listen and knock over wine glasses left by the couch and throw balls onto glass candle holders that break and they just need to "chill out".... and give these 'adults' "Five when people arrive"......
But when we start telling the children that a 'sock on the door means don't come in'..... I think I'll be done sending them over for that. just sayin'.
In my home.... IN THEIR HOME.... my children yell and fight and run up the stairs when they aren't supposed to... they talk back and jump alllll over *whoever* walks in our front door... and so they should. They are children. This is a family and this is a FAMILY HOME... I expect nothing else from them, and when they need to disciplined, there are boundaries and reasons and explanations - and love.... lots of love. But overall, they know they belong here.
So believe me when I tell you that there are times of serious nuclear meltdowns (especially by The Boy if they've been to their Dad's in the past 24-48 hours) - BUT.... Hail Mary and I put *as much* time into creating happiness and love and a sense of stability for both of them... and tonight - after two solid days of awesome behavior - I saw a HUGE glimpse of the boy that The Boy used to be.... he was waving his hands and jumping around and talking with a *huge* smile on his face - and I could feel the joy just pouring off of him while he was telling me about his big school assembly tomorrow where he will sing Yankee Doodle with his class for the WHOLE school.... and then the night ended and he gave me a big kiss and hug.
Then he went over to Hail Mary who put up a 'fist bump' and The Boy asked her if he could give her a kiss goodnight.... and then The Boy told Hail Mary that he loved her.... and off to bed he skipped.
and that makes me happier than I have been in months..... The Boy skipped.
On wards and upwards.... right?
Most people lose their temper.... lose their *shit* - and then regret it. Most people.
The thing about me is that I have *always* been who I am.... I have feelings and opinions and ideas and (if you know me) then you know it's *very* hard for me to keep those to myself on the best of days... but if I'm angry???? It's like a tsunami of anger that overwhelms and takes out whatever person/object/space is around me. It's not a violent thing.... but, truth be told: I can say things that'll make your ears bleed for days.
I do, in fact, have a way of cutting you down with my tongue in a manner that - while often comedic - is *always* brutally truthful. It's been the demise of several relationships in my time AND - oh yes.... AND - is something I have sought to change/curtail/end as I get older.
As the years trickle by I have tried, sometimes in utter vain, to stop and *think* before I unleash the winds and rain. I have, to some people's surprise, tried to damn the tide of verbal anger before it takes out relationships with people I love.
But tried all the same.
Looking back at my marriage with Drew, (from The Book), there were *clear* issue's that his parents had that affected our marriage. There were clear issue's that Drew had - and issue's that *I* had.... and then there was my amazing ability to handle situations with his parents with the kind of tact that an elephant with a tack in her foot posses.... ie: none.
None at all.
However, sometimes you look back at a whole situation and if there are moments and times and conversations and words said, not under your breath - but broadcast as though a megaphone were strapped to your face.... and you shudder a bit. Even though it's in the past and those days and moments and that anger is smoke from the book of your life on a fire.... just floating away..... *if* that still makes you shudder.... then you would be wise to listen to that instinct and *change* that behavior.
Truth be told, I don't shudder about my past or behavior nearly as much as some people might think I should.... but I can *Assure* you that I shudder faaaaaaar more than people realize because I *AM* someone who does endeavor to take ownership of not only actions, but mostly my words - AND - not only do I want to *OWN* them, but if I decide they were 'wrong' - then I strive to *change* them.
I really really really really do.
Embarking on this process, I was *deFUCKINGtermined* to have as many 'shudder free' moments as I possibly, possibly could.... keeping in mind that a person who has just had their entire life ripped out from under them and placed firmly beneath the buxom buttocks of another woman... well: she's going to lose her shit from time to time and it's not gonna' be pretty....... Having said that - I *TRIED* not to use that as an excuse to machine gun every fucker that came in my path with a verbal assault that would make Lisa Lampanelli cringe. (look her up.... she's brilliant.)
I thought *a lot* about my post the other day.... did you notice the grammar was almost pretty decent? That's because I actually read that one through several times before hitting send.... I usually write, hit send, go to bed. lololol :)
This time, though, I thought about what I wanted to say - what I wanted to share.... and then I shared. I thought about what the consequences might be for me, for the kids... for El Capitan, etc..... and I decided that - in spite of what some people think/assume/accuse me of - I *HAVE* actually made EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. CHOICE for the last 18 months - for the sole benefit of the kids (or at least what I *hoped* would be for their benefit). I put myself aside - and not in some kind of Christ-like way so that I can build a cross of good deeds and 'sacrifices' and hoist myself up on it and say.... "look at me world- look at the fantastic person I am to make such lofty sacrifices"......
In the first place.... I'm not all that fantastic, nor have I ever thought I was, frankly, if I'd had better self-esteem I would have never married El Capitan in the first place.... just sayin'.
Secondly - I really *didn't* give a shit about his stuff, my stuff - having to do it all alone - because I had grown sooooo accustomed to doing everything alone that *not* having him there to pack up his own shit, etc... well, that was something I would have expected anyway. No biggie.
Thirdly, I *really* did believe that if I created a safe space for La Novia to step into - free of blame or shame or whatever.... but a true, welcoming space - and that THAT would be enough for her to step up and *be* apart of my childrens lives.....
But. That safe space was filled by suspicion and .... resentment? Entitlement? Fear?
I don't really know.... but it stayed void of a person.
And my children *feel* that void.
Since I wrote my post I've been thinking about the last 18 months and the TWO conversations I ever had with La Novia - ok ... three - one text, two on the phone. And I never called her names. I was actually *fairly* pleasant.... and yet that .... person.... seems to think I should have been nicer?
That's like telling the Jews to thank Hitler for the shower.
Yeah. I said it. Suck it.
You fuck your way into this family and then you turn up your nose at the *chance* to co-parent two of the most amazing beings in the world..... (according to me, of course). :) I just don't get it .... I really don't.
I go over and over in my mind - everything I said, I re-read posts and parts of The Book and there are times where I am as much her protector - worrying about her - about what El Capitan was *saying* about her - as I am just emotionally decimated by what she's done and her total lack of empathy or regret.
I have actually spent some time wondering if she's on the spectrum... that kind of person who *lacks* any kind of social awareness or personal responsibility is a special person in deed..... Dexter style. No - I'm being serious - there are HUNDREDS of stories out there about these women who feel so entitled to another person's spouse that they go and kill people.... now - I'm NOT saying anyone was going to kill anyone... but that level of 'I don't give a shit'..... THAT is a worrying quality in a person.
That's the thing.... SINCE DAY FUCKING ONE. La Novia hasn't cared. She didn't care that he was married. She didn't care that I would get hurt. She didn't care that my children would get hurt.... she felt no shame, no regret - there have never been any apologies or ownership.... she has always acted as though *I* were in the way of them being together.
She has, in my humble opinion (and others), felt as though I was the problem here - not her.
There is *one* thing, that she said, that rings in my ears.......
If took me MONTHS to get El Capitan to sit down with me and La Novia. EVEN THOUGH the need for that 'sit down' is clearly spelled out in our divorce papers.... he dodged and dodged me.
Over and over, I would ask. I would tell him that the kids were asking about her and wanted to meet her... etc. That the counselor felt it was time and that *not* having met her was having a negative affect on them.... but he would say no.
At the time - El Capitan would say, "I'm not sure that that's where this relationships is headed". And imply that he didn't want her interacting with the kids that way. Which I thought was odd.....
When we *finally* sat down together I was KIND - SO FUCKING KIND - and I damn well meant it. I was - because I'm really fucking stupid - EXCITED about this step because I thought it was best for the kids and that a LIFETIME of losing my temper and whatever..... wasn't going to happen. It hadn't really happened thus far - that I could steer us all to a place of friendship and co-parenting and that fruits of my labor - the product of my 'sacrifices' would be a happier family for the children.
I sat at the table.
I read the letter - heartfelt and clear. No anger or animosity from my side of the table.
I was kind and smiled and was encouraging of her.....
I was - until my post Monday - totally genuine.
And she said very little. BUT. One thing she said that rings in my ears was this......"Well, thank you -I'm just so surprised that you can be so amicable."
Huh.......? I just read you an entire letter.
I *insisted* on you having a chance to have a relationship with my children.
I welcomed you into the family.
What the motherFUCK isn't 'amicable' about that?
What more am I supposed to do.... give you hand a job and a smoke?
I might be into girls... but needless to say: I have much higher standards so that ain't gonna happen.
So I've come to the realization that El Capitan must tell her things ..... he must paint pictures for her that lead to her to a place where she can't image me to be 'amicable'.
Dr. Drew thought was I was waaaaay too nice and amicable.
So did the entire View.
So did my friends.
So did The Bubbie and The Papa ... who were 'shocked' that El Capitan left with his nuts in tact. (He didn't though... those have been in a proverbial jar for nearly 11 years..... bwahahahahaha).
Point being - if this was an 'act' or an illusion or not genuine - I'm NOT the kind of person who can fake anything other than an orgasm during straight sex.
But there comes a point where the tsunami, when not let out.... swarms and starts to drown you.... and I'll be honest: I was fucking tired of treading my own water and drowning every night.
So.... I don't regret it. If it makes me shudder... I'll deal with that - like I already have to deal with everything else that has come from all of this.... but let us not forget that *none* of this - The Sign, The Book, The Blog would have *ever* happened without El Capitan fucking La Novia on her green comforter and then dragging the sweat and the sweet stench home to me.
Even now.... I've come to realize that it's something I can move past - but it's nothing I'll ever forget.
Comment from yesterday:
You are spiraling downward in anger. You blame everything wrong in your life on someone else. Maybe your kids are unhappy because their mother made them a laughing stock by writing books, putting out yard signs, and going on Dr. Phil about their family struggles. They won't forget that other mothers didn't do that to their kids. That was for you, not them. Stop your whining and complaining and self obsession and focus on your children before they are gone.
Is it any wonder that I might be a tad angry?
First of all.... JEAN - it's clear that you don't read The Blog..... and you haven't read The Book... which is fine. However, it's always important to have *any* facts when you state an opinion so you don't look like an ass.... I was *never* on the Dr. Phil show. El Capitan and I were offered The Dr. Phil show three times, but we turned him down because El Capitan *hates* Dr. Phil.
Again.... El Capitan (my ex-husband, in case you don't know his Blog name) - *wanted* me to do that very first interview with Fox KPTV12 - I was covered in dirt and had *just* finished cleaning the house and yard only a few hours earlier.... neither of us *dreamed* that everything else would happen.
Once my name and our house and my face were out there on FOX .... it was a done deal. The media can find your facebook page, neither of our pages were 'private' at the time - and that meant that the world wide web hosted a bevy of images of us *and* our children - FREE for the taking by the media......
BTW. *Everyone* should be waaaaaaay more careful what we put on facebook and twitter and Instagram - ALL of those are free to the media if your family faces some kind of tragedy or issue that can be sensationalized. Because we never planned for this to happen..... we were caught off-guard and did our best to protect our family - but sadly, that first 'yes' opened the door for everything else and we didn't know that would happen.
ALL I do...... ALL I do - is focus on my kids. My friends might even suggest that I focus in an bit of an unhealthy way..... I spend *a lot* of time trying to make sure they come out of this ok.
The Book.... it's actually waaaaaay more about me - 2/3 of it is done before the kids are even born, and I only really talk about them being born and stuff..... do I think that one day when they are older they will be embarrassed by the whole mess.......? May be. Probably?
At the same time, you fail to understand that El Capitan AND I both thought a funny sign would help us find the right buyer for our home... not cause a media shit storm. We got offered *countless* tv shows.... and we turned *nearly* all of them down - but the "big" one we took, we took it FOR THE KIDS. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME that my phone rang with an interview offer, I called El Capitan and told him who and the terms and everything else..... *WE* chose what interviews I did, *WE* had to both sign legal waivers for that - *WE*- not just me. El Capitan signed every one. We took The View because the kids got to go to New York and see The Statue of Liberty and stuff - something that El Capitan and I would never be able to afford to do for them.
And yes..... I am angry.
I said it yesterday.... I'm pissed. I'm pissed because it sucks to *feel* like I have done everything I can to get things right and then *fail* miserably..... it sucks.
Do I wonder if in 15 years time my kids will hate me.......? I think *EVERY* parent wonders that.
Do I *enjoy* telling EVERYONE - like The Boy's new teacher - who I am and about the sign - *knowing* that people might judge me......? Of course I don't. However, because it's likely to come out at some point, it's better to OWN IT than try to hide it. 30,000 hits on a google search is hard to ignore.
BUT..... I hope you didn't miss that part..... I own it. I tell everyone new who comes into my life - because what you don't know about me is that I'm honest... I'll tell you the good, the bad and the ugly... and *probably* tell you waaaaaaaay more about all of it than you care to know because that's just the kind of person I am. The Sign was what it was..... I can't take it back - but please don't degrade the whole entire experience to something I did to 'mock' anyone..... I haven't found much of any of this very
It's crazy how many people are still checking back every day - and yet.... no new blog from me. Anyone who *knows* me in my 'real life' - in the flesh, in person..... they know that it's really hard for me to lie about... anything. If I'm mad - you'll know it. If I'm sad... you'll know it. I quite literally wear my emotions on my face and in my heart and in my words.... it's hard for me to just 'put on a happy face.'
Now, bear with me... and fuck - is it 'bear' or 'bare'? I know it's a homophone - I should just look it up but today fucking sux and I can't be arsed to do it.... so just deal with it Grammar Police. Ok.... 'bear' with me - because I know that *some* people have hard a time with that concept because of my sexuality and my attempt to live for sooooo long as a straight woman - certainly that was lying? Yes.... but the truth is - I was lying first and foremost to myself, so in spending 37 years forcing myself to believe in something doesn't make me a liar to the rest of the world, it makes me one of the millions and millions of people who don't think they wanted to "be gay" - AND.... for the record - it's also in large part due to a society that tells you that being gay is a "choice" - so I'm not really a 'liar' just because I chose to be straight.
That aside... the reality is that since I started this Blog, I haven't lied about anything. It's true to say that anyone's "truth" is strongly rooted in their perception of an event or conversation or situation and as such, other people might have a different perception/truth about things, but that doesn't negate anyone's 'truth'.
I have tried, with the exception of delaying coming out on The Blog, to be as brutally honest as possible, because I'm the kind of person who really doesn't know how to be anything else..... which is why it's been hard to blog lately because I can't come here and lie. I can't come here and say - 'everything is great.....', when it's not.
I read so many books...I tried so hard and the truth is that I *tried* because I looked back on the living room of ten years of marriage and, for the most, underneath cream walls of photos of happy kids and a 'happy family' - lay the proverbial rug which had dozens and dozens of lumps in every direction where I had been shoving things for a looooooong time.
That time I found pot in a old film canister in the sock drawer and was told "some guy pulled over on a street corner and handed it to me... what was I supposed to do?": swept under the carpet.
That time Christmas came and went and all I got was a Snoop Dogg CD in my stalking.... under the carpet.
That time we were leaving for the hospital to have our son and you were yelling me because I wasn't 'talking nice enough to you'.... under the carpet.
That time.... *all* those times... that I kept saying if you didn't go to counseling and *we* didn't go to counseling that our marriage would end in divorce..... under the carpet. No appointments made.
That time that your stepmother waited until *after* your Mother's Grandfather died after your Aunt called them to relay the message to us to get the hospital to 'say goodbye'.... she waited 6 hours to call us and we didn't make it to the hospital and because of that your mother's *entire* family thought we didn't care enough to go say goodbye and never forgave us..... and so I called The StepMother and informed her that she was, indeed, "a cunt of a rare kind" and that she was also an "adulterer - and since I hold my friends to a higher standard - we would never be friends.......". .... that too... went under the carpet.
We would have a argument.... and then we would make up and sweep everyone's discretion's under the carpet and not talk about them again.... mine, his.... everyone's. I knew it was wrong at the time - that eventually we'd be tripping over those 'lumps in the carpet' - but I always assumed that after 7, 8, 9 ... 10 years - that we were in it for the long haul and that we had *time* to work things out and move on.
Everyone does it - and we had some *big* things under the carpet and some small things... but overall - we were *happy*... fuck, may be we weren't.... it was news to me and our friends and our family... but clearly *we* were not happy... because suddenly I was tripping over a 22 year old under my carpet.
I can own that. I can, in spite of what some people think, look back at ten years of sweeping and own my part and because I was wiling to do that.... and I thought that in this whole divorce process that I would DO IT RIGHT.
I would read books and get advice... *good* advice - from people who paid lots of money and went to school and got degree's..... that I would follow their advice, no matter *how* hard, no matter how much shit I got from other people....I would take the high road and make different choices.
Now..... is Ugly Baby Teeth - *Really* taking the high road.......?
However, for fucks sake.... if the *worst* thing I *ever* did to the woman who had SEX WITH MY HUSBAND while he was *still* my husband - was call her "ugly baby teeth".... well.... fuck, I think that makes me a pretty nice person. I could be wrong.... feel free to correct me.
I *meant* what I said when I wrote the family letter and made the binder......
I *wanted* soooo badly for everyone to be adults and stand together on the sidelines of a soccer game, all wearing our big-girl panties and happy smiles - cheering on the success's of *our* children.
I was *willing* to share the role and the moniker of 'mom' with someone who stole SO MUCH OF WHAT I FUCKING WAS.... because it was going to be what was best for my children.
Everyone who *knows* me knows that I don't just say I'm going to do something.... if I've done it - then I meant it. I don't fuck around... I don't lie. If I said we can all move on... then I can,
Notice the *I*?
I haven't blogged in weeks because I'm fucking pissed.
There I said it.
I'm fucking pissed that I read the books and *Said* and *DID* all the "right" things......
I walked away from money....
I walked away from my home.....
I lost everything.... and, for the most part.... I did it with a smile and with hope in my heart that in doing it all the "right way" - that it would pay off for the kids - that where I had failed them as a Mother, where *we* had failed them as parents - that *WE* could all come together in the end and BE A FUCKING FAMILY.
Two happy homes from one broken one.
I was wrong.
I protected her and I protected him.... I kept the dirty little secret that they worked together.... so they wouldn't get fired.
I protected her name so that while *I* would forever go down in flame as the fat-ass whose husband left her for a 22 year old because she was so ugly and bitter and 'vengeful' that she then "plotted an online campaign" to blah blah blah blah..... SHE would be safely away from it all. Her identity - her collective 'dignity' in tact (assuming she has any.....) - and SHE: Ugly Baby Teeth, Yoga Girl.... La Novia - would be safe. I did that because I felt it was the right thing to do..... now, I'm not so fucking sure.
The Boy say's that life at Daddy's house is "hard" .... that Daddy screams at them, and uses foul language and isn't "nice to them"...... La Novia doesn't spend any time the kids.
She's usually "at work" - no matter what day of the week or the time of day.... back when this started, they went to the Zoo one time - and haven't done a damn thing since. There are no more craft or coloring projects.... they go there, spend time with their Dad and come back.
That's not a family.
When I was told that he wouldn't be seeing the kids over Thanksgiving - because of work schedule issue's, I suggested we *all* have a family dinner together..... and was told no.
He thought it might be "awkward......."
No shit.... huh? IT's *always* going to be awkward if that's your attitude.
And someone for the love of FUCK - PLEASE tell me *how* this is awkward for anyone......?
I have protected you.
I have been KIND to BOTH OF YOU.
I have NOT called people names.
I have NOT threatened anyone.
I didn't burn anyones stuff.... I didn't lose my shit and go crazy.
SERIOUSLY. DOES NO ONE WATCH TV?????????
Does no one watch Jerry Springer........? I think -overall - I have extended a shit ton of kindness and fucking *forgiveness* to people who DID NOT DESERVE IT and I did it for 'realsies' - because THAT IS WHO I AM.
Anyone who *knows* me, knows that I don't do things half way.
I *welcomed* someone into MY FAMILY after they fucked their way into it.... and I'm not good enough to have dinner with? Because THAT - the whole EATING AT THE SAME TABLE thing is awkward......?
Yeah... well, smelling your sweet snatch on his cock was awkward... but look at me all getting over that and shit.
Yet...... You can't get over yourself enough to have dinner?
I could and I *DID* because I believed it was what was best for my children.... but it's becoming painfully clear to me that the *only* person who is concerned with a) the children and b) having some kind of positive relationship modeled for them is ME.
The Boy's behavior has been suffering.... a lot. The light that used to light his eyes has been dimming - and replaced with him telling me "I just gave that car the finger for going too slow like Daddy does......". Or, screaming at this sister who accidentally broke a toy..... "Are you fucking kidding me?!?!?!?!"
Daddy refers to everything in his house as ... 'his' - not ours.... this is "his house" - he tells them.... which means that it's not "their" house... they are just guests. The Boy told me that.
And 18 months on... it's clear that in spite of all my efforts to the contrary - the children are merely guests in a home that doesn't actually want them to be *a part* of anything.... some people are *stupid* enough to think that this kind of thing doesn't matter to kids... but it does. It really does.
I've been begging The Boy to behave and changing house rules and talking and talking.... and reading and trying... but it seems like everyday the light get a little bit dimmer.... and I fear, that's it's going to go out altogether.
Recently, there's this charming little brat at The Boy's school who delights in being mean to him, recently she cut in front of him in line and said, "I don't like you because I hate your face."
I asked The Boy what he did, and he said he just shrugged his shoulders and walked away and said nothing. I praised him on his ability to walk away from a negative situation and we went and talked to his teacher (who is nothing short of amazing.....) - and she also praised him for 'doing the right thing and walking away' - and that she would address that situation.
This weekend, after spending the night at their Dad's - The Boy came home and told me that his DAD told him that the next time someone tells him that they "hate his face", that THE BOY should say right back to that person..... "Well, I hate your face."
Super fucking awesome shitty advice.
After months of dodging me..... being 'in the bathroom' or 'at work' - and never having to actually be in the same room as me..... we were heading home last night and The Boy *really* wanted to call his Dad and tell him about his "last shift" at the Spirit store. I let him call and he asked his Dad if we could stop by.
Which we did.
And then we stood.... out in the cold..... in the soft drizzle of rain..... we stood. outFUCKINGside.
While La Novia sat inside.
After everything..... I stood outside. unwelcome. I get it..... it wasn't pre-planned, and it's unfair to think we should be asked inside... but then, why not come outside?
I'm tired of trying and failing.
I'm tired of other people's lies and bullshit.
I'm tired of believing that I could do this.... that I could offer up enough forgiveness and kindness and that *that* would be what could help bind together this new family that I'll be *Really* honest.... I want NO FUCKING PART of.
No fucking part at all.
I just wanted my kids to be happy and whole..... that's all.
But.... they're not and every passing day I wonder if that's ever going to happen.
and I'm not..... I'll never be whole again, especially while the kids are hurting.
So today I'm going to take the advice of someone I listened to and loved and worked soooo hard to build a family *with*.... and I'm going to put down the books and olive branches and I'm just gonna say it:
I fucking hate your face.
If you mistakenly thought *anything* was awkward before.... well.... good luck with that.
So.... it's been a while, huh?
I do feel bad.... not blogging because a dirty little (not so secret) thing that I get a wee bit ashamed about.... I *do* feel bad when I miss a blog or let it go for a while, but.... man - this is hard.
I thought, for sure, that this would get easier over time.
I thought that when I found love - when I found that someone who would love me and accept me and support me.... and give me that *thing* that I missing for so many years - that 'thing' I didn't even know I was missing - that all of that would add up to emotionally equal wholeness.
Surprise: it doesn't.
This time of year is a bit rough for me because it's my *busy* time of year - where I do all my family shoots. Most of them are friends - some are new clients I've never met.... but over and over and over, all day Saturday and Sunday it's just a parade of happy, nuclear families.
One after the other... holding hands, smiling, laughing, kissing.... crying, fighting, bribing, begging, pleading for onelastsmile.... families. I know that everyone's life isn't perfect. I'm all well aware that my life could such in many more ways that it currently does.... however, it doesn't make it any easier to have a ring-side seat to the parade of people who got their shit right. The array of people I adore who made better choices - and still have their families.... in tact.
It doesn't have anything to do with Hail Mary -but honestly.... I find myself feeling a bit jealous that I didn't make better/different/whatever choices, so that my nuclear family could still be together. I thought, that after some magic amount of time had passed where love came in to fill the gaps in my heart and my head - that that would heal me... and I would be so busy living my new life that I would ?forget? the past.... that I wouldn't miss it.
I wouldn't miss my little blue house.
I wouldn't miss putting up a yard full of blow up guys.
I wouldn't miss putting together our family holiday card and licking 150 stamps to send them out....
but the truth is: I do.
I still miss our family. Do I miss El Capitan? Fuck no. And, I actually mean that with respect, I really do, but I don't miss the presence of someone in my life who thought so little of me - who sought to emotionally destroy me with thoughtlessness and betrayal....
On that note. I know I probably shouldn't be thinking about this... but I can't help it.
I keep seeing El Capitan in my mind - leaning on the white Ikea bookshelf - eyes staring at the hardwood floor so hard that I thought he might just burn a whole in the boards..... I sat on the bench seat, phone in my hand, just asking, quietly pleading for the truth......
Who is this girl?
What does she mean.....?
What does any of this mean......?
And he shrugged his shoulders, he didn't *have* an answer.... she meant 'nothing'. She was 'nothing'. She was a 'flirtation that went too far'.... and nothing more.
18 months later... they're still flirting - so obviously there's a lie somewhere... either he lied then or he's lying to himself now.... it's not for me to know the truth, I guess - and that is a hard pill to swallow.
I think I watched too much TV growing up because I keep waiting to sit down in front of a color screen and watch events in first person and third person and through parted curtains and steamy Mazda 5 windows - to unfold in front of me, piecing together events and feelings and words spoken and promises broken.... just so I could understand.
Even if I could, even if I knew it all... the truth is, I'm not sure I'll never be angry enough, or healed enough to not miss the family I had. Two happy kids, who felt secure and stable.... I would never have traded that for anything, not even for what I have today.
That's the difference between El Capitan and I.
And you know what... fuck it: here's a hard truth for anyone out there who has a parent who cheated: they traded you, they traded your childhood and your security so that they could go live another life - live out some other fantasy or dream. IT didn't have anything to do with your other parent..... what it boils down to is that you have One Parent who stayed with you and raised you and loved you and sacrificed for you.
And then you have Another Parent who traded you for something/someone else.
Sad fact, but true.
Recently, El Capitan talked to The Boy and The Girl about his own parents. In his own words he told the kids that his Dad was a "mean guy" who did and said mean things.... that he was a 'bad guy' - and that is why the kids have never met them and it is why El Capitan doesn't talk to his own parents.
This weighed on the children a lot more than I thought it would.... and I was surprised because recently we found out that El Capitan's parents packed up their shit and moved to the midwest. In doing that, my heart actually broke for El Capitan because his Dad wouldn't give him his Mother's belongings, or his own childhood belongings - baby books, toys, etc..... when I told El Capitan that I found out his parents sold the house and moved - we both knew that all his stuff - all his deceased Mother's stuff - was now gone.....
and that made me really sad.
A final 'fuck you' from parents who did a pretty shitty job raising him.... and then they hold that dysfunction and anger against him.... it makes me sad for El Capitan. It really, really does.
Perhaps that sparked the conversation.... but The Boy came home and said this:
(hand to G*d it's the truth)
The Boy: "Daddy told us about his Dad and how he was a mean guy......"
The Boy: "Yeah.... they haven't talked for a long time and they met me when I was a baby."
Me: "Yes, they did."
The Boy: "Did you know Dad's parents?"
Me: "Well, I never met him Mom, she died before I met your Dad, but I knew his Dad and his Step-Mom."
The Boy: "Was he mean?"
Me: "Well, it's complicated. No, he wasn't a very nice man, and sometimes people say and do things - that are all wrong - but for the most part - your Dad is right, he's not a nice man and he wasn't a good Dad."
and then there was a pause.... I didn't want to say more, and I also wanted to support El Capitan's words, because it's his relationship with is father and I think it's all true.
and then .......
The Boy: "If Dad's Dad was a mean guy and he doesn't talk to him... then why has Dad been mean to us?"
Sometimes I'm really freakin' stupid because,I'll be honest, I DID NOT see that connection being made by The Boy - and clearly neither did El Capitan..... fuck. Smart kid.
I said nothing. I didn't know what to say.... because - just like El Capitan is entitled to his own perspective and feelings on his DAd's behavior.... The Boy has the same entitlements - and currently... while he *loves* his Dad more than he can put into words... he's also just as hurt and just as angry.....
So... do we ever heal? Do we ever round the corner and find inner peace.....?
Or will seasons change and with it, bring familiar pain and loss over and over.....?
I sure as shit hope not.
Today, October 11th, is National Coming Out Day.
I will forever remember my 'Coming Out Day', but to be honest, finally being honest about who you are and starting a new journey is a process and I kind of always feel like every day I'm learning something new and still 'coming out' in many ways.
These last eight months have been amazing. I have learned so much about myself and discovered so many wonderful things about my community.
This week Mia got married to her love - and The Boy and The Girl were 'ring bearers' in their wedding. A LEGAL same-sex marriage which took place in Washington. It was truly amazing, to point of tears, to see these two people get legally married.
Mia is one of my closest friends in my community and we were friends before she started dating Her Love - so I've been lucky enough to watch their relationship grow, be apart of the excitement of them falling in love - and then we all stood next to them when they signed those documents. It was really cool.
I made Mia's bouquet - she wanted pink and yellow, so I went with vintage style pink roses, pink lillies and yellow roses. The lillies were for me.... :) You all know why. And then she wanted something 'unique', yet simple and small - so I laced up the stems and added two charms: one for France and one for Italy, which are two of their favorite places. The charms can be taken off and warn on a necklace later.... I hope that was unique enough. lol
I hope, whatever journey you are on in your life, that you able to honest with yourself and live in happiness. It took me a long time to get where I am, and I still have to much farther to go.
Thanks for being with me.....
So, I've never tried to hide our Goodwill Christmas and whatnot.... I mean, it's not like I'm thrilled to have to hunt through bins of used toys to make Christmas work - but I'm not the only Mom who's done it, and there's no shame in it.
In the past, I have also shared about treasure hunting at The Goodwill at Halloween time because The Boy is just sooooo obsessed with the holiday. He cannot have enough stuff - and he actually *cares* about all of it. At the end of the season last year we collected up costumes for $3 and $4 - because he likes to "sell" them, still in their packaging in his Spirit store. This year.... having moved out on our own - we have have been making the most of a collection of new Goodwills to hunt through.
There aren't, however, as many Goodwill locations where we live now as there were in Portland (seven within a 10 mile radius to our old house) - so we've been hitting up the same two local Goodwills and we were getting down to the really dirty and stained talking toys or the ones that don't work, so I thought we would try out Value Village.
They have a HUGE Halloween costume set-up, and The Boy was out. of. his. mind. The Girl was running up down the aisles and pulling out this crown or that witch's broom.... and then I started looking at the prices.
I don't know *who* works for Value Village and thinks that charging $20 for a knock-off 'Snow White' costume is "value".... but - um... it's not: it's a freakin' rip off. The more I walked the aisles, the more my jaw dropped. I couldn't *believe* what I was seeing.... this is *supposed* to be a thrift store. There's nothing 'thrifty' about a $25 Transformers costume.
I know this, for a fact, because I've seen THE. SAME. COSTUMES. at The Goodwill for the whopping price of $12.99 and lower..... ALL brand new and still in the packaging - and half the price. How is that possible?
I looked on the Value Village website and found this:
"Our Mission: To provide our customers with the best selection and shopping experience of any thrift store in the world."
Dude.... Mission NOT Complete.
How could they ever *think* these are reasonable prices? The local WALMART has name-brand costume for at least $10.00 cheaper.... now, if I'm someone who is looking to SAVE money on my costumes and shopping in thrift store, wouldn't I be expecting to pay *less* than I would at WalMart? I really can't even wrap my brain around it all. Honestly.
Now, aside from the political issue's here - let me tell you how it *feels* to be the Mom standing in Value Village trying to explain to your over-excited 8 year old that, in spite of standing in a "Value Village", you still can't afford to buy him squat.
It feel like shit.
That's how it feels.
It feels like 38 years of art school and a decent career as a photographer amounts of jack nothing when it comes down to being a single parent and having rent and medical insurance and car insurance and a car payment (which is totally reasonable) -and oh.... yeah - trying to figure out how to go to college so that I can do that thing called 'sustain myself' in my old age because I no longer have that "life partner" to do that with that I had counted on. And yes... I have Hail Mary - but anyone in my shoes will tell you that you're a dumbass if you put your financial eggs in anyone else's basket.....
Big Girl Panties are on.... and I handle my own shit... but my shit is also broke. lol
I was so angry standing in that store - among the marked down, broke and dirty dishes and whatnot marked for $1.00 a piece..... and yet - their Halloween area is OUT.FUCKING.RAGEOUS. Why......? I fully expect to be standing in Macy's or Yonkers or The Bon Marche - and tell my kid.... "Dude, sorry, we can't afford that.". That's *exactly* why I don't shop in those places.... I already know I can't afford it - so why bother the emotional embarrassment of having to admit that to my kids?
I did not, in a million years - ever think that I would have to stand in a freaking "thrift store" and utter those same words.... actually, I'll be blunt: I never thought I would have to utter those words to my kids period.
The worst of it all was that they had this standing witch that had a 'step here' pad and she cackled and moved her head - and The Boy is just going out of his MIND over her.... but I think she looks dirty and dusty and I noticed that the back of her it tied to a long rope to the wall - because it's clear she doesn't stay upright without being tied to the wall - which means she's broken.
So The Boy asks how much she is .... and she's $150.00!!!!!!!
What. The. Hell??????
You can walk into the Spirit Store and get a walking/talking Walking Dead Girl for $150.00 BRAND NEW. You can get the Swinging Zombie Girl for $170, or the The Hanging Pumpkin.... so - yeah - if I *HAD* $150 - why would I buy some old, shitty, dirty and broken-ass witch at a thrift store?
Not so thrifty..... sigh.
As it is, I still bought the kids a few things and voiced my displeasure to the manage who blew me off - I mean... really? *I* am your target market - a Mom getting by on very little trying to make the holidays nice for her kids.... isn't THAT who shops at thrift stores?
I'm not the only *parent* in my situation - living on a budget..... it's *offensive* to state that you are supplying people with 'thrift' when you're really just robbing them.... at least in my humble opinion.
I was disappointed with myself, too because we went in there to hunt for treasure and The Boy had to walk out with out any because I couldn't afford them.... and I can't not afford them because I have a closet full of fancy clothes and iPods and iPhones and iPads and whatever else..... I can't afford them because The Boy broke his glasses a week ago, so I pulled together money for new frames which we put his old and scratched lenses in..... but The Boy has an appointment with his specialist at on the 28th and will most certainly be getting a whole new prescription which I will have to buy all new glasses for.
Yes... I can hear you - kids glasses aren't that much... right?
Well, may be for most kids - but for MY kids- after having gone blind in each eye and having had TWO full lens replacements (one in each eye) - The Boy wears bifocals that have to be specially made .... and they aren't cheap.
And, because life currently loves screwing with me.... we lost those *new* frames on Friday - and tonight The Boy had to do his reading homework with a magnifying glass. Otherwise, the type was too small for him to read.
Now *THAT* ... Value Village - THAT is fucking thrifty.
My eight year old at the dinning table doing his homework with a magnifying glass: that is was thrift looks like.
On a bright note..... school is going well for The Boy who's teacher adores him and finds him to lovely and well-mannered and he's very proud of the work he's bringing home... so even though this is harder than any time we've had before, I know we're doing the right thing because the personal success of The Boy means more than knock-off costumes anyway.
And, for the record, I'm not trying to be all - "poor me"..... I'm trying to say - our economy is such that LOTS of families are being creative and shopping thrifty to make sure they can pay their bills and still provide those extra's at holiday time that really make the time of year for kids - extra special.... I know there are Moms who have it waaaaay worse - and I can assure you I'm not the only Mom who was horrified to walk in and see their prices.... and you know what - that just sucks. lol
That's all.... it just sucks.
Hmm..... for some time now I have been quiet about La Novia and El Capitan. On one hand... there hasn't been that much to say.... but on the other hand, I was trying to let things be and let our relationships grow a bit more naturally and away from "The Blog", so to speak.
Which ... is all fine and well.... except it's hard to have a relationship with a bathroom door.
Yup... you read that right, I said bathroom door.
Prior to sitting down with La Novia in.... April was it? I think it was..... anyway, I had only ever seen her once prior to that at her place of work (I had other reasons for being there.... because someone else worked there at the time) - and then once when she drove the 'get-a-way' car when El Capitan dropped off the Saturn and it all went a bit pear shaped......
It still kills me to this day that La Novia treats me like I was somehow in her way.... it's like the fact that she broke up my marriage and BEGGED to be apart of this family is completely lost on her..... and even more confusing to me is that when I *genuinely* sit down with an open heart and an open door...... she does nothing.
Well... not nothing: she sits in the bathroom.
If I'm dropping off the kids.... she's in the bathroom.
If I go in and sit on the couch and wait - politely - so as to say hello and be cordial in front of the children - you know... that whole pesky 'setting-a-good-example' thing.... well: apprantly La Novia likes REALLY REALLY REALLY long showers...... so I ended up leaving.
The other day El Capitan suggested we meet at her work place and pop in to buy something on our way to having dinner with the kid together..... and again - La Novia was "in the bathroom" even though her car was parked outside and she was working.....
It really makes no sense to me- AND.... more importantly, this is not lost on the children who are curious why La Novia "hides" in the bathroom, as The Boy put it.
So. Then I have to wonder what exactly this person is hiding from......?
Have I not been kind when I didn't have to be?
Have I not shown an extreme amount of unearned respect?
Have I not only demonstrated tolerance but *acceptance*......?
I kind of think I have.
Fuck it. I KNOW I HAVE.
So why the bathroom?
It's frustrating.... what do I need to do - offer her a quickie in the sheets?
Yes... yes,I know - that's not nice. But I'm growing tired of this whole nice, respectful thing being a one-way street..... and I just go back to the idea that if YOU don't want to deal with your boyfriends EX-WIFE then don't find yourself in bed with a married man....
Date single men who haven't previously been married.
Don't move in with someone who is still married to another woman because the logic goes to follow that you will *eventually* have to deal with said ex-wife.... and if I may be so bold, *MOST* ex-wives are not nearly as nice, nor as kind, nor as protective of your identity and safety an *THIS* ex-wife has been.
Even more to the point.... very few women would have extended their hand to welcome you into their home and their children's lives as an equal co-parent.
I have to admit that I'm frustrated and confused.... and frustrated.
What more can I do to make this work?
What more can I say or promise.... and why the hell am I the one doing all the promising?
Last year I posted about how *GREAT* the local Spirit Store staff was to The Boy and The Girl. To say that The Boy is *obsessed* with Halloween would be putting it mildly.... very. mildly. lol
So this year started with us visiting the store as soon as the sign went up the building - as in... the shelves are still empty and no one is even inside the building - we *still* had to drive y every single day to check their progress.
The Boy knows where *everything* is. He knows when the Try Me buttons aren't working, or when one of the animatronics isn't working right. And, being his mother's son, he'll march right on over to an employee and very nicely tell them.... and thankfully - they are all very kind to him and usually let him help.
Above are the pictures of The Boy's "Spirit Store" that he now has at The Bubbie's house. 80% of what you see in the photos all came from The Spirit Store, though it's missing his stand up screaming Ghost Face (from the Scream movies) and his end-all-be-all important Freddie Krueger animatronic that I bought for him last year - those are still packed up until another week or so.
He goes into his "store" and he sets up his cash register.
He makes sale signs - though he thinks that 30% off and $30 off are the same thing... so we're working on that one. lol
He sets up all his stuff in one area, then a little while later he'll come out and tell us that they got a 'new shipment in' and he has to move things around to 'make room' for this new 'item' or that one. It's a very serious business he has going on.... and he loves every single second of it.
All the employee's know him - and even though there is a store 5 minutes from where we live now.... I *still* have to drive him 45 minutes one way - to go to his favorite store with his *favorite* manager. This guy.... he's been so incredibly kind to The Boy. Now.... let me be *super* clear - he doesn't give us "special" discounts or freebies - I pay for everything and use whatever coupons Spirit has sent me over email.
But, like with most of the more important things in life, this isn't about money, this is about time. The manager always greets him with a hug and a high-five. He always makes time to walk around the store and talk about whatever is new and he NEVER EVER makes this waaaaaaay hyper and over excited 8 year old feel like's taking up too much of his time or that he's a bother..... and this has been a lifeline for The Boy.
A fucking lifeline.
The Boy spends *all year* waiting for The Spirit Store to open - and the staff there really, truly appreciate The Boy's exuberance. IT's kind of awesome.
So, of course going there every. single. day. means money..... money we don't have. Now, let's be *super* clear and say that this is *for sure* a First World Problem.... waaaaahhh... I can't afford to buy my kid toys at The Spirit Store.... but it's not like that for The Boy - he *Really* wants to buy stuff and keep it in the box for HIS store. lolol
Last year I managed to make it work somewhat... but this year... *this year* has been brutal on the finances - so our trips to The Spirit Store have been taking a toll and the manager knew it... so - he HIRED The Boy to "work" at his store one shift a week.
The Boy just about lost his freakin' mind. Seriously.
One day a week for about 30 minutes, The Boy puts on that magical purple apron and walks around with the manager (while I linger nearby), and they straighten shelves, or fix displays. The Boy tests the various buttons and looks for broken or misplaced items and then puts them where they should be. He takes items without tags to the front and then "helps" make the new tag and "re-shelves" the items. He'll even answer questions and tell people how "cool" this thing is or that thing is.... and people always stop and stare that The Boy is so verbal and forward and unafraid to talk to them. lol
Like I said.... he *is* his Mother's son.
In fact, he's sold people a few of the "Zombie babies" and a few other items.....
It's been a crazy year and a half..... and some pretty shitty things have happened to us..... not the least of which was that I broke *another* crown today.... ugh. why can't *any* of my clients be a dentist??? lol..... but there have been a number of set backs and hard times and even harder emotional times..... and then most of it has been pretty public - which has brought both support and criticism.
However, it's also brought about the opportunity for people -even total strangers - to be kind in ways I never dreamed of..... like The Spirit Store staff. They don't get paid to be nice to my son, but they are kinder to him and have given him so much emotional support - and done it just because they appreciate him.
That's amazing.... truly. fucking. amazing.
So today was "work day" for The Boy and The Girl and they had a BLAST..... then he packed up his "Ouchy The Clown", complete with his own Try Me Button in his box (which at this point, The Boy takes with us *everywhere* we go..... and Ouchy is a clown doll with a knife in his hand that "stabs" up and down and say's creepy little things.... and The Boy LOVES him.
We headed out to go have a quick dinner with El Capitan because he's working all week and won't otherwise see the kids and *of course* we have to drag Ouchy The Clown in with us.
At the end of dinner we are walking out the door and a man at a table stops The Boy to ask him about Ouchy - and The Boy quickly launches into a sales pitch about all his features and demonstrates his Try Me Button. The man is taken aback and smiling and laughing a little... clearly surprised that our son would just stand there and shoot the shit about a stabbing clown doll with a total stranger while El Capitan and I look on proudly.
Then - to ALL our surprise - The Boy say's this gem, "Well, if you want to get one of your own, you should go right now to The Spirit store because I re-stocked the shelves with just one more- JUST. ONE. MORE. - doll today. Do you know where The Spirit Store is?"
Then The Boy proceeded to give the man directions to the nearest store and then followed it up with.... "Ask for my friend XXXXXXX and be sure to tell them I said "hi"."
Crazy..... The Spirit Store has given him such a solid boost of confidence - and that was a gift the staff have given him and nothing I could ever buy.... in fact, it's the best thing to come out of The Spirit Store and it didn't cost me a penny.
So.... if you're out and about this year - and in need of costumes or Halloween decor- *please* consider stopping by your local Spirit Store
, The Boy would really appreciate it! (You can shop online too, but The Boy would tell you that it wouldn't be the same!)
Legal Disclaimer: The Boy IS NOT financially compensated in *any* way for his "shift". Nor I do expect him to be. His actual "shift" is doing what most costumers do - walking around and checking stuff - only instead of knocking displays over, breaking the dolls, pulling off tags and prices or pulling down the lines of costumes - The Boy does the opposite and nicely puts stuff back that people have knocked over.
IT's like shopping in reverse... lol. I stay close at hand. :)