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. :)
Things have been going pretty well.... I mean, we're totally skint right now. lol..... but, in terms of the kids and I settling in with Hail Mary... that is going pretty good.
Hail Mary had signed up to do this dance class in Albany which is a two and a half hour drive from where we live.... only - the class is only Friday nights, so it's more like a 2.5 hour drive if she leaves work REALLY early to beat the traffic.
That's one of my favorite things about Hail Mary - she'll try anything and is game for doing just about anything... so when a teammate wanted to learn ballroom dancing - Hail Mary signed right up.
However, it's also been a bit of a pain because of the distance and the time and the gas.... AND - if El Capitan has the kids that night, then we lose our "date" night for the month.... sigh.
Anyway - this last Friday the class was cancelled and so we got to have Hail Mary home for Friday night - which the kids were pretty excited about.
I have, more or less, handled Hail Mary's relationship with kids just as I handled their relationship with each other. No one has been forced to hug or kiss or love or accept .... *anyone*. It's been organic and a bit natural from the start. When they met her I told them that she was Mommy's girlfriend and that Mommy liked her. That was all.
The took to her instantly, holding her hand to cross the street, or jumping waves together at the beach.... they seemed to warm to Hail Mary and trust her right away - which was perfect and amazing. But I left it at that. I didn't push or encourage anything else.
For the record, all along the road I have made it clear to The Boy that this is NOT a 'one way' street where he just has to 'accept' my choices or the people in our life - and he knows that he can tell me if he's not happy, or if he's unhappy with Hail Mary or even with me..... But, he was the one who infamously told me mid-ass-wipe that he thought that Hail Mary was the "gal" for us.
Seems like he was right.......
So things have been moving along- hugs goodnight and general getting along.... oh - and they also ignore Hail Mary just as much as they ignore me when I'm telling them it's time to go to bed... parenting equality. lol
Friday, however.... the earth shifted and things changed.
We took the kids to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner (buffet and we had a coupon dammit! lol) - and I don't remember what happened.... but The Boy and Hail Mary were joking around and suddenly The Boy leaned over and kissed Hail Mary on the cheek....
Wow. Shocker. lol
I sat watching... oh - because they both fight over who gets to sit next to Hail Mary all the time - so I was sitting on the other side of the booth on my own.... I was surprised as no one had really kissed anyone before and at 8 years old The Boy has been.... a bit distant at times.
But The Boy set into motion the kissing train and The Girl jumped right on board and soon.... I watched as the three of them were planting big kisses on everyone's cheeks dozens of times and laughing and making a game of it.... It just kind of happened.
It was amazing. Amazing and a bit of a break through because now every night both kids are giving us kisses on the cheek and 'one last snuggle' before bed time.... and it really makes me feel like we're that much closer to feeling really whole as a family.
Sunday night The Boy needed to finish his homework and I was making dinner so Hail Mary sat next to him and helped him through it all. Then Monday night The Boy walked up Hail Mary and asked her to sit with him and help him with his homework again.... how cute is that?
Then tonight I was making dinner and I forgot bread, so Hail Mary took the kids and ran to the store. When they came home The Girl was SOB.BING. OMG. Just snot running out of her nose, tears streaming down her face.... crying.
Turns out that Hail Mary was carrying the prettiest vase of PURPLE ROSES. Which, unbeknownst to Hail Mary - Purple Roses are my very favorite flower.... purple being my favorite color and all. However, The Girl was crying because SHE wanted Hail Mary to be buying her flowers too.
The Girl, being only four, doesn't fully understand what having a 'girlfriend' means - so she keeps saying that Hail Mary is 'Mommy's girlfriend' and "my girlfriend, too". lol. It's very cute and sweet and innocent and The Boy laughs hysterically when The Girl say's this... and we all keep trying to explain over and over and over that The Girl can't have Hail Mary as a "girlfriend".... but she refuses to accept this so far.
So tonight she was crying because she wanted her own flowers from Hail Mary.....
And that's kind of amazing.
Kids don't sit you down and say - "hey, I really like you and I like how you treat me and I respect you and love you and want to spend time with you." No.... they cry because you didn't' get them flowers and ask you to help them with their homework and kiss you on the cheek at bedtime..... that's how they tell you.
The Boy is doing well in school.... his teacher adores him. And his work is nothing but "super" and "great job" at the top..... Halloween is here - and we're all happy......
hmm..... I wonder what will happen next? lol
First of all, I wanted to say that I know it's may be kind of weird that I'm writting this to you, having been your teacher and stuff... but we're facebook friends yo'.... and not much is/has been kept secret from you.
Second.... I wanted to say how touched I was when you steadfastly supported me when I came out last year - really..... you never cease to amaze me. Thanks for that.
This is actually so hard for me to write.
I'm pretty sure that I've disappointed you - by not returning to school to teach photography. I know how much you loved the class and I've LOVED LOVED LOVED having you as a student for the last few years... I see so much of who I was at your age: creative, fun, vibrant, a little wild..... you are that and so much more. I really loved teaching those classes and it was incredibly hard for me to accept that I would not be able to return this year.
The thing is.... reality sucks. (BTW - this is a great movie you should see in a few years with Winona Ryder - 'Reality Bites' - just know that Ethan Hawke really wouldn't change in real life.....). Anyhow.... *my* reality sucks a bit - and circumstances require that I get a full time job, which means no more homeschooling for [The Boy] and no ability to continue to teach for me.
It doesn't really matter how I got here - ie. the whole husband leaving me thing.... but looking back it *matters* how I got here and that is what I wanted to write you about.
Life is a wonderful thing.
It's full of rainbows and sunshine and opportunity and dreams - and all of that really is at your feet... truly.
But the thing is..... you have to fight for it.
And .... you have to fight to keep it.
When I was, not that much older than you, I couldn't *wait* to get married.....I had this whole June Cleaver (ok... out of date reference - Leave it To Beaver - it's a show, look it up.) - idea about what I wanted my life to be. I wanted to grow up and get married and have kids who slept in twins beds in the same room. Kids who came running down the stairs for breakfast and ran off to school with a skip in their step.... and a husband who loved me and patted me on the butt as he headed out the front door carrying the lunch I would have lovingly made for him.
Yeah.... I know: I wasn't too smart, huh?
Even though that wasn't how life was turning out for me... I still help onto that dream. It wasn't bad that I held onto that dream - it wasn't bad that I always put my family first - ahead of me, ahead of my needs as a woman and a person..... but, it kind of was.
Let me tell you why.
When I first got married and I got into a car accident and I was awarded some injury money I used *all* that money to pay off a few bills and (mostly) a large bill my husband had from before we were married - over $5,000. Later, when I came into some more money I used $12,000 for the down payment on our home, $15,000 for improving that home, another $5,000 for another debt that belonged to my husband a few other things......
I SHOULD have put some of that money away for a 'rainy day'..... may be I could have put $10,000 away in a separate account for the future.... and may be that future could have been a trip to Europe on our 20th Wedding Anniversary..... or, as the case turned out to be, I could have used that money to help off-set the cost of living on my own with two kids after my husband left.
Instead..... when my husband walked away - he walked away pretty much debt free.... and I walked away with debts and a little bit of savings that I used up in 13 months of COBRA payments to keep my health insurance.
You see.... it was okay to fall in love.
It was good to be so willing as to use every penny I had to pay what I thought were "our" bills and help our family get ahead.... but in the end - when I was putting so much into everyone else, I forgot to keep 'investing' in myself.
Forgetting to 'invest' in myself has now cost me everything..... no more homeschooling for the kids. No more teaching..... and, worst of all - no more being solely a photographer.
It's the only "job" I've really had for going on 18 years now..... but, it doesn't pay so great and I have to find a ways and means to ensure that I can pay rent and buy food and clothes and gas.... and our rainy weather makes working in the winter months very hard and not financially reliable for a single Mom.
Because that studio I had in the house I put the down payment on.... and 'improved'.... that belongs to someone else now.
So, my point to you is this: while I can't be your teacher anymore, there is one last lesson I want you to learn and it is this: DO NOT STOP INVESTING IN YOURSELF.
Fall in love.
Fall head over heels, ass over tea-kettle, mind blowing, heart stopping.... BREATHLESSLY in love.
Fully trust whoever you are with with everything fiber of your being and every ounce of your love.
But.... invest in yourself at the same time.
Make your career plans... and don't drop out in the fourth year of your English Degree so that your husband can go to college for Chemical Engineering.... (because yeah, I did that, too and now I'm 38 with only two-year degree and no way to really "make" any kind of serious money...... sigh.)
So, make your plans and GO TO COLLEGE or a trade school and get a trade you love.... and when you're lucky enough to be doing that trade or job... don't give it up for the betterment of *anyone* else but yourself because life comes at your fast - sometimes it's a heart-attack or a fast car or a landslide or a 22 year old - but something could take away your partner and leave with you nothing if you have put allllll your financial eggs in their basket.
If you think life is hard now at a teenager..... let me tell you sucks major balls to be starting your entire life over at 38..... trust me.
Wait.... the only thing worse than starting over at my age is knowing that the hand that has now been dealt to you means that you have to change your children's life in ways that they don't want changed and you honestly don't know if it's all for the best or not...... but at the end of the day - it doesn't matter: money has to made, rent has to be paid...and two kids need to be in public school so that the former two things can happen.
Yeah.... that's worse.
Invest in yourself. Earn your own money and put some of it aside - may be it's for the world's biggest and baddest 50 year Wedding Anniversary.... or for your kids college or a down payment on a retirement beach house..... or may be, it'll be the money you need for first and last on an apartment you need for you and your two kids when you suddenly find yourself single.
In years past I would have thought that advice to be cynical and wrong.... as though I were "preparing" or planning for the "end" of things.... that certainly doesn't show faith - and I'm *supposed* to have faith and act in that faith.... which is all find and well - but I SHOULD have had faith in myself and invested in both my family and in me.....
So. Don't be like me.
Follow your heart.
Live life by the seat of your pants (within reason, young lady.....)
Be carefree and full of hope.
Be honest and true and have faith in love.....
But invest in yourself.
Invest in an education and a trade.
Invest your savings.
Share.... but don't sacrifice everything you are and everything you have for *any* relationship.
And ..... always love yourself. Know, especially as a woman, that you are more than a pant size - this is true, but I'd be lying if I didn't tell you that it's soooooooo much easier to take off 10 pounds than it is 100 pounds.... just.... invest in yourself.
You have no idea how sad I am not to be there with you this year. It's a huge regret for me. HUGE.
But.... again, this is because I didn't keep 'investing' in myself.... so this is the end result.
You are gorgeous and talented and wonderful..... and a talented little photographer. :) Just do me a favor and when you lose that head of yours and fall in love for reals'....... remember to keep loving yourself enough to keep investing in yourself as much as you are investing in your relationship.
Then your life will be incrediballs.
You deserve nothing less.
So, today a news story is spreading.... and oh shocker: I have something to say about it.
For the record, I'll start by saying that The Bubbie *only* ever uses Barilla pasta: it's her favorite.
In a radio interview the fourth generation "owner" of Barilla pasta, Guido Barilla, answered a question about whether or not he would ever use a gay family in one of his commercials - and he said he would not."I would never do (a commercial) with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don't agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role," Barilla, 55, said in an interview with Radio 24 on Wednesday.
Later he said this gem:"For us the concept of the sacred family remains one of the basic values of the company," he told Italian radio on Wednesday evening. "I would not do it but not out of a lack of respect for homosexuals who have the right to do what they want without bothering others … [but] I don't see things like they do and I think the family that we speak to is a classic family."
Sacred. Family. Values.
Hmm..... I always find this topic interesting. Mostly because I *HAD* sacred family values. I loved my family. I adored my children... and my husband, for that matter. I worked hard, paid our bills... paid *his* personal bills. I loved him and made dinner and made sure every Christmas and Birthday he ever had was *Amaze balls* - and oh..... yeah - *his* value's included the bed of another woman.
Is there a Barilla commercial for that?
Like.... you know- some fat bastard husband and his kids sit down to a meal and his kind (though clearly not "hot" wife) serves them a fine pasta dinner and then said fat bastard hits the bedroom for "dessert" with a hotty? Hmm.... probably not.
I'm also guessing that Barilla commercials don't show hardworking single Dad's sitting down to a pasta dinner *they* made their kids... sans a wife who left him/them for someone else or died in an accident or from cancer or some other horrible disease.... yeah - obviously single Dad's don't have family values.
And clearly when it comes to families with two Dad's or two Mom's.... well - *those* people clearly don't have any kind of family values.... right?
I mean - for *most* (not all) male/female couples they have sex and boom - get a baby!
Done. (most... not all people... don't freak the fuck out on me.)
For same sex couples they have to find sperm or an egg donor or a surrogate.... they have to pay thousands and *thousands* of dollars just to TRY to get pregnant... and anyone who has done infertility treatments know that I say *TRY* to get pregnant because the success rate for you banging your wife and knockin her up is waaaaaaaaay higher than two woman armed with baby dreams and a turkey baster of donated sperm.
But you know, it goes without saying that gay people are all sexual deviants who lack a moral compass and family values... unlike their 'traditional family' counterparts. Right?
Classic family...... Mr. Barilla, are you serious? How many *classic* families do you know, exactly?
So, I can *safely* assume that EVERYONE in the Barilla family empire is still married to their FIRST spouse, has never cheated or been left or remarried... but they ALL live in a "classic family" as you defined it?
Somehow.... I doubt that.
Now. Aside from the *extremely* offensive assumption that simply because I live with a woman, who lovingly and committedly co-parents the children, *we* do live in a "classic family" that has "value".... so. fucking. offensive.. let's be honest and make the point that Mr. Barilla is *NOT* telling gay people not to eat his pasta - he simply suggested that they were free to eat other pasta if they didn't like what he had to say... and he's right.
And they will.
But... not only the deviant "they" - but their families and allies who love them and support the right and belief that all love is equal and that *ALL* families have value.... those *they* might also choose not to purchase your Barilla pasta.
So, you might be saying to yourself... "Big deal... a few queers don't sit down to spaghetti. Whatever."But. It could be a big deal for you and for the people who rely on your for a living....Mr. Barilla, it's clear that you have lived a privileged life. One of fine suits and higher education and nice cars..... what a blessing. In that education, someone should have shared with you the importance of keeping your fucking mouth shut. Let me tell you why.
YOU are not me.
YOU are not God.
YOU do not get to judge me, or people like me..... and tell me - nay - tell my CHILDREN that we do not live in a "classic family" that has "value" simply because a woman occupies the man's seat at my dinner table.
Perhaps you are threatened by this.....? Well, you probably should be, Hail Mary is a better 'man' than most I have met. just sayin'.....
I wish, however, that you could walk a day in my shoes.... you could see that my own definition for what a "classic family" was has changed so much in the last year.... and not because I ever wanted it too.
As a young girl, I knew that I liked girls, and that I most certainly liked them more than I liked boys... but, much like you, I thought that a "family" was defined by a Mom and a Dad and some number of cute, curly topped kid-lets - who I would love cleaning up after, cooking for and raising.... and there we would be: happy, content, whole.
But that didn't happen.
Like millions of families around the globe, mine was rocked by infidelity and unspoken unhappiness... and my "classic family" was taken away from me - but more importantly, it was taken away from my children. Working *hard* to re-define us as a "family" that now lived in two houses and doing it in a manner that helped my kids heal and become whole, happy beings in spite of the brokenness around them was no small task.
Then I had to heal myself. I had to think about my own future and that of my children and any future partners.... and thankfully, I decided that I had tried it the worlds way, the regilgous way - YOUR WAY - that whole 'classic family' thing.... but now I needed to follow my instincts: I had to accept who I was. A lesbian.
Then I had to redefine family a third time.... and in my case: that's all me - a woman playing the fundamental role of my family.
Isn't that what you wanted to show people in your commercial?
You can see why I'm so confused.
You see, Mr. Barilla, our family is now one family living in two houses with four people who co-parent two children - three are women and one is a man.... I'm more worried about making sure it's a whole, happy, communicative family. I'll settle for that over "classic" any day....
You absolutely have the right to have your "classic" opinions about families and gay people and how you even said they should be allowed to adopt children.... but you should know that your opinions are just that: yours.
You don't get to define me.
You don't get the power to define my family.
And you're right..... gay people CAN choose not to eat your pasta, sadly you seem to be under the impression and your opinions and permission were required in the first place: they were not.
The good news for me is that at Wal-Mart your Barilla pats is $1.28 per box. I can get the same weight and shape pasta in the Wal-Mart brand for $.88.... so I haven't been 'rich enough' to buy your pasta for some time now... and thank fuck for that. So, no need for me "boycott" buying it.
Hey.... look at that: poverty has it's benefits.
In response to the blog comment below:
Everyone *is* allowed to have their own *PERSONAL/RELIGIOUS* beliefs.... however, when you are selling a product to EVERYONE... it's wise to keep your judgmental, offensive opinions to yourself. Or... like certainly bakeries, you might find yourself closing your doors due to a lack of customers.
You're *exactly* right - however... when Mr. Barilla INSISTS that a "classic family" is a Mom and a Dad - and that THAT is the only "demonstration" of family values.... is he not forcing his opinion on me?
I believe it is. Sorry - but it is.
Sigh. This is a blog. You can read it.... or not. I'm not selling you anything. I'm not profiting. THIS is a place for opinion.... :)http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/26/pasta-firm-barilla-boycott-gayhttp://www.forbes.com/global/2002/1125/036.html
We seem to talk about love so much in our society - we promise to ourselves and our children and our spouses... but we never really define it - especially for our children... and sometimes I think it just becomes a complicated obligation. An empty obligation.
When I was pregnant with The Girl, people would often say, "You're going to love your new baby sister, aren't you?" And that would almost always piss me off....
What if The Boy DOESN'T like his brand newattentinhoggingbundleofjoy?
What if The Boy was jealous of The Girl?
What if The Boy hated the crying and the smell of poopy diapers.....?
What if The Boy was aware of how much time his new baby sister would take away from him?
Isn't he *allowed* to have those emotions?
Isn't he *allowed* to process that?
Why should I shove "love" down his throat and tell him over and over and over.... "This is going to be your baby sister and you're going to love her and love and blah blah blah......"
When I was pregnant, and partially because we had lost a few pregnancies before The Girl held on, we didn't talk that much about what was happening.... sure, The Boy knew we were having a baby - but we kept it to that and nothing more.
I never *TOLD* him he was going to love anyone....
I never forced his four year old hands to awkwardly try to hang on to a slippery newborn swaddled in a blanket too big and too bulky for his arms while I looked on adoringly and he looked around the room with eyes begging for someone to take this wiggly thing out of his arms.
The Girl arrived while El Capitan was at preschool with The Boy - having a normal day - and they came and met her and then they went home and had the rest of a normal day. The Bubbie stayed with me for the most part because I was sick and totally out of it. lol
They came back each day and when The Boy asked to hold the baby: he did.
When his little heart and mind had processed events to the point where emotional curiosity had a normal place - *that* is when he wanted to hold her.
I have never told my children they have to love each other..... because here is where I think we go wrong - we tell our kids - 'This is your sister and you HAVE to love her...' - but what happens if your son grows up and thinks your daughter is too loud, too annoying, too... whatever- and while he feels obligated to LOVE her which prompts a lifetime of *saying* the right things - buying holiday and birthday gifts, attending weddings, etc.... but you didn't teach him to LIKE or APPRECIATE his sister.... then where are you?
I have told The Boy from the time that the two of them could start 'arguing' over toys - that *IF* he so chooses, his baby sister could be is best friend for his whole life. That if he treated her with respect, she would grow up to always be there for him. That if he laughed with her and spent his time making *her* laugh instead of arguing over toys and whatever.... that he would have someone who would do anything for him, go everywhere with him, always support him..... because at the end of the day: THAT is what love is.
It's not some obligatory sentence that loses it's value and meaning and validity over time.
I'm not a perfect parent... fuck, it's goes without saying that I might not even be a good parent in many people's books - I'm divorced and now I'm gay.... lol it's the corner where broken and deviant meet for some people... hahah. Seriously though - there are so many things I wish I had time and money for.... so I could be that 'pintrest' Mom who bakes cookies from scratch and not from a box with fat dough boy on the front.
But, I'm pretty sure I got that right because The Boy *adores* The Girl and they are so close that the counselor actually advised against moving them into separate rooms just yet.
But that's who THEY ARE. It's not who I forced them to be. I never made anyone promise to love anyone because guess what.... love fades. It takes one different shapes and meanings and sometimes.... it just goes away.
I think they know the 'going away' part all too well....
When El Capitan left I didn't tell the kids they still had to "love" their Dad.... when they were angry and crying and bitter and questioning - I affirmed their anger and their feelings and told them that all they really needed to do was leave the door open for things to change.... for their Dad to make better decisions and be different one day.....
Lately The Boy has been really struggling with his behavior.... he's angry and quick to yell or scream and in the heat of the tantrum my instinct is to punish the behavior, but the *reality* is that The Boy is suffering... because things with El Capitan and him have been a bit rocky lately.
More than a bit rocky.
And may be that's where we go wrong as parents.... because we *promise* these little tiny being that we will love them forever... love, kiss and snuggle and cuddle.... love them. Which is easy to do when they sleep 14 hours a day or are toddling around the house with fat chubby hands that pick up everything they can and put it in their mouth.....
It's less easy to do, it seems, when our children are pre-tween and going through *a lot* of changes and they are angry and resentful and exposed to someone who flips off other drivers when they "do something wrong" - see.... that's the thing. Our kids are watching.
When they see their Dad flipping some guy the bird because he cut him off, or didn't go fast enough or whatever.... they only know that the other guy did something 'wrong' and that is the response: flipping someone off.
So, is it not entirely acceptable to a child's mind that when THEY feel they see their Dad do something 'wrong'.... that they ALSO want to 'flip him the bird' with their temper and their tantrum and their words?
At least I think it's acceptable..... understandable at the least.
So that's how things have been around here.... The Boy giving us the collective finger from time to time (every day, mind you) because he's angry and upset that things have been done wrong... and he's right and justified and valid in feeling that way.
So now when he get's like this.... I don't match his raised voice with mine.
I don't get into the dirt and scream back in elevated anger to gain control... because we all know that gains nothing and most certainly not control.
Instead. I hug him. I wrap my arms around his angry body and remind him that I love him.
That it's okay that he's angry and upset and pissed off..... and I love him angry. I love him sad. Because I love him all the time... and after a very rough weekend away - he's finally settling down. He's finally turning his own anger knob down just a touch and finding a way to talk to me and deal with things a bit better.....
And I'm glad.
Because I don't want to just "love" my son.... I want to make sure that I raise him to be someone that I *LIKE* - and someone that other people like.... someone who deals with problems and issue's without flipping the world the bird.... all the time, every time.
I never knew, when I had The Boy, just how much I could love him.... and I certainly didn't know that being a parent would redefine that love into a thousand different forms.....
So. Hail Mary.
A few of you have asked via email or facebook - you want to know more.... but, to be honest, I've been afraid to write about her, about *us* because it really does seem like as soon as I put something down on paper - as soon as I'm excited and I let go of being anxious or worried - well.... it goes away.
For instance, Hail Mary drives a little *too* fast for me. She never does it if the kids are in the car with us, but I tend to think that she drives a little to fast (please read: like a fucking bat out of hell) if it's just us in the car. So this driving issue came up over the weekend and it reminded me of the one (and only) ticket I've ever gotten in my life.
I was approaching a stop light and an officer was turning left onto my road and said he "clocked" me going 40 in a 25.... I called bullshit on that because I was less than 20 yards from the light and not at all stopping "fast" but coming to a normal stop. I felt that he had clocked on-coming traffic to him as he turned (it's a 35 mile and hour road) and then ticketed me. He failed to see it my way and wrote me a ticket.
Armed with hours of research on how the radar guns work and glossy pictures of the intersection from all directions.... the Judge wouldn't eve *hear* me because it turned out that that Sheriff who wrote my ticket was "out of jurisdiction" for his department and the Judge ripped up my ticket.
Then I noticed that the Judge was the very same Judge who had married El Capitan and myself. I went home and wrote him a note with a picture of us then (so *Very* thin and good looking) and a picture of our family at the time - I told him how we had been married ten years and how happy I was... blah blah blah.
A month later.... El Capitan was gone.
Needless to say, it's been a life-long thing - this whole 'writing things down and they go away' deal.... so I tend to err on the side of cautious cynicism with a dash of hope and a side dish of positivity. That said, I'm careful about letting my happiness let it's 'freak flag fly'.... just in case it actually just fly's away......
A while ago I wrote about how I would 'whisper' to The Boy and The Girl at night while they were sleeping - how much I love them, how wonderful, amazing, happy they are... etc. However, as The Boy rounds the corner to those 'tween years, it started feeling a bit weird to be whispering in their ears each night, so I started writing messages to them on the bathroom mirror so that their day starts by looking at their own reflection and reading positive words about themselves or the day they are going to have. And in the top corner I write a wee note to Hail Mary as well.
I know... I'm kind of lame. lol
Two nights ago, after getting everyone off to bed, the dishes done, etc.... I came into the bathroom to find my *own* note that Hail Mary had written to me..... and as usual Hail Mary was 'handsomely rewarded' for being awesome... lol :)
It's crazy to get to spend so much time with someone who makes me laugh, cooks me ramen when I'm too sick to get up, wipes butt's when needed (not mine, thank you.... ), folds laundry - and traps - and *de-heads* the giant rat that had taken up residence in the garage. No - I'm seriously - it was the size of a motherfucking cat - and black.... and gross. So Hail Mary place a rat trap and it ate the food and got away, so Hail Mary re-did the trap and *this* time caught the damn thing only.... she had PICKED UP THE TRAP thinking it was empty because it was closed and nothing was sticking out of it - only to pop it open and see a head inside... gag. vomit. scream. run.... all things *I* did while Hail Mary was strutting around the garage going "Yeah- nailed it!" and was proud. (that's a butch girl thing.... they kill spiders, de-head rats..... gross).
It's also football season.... Hail Mary loves *all* things football..... and this week we had made plans to take the kids to the park to play and Hail Mary was going to help me practice my softball skills when a friend of Hail Mary's called to invite her out to watch that nights game at a bar.
*Before* me and my brood moved in... Hail Mary was a regular at a few local places that show football games and would have never thought twice about heading out the door to meet a friend to watch a game.... so when Hail Mary called to tell me that her friend had called her.... at first I was kind of annoyed.
Well, ok... *more* than kind of.
Carving out 'family' time - and even 'alone time' gets harder and harder because Hail Mary works full time, I'm working nearly full time hours and all weekend *every* weekend, the kids are with El Capitan *less* because he's working and they can't just 'go to Bubbie's' because they live kind of far away now.... so it's complicated and busy and whatnot.... so I was allll kinds of butt hurt at the idea that Hail Mary would bail and go watch a game instead of go to the park.
At the same time.... I know that Hail Mary has given up a month of Sunday's of game watching and doesn't spend *nearly* the time with her friends that she used to... and that can be bad for a relationship. You don't want either person giving up their outside world for the other person.... so I *was* butt hurt, but I said, "Ok... that's fine- we can just go to the park tomorrow night."
And I meant it - it *was* fine.
But in my head I was bummed because I don't feel like I get to see her as much as I want to - doing fun things that aren't making dinner and doing dishes and folding laundry and stuff....
Hail Mary however.... and I *SWEAR* this is true said...... "No, I already told her no because we were taking the kids to park."
"Yeah, but we can just go tomorrow....." I argued.
"No, we can't," Hail Mary replied, "because in ten years I'm not going to remember what bar I went to or what game I watched - but the kids are going to remember the time that *we* were supposed to take them to the park and instead I chose to go out with a friend to watch football.... and I don't want them to remember that. I want them to remember all the times we took them to the park and threw the softball and played on the swings and whatever."
And I swear I almost crashed my car because in that very instant I fell in love with her alllll over again *AND* because I had only been thinking of me - how much I miss her, how much *I* wanted to spend time with her... and SHE was thinking about The Boy and The Girl and how she didn't want to let them down....
I'm not sure how we got so lucky... I'm really not, but we are... and I am....
and I'm just so fucking grateful.
And then two nights later I came upstairs to find that message on the bathroom mirror.
May be everyone finds love like this..... I don't know. I never found anything like this with a man.... may be it's because Hail Mary is my 'person' and 'completes' me... may be it's the way all lesbians are (that's possible) - or may be I just never knew love until I could love and accept myself.... I'll never know the answer.
So I just settle for being grateful.... so. very. grateful.
First let me start by saying that I *love* *love* LOVE my friends.
They are wonderful, kind, generous people who have held my hand, wiped my tears and stood by me when I went the way of rainbows and unicorns and girl bits..... Needless to say: they are awesome.
Recently there was a popular blog going around about a woman shopping at a Whole Foods and not generally feeling "hippie" or "cool" enough to be there and how her 'bill' at the end was over $300.... which she sheepishly paid. I read it. It was super funny..... however, I actually thought to myself, "holy crap - she actually went *in* there... .I feel all those things just watching my facebook feed these days.
I'm too broke to even walk in the doors.... I already know I can't afford it.
All day long on facebook - recipes using these 'organic products'.
Scary movies about 'where our meat comes from'..... which pretty much will have you willing to eat your own feces before you settle down to another chuck meat burger.
Lots of ideas for 'cute kids' meals so that you can puree veggie's (in the blender I obviously own) and secretly add it to meals to get kids to eat their veggies.
I would love to feed my kids organic foods.
I would love to set some kind of awesome social standard for them by only dressing them in pure cotton clothes free from 'harmful' dyes.
I would love to have them eat and drink from cups and plates which are BPA free... or whatever the hell it is I'm supposed to be worried about now... but I'm betting *most* of the ones I bought at the dollar store are loaded with chemicals.
Here's the deal..... fuck 'Whole Foods'.... I'm trying to figure out how to buy *any* foods.... seriously.
I saw at a local Farmer's Market that they accepted Food Stamps... which is *super* cool, however, what the government thinks you can feed a family of 3 on ($230 a month) DOES NOT go very far at a Farmer's Market of any kind....
I buy produce at Wal-Mart.
We eat almost allllll Wal-Mart brand foods that *used* to come in plain white boxes with blue writing, but as of late - they have spruced their look up with color pictures on the label for the Pasta Sauce.... taste's the same, still costs me less than $1.50... so they could put whatever the hell they want on the front, as long as they don't raise the price.
See.... that's the world we live in.
One and a half pounds of meat: $7.00
Two jars Pastsa Sauce: $2.56
Two boxes pasta: $1.66
Total dinner, lunch & dinner leftovers: $11.22
Which if I can get three meals for three people out of it - it means that I'm spending $1.24 per person, per meal. Yeah.... THAT is what feeding yourself on a serious budget looks like.
It's not organic. It didn't come from a fancy store with a vitamin section that is four aisles wide.... instead you can choose from lawn mowers to DVD's to guns.... there's nothing 'hippie' or cool or .... enlightened about shopping at Wal-Mart and I can sure as shit promise you that if *anyone* is 'namaste' to you, it's some kind accident and they were probably trying to say... 'You're nasty" and you should move your cart away as fast as possible. Sometimes The People of Wal-Mart are a little crazy...... just sayin'.
Wal-Mart isn't about 'cool'.... so much as it's just about being real.
This is how much money I have - and in *this* store, I can afford to buy food to make dinner, instead of drive thru McDonald's...which to be honest, is actually waaaaay too expensive for us these days. A meal for three at McD's is around $17.00.... but if you go to Arby's you can get the $1 Roast Beef and $2 curly fries and suddenly you're eating like fucking *kings* for $11.00.
Yeah.... that's how we roll... right thru the Arby's.
Sometimes, it all starts to wear me down.... the facebookness of it all.... sometimes my feed is nothing more than an hourly reminder of the things I don't have time to do, the things I can't afford ......
"I ran 3.4 miles with Nike....." - hmm.... I didn't. I have a kid at home who can't keep up... wait - scratch that- who probably already runs faster than me and *I* couldn't keep up... plus I have to try to work to make money.
"I picked these heritage tomatoes from my garden....." - rad. I couldn't afford the raised beds, soil, seeds and I'm already showering the kids at the same time to save on water.... so throwing it around on the grass in the hope that something grows seems like a bad plan.
"This is the healthy 0 calorie, 0 fat, corn fed, hand fed, hand raised, breast-fed chicken dinner that I spent hours lovingly making for my family......" - awesome. I'm hoping that the Foster Farms Chickens ads *aren't* lying... because even then I can only afford them the day they "expire" in the meat aisle.
The truth is... there are *NOT* a shit ton of 'social services' for me to 'take advantage of'. I *DO* work.... but I need to work more... but who watches my kid? The cost of day care is more than I would make, at least until she's in full time school.... so what can I do?
Child support is great.... but there's rent and a car payment and a cell-phone and car insurance... and school clothes and some kind of social outing.... we've already taken skateboarding class and dance classes totally off the table..... so - organic grapes?
I would love to shop there... I would love *nothing more* than to get to the end of loading my cart with a zillion healthy foods and snacks and organic this and gluten-free that.... and swipe my debit card and PAY $300 for it all....
I would love it.
The truth is.... I fill my cart with $100 worth of food at Wal-Mart (probably worth more than $300 at Whole Foods... lolol) and I secretly cross myself and do a 'please-let-it-be-approved' dance which I hope the cashier doesn't notice when I swipe my card.
I stand there awkwardly shifting my weight from one foot to the other because I actually *don't know* if the card is going to go through..... or if I'll be that Mom with two kids asking for bags of M&M's and trying to figure out which items I'm putting back until the card *does* go through.
Nobody posts that shit on facebook. lol
I'm not ashamed. I'm not thrilled.... and it's troubling and depressing to be 38 years old and gearing up for another "Goodwill" Christmas because money is already tighter than a whore's garter in Church..... and other than work harder, save pennies where I can.... I can't *do* anything else. I'm already trolling Craigslist for certain used toys so that I can start getting stuff before other people start looking.... and then there's selling stuff I have just to have extra money, too.
I have a job skill and an education.
I don't have a drug or alcohol problem.
I *had* a savings... but I spent is all on making the COBRA payments to keep my health insurance.
I didn't get "here" because I made a lot of bad choices..... I'm here because someone else made one choice.
When I had extra money.... I paid off my husbands University bill.
When I had more extra money...I paid off my husbands tax bill.
I was a good wife.
I quit school to raise a family so my husband could focus on his career.... for all our benefit.
I did what I was supposed to do.
I learned the *hard* way... that that *wasn't* what I should have done.
The truth is.... as hard as it is - there are single Mom's out there who have it worse.... who are homeless and living solely on food stamps and meager assistance.... shit... there are *families* out there who have it worse.... so I'm grateful.
I can't buy The Girl the cute outfits I used to get her at Nartje.... but she *does* have clothes and they are cute and clean. I'm grateful.
I am grateful.
At the same time, though..... there are days I look at my friends lives and their facebook updates and I feel like half the parent I *should* be - because when it comes right down to it.... there's no way I can afford to do half the things they do..... perhaps not even a quarter.
Hail Mary and I were talking the other day and the biggest lesson I've learned is that I should have put half my money away .... I should have used half my money for the husband I had and family stuff... and put the other half away for 'the future'.... which could have been a trip to Europe in our 70s.... or, grocery money when the "he" left ..... That would have been smart. lol
Hindsight.... she's a bitch.
NOTE: I am still sick.
Aside from that - I was SUPER DUPER excited to get my mail and find a BRAND NEW TO ME TOM TOM!!!!!
One of you wonderful, lovely, kind people who goes by 'Emma' - sent me her Tom Tom.
Really. Just.... sent it to me. With this hilarious crazy-cat-lady card and all.
Actually I'm not sure which I liked more - the card or the Tom Tom. lol
I was *stunned* to find out that this version is actually newer than the one I had! AND..... drum. Roll. PLEASE:
Emma and her super sweet hubby downloaded the SNOOP DOGG VOICE!!!!
As if just sending me their Tom Tom wasn't *more* than kind... *more* than enough.... they went the extra mile and made me whole..... (insert jokes here as you see fit.)
I got it on the way to pick up The Boy from school and I turned it on for the drive home and suddenly they were screaming from the backseat: "MOM!!!! THATS SNOOP DOGG!!!!!"
And then The Boy noticed that Snoop say's things like.... "in 50 meters turn right......" because *this* Tom Tom actually came from another country - so he talks about meters and motorways instead of yards and freeways. The Boy was fascinated by this.
I'm still feeling horrible..... I can't seem to get this head cold under control.... soooo annoying. However, I'm so touched and humbled and *GRATEFUL* by this uber kind gesture. Really.
THANK YOU A THOUSAND TIMES EMMA.
There is just so much that I have learned in the last year and a half.... about myself, about my family and about the world we live in..... and while yes, some people such and break your heart and break into your car and steal your stuff... there are people made of rainbows and sunshine and good things who will *do* good things to help make up for and heal the damage done by others.
That's more than just kind of awesome.
In the mean time..... life is moving on - there's laundry to do and bathrooms to clean and dinners to make... I know - I said that all before - but *Seriously* it's like coming back to the hum-drum 'Mom jobs' after a year or so of The Bubbie doing them for us... lol. It's her house and she does things her way and I was always chasing my tail and running here and running there - and everything..... and The Bubbie doesn't like to *wait* for me to do the laundry when I have time: she just does it.
So she did it... she did almost all of it - and I started to realize that perhaps this 'vacation' wasn't such a great thing because I kind of *like* taking care of my family and my kids and nesting and making a home and such.... I really like it actually.
Hail Mary.... well, she's putting up with it because now her 'Pirate bathroom' complete with black shower curtain has been turned into a "ship/nautical/pirate" theme with shells that The Girl and I laid out just so on the counter and a navy and white shower curtain with tall ships on it with navy and white towels to match.... and one *very large* pirate ceramic head on the shelf to top it all off. lol
Also.... Hail Mary takes great exception to my Twilight bed set..... ok - now don't all panic at once: it's not an *actual* Edward head or anything..... it's not One Direction bedding, dammit. But,it *IS* the actual same bedding that they used in the movie for Bella's bed. Charlie buys it for her and it's on her bed when she first arrives and they used it all the way until Break Dawn.
It's purple with these kind of pretty leaf pattern in a velvet over the top... purple being my favorite color and Twlight being my favorite movie.... I spent a good bit of time hunting this down online to own it. The Bubbie and Papa bought it for me for Christmas last year and I left it in it's pretty bag until I was out on my own.... so in spite of Hail Mary's objections to purple -I go to sleep under my Bella bedding.
It *almost* looks like at least one girl lives here.....