Less Than Ideal

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook this morning, and I found it moving.  I tried doing a search to give credit where it was due, but came up with nothing.  So, to whomever wrote this – Thank you.  I think it’s important we all think about this.

To all the moms who experienced heartbreak and disappointment yesterday (and judging by Facebook posts this morning, there are a lot of you), you aren’t alone…

For all of my friends who had a shitty day yesterday: I’m sorry. I’m sorry if the one thing you asked for wasn’t brought home or wasn’t done. I’m sorry if you still didn’t get to sleep in. I’m sorry if it was business as usual. I’m sorry if you didn’t get a break from the cooking, the dishes, the laundry, the diapers, or the kids. I’m sorry if you saw other children or spouses celebrate and honor their mothers and wives but you heard no trace of appreciation yourself.

I’m sorry if you were reminded once again that your mother isn’t a person you want in your life, or she doesn’t want you in hers. I’m sorry if that relationship is crumbling and you don’t know how to fix it. I’m sorry if she is gone and you miss her. I’m sorry if the last words were filled with anger. I’m sorry if you won’t ever get to say you’re sorry, or you’re forgiven. I’m sorry if people don’t get why you don’t want her around, and pressure you to forgive without trying to understand why you won’t. Or can’t.

I’m sorry if today was a reminder that nothing will ever change. I’m sorry if on one of only two days in a year that are all about you, it still wasn’t about you at all. I’m sorry if some asshole told you that you have nothing to complain about.

I’m sorry if your heart aches for a baby that never was, for a baby that is but isn’t around, for a baby that was but is no more. I’m sorry if this is one more year of no positive pregnancy tests. I’m sorry if this was the year you were supposed to be a mom, or a mom again, but a loss happened instead. I’m sorry if instead of having a birthday party, you had a burial. I’m sorry if you know this will never happen for you.

I’m sorry if people think you have to be a mother to be a complete woman. You don’t, and you are perfectly awesome as a childfree person.

I’m sorry if your partner’s child or children don’t recognize you on this day, and only recognize their birth mother.

Your day should have been better. You deserve to be acknowledged. You deserve some grand gesture of appreciation, at least a small gesture. A dollar store card even.

You are allowed to complain, to whine, to be angry and to cry. You are allowed to be upset when yet another friend announces a pregnancy. You are allowed to be sad over all the happy posts.

You are needed, you are valued, you are amazing, and you are allowed to have moments or days of selfishness. You may have signed up for this, you may have not, but you still might need a break and that’s okay.

Happy you day, wherever you are in the journey of life.

We Have a Place!

That’s right – in under a week, Mr. C and I have secured a place for the both of us, his son, and our three dogs to rent.  Yay!

It was the dogs which made me the most anxious.  After looking at the ads posted for houses Mr. C was finding, so few of them wanted large dogs.  I spoke with one landlady who explained in great detail why she didn’t want large dogs – thousands of dollars worth of damage was done to one of her “units” so she was unwilling to allow large dogs ever again.  I get it, but that makes our life much more difficult.

And then I overheard Mr. C’s conversation with Julie.  She loved the fact that we were willing to do whatever we had to in order to find a home which allowed us to keep our dogs.  She sounded like a good person.  She made arrangements so we could go out to see her house two days later.  I had a good feeling about her then.

We continued looking because that’s what you do, right?

On the day that we checked out her home, we were in love with most of it.  It was obviously still being worked on, but… well, it just had a lot of character.  I mean, it had a regular stove and all, but it also had something like this:

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The back yard is GINORMOUS!  Mr. C talked about getting a cow and/or goat.  I told him that if he knew how to take care of them, they were up to him.  I have no knowledge or experience with farm critters.  (The tenant before us had a pig.)

There is also a pond.  Prince would LOVE to swim in the pond!  We’re going to have to figure out how to know when he’s swimming so we can dry him off before he comes back in the house (built in doggy door).

Appliances will stay there, there’s a cute little writer’s loft, and there’s some great storage space which the Mormon in me loved.  Not to mention lots of space to store all of our crap while we build our credit so we can buy a home.  It was perfect!

Except that it’s in BFE.  But, that’s okay.  We’ll make it work.  The worst part about that is that it’ll give me fewer options for a job (rent is higher than we’re used to, so I have to contribute) or it’ll be a commute for me – blech!

On the way home, we checked out a number of other homes.  Compared to Julie’s home, they all looked like cookie-cutter homes.  No character!

Here we are, two days later, setting up a time with Julie when we can pick up the keys.  Yay!!!

I’m so relieved!  Now, the question mark lingering over my head about where we’re going to live has gone away.  Phew!

Now the only stress is whether or not I’ll be able to get everything packed up in time.

One Step at a Time

I used to be in a 12-step program (no, not that one.  Nope – not that one either).  I am (was?) a co-dependent.  I used to go to learn how to deal with my addict.  Since leaving my addict, I haven’t felt the need to go back.

Until yesterday.  With all that is happening in my life, I found myself easily overwhelmed and ready to cry at the drop of a hat (not my MO).

I took a step back to take a breath, remembering what my sponsor used to tell me.  “Is there anything you can do about this right now?  If not, worrying about it won’t help.  If there is something you can do, do it.”

Yesterday, there was absolutely nothing I could do about the situation.  Nothing.  So, stressing about it only ruined yesterday.  Or, I could let it go and be in the moment.  Enjoy the moment for what it was.  So, I did just that.

Yesterday, my mother, sister, and I celebrated Mother’s 20 year divorce from my dad.  I know, it sounds weird, but we wished she’d have divorced him sooner than that!  We had a great time – build your own taco salad bar, cake, horchata, and ogling handsome men.  We laughed and teased each other (okay, okay – I teased my kid sister).  It was quite the evening!

Today, I’m back home and there is stuff I can do.  I can pack.  I can look for a new home.  My first steps – shower, go buy moving stuff (boxes, bubble wrap, tape), start packing.  Mr. C has taken charge of the initial home search (which I appreciate a lot!)  Today, instead of being stuck in “what are we going to do?!” we’re moving forward with what we can do.  It feels much better.

Will worrying or being angry about it make any difference?  Sure it will – it will make my tasks harder and less pleasant.  It can take away the small joys I might otherwise find in my day.

Just for today, I will live in the moment and do the proactive things I can.  And I will do it with 80s music blaring in the background.  I’m shutting off Mr. C’s calming music!

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An Unexpected New Chapter

So… something happened the other day which came completely out of the blue.

Due to nothing we did or didn’t do, Mr. C and I are losing our home.

Our landlord suddenly decided (Mr. C has been living in that house for 10 years) that he wants to live in that home.  He gave us until the end of the month to find a new place, pack up, and move everything.

Yikes!

Needless to say that our house is full of stress.  Where will we live?  Who’s going to have a home for rent that will fit all of our needs?  How will we be able to pay for rent (due to Mr. C’s mini-him, we were kinda rent-controlled)?  Will I have to get a job?  Will we be able to get everything packed up in time?

The biggest problem is the time frame.  We have to come up with first month and last month’s rent in addition to moving expenses.  We’re all caught up on our bills, but we don’t really have any money saved up.  With the upcoming paychecks, it’s going to be extremely tight, if not impossible.

I think the thing which makes me the angriest is that the landlord really could have given us more notice.  Mr. C has been in that home for 10 years.  You’d think that would be worth at least a full 30 days.  That would have made things so much easier (we’d be able to work with two paychecks instead of one).

We heard through the grapevine that this is all because of the death of our landlord’s mother.  After she died, he went off the deep-end, severed all business relationships, walked away from friends, etc.

It just sucks that we have to be put through this because of his grief.

I’m trying to see the positive in this.

While I liked living in that home, there were some problems with with the house itself.  The first of which was the fact that it was Mr. C’s house with his ex-girlfriend.  Now that we are being forced into a new home, I will be there to help choose the house.  It will be our home without her ghosts lingering.

Another thing is that it kind of un-tethered us.  With some other factors that recently happened, we can now live anywhere we want.  We were sort of forced to live in that home, but now that we’re being forced out, our options opened up immensely.

While we had done some work in the garden, we hadn’t planted any seeds, so at least there’s that, right?

And, I never fully unpacked from my last move, so there’s not as much boxing up as there was last time.  Phew!

I’m trying really hard to be positive about this.  Focus on the positive, right?

Bald Men

I just saw a study which says that science confirms bald men are perceived as more successful, intelligent, and masculine.

Huh.

I guess it depends on the women they studied.  Sitting here, I can’t imagine I would give them the same results, but who knows.

I mean, all of Mr. C’s pictures on his dating profile sported a bald head.  And yet, I’ve found that I enjoy his hair a lot more than his bald head.

Guess which of these I find the most masculine/attractive?

Of course, there are those who are just adorable bald (notice, I didn’t say masculine or powerful.)

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And there are those who need to embrace their baldness.

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At the end of the day, I think salt and pepper hair is so much sexier!  (I think this goes back to me being officially old.)

Of course, my favorite is a head full of white hair.  Yummy!

Which leads to the ultimate man (not bald, yet masculine, successful and presumably intelligent):

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I can’t figure out why Mr. C keeps accusing me of fattening him up!

The Great Wall

I recently saw the movie “The Great Wall” and  I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m not sure how it did with the critics, but I never did pay much attention to them.  Plus, I love action movies and Matt Damon can do no wrong, in my book.hero_Great-Wall-2017In the story, a very sheltered young woman asked about the greed of the outside world (it makes sense in the movie).  The response was, “The strong take what they want.”

I immediately disagreed with it.  I  mentioned it to my mom, and she said that it may have been like that back then.

While it may have been like that, but I don’t think it’s like that any more.

Let’s take a look at “The Strong.”

Russel Wilson is a local sports athlete (look at me, knowing sportsball and stuff!)  He is physically strong.  Sure, he’s not the strongest man out there, but he is strong.  Is he walking around, taking what he wants?  Nope.  I’m sure his money allows him to buy most of what he wants, but he’s not using his strength to take it by force.  Not only that, but… Well, this:554f76be08230483ddc407471ce9b9e1ba74e48b02b79f8825def477612ed2e2_large

This strong man uses his fame to make the lives of sick children happier, if only for a moment.  He could sit back and rest on his laurels, but instead he takes time to brighten sick kiddos days.  And from the pictures (there are plenty of them!) he seems to be very comfortable and personable with these children.  Instead of taking, he’s giving.  I LOVE that!

I always think of Vin Diesel as a strong man – have you seen the muscles on that man?  I haven’t seen him take from others.  In fact, I’ve heard that even before he had kids of his own, he loved small children, holding them when he could.Vin-Diesel-The-Pacifier

 

It’s no secret that I think Obama is the greatest president we’ve ever had (at least in my lifetime).  He was the strongest man in the country.  He rarely took time for himself and his family.  He worked tirelessly for our country and the people who needed him.  He became president not to take, but to give.obama-kids

And what’s sexier than a strong man who’s willing to be seen crying?  What a great example he’s giving to the youth of the country!obama-tear

I think of Bill Gates as being a strong man.  I mean the man created Microsoft and has more money than I could ever imagine.  If he wanted, he could make even more money.  Instead, what is he doing?  He and his wife are giving it away, right and left, near and far.  I’ve personally benefited from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.1e8fd7a

Just a quick trip to their website found some of the things they’re currently working on.

Sure, there are those who have strength and who take.  It’s inevitable, right?  Absolute power corrupts absolutely or whatever?

But a man who has true strength knows that it’s only by giving that he will truly receive the things which have the most value.

May Day

Each year, I’m saddened by the lack of people who celebrate May Day.  I’ve blogged about it at least once.  I still enjoy celebrating May Day, at least in some small way.

However, I’ve noticed that people are paying it heed, but not in the way I’d like.  I’d like it to be more of a celebration of spring, a time to enjoy flowers and giving and all that good stuff.

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That’s not what it is to most people anymore.  At least, not to people in my area.

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There are legitimate marches planned.

There is one to support worker and immigrant rights.  I support this.  Granted, I don’t live or work in Seattle, so it doesn’t affect my commute or anything, but I support the right to peacefully march in order to try to affect change.

There is the Black Lives Matter March.  I used to believe that bigotry wasn’t really a problem in my area, but I have recently learned differently.  If I were to join in any of the marches on this day, this would probably be it.  It’s 2017 people!  Why is this still an issues?!

The March on Amazon.  Okay.  Sure.  Do your thing.

Resistance at UW.  Are we learning how to march?  If you’re unhappy with your college, change schools.

And on and on.

There is a “gathering” scheduled.  The Veteran Anti-War Formation is so sad, and yet hopefully healing for those who participate.  Its goal is to mourn those who were lost during unjust wars.

And then there are the riots.  They are just ugly and mean.  People using that day as an excuse to wreak havoc.  The police department is actually training it’s officers how to prepare for this day because people are just jerks.

Granted, my vision of May Day was shaped when I was young, when I lived in a very rural area, and when the world was a softer, gentler place.  But, why did it have to become… this?

I’m still going to celebrate May Day my way.  I’m going to appreciate the flowers around me.  I’m going to share sunshine with my loved one.  I’m going to view today as one of rebirth.

I will make the most of this day.

 

Stealthing

I’m sure you’ve seen it on Facebook.  In case you haven’t, I just wanted to give you a head’s up.

Stealthing is here.  It’s been around for a while, but it seems to be gaining traction among the sleazebags of the world.  Thankfully, it also seems to be getting the publicity it deserves so we women can be aware of it and protect ourselves from it.  It also makes it easier for us to report it when we know that it is legitimately sexual assault.

Stealthing is the newest and latest form of sexual assault.  It’s when a woman consents to having sex with a man, as long as there is a condom in place.  During sex, the man stealthily removes the condom in such a way that the woman isn’t aware of it.  He believes that he has the right to spread his seed, no matter how she feels about it.

It sounds crazy, right?  I mean, what kind of man would do that?  Doesn’t he know that not only is he potentially spreading STDs among his partners, but he’s also putting himself at risk?  Not to mention any unwanted pregnancies for the woman who believed she was protected.

The thing is – it happened to me.  The first time, I thought that it has slipped off (I know, I know.  I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with men of his… size.  I thought it might be possible.  I’m much smarter now!)  The second time, I realized that he was doing it purposefully and that was the last time we were together (go figure, huh?)

I had always been so careful about using protection with all of my FWB – protect us all, right?  I bought condoms at Costco and always had some with me.  It just made sense.  I wasn’t on birth control.  Since none of my guys wanted to have a baby, that was a good reason to wear protection.  It worked out well.

Until I met someone who didn’t care.

After I was with him, I was afraid that I might have contracted something.  Or gotten pregnant (I didn’t have to try for either of my children – they just happened).  I’d always been so careful, and if he was that careless with me, you know he was with his other partners, as well.  I was terrified that I might have been infected.  I was so scared that I didn’t go to the doctor for fear of what an STD panel might say.  (I later was tested and came out clean).

The only other time I was fearful of such a test was after my marriage.  I was fairly certain my husband had been cheating on me.  I was afraid that he had given me a parting gift that keeps on giving.  I was very thankful that I was okay that time too.

It did, however, make me fear my safety with men.  If I fear my husband bringing me something from another woman, how would I ever trust a man again?

Luckily, I know Mr. C loves me.  I’m very glad I can trust him.

And yet those scars linger…

Judgy McJudgerson

Okay.   I’ll admit it.  I laugh at the “Walmartians” as much as anyone.  I mean, some of their choices are… not ones I’d make.

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But, being an author, I started thinking what their stories might be.  I mean, I’ve been in public places where there is a reason why I look the way I do, but if you don’t know the story, I just look weird.

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I was walking around a town which is full of rich people with my sister in April dressed like this.  (Those are bloody teeth hanging from my neck)

So, what about some of those People of Walmart?  What about their stories?01cb57f0c6145e92dd6e9c766e819173

Costume contest?  He’s a winner!  Dare?  Bet?  Still winning.

 

wm3This guy is a romantic.  They accidentally got pregnant in high school, but they’re making it work.  They’re struggling to make ends meet, trying to give their daughter everything she deserves, sometimes missing meals so she doesn’t have to.  He can’t actually afford the ring, but he wants to propose with it.  He’s promising her forever.  He’s promising her that he’ll work hard to give her something almost as beautiful as she is.  They can’t take it home today, but he loves her so much that he can’t wait another minute to be engaged to her.  He just put it on layaway, and she will have it on her finger for keeps in six months.  Their love is pure, and they will do whatever it takes to make it.

 

wm2They met in Walmart.  They both ran in for relief from the horrible flu that was going around.  They both reached for the NyQuil at the same time.  The moment their fingers touched – fireworks.  They haven’t spent a day apart since that moment.  They can’t afford a big wedding, and this was the place they met, so it was perfect!  His best friend, Tiny, performed the ceremony for free for them.  Look how happy they are!

 

walmartShe’s tired.  You judge her, but do you know why she’s so tired?  She’s working three jobs.  She and her man have five jobs between the two of them.  Did I mention that they’re sharing a car?  She’s here to give her man the car so he can take her to her next job.  She’s catching a quick cat nap while she can.  Poor thing!

 

wm4And him.  He’s exhausted!  Poor guy!  He’s sick.  He’s in line at the pharmacy.  He’s completely miserable.  And the pharmacy tech is taking bloody forever.  He just wants to pick up his meds and go home and go to bed.  Some jerk took a picture of him to laugh at him when he was feeling like dog poo.  Rude!

As I looked through the pictures of the People of Walmart, each of them had a story.  I had a hard time finding someone who didn’t have a story.  Even the guy at the top with the thing on his head – he’s being silly.  He’s having fun.  He’s trying to make his granddaughter laugh because her parents are going through a divorce and things have been pretty rough at her house, lately.

Once I started putting a story to each of these characters, I realized that they’re not as funny as I had thought.  Some of them I felt badly for.  Those people who have questionable fashion sense?  They don’t have someone in their life who loves them enough to suggest they put something else on.  The people with fresh stains on the back of their pants – they’re incredibly sick and they didn’t have someone who could go to the store to pick up medicine for them.  They’re mortified by their appearance, but there’s literally nothing they can do about it.

And what about the people who are wearing clothing 5 sizes too small?  Due to health reasons, they are unable to move easily, which caused the weight gain.  Also due to the health reasons, they lost their job and are now on disability.  Since funds are so limited, they haven’t been able to afford to buy new clothes since gaining all the weight.

And some of them might just want to express themselves via fashion, which I totally applaud.

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Today, I’m going to try harder to know someone’s story before I judge.

Officially Old

Okay, so a little over a year ago, I turned 40.  I’m now 41.  *sigh*

And yet I don’t feel old.  I still feel like I’m 18.  It seems really odd to me that my daughter is old enough to drink and my son is old enough to vote!

I’ve got a “boyfriend.”  To me, only girls have “boyfriends.”  Grown women have “husbands” or at least “significant others.”

And we’re playing house.  We’re not married, not engaged, and we’re nowhere near getting engaged.  We’re just living in sin, as young people do.

Most of the time, there are no kids in the house.  I’m free to run around in my birthday suit, swear, drink, or whatever else a young, irresponsible person would do.

And yet, there are signs that I am, indeed, an adult.

The gray hairs were the first sign.  Sure, I could color them, but they really don’t bother me that much.  Plus, I love grey hair on other people, so I should embrace mine, right?

And the rest of the “getting old” stuff – hair growing in unwanted places, it’s harder to lose weight, blah, blah, blah.

And then, I went to the doctor for my yearly exam.  In a thirty minute period, she very successfully let me know that I am officially an adult.

The first thing she did was tell me that it was time to get a mammogram.  What?  NO!  I can’t be old enough for…  Oh crap.  I’m in my forties.  Yuck!

And then, she hit me with her right hook.  She gave me a prescription for… ANTACIDS!!!  Holy crap!  I’ve never had heart burn.  And yet, lately, when I go to bed, there is this… uncomfortable feeling in my chest and neck.  Dangit!

As if the readers I bought (and haven’t used!) weren’t bad enough – now this?!  What’s next?  Age spots?!

Apparently, I’m good with other people aging – just not me.