Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Off the top of my head

Just in case anyone* thinks that this family is all through with the car mishaps, let me set the record straight by telling you that yesterday morning someone rear-ended my husband's car while he was stopped at a red light. Yup. The most interesting thing about that whole to-do was the guy who rear-ended him got handcuffs slapped on him and taken away in the back of the police cruiser because apparently there was an arrest warrant out on him for assaulting a police officer. His wife pulled up in an Escalade just in time to see him carted away. I love it! Oh, and he didn't have a license in the state we live in but did have insurance and claimed he had a license from another state. WHATEVER! Here's my thought on the matter: Go back to Mexico!

I really, really, really wish I was making this shit up.

Oh, and since my oldest daughter's car was considered totalled by our insurance, I'm back to being the one left home without a car until a replacement for that can be gotten. She's driving one of our new cars and already has a nice dent in it from parking too close to someone (she has no idea how THAT happens!!!) but she's been told that she will pay for any damage she does to that car while she's driving it because she's a fucking car accident waiting to happen. Seriously, she has told me that all she does is worry that she will wreck our cars and sure enough, that's what she does. She turns into Eeyore on the road and a little dark cloud follows her around everywhere. It would be comical if it wasn't so annoying and expensive.

I'm going to switch gears now and say that today is really one of the most beautiful days. The sky is forever blue and it's just warm enough and yet cool enough to be perfect. I've got my windows open in the back of the house because we aren't allowed to have them in the front of the house due to our homeowners ridiculous covenants which claim they are unsightly in the front. Meanwhile, there is a home that's had one of those portable storage pods in the driveway for about 3 months. Now, that's attractive! Anyway, I didn't mean to descend into negativity so quickly but it's like I am out of control and I can't help myself.

But anyway, days like today make me happy despite everything trying to bring me down and I wanted to write it somewhere...I am happy.

*I write like I have an audience.*

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I am happy minding my own business, and not ruffling anyone's feathers. If you leave me alone, I will leave you alone, but if you push me, then you had better watch out because once I get fired up about something, I am pretty ruthless. The reason for this is that I have learned that I cannot live with myself if I feel as though I should have spoken up for myself (or someone I love) and I don't. I need to clear the air and if it means that we part ways after I clear the air, then so be it--I take that as a sign that things weren't meant to be. I can pretty much count on two hands the number of people I really care about in this world. If you're not on those two hands and you cross me, I lose nothing if I lose you. That's just the way it is.

Now. Another parents behaving badly at a sporting event story starring the same leather faced, bleach blond food Nazi who appeared in the chicken tenders fiasco. The team lost today and came in second place in the region. That's all good and well and respectable and whatnot but as I've written before, my daughter doesn't take losses very well. So after the last line lost (and my daughter was still playing and on her way to winning), the majority of the team went over to the girl who lost and hugged her. Missing from the huggers were my daughter and her partner who were both sulking over at a table by themselves. In other words, they were dealing with the loss on there own terms in their own way. They were not hissing and booing or throwing daggers in the direction of the girl, they were talking quietly amongst themselves.

Apparently the girl who lost (a senior in high school) tells her mother that my daughter and her partner made her "feel bad" by not hugging her after she lost. This mother proceeds to go over to them (in front of the other teammates) and says, "Ya know, I understand that you're disappointed that the team lost and I'm really sorry Sandy (not her real name) couldn't pull through for you (very passive aggressive since my daughter never told her daughter that she needed to win for her) but it would have been nice if you had not made Sandy feel bad about losing by not hugging her."

Um. WTF?

So my daughter, who was taken aback by being verbally attacked by someone who had no business interfering said, "You're acting really mature." This sets blondie off and she starts screaming how my daughter has NO CLASS and is disrespectful!!!

Um. She was minding her own business and was attacked by an adult who should know better. She did this AFTER I had left and no other adults were around. When my daughter returned to the school on the bus and got into my car, she recounted this story to me. At first I was like..."OMG, you should have just walked away from her and not said anything and allowed me to deal with her later" but in the heat of the moment I can understand why she responded the way she did. I do not subscribe to the idea that teens need to be respectful of adults who are behaving poorly. Assholes do not get free passes to be assholes just because they are over the age of 30 (or 50 which is probably closer to her age).

I got home and immediately went on a hunt to find blondies phone number to "clear the air." She wasn't home so I left a message and when she called me back, I told her what my daughter told me then asked her if the information I was given was correct (it was, although she insisted that my daughter said something REALLY FOUL and when all was said and done, she confirmed what my daughter told me she said...that the woman was acting "really mature" herself.) OMFG. Let's give her the electric chair. Let's not mention that my daughter wouldn't have said a thing had she not been approached by HER first.

She insisted that my daughter and her partner made her daughter feel bad for losing and so I stopped her and asked her if anything was SAID to her daughter and she said no but that they didn't hug her like the rest of the girls. So I told her that my daughter was not responsible for how HER DAUGHTER was interpreting things and she was not responsible for how her daughter FELT either because my daughter was just minding her own business. Furthermore, I told her that my daughter processes losses differently from other people and I didn't appreciate her trying to dictate how my daughter should respond to the loss--that at the very least she will always know where she stands with my daughter because she isn't fake. She's not a bullshitter. She isn't nice to your face only to stab you in the back later. She skips the fake part and just stabs you up front. Which is worse?--you tell me. The world is filled with those who are fake and I find my daughter refreshing. Insisting that she fake hug her daughter to make the both of THEM feel better is ridiculous. That makes her daughter's feelings more important/valid/real than my daughter's and--sorry but that isn't flying with me.

She kept trying to justify her behavior and finally I told her that her actions were inappropriate because I would never presume to tell her daughter how to feel or what to do because IT'S NOT MY BUSINESS. I told her that if she felt that there was a problem, she should have either come to me or gone to the coach but that honestly, I have no problems with how my daughter reacted because it's part of who she is and I am not going to tell her to be something she is not to make HER feel better. I told her that it is not my daughter's job to make her daughter to feel better and that if it is then I need to see the application my daughter filled out and I want to see where my daughter agreed to any such thing because I'm pretty sure she isn't being paid to make other people feel better about losing. Case closed.

Jesus. I really cannot stand people. She told me she would apologize to my daughter the next time she sees her because she realizes it wasn't her place to do what she did but I could tell by the conversation that this woman is not one bit sorry that she verbally attacked these girls. I know that secretly she is happy that she embarrassed them in front of their peers for no other reason than that they were off by themselves and not joining the big hug-fest. She fully intended to shame them and try to silence them and negate their feelings. This is why I don't like most women--they are mean and do not support other women.

I have to believe that people like her are just miserable people who need to spread their misery around to make their lives more bearable. Because, really, what did she accomplish? Nothing. She needs to tend to her daughter's fragile feelings and I'll deal with my daughter THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

Newsflash: Sometimes it's better to keep your fucking mouth shut.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ordinary - Scenes From Her Life - Story #2

When she knows everyone is sleeping, when it is quiet everywhere but inside her head, she is thinking that maybe the best thing she will ever do with her life is make sure that her daughter is not anything like her.

It is something she thinks about constantly, how much she wants so very much for her daughter. And if you were on the outside looking in, you might think that she isn't the best one to make this happen, but you would be wrong.

She is sweeping up Cheerios, guiding them into a corner where she will vacuum them up later. She is carrying warm laundry from the dryer to dump on a chair in the family room, and she is thinking how much she hates the folding and the putting away, so much so that there is a mountain of clean, dry clothes waiting for her to tend to that never gets any smaller. She is walking the aisles at the grocery store trying to figure out "what's for dinner" tonight, and she is thinking quietly to herself, "this is what I am doing with my life."

And even though she swears she would never undo anything or anyone, she can't seem to forget the forgotten dreams that nobody knows exist. She knows this for sure: That dreams do not die. They live somewhere inside waiting patiently to be found again.

What she needed more than anything in her life was for someone to tell her that she could do anything, be anything, but she did not have that. Something inside her wasn't strong enough or smart enough or confident enough to do great things, and so she did small things marginally. She never made waves. The stars did not shine for her or on her. Sometimes, many times, she felt wholly invisible.

She knows this for sure as well: She dreams much bigger than she lives and that leaves her wanting more for herself than this, than this.

She tells her daughter the things she never heard herself, things she knows would have made all the difference: that she can do anything, that she should never be so afraid that she becomes paralyzed and does nothing at all, that the world is hers, that she is smart and kind and good and has so much to offer. She tells her daughter to keep her voice loud and unwavering, and to never lose it or let it be drowned out by people who cannot know the huge potential that lives inside her. She tells her daughter that she believes in her with her heart. She tells her to reach for more and to settle for nothing but the best. She tells her daughter that she is loved immeasurably, unconditionally, forever.

She is putting silverware away in their proper places thinking that someone has to do it so it might as well be her. She is wiping down mirrors she knows will be smeared by mid-afternoon but she loves the smell of Windex so this doesn't bother her too much. She is counting the minutes until her children go to bed so she can have some semblance of peace at the end of a day where she keeps feeling her spirit being crushed by people who look past her, in search of something more.

At night, she counts her blessings in groups of five because it is good to remember the many things she has been told she should be grateful for. Now when she closes her eyes, she dreams big for her daughter. She resolves once again to do the best she can do with the ordinary life she hadn't planned on.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

What is love, but whatever your heart needs around

So over the past four months we've been dealing with car mishaps/accidents. To be exact, we've had four mishaps/accidents in four months. That's one a month since the beginning of the year. To say that we are losing our humor over it would be an understatement.

In January, our son calls from the parking lot of a 7-Eleven to tell us an older woman has slid on a patch of ice and crashed into the drivers door, smashing that in.

In February, we get a call from our oldest daughter that while she's driving down the highway behind a truck, a sheet of metal or something flies out beneath the truck, dents and scratches up the hood of the car then proceeds to fly onto the windshield which scratches and cracks that all up.

In March, I get a call from my hysterical, crying youngest daughter that she has just crashed into the back of a truck which had just crashed into a the back of a car that decided to stop and then turn her blinkers on (so she crashed into the crash in front of her--it was torrential rain during this accident if that matters). She was driving my car that was spotless and less than a year old and it was totaled.

Let's take a breather here for a minute because I need one.

Let's also get out of the way that my children were not injured in any way in any of these accidents/mishaps which I know should be the main concern but somehow gets forgotten when we keep getting these calls and are then left scrambling to repair/replace the cars that are damaged or totaled.

About a week ago, I finally got a new car to replace the one that was totaled. My husband has spent countless hours getting all the cars repaired so that everything is in working order again. I have sacrificed not having a car for at least a month so that everyone else has a vehicle while waiting for all the cars to be repaired and whatnot. So I'm sitting down reading a book yesterday (April) when my cell phone rings and I see that it's my oldest daughter and I was like, "OMG, I know that she's been in another accident or something because she NEVER calls in the middle of the day unless she gets in an accident." (as her mother, I know these things)

I flip open the phone and this is what I hear, "Some old lady just drove into me, dented the drivers door all in, broke the tire and tore off the side mirror."

Honestly, I just don't even know what to think anymore because I figured that we had three bad car things happen and that that would be that but I guess not.

We went over to the body shop so that I could see the damage today and I was standing there shaking my head and my husband said, "It's always something, isn't it?"

And I said, "Doesn't this just depress you?"

And without skipping a beat or having to think at all this is what he said...

"Baby, I'm never depressed as long as I have you around."

And so I wasn't sad or angry about it anymore because that filled my heart and I know he means it.

Monday, April 7, 2008

How to live a life

"I regret that it takes a life to learn how to live, Oskar."~Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

I have the house to myself right now and I know that's not a big thing but lately I can't seem to find even a corner of this house that isn't noisy and cluttered up with someone else's life, and so it feels like a big thing to me.

Three years ago I was struggling to find peace with the fact that my children were growing up and away and it took me a while, but I learned to live with their absences. Now my oldest has moved back and my middle child will be home from college shortly and I am back to where I was before only now I've had just the littlest taste of independence and alone time and I find that I miss it sorely.

Last week I struggled so hard to stay on track with my exercising. I think what happens is that I get frustrated with my life and how it seems like I'm destined to always be the one who lives with the decisions other people make--that I am never the one who says, "I've decided THIS, and you will now revolve your life around that decision." It gets me down and then I start to think how much I hate exercising, how much I hate to pull my hair back and sweat and feel all achy afterwards. And even though I know that exercise is essential to my mental well being, I decide to skip a day or a week and the next thing I know a year will have gone by without me doing anything. I told myself this time (almost a year ago I started working out again) that I would not allow myself to give it up again and so far, I've stayed true to myself but I am telling you, it is hard.

I find that when my husband works too many days at home and the kids are under foot that I get anxious and angry and those are the days I most want to skip doing what I know is good for me and I'm not sure why. I think I like sabotaging myself. I think maybe I like feeling like I'm a victim. I can't really think too hard about it right now because I'm sure it has something to do with me not wanting to take full responsibility for who I am and what I am feeling and I know that's not what I should be doing so if I stop thinking about it I can pretend I'm not at fault.

The thing I have to remember about exercising is that it's for me and me alone and it's something that no one forces me to do but myself and I only do that because I know that the benefits outweigh the negatives. On bad days, it clears my head and gives me focus. It brings me peace and gives me hope that I will find my way in this world at some point.

I think my journey is about finding my way--not because I am lost because I don't feel lost. I think my journey is finding a way of living inside a life that requires me to ask more of myself than I am sometimes willing to give, and finding gracious ways of doing that. I need to find a way to love the journey while I'm living it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Watching The Hills makes all things better

I was reading Jane (I read all the time but rarely comment but I do love her blog)....anyway I was reading Jane's latest and something hit me. Yesterday I had a really bad day what with being ignored by the sports moms who know me but pretended they didn't know me until I shouted HELLO to them to make them say hello back to me (see post below).

What I realized was that I left out the most important thing that made me feel bad yesterday and it was my daughter!!! I've written before what a sore loser she is and thank God she doesn't lose too often or I'd need to be medicated to get through the dramatics. I was sitting with two of her friends who had come to watch her play. Well, my daughter comes off the court with her sourpuss face and bad attitude about the loss and since I know how she is, I didn't say anything. She started to talk to her friends and I heard her say something like, "Great, you come to see me the one time I lose," and I thought to myself, well, this isn't going to be good. So I said something about it being a good match regardless of the loss, which, of course, is never a good thing to say to her because it's only a good match if she wins. I need to remember that.

I thought I would diffuse the situation by offering to take a picture of her and her friends (I photograph the kids while they play during the season), and my daughter says, "UM...NO...look at my face. Do you really think I want to get my picture taken right now?" And she said it in a really loud, mean voice in front of her friends and all of the sudden I could just feel myself shrink because what I wanted to do was slap her face, but what I did was stand up and tell her I was going to find somewhere else to sit and to please remember her bag because I wasn't going to take it for her. Then I walked away and sat by myself and then those other moms ignored me and I think that is what sent me over the edge. Everyone was determined to hurt my feelings yesterday and they succeeded.

I don't have a cute ending to my story like Jane always does because while I had planned to rip into my daughter as soon as I could get her alone, by the time that happened, I had lost all my fight. I kept my distance from her when we returned home and wasn't overly talkative then she asked me to watch The Hills with her and I said ok. All was better. The end.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I want to know what's so hard about saying hello. I should qualify that. I want to know what's so hard about being the first one to say hello to someone you know because there are so many women who will NOT say hello to me unless I say it first. What's the big fucking deal is what I want to know.

Today at my daughter's sporting event (yes, another sporting event rant) I knew a number of women from the opposing team from years ago when our girls all played together. I sat with those women for years and chatted with them but today, the bunch of them walked by me three times before I finally shouted out hello!!! and they were then forced to acknowledge me. I was tempted to not say anything but then I'd be just as bad as they are. I just don't get it. I don't get what the big fucking deal is in saying hello and being normal. Somebody fill me in, please.

Honestly, I don't like most women because they behave like this...like it's a big imposition to be kind. Most women sit down and what they do to you is they look you up and down and they mentally take in what you are wearing, or how well your makeup is applied, or what kind of purse you are carrying, and they do this in the hopes that they can feel superior to you in some way. I don't do this because I don't care about superficial crap like that. I gravitate towards men because of this. Men love me. Women? Not so much and I've never understood why. I think it's really sad that women say we should support each other but most of us are working overtime doing the exact opposite.

And while I'm ranting, what's the deal with people who can't at least try to pretend that they are interested in anything other than themselves? I ask them question after question and they never ask anything about me for fear the spotlight won't be on them for 2 minutes. I don't get why I even bother or care any more.

Sometimes I get to the end of the day and I just feel like crying. I think I'm just being oversensitive. The world is such a huge place and sometimes I feel so incredibly small-- like the earth could open and swallow me whole and no one would even notice I'm gone.