About Me

My photo
Using my 40's as a do-over for my thirties, only smarter. I often mistake the bees and honey reference with the one about free milk and a cow. This might explain my whole life.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

2 weeks

So for two weeks now I've been on my own.  The husband is out of the house, our contact is brief and necessary.  He has not been able to come get more of his things, but he is limited on that- so I don't mind.

Yesterday I finally told Gabriel that his dad is now living with his Aunt and he won't be coming back home to live with us.  Ok, I told him while we were in Target getting ready to buy him some toys with the birthday money he got from his Grandmother- but it was the first time he asked, "when is Dad coming back from the hospital."  I might have told him sooner, up until this point, I let him assume Dad was still IN the hospital.  This was his first week of school and all- no need to upset him.

So I told him, and he was upset, but then distracted by the toys he could buy for $50.  He even bought something for his brother.

In two weeks I have yet to get this house cleaned, but I can tell you that there is already a better energy in this house.  I can't say that the husband was the one bringing in all the bad energy- I'm sure it was coming off of me in waves of anger and resentment.  I truly feel this is better for everyone.  Alex agrees that it's a lot less stressed in the house.  That I am more fun to be around.  He likes not having a 'bed time' but he still goes to bed around 10 or 10:30 every night.

We are all excited about the prospect of finding a new place to live.  Even though we will be moving farther away, I plan to keep the kids in the same schools as part of my commuting process.  Carpool and free toll roads if you have three or more in the car.  It will be tough, but you know, spending extra time in the car with my kids every day is better than no time with them at all.  Alex will be getting his license sometime next year- he can drive home sometimes.

Chris has not been around as much, due to his work schedule but the kids really like having him around when he is.  Gabriel has taken to him nicely, and while he sometimes struggles with guilt, I've assured him that he's not being unloyal to his dad by liking Chris.  Even his dad likes Chris.  He's a likable guy.  Responsible, hard working, fun and handy around the house.  The decision to move in together is one we have been talking about for a while.  It was all a matter of time- when Mike moved out and such.  He's been around and around the boys for a few months now.  They are used to him and him being here.  I have asked them all- how would you feel about Chris moving into our new house (when we find it) with us.  They all agreed that it would be great. Lots of big changes, and while I am usually one to handle one change at a time, this time I think it's best to make them all closer together, so we can adapt and move on together.

This week while I am still looking for a house in the Inland Empire, I'm also looking into buying a new car.  Well, a used one- but new to me!  My van is on her last gasps of breath and it's time to turn the old girl out.  I can't wait to drive around in a zippy 4 door sedan with air conditioning and well aligned tired.

So life is changing, and the living is good.  I'm calm and happy and so are my boys.  That's what matters right?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I have spent 12 long years in a marriage that wasn't mine. It wasn't what I signed up for. It wasn't what I was promised. It wasn't what I wanted. So many times I would wake up and think, "this is not my marriage. this is not my life! how did I get here. and how do I get out??"
After 12 long years, last Friday I finally reached my breaking point. The line- that was 5 football fields long- had been crossed and all of a sudden it all seemed very simple and obvious to me. My answer was so simple. So very simple.
Get out, and don't ever come back.
Today I have a forward motion. I have a job interview today. Tomorrow I am looking at a house to move in to. a HOUSE! Me, in a house with screen doors, a garage and nobody living above or below me. In only my secret fantasys did I ever think I would live in a house, even if it was a rental. Surely I was not worthy of such a luxury.
This morning in talking with Chris (whom I will lovingly refer to here as "Daddy" from here on out), we were speaking about fear in relationships and how you always risk getting hurt. We can say that "Daddys don't leave" all we want to, but in reality, we know that sometimes they do. The point I made is that the journey on my way to that 'possible' end- is worth the pain of that possible end. It's worth it to risk something, in order to HAVE something.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained- Daddy said.
And this is so true. For so long I was afraid to walk out of that marriage for fear of how it might feel. Would I be strong enough to take care of my kids, and face the scrutiny I might face for leaving a man in his chronic condition? Sure it's what I wanted, it's what I NEEDED - but the cost was high, and what's on the other side? I had no clue. A people pleaser to the core, the fear of people telling me I'm a bad person (and me believing it) was enough to keep me trapped for all these years.
What I have found, in just a few short days- is that what is on the other side is possibility. I have no clue how this interview will go, but what if I'm offered the job and then all my hard work in school is rewarded with a fulfilling job and a fat paycheck? I have no clue if I will get this house, but what if I do an I get to wake up every morning in a house that I can afford- where my kids have a backyard and I can sit on a porch with a cup of coffee every morning. Sounds like a goddamn fairy tale to me. But who says I can't have that? Who says that I can't be the dirty princess in my own ridiculous life?
Nobody, that's who.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

smoking or non smoking?

I started smoking when I was about 15.  I used to steal my mom's Capri's cause they were so cute and then my dad's Marlboro's.  My sister used to smoke Benson and Hedges Delux Ultra Light 100's Menthol and for many years that was my cigarette of choice.  If I am going to buy a pack now, that is usually what I will buy- except that they are about $7.

I have stopped and started about 25 times in my 25 years of smoking.  I would smoke and then stop for months, or even years- maybe having a hit or two depending on who I was with and if they were smokers.  My first and second husband was and is a smoker.  My boyfriend is a smoker too.

I can say my first time to really stop was before my oldest was born, that was when they put that whompin tax on tax on cigarettes and they went from $2.50 to $5 bucks.  So I pretty much stopped buying them for several years until I met my current husband, and then I would smoke 3 or 4 a day.  Up to a pack a day if I am with smokers, or in New York.

When I met Chris, he was smoking electronic cigarettes and cutting back on regular ones.  I tried it out, and thought it was pretty cool.  He had two of them so he let me use the other one when we were out.  Then I bought my own, a different brand and one for my husband.  At this time Chris was thinking I should not be smoking at all as it became clear that I was not just smoking when I was with him.  I was starting to smoke regular cigarettes as well.  After much arguing about that, with both Chris AND my husband, I agreed to just smoke the electronic ones.  Well the brand I bought for my husband and I, well, I didn't like it much so I hijacked Chris'- since he went back to regular cigarettes full time.

What I love about them is that I can smoke them anywhere.  It's not smoke so technically I can smoke it in a restaurant, in my office and other 'non smoking areas'.  It's vapor, it doesn't smell like anything .  So my clothes don't smell, and either does my breath.  They have fancy flavors like the one I'm enjoying now- coconut.  I love my e-cig and that I'm not taking in all the 'crap' that goes with regular cigarettes.  No tobacco, no tar.  Just good old nicotine.  yah!!! Is it expensive?  not hardly.  Maybe $10 a month for new cartidges and I refill them with $10 refill that lasts for several months for both myself and my husband.

There is no HEALTHY electronic cigarette.  I'm not going to pretend there is.  There are some risks that I won't go into, you can google that.  The other down side, is also the upside.  I can do it anywhere.  So I do.  I admit I'm hitting that e-cig like a crackpipe.  I suspect I'm taking in more nicotine than if I was smoking regular cigarettes less often.  I can, and will start getting the refill liquid with less concentrations of nicotine, maybe down to the lowest amount of 8mg, as opposed to 36mg, which is the highest.  Maybe even eventually 0 which would just be vapor and flavor.

If you want to quit smoking, I think this can be helpful, but I admit for me- it got me smoking again- just without all the obvious negative side effects.  So I'm a smoker, but then... not really.  Well, ok- kinda.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Confusing Dreams

I have so much work to do, and yet all I can do is think to write.

Last night I had a dream that I was in NYC and I got into a cab, and the guy drove and drove and I ended up in Maryland.  Maryland of all places, where I've never been before.  So he says "we're here" and I knew I wasn't where I was supposed to be.  I was in Maryland, I somehow KNEW I was in Maryland, even though I have never been there before.

The driver would not take me back to New York and I had to get out of the cab.  We were at some sort of liquor store, and I got out of the car and went close to the store and picked up my cell phone.  It was dead.  No battery.  I had no charger- and where would I have plugged it in anyway?

I thought, "Stacy lives here in Maryland"  surely she will come get me, even if it's hours away from where she is.  I grabbed my phone again, seeing a pay phone up ahead.  Of course, the phone was dead.  I couldn't even get her number off the phone.  There was a phone book so I picked it up, then remembering that Stacy's last name is like Jones or Nguyen.  A million people have a last name like that.  So I couldn't call her.

It occurred to me then, that everyone thought I was in New York.  That nobody knew I had been dropped off in Maryland, and I had no way of contacting anyone.  I was stuck, alone, nobody would find me, I couldn't let anyone know where I was.  I was stranded, in Maryland.

I'm not sure what it means.  Why Maryland, and why wouldn't the NY cabbie drive me back?  I was just lost and alone and I don't even know why I was there in the first place.  Why would I have asked to come to Maryland?

Anyway, I woke up a little irritated by the whole dream, still trying to figure out what it's a metaphor for.  I don't feel lost, or alone, or abandoned.  I feel fine.  Why did I find myself lost in a strange place?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Open, not over.

So this week I thought to disclose my 'relatonship status' to my family. Come out with it to the few that don't know. My parents, really. Hey mom and dad, guess what I'm dating.

Chances are my mother thinks I'm engaging in elicit affairs with strangers anyway- so maybe she will be somewhat relieved to know that there is actually just ONE person. Who knows really. I expect the worst and the only reason I am even considering coming out with it, is that he's a part of my life and around my family. So I'd rather be the one to tell them, than have my 8 year old do it- and then have him unfairly pressed for information.

The husband and I have talked about the situation at great length. He and the TheBoyfriend get along pretty well. My sons like him. The husband and I are calm about the situation as if there is nothing wrong with it, and in turn, the kids don't see anything wrong with it. If anyone is going to have an issue, it would be the husband. If he's ok with it, then really, I don't know that it is anyone else's place to take issue. And really if they want to, they can.

I pretty much know that there is a lot of talk about me behind my back in my family circle. It's ok, I love them just the same. Judge me all you want, I make a perfect target and after this many years, I'm ok with that. The fact that they are nice to me to my face, doesn't make me love them any less. Really, I just don't care anymore. To be honest, I'd rather they keep their opinions of me to themselves, because I don't really have the energy to try to change their minds. And who knows, maybe they are right. I guess I'm ok with that too.

In general, I'm not I'm a horrible person who does horrible things to people. I might engage in some things people don't agree with- but that's my business. I'm not hurting anyone. My kids are not running around the streets or engaging in behavior that would make anyone think that they are 'acting out'. Ok, so maybe I'm defending myself now, but it's my blog- I can do what I want here. So I go out a few times a week. I think I'm entitled to enjoy my life a little bit and it is not to any else's detriment that I do so.

So as I'm preparing myself to simply say, "Mom, Dad.... I'm dating." I'm, of course, wondering what the backlash will be. Will she call my sister? Who will say, yeah- I know. Will she call my brother? Who will say, "Oh yeah- I heard." Will she tell me that she is so against my adulterous lifestyle that she no longer wants to engage with me and my children? Doubtful. The worst that will happen is that she will no longer agree to babysit for me to do anything social- which really I don't ask her to do anyway. I'm not looking for her approval, I just want them to have a heads up. I'm almost 40. It's time my parents know that I'm NOT at the movies.

No, I'm a grown ass woman making grown ass decisions about my grown ass life. I'm not ashamed.

Everyone knows why my marriage is 'open' instead of 'over'.

It's ok if you don't agree. I sleep just fine, and I look myself in the mirror just fine.
I am living my life with as few regrets as possible and why would anyone want anything different for me or anyone else.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

If there is a heaven...

My Opa died last night. He was in his 90's. I want to say 93... but really I don't know who was keeping count anymore. My Oma died this past December and it shook our family to its core. We knew she was sick and it wasn't a surprise really-but shocking to my family just the same. My grandparents have left behind a legacy of family and love. Moving to Holland after WWII where they met in a concentration camp in Indonesia, the raised thier 4 kids and came to America in the 60's. I remember my mom telling me how angry she was. She was 21 I think. She had no plans of ever leaving Holland. She told me if they had not made her come, she probably never would have left.

So they came to America and thier kids had kids and those kids had kids. I'm first generation American born. I did not get the same time with my Oma and Opa as my older siblings did. And my cousins spent more time with then because they were babysat by Oma. I don't have the same memories. I wish I did. I did not know them as well as some of the others- as far as stories about the past. I have heard the stories that the rest of the cousins have told.

I know my grandparents though, by the lives that they touched. I know who they are because of my Aunt, and how she has so much patience... until the moment that she simply doesn't anymore. I know who they are because of my mom, and how strong she is. How stubborn and set in her ways. However, if she can, there is no limit to what she might do to help someone. I know who they are because my cousins are my immediate family. I know who they are because they taught their children how to work, how to share, how to live and how to love and those children passed those lessons on to us. I know who they are because for all of the dysfunction, as a family unit, I believe we are one of the finest. We love each other unconditionally- and this is the greatest lesson I will ever learn.

I got the call from my mom last night and I was sort of stunned. After Oma died, Opa really didn't want to live anymore- or so my mom told me. The last time I talked to him he said, "oh Julie... nothing is good anymore." It's hard to argue with that.

After being married for 65years to the same person, it's gotta be hard to do what you normally do without that person being there. It's like waking up without an arm. What happened? It was there just yesterday?

So the call today was part shock but really- we knew it was coming soon. He need around the clock care and it was getting harder for him to move around. He was just waiting to go. Now many of my more religious family members will say that he is with Oma now. With his brothers and sisters, as he was the last of his large family to go. If I believed in that kind of thing, I think that would give me a lot of comfort. The thought that Oma was sitting in her chair in her little heaven villa... and all of a sudden appears another chair and Opa is in it. And they just reach out and hold each others hands.

And then Oma says, "Geez Pa- it's about time you got here."

Yes, as absurd as it is- it makes me smile.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

a mothers thoughts

After all these years, I still don't understand why my mother acted the way she did- but as a mother, I have to respect it.

When I was younger my mother went to great lengths to keep me away from those people she deemed 'a bad influence.' That list was long and wide and it never occurred to her that perhaps the bad influence was me. She actually derailed the path of life as I knew it by putting me in a different junior high school, taking me away from the friends I had since pre-k. Was she right to do that- not really. I just found trouble elsewhere. Different friends, different boys. I still started smoking, I still got experimented with sex. I still skipped school. I understand that she did what she felt was right- not to punish me, but to protect me.

My son and his girlfriend have been on and off for the past year and a half. She is a sweet girl, a bit misguided and immature, even for 16, but a sweet girl with a good heart who seems to genuinely be smitten with my son. Her father, however, cannot stand my son. Something and everything he does rubs that man the wrong way. Perhaps he sees him as a threat because she would rather be with her boyfriend than her father. Perhaps she has a smart mouth and he assumes that my son must be the reason for it. Perhaps he is afraid she will get sexualized before he feels she is ready. Who knows. They broke up over issues with her father earlier this year, but as teenage couples do they have drifted back together.

I have been mostly silent about it because I know the issue with her father is not going to go away. I don't suspect that he is going to all of a sudden say, "Ok kid, I'll give you another chance with my daughter... even though you called her a slut on Facebook." I can't say that I blame him for not being my sons biggest fan. I am supportive of this reunion only as a way to keep lines of communication open with my son. I know that there is a better than average chance he will simply do things behind my back. I did it all behind my mothers back.

So they decided that they were going to tell the father that they were back together. The result of it was a text message from my son today saying that "Mr. Y made me break up with her today. He grounded her and is threatening to take away privledges and her phone. I had to let her go." He went on to further say, "I had no choice. I could not let her choose me over her family. What kind of man would I be if I did that."

It is the first time that I ever considered what kind of man he is, or will be.

I gave him the usual platitudes. I told him that I was sorry. That things may change in the future. That they can still be close and be friends. Then I told him something that I hope means as much to him as it did for me to be able to say it.

You did a very honorable thing.

I don't really think Mr. Y is doing his daughter any favors by keeping her away from Alex. I may be a little biased, but I am also harder on my kid than anyone else. Yes, he can be kinda clingy and he really likes texting her all the time. He's a teenage boy who still thinks farts are as funny as Spongebob. I also truly believe that my son does not drink, does not do drugs, does not engage in dangerous or illegal behavior. He has a good relationship with me and tells me MORE than I want to know. I feel grateful that I have a relationship with him that I did not have with my mother. That I STILL don't have with my mother.

Either way, I suspect that the girlfriend wanted to be defiant and stand up to her father. That she wanted to hold her ground causing stress and strife to their whole family. That she wanted to sneak around. That's what I would have done. Hell, that's what I DID. What I didn't have was someone who loved me and was concerned with my overall happiness outside of the time spend with him.

..... ummm ok ......

So as I am rounding out this warm and fuzzy post, I got another text. "She is not giving up and wants to make this work."