Friday, September 30, 2011

Today's ramble: "Tough Love"

In these quiet, perfect early minutes of my morning when the sun is just coming up over the eastern edge of the horizon and my dogs, birds, and I are all peacefully co-habitating in my small, front study, I can't begin to imagine how my day goes from this to crazy manic in less than 45 minutes.

I used to pride myself on being organized.  The boys' clothes were always set out the night before.  Lunches made.  Dishes from last night's dinner done and the kitchen spotless.  A nice healthy breakfast with fruit planned and prepared.  Everything scheduled.  Everyone out the door.  Spit Spot - there you go.  Shiny happy people. 

I can't be too hard on myself these days.  Some of this still happens and on these rare occasions, I come home (that is, if I don't have an immediate appointment someplace else) and congratulate myself with a wonderful celebratory soak in a bubble bath.  However, my little boys have now grown into big argumentative monsters.  "I don't want breakfast.  It's not cold, I want to wear shorts." (Oh, really? I'll put the snow boots back in the closet.)  "I brushed my teeth."  (That's why they're orange?  Ok, you could have fooled me.  Try to get a date, I dare you.)  And so on, and so forth. 

What I've come to realize at this juncture in my life is that there are just some battles I don't care to fight anymore.  Am I awful because my kids come home hungry from school and I won't give them a snack before dinner?  I don't think so.  They chose not to eat breakfast so instead they ate their lunches earlier in the day.  Oh well, dinner is just a couple of hours away.  Tough it out, dudes.  Tough it out.

Am I a bad Mother because I refuse to pick my sophomore up from school in the snow when he deliberately chose to wear shorts?  Absolutely not.  He'll walk home, get sick, and in this house it's all about tough love.  Staying home sick requires a fever and/or greenies (sorry for the detailed description) and if he does stay home, he'll stay in bed.  No TV, no PlayStation, no Wii, and no Gameboys.  Sleep, recovery, and working on missed assignments.  Oh, and did I mention, no weekend activities?  Miss school, miss weekend...

One day William came up to me and said, "Mom, I need to talk to you."

My dear friends and blog readers, you all know me well enough by now to understand that I can be extremely direct and honest with people - especially with those I love...

"Sorry, dude.  No can do."

"What?"

"Is it important, William?"

"Yeah, it's really important."

"Well, if it's that important you'd better brush your teeth and mouthwash before we even attempt this conversation."  He looked at me incredulously.  "I'm serious.  This conversation is not happening if I have to sit anywhere near your mouth."

William went upstairs to brush his teeth.  They figure it out eventually, don't they?  It's all about tough love in this house.


 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

No one messes with my mornin'! It's gonna' get ugly...

I'm a trickster, or as one of the most terrifying villains of all times, Gollum, from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, would call me, a TRIXY.

This TRIXY has imposed awful practical jokes over the years on people I love and, with a sly grin, on people I don't care for.  Me?  Not like people?  Bri hold grudges? ("Father forgive me for I have sinned, my last confession was...")  YES!  YES!!  It's true.  I am a naughty, nasty, hold grudges kind o' gal. 

Bert
Now if it makes any of you, my readers and friends, feel better - some grudges are held for far less time than others.  It truly depends on the crime against this blog writer.  For instance, when Eric makes me angry I can only hold it against him for as long as it takes his eyebrows to knit into a quizzical what did I do, I'm confused sort of fashion.  Because you see, my husband in truth never knows exactly what he's done to make me angry.  The moment his brow (I typed, "eyebrows" in the sentence above.  In reality, he only has one.  I call it the "Unibrow" or the "Bert Brow" from Sesame Street...) moves up in a solid line towards his forehead and his eyes show intense concern for his or my well being, I start laughing.  Whatever it was that I was angry about I've forgotten and sometimes that pisses me off too because seriously - can't a girl stay mad at her husband for longer than 10 minutes?  Geez, what's the world coming to these days?

Then there are the people I don't care for.  People in my past who have done me wrong in some way or another and I must seek silent reparation in the form of a carefully crafted joke or inconvenience.  Eeeewww.  It all sounds so vile as I type it.  (I'm grinning from ear to ear as I recall some of my greatest victories.)  Forgive and forget, that's right.  Move on.  Yeah, right.

However, being a TRIXY doesn't always involve retribution.  It can also be a form of great joy and diversion from the everyday doldrums.  I'm very good at dishing them out.  I've also been on the receiving end of a huge one at a company holiday party involving a false lottery ticket (yes, I'm ashamed to admit I would have tried to cash it in at "yo, mama's house").  But for the most part, I'm usually the only one in my household who's brave enough or knows how to get away with something.  I know who I can tease.  I know when to stop.  AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, I know where to draw the line. 

It appears that there is a new TRIXY in the Potts' abode and this house isn't big enough for the two of us.  Mama knows her spice cabinet.  In fact, just last night I organized it so there is no mistaking this morning's incident for an absentminded, sleepy-headed, dumb-ass maneuver.  The other TRIXY placed the Paprika bottle where I keep my Cinnamon.  Who knows where I'm going with this??  Who remembers how Breezy loves her morning joe?  Her candy bar in a cup?  Her nectar of the Gods?  Her cup o' coffee?  That's right.  She sprinkles a generous amount of cinnamon in her coffee grounds before it brews.  Yeeesss, my preeeeciouuuusss.  William has crossed the line of all that is sacred and holy.  This means war baby, boy.  THIS MEANS WAR!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Lord, why am I so impulsive?

I realize that I speak my mind.  But damn it, can't I just think twice before I open my mouth or stretch out my fluffy fingers and let my thoughts roar?
 
This Boy looks like an IDIOT!
SERIOUSLY BAD HAIR DAY!
For those of you who don't know me, consider this...if I'm having a bit of a bad day, never, ever have an equally bad day near me.  I, in my narcissistic way, could never understand that you might be suffering from an ingrown toenail (I'm using this as an example).  It's impossible that you've been standing on your feet and working a 12 hour shift at a restaurant and I might be your last table of the evening so don't even scowl at me when I take 10 minutes to order a salad and change my mind three times about what type of dressing I want on it (no, I've personally not done this, but I have a family member who is quite capable).  I know this is your job.  I know you're supposed to be pleasant.  So I am in no way willing to accept someone being snotty with me because if so, all Hell will break loose.  Don't you know I'm in a pissy mood?!  Can't you tell? 

To those of you who do know me and have been on the receiving end of my grumpy jibes and ill humor, I love you and I'm sorry.  What is it about me that sets me off so quickly?  Why do I do this?  Is it an inherited trait like my tripping techniques or a skill mastered with time for example, discussing bathroom humor with perfect strangers?  If so, I want to trade it in like the lemon that it it.  Isn't there a "lemon law" on the books somewhere?  Have I passed the statute of limitations on this?  I mean, I realize I'm 44 years old, but having just come to this realization, I believe I'm entitled to a wee bit of leeway on this one.  Good grief! 

I've been told that my outspokenness and impulsively are cute.  I don't know if I want to be described as "cute" anymore.  It's getting kind of embarrassing.  How about sexy, seductive, sensual...but cute?  No way.  No can do.  No thank you.  It just doesn't do it for me anymore.  I guess I'll start working on the mysterious aspect of my personality.  I'll let you all start guessing what I think of your crappy hair cuts from now on.  Oops.  I guess I'll start being my mysterious self tomorrow.  By the way, I like most of your haircuts.  Most.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yesterday...it seemed like it went on forever!

Follow-up from yesterday's blog

The construction dudes never did accept my cake as a peace offering.  It's probably because I made it several days ago and due to the unusually warm September weather, the butter cream frosting under the glass dome is starting to separate and ooze across the bottom of the cake dish.  I wouldn't eat it either.  The only ones brave enough to ask for it are the boys and even they're starting to look a bit leery at it.

So to recap, Tank was taken to the vet and diagnosed with an uncomfortable scrotum shave.  He runs and cowers when he sees me approach him with an outstretched finger glopped with some sort of creamy substance.  (Trust me Tank, I don't like it any more than you do!)

My hallway is now blocked with a huge, yellow scaffolding.  There is brown butcher paper taped to all of my rugs, plastic wrap attached to my carpet, blue tape on my walls, pieces of tile missing from my floor, electrical cords everywhere, and flies from the open front door buzzing around my coffee as we speak.  I thought I actually saw a wing fluttering below the surface but I'm not going to think about that right now.  I just need my coffee.  I'll consider anything extra protein - kinda' of like the worm in a Tequila bottle.  It's just going to be another one of those days and I know I'm going to need all the strength I can get.

After calling the guys, "Fucking Morons" loud enough to offend them and probably the rest of my neighbors within ear shot, the construction gentlemen quickly learned that cursing in my house was not only ok, but quite acceptable. In between my figuring out how to maneuver around five strangers and their equipment (which sounds oddly like a fantasy I have), I had to deal with a drugged out Tank who stood in one spot and would have pee'd on himself if I let him (of course, only when I didn't have to apply his medication), and Tulip, who was uncertain as to how to step on butcher paper. (Luckily for me it was on every other piece of the flooring - sarcasm.) This meant I had to continuously climb up and down stairs making bubble wrap popping sounds, avoiding scaffolding, electrical cords, strange men, and carrying two dogs separately - because I can not manage two snarling, hissing beasties at the same time - to change the sheets off the beds only to do it all again going downstairs to start the laundry.  Boy, were my 4-letter words flying!  Leave them in one spot, you say?  Have you ever heard a dog with a shaved scrotum howl?  I believe no more needs to be said on this topic.

When the guys were getting ready to leave, they asked me if they could leave their tools over night; nail guns, electric drills, high powered sanding machines.  I laughed.  "NO!"  

"By the way, Ma'am.  Is there a problem with this door? (Referring to Austynn's)  I noticed it was off..?"

"No.  It's in the basement.  But he's the reason everything must go."  They looked at me curiously but that was all the information I was willing to give.  Maybe they'll read my blogs one day.

They left for the afternoon as William and I left to pick up Austynn from school and headed out for another appointment.  Keep in mind, William was waiting in the car for me and he also loves to antagonize Austy.  My youngest keeps a therapeutic toy in my car for before and after school purposes.  His occupational therapist gave it to him and it helps to soothe him.  These type of toys are often used with autistic children and Austynn has grown quite attached to it.  It's a little battery operated bug that when held, vibrates and calms him down.  He calls it, "Buzzy". 

"Mom! Buzzy's battery is missing!"

Now, most of you are aware that a missing battery in my house is tantamount to a serious fire threat, especially when it has anything to do with Austynn. 

"WILLIAM!"  screams Austynn, "WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT!"

"DON'T SCREAM AT ME OR I'LL KILL YOU!  I DIDN'T TOUCH YOUR STUPID BUZZY!!  DON'T YOU EVER ACCUSE ME AGAIN!"

Tears, yelling, commotion, all on the I-25 Interstate of Denver, the busiest freeway of Colorado.  I am pissed because I know it's a set-up.  Either William took it out to antagonize his brother and get him in serious trouble or Austynn took the battery, blamed his brother so he can play with the contraband, and try to recreate the electric telegraph. 

I pulled over.  Instant pocket check.  Am I worried about standing on the side of the freeway during 4:00pm traffic?  Not as much as I'm going to be if I don't find that pickin' battery.  The trunk and Good Will bags are searched.  Book bags are looked over (Why in God's name did I buy book bags with so many pockets?  My son's are kleptomaniacs for Pete's sake!).  I pull the seats apart.  I threaten.  Their lives are over as they know it.  No one will come clean.  They're holding firm on principle.  They're nothing if not stubborn.  What a crappy day!!  We show up 15 minutes late for William's therapy appointment.  I continue thinking about when or how someone took that battery.  In the meantime, the other battery and Buzzy are with me.

Home, dinner, homework, arguing.   Eric's cousin wants to move in with us.  Deep breath...  Indigestion.  My feelings get hurt.  How about a piece of chocolate?  Eh gads!  Time for bed!!!  Tank, sees me coming with an outstretched finger glopped with some sort of creamy substance. (Trust me Tank, I didn't like it any more than you did!).  I went to sleep but not really.  My imagination was playing tricks with me.  All I kept thinking was, is that fire I smell or do I really hear the clicking of an electric telegraph machine?











Monday, September 26, 2011

Oh, Monday...At least I'm laughing, sort of.

Oh, Monday.  It's going to be one of those funny kind of days.  At least I'm laughing, sort of. 

So here we go.  I look like shite, the house looks like shite, I feel like shite...everything has gone to shite.  You know how it is after a long, lazy weekend?  No one does anything.  Shoes are everywhere, dishes in the sink, beds unmade, and then, uh oh!!  You suddenly remember, there are important things happening first thing in the morning?  Yep that was me today, then I added a few extra problems to the "uh oh's" for instance...

Tank, my beloved dog and companion, was groomed along with Tulip on Friday.  We took them to a groomer that we don't usually go to.   Unfortunately, he had a rather ugly mat on his tail and while shaving it, the groomer nipped him on his scrotum with the shaver (I just heard every male reader seize up in anguish).  This morning, the dog was in agony so I ended up taking him in at 7:00am when our local vet's office opened up.  The doctor wasn't in until 7:30 so I sat and waited.  During this time while waiting and listening to bad elevator music, I realized I could have taken my much needed shower which I omitted to take yesterday (being far to comfortable doing absolutely nothing).  I was offending myself.  Thank God the office was still relatively empty.

As I was pulling up the street at 8:15am, the home repair dudes were waiting for me in front of my house.  They will be here all week working on drywall, painting, etc. from the damage when our house was sinking into the great Thornton abyss (long story, perhaps another day).  I had specifically asked that they arrive at 8:45am; however, I was still embarrassed when I realized my window was down after I yelled, "Fucking Morons" when I pulled into driveway next to them.  Maybe I should offer them a piece of cake for lunch or something?

My one moment of comfort is that it's pajama day and I did not have to comb Austy's ratty hair this morning.  But Austynn, in his usual cavalier way, destroyed that fleeting moment when he told the guys to feel free to swat at any flies they found in the kitchen with a dish towel.

It's barely past 9:00am in the morning and my day has yet to truly begin.  I can only shudder to think how many more possibilities it holds in store for me.  I will try to keep an open mind and try to remember that once the cake is gone, I can always make cookies. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

My stuffed animals learned how to kiss early.

After I wrote my blog yesterday and attached the picture of Darth Vader, it started me down memory lane.  Ah yes, I remember it well.  My first big movie crush was Luke Skywalker.

I don't remember what grade I was in, perhaps third or fourth, when the original Star Wars movie came out with Mark Hamill.  I was overwhelmed with my feelings for him.  His blonde hair, blue eyes, boyish good looks, far be it for me to know that he was actually over 40 years old when he made his first Star Wars episode.  I guess it pays to look young in Hollywood

When other children fought their parents to stay up and watch TV at night, I was begging for bed right after bath time.  I had a date with my handsome Luke.  I would lie awake hours scripting each scene meticulously in my mind.  The color of my hair, the details of my dress, the way we would meet, the look on his face when his eyes first encountered mine..magic!  Oh my, if a ten year old knew how to write soft porn without knowing anything about it, I would have had a contract with HBO.  And, of course, just when I reached that moment of our first kiss...I fell asleep.  Talk about a deal breaker!  I'd have to re-script the entire episode for the next night.  To this day, I wonder if my Mom ever thought something was seriously wrong with me.  It wouldn't have been a shock if she came into my room and felt my forehead a couple of times during the night or consulted her Dr. Spock book for childhood maladies.

Yes, I was a serious romantic in my youth and my poor stuffed animals suffered most for it.  I practiced my kissing techniques on my teddy bears but my stuffed Snoopy was special.  He learned first hand what French kissing was all about, or at least what I thought it was all about.  Yuck, they were wet and drooly by the next morning.  They probably smelled nasty too because at ten, really - did anyone truly floss their teeth?  To this day, I will never, ever accept or donate stuffed animals remembering what I did with mine.  Gruesome!  Anyway, I digress...I was not going into my junior high years naive about how to return kisses especially if someone as good looking as Luke Skywalker was going to plant big wet goobers on me.  I was going to know what I was doing.  Wrong, so wrong.  Another blog - another day.  (See how I am?  I keep you on the edge of your seat because you know there's another horrific story to follow somewhere down the road.  And if you're that poor fellow who gave me my first kiss - or thought you did - you'll just have to keep reading my blogs won't you?  I'm such a terrific brat!)

I'm still a terrible romantic.  I believe I've mentioned my penchant once for Mike Rowe from the TV series, Dirty Jobs.   And, I hate to admit this because after all, I've been told that I'm a Goddess, but yes I am human - so sometimes I still daydream about other faces some I know, some I don't, or on really good days multiple firemen (oops, that was a secret).  However, at the end of the day, when it all boils down to it, I will always roll over and love the face beside mine.  This face happens to be the same wonderful face I've been looking at for over sixteen years.  The face of the boy I met when I was sixteen, the young man I married when I was twenty-nine, the middle-aged guy who put up with my horrible mid-life crisis just last week, and eventually the face of an old man loving me twenty years from now...his blonde hair, his blue eyes, his boyish good looks, my Luke Skywalker - my first real life crush...Eric Potts.




    

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Beware of the Dark Side.

I hate crying.  I've been told it's cathartic.  Now just exactly who told me this and when, I can't remember.  Personally, I think it's a load of crap (pardon my French).  I always feel worse after I cry.  I can't breathe, my eyes are usually swollen shut, and I've made myself sick to my stomach.  Oh, and how I look, this just goes without saying - I'm as gruesome as I feel. 

For those of you who are attached to my Facebook pages, you know that I've been going through a rough patch of depression lately.  It's an ugly thing this bi-polar business.  It seems like I'm ok in the mornings, but towards the afternoon, I start sliding backwards again.  It better not happen today because Eric, my husband and knight in shining armour, has come down with a terrible head cold, there are flies hovering around two days worth of dirty dishes, and the kids are now eating breakfast foods for most of their meals.  Is there any redeeming nourishment in a Pop-Tart?  I think not.

So, today I must pull myself up by my boot straps.  Boots?  Why would I wear boots on a lovely 84 degree day like today?  Perhaps my flip flops, yes - that's sounds better.  I think a shower might make me feel good.  Did I get it wrong when I thought those flies were hovering around the dirty dishes?  After all, I am sitting in the kitchen too.  They've been swirling closer to me than I care to admit.  I smell like a piece of over ripe something or other.  Yes, a shower might be in order here.  Grocery shopping.  Oh no.  Costco on a Saturday.  That's enough to make me want to curl back into a fetal position and suck my thumb all over again.  There's nothing worse than dealing with people when I'm in recovery mode.  I'll ignore them.  Yup.  They'll be invisible.  Bring on those screaming babies.  I can't wait. 

In talking with my parish priest once about my diagnosis, he told me something profound.  He said that I needed to give them names - my highs and my lows.  I can't change my diagnosis, I can only live with it.  The manic sides are a part of me, of who I am.  My highs make me silly, lovable, goofy.  My lows make me introspective, dramatic, profound.  When they're brought together I am one, united in a central character.  When they shift, I need to understand them and nurture them.  I haven't come so far as to name them yet.  I still haven't come to terms with appreciating them, especially the dark side of me.  In fact, I hate the Bastard.  He makes me cry and I hate crying.  How can I possibly embrace a side of me that makes me look gruesome for three days?  Obviously, this relationship will take some time.   
    

Friday, September 23, 2011

I so get it now...

Being a parent is tough, right folks?  Oh, come on!  I didn't hear you!  Let's hear an Alleluia! Amen!  Ok, that's much better.  I even heard some of my Russian blog readers this time.  Good job.  

There is a huge difference between being a Mom or a Dad versus being an Auntie or an Uncle.  I personally love being an Auntie.  There's no responsibility attached to this position other than being funner than the parents.  I LOVE that! 
We took our nieces kite flying
Elizabeth, Eric, Molly, and Tiffany

Prior to our boys being placed in our home and before Eric and I made the big decision to adopt, we were the "bomb".  We loved hanging out with our nieces and nephews.  On birthdays, we would get permission to take the mini demons out from school and treat them to a day at Disneyland.  When we were caravaning someplace, the kids always fought as to who rode with Auntie Breezy and Uncle Eric.  Why would they want to go with their parents when they could drive with us and listen to Uncle Eric make fart sounds and have permission to put their arms out the windows and "fly".  The stereo would always be blasting as we drove past their parent's quiet car.  Ours would be shakin' and rumblin' and quakin' with open windows and the sound of two goofy adults and three silly ones jammed in the back seat hootin' and laughin' with obnoxious rap music blaring out the windows.  It never occurred to me why the parents always had bigger grins on their faces then we did.  Hmmm...curious.

We were at a flower garden in San Clemente, CA
Tiffany, Glen, Eric, and Molly
Some weekends we would have a niece or nephew over to share some quality time with us.  If it was a niece, we'd go to the salon (ooh la la) and get our nails done.  Not just a manicure but a pedicure too.  This was back in the day before it was a common thing for 7 year olds carrying lattes to have it done on a weekly basis (don't even get me started on this...I'm feeling another blog formulating in my mind...).  I taught the girls my Grandmother's hot chocolate recipe in the hope that they'd remember it and pass it down to their daughters.  If we had a nephew visiting, we'd bring him to Kite Hill, an amazing spot were we lived in Aliso Viejo, California, and watch the remote control planes take off from the cliff.  No matter who it was, we'd always go night swimming at our community pool or if it was too cold (California, really?), we'd take our chances and go to the jacuzzi.  When their parents picked them up, the kiddos always wanted to stay yet we sweetly declined and let them go home.  Funny, it always seemed like their parents had a look of desperation on their faces almost as if perhaps we'd change our minds or something.  Hmm...I wonder why?
Eric being silly with our nieces
Devyn and Francine

Now we have our own boys and we're in a state where there are no silly Aunties or Uncles nearby to entertain them.  William and Austynn have no one to hang out with on the weekends other than their "boring" parents. (GOOD GRIEF!)  I consider this a huge bummer and now I get it.  I get the grins from my sister and brother-in-law's faces as we drove past them.  That was probably the first quiet drive they had in weeks.  I understand the look of desperation on their faces when the kids begged to stay another night.  Eric's brother probably could have used another couple of days, weeks, months of relaxation. 

Deep sigh.  I so get it now...



Thursday, September 22, 2011

One day at a time.

The secret to having a manic day is knowing when it's coming on.  For instance, yesterday...Wednesday, September, 21st.  This was a crappy day and I sensed the deep, dark cloud of depression rolling over the Rockies before I even took my first sip of coffee.  There was nothing wrong with the day per se.  It was actually a glorious "almost fall" morning here in Colorado.  The air was crisp, the skies were clear, there was a slight breeze, and my kiddos needed to wear jackets but of course they're acclimated to 40+ temps now, "Mom, it gets hot in the classroom."  Whatever.

My sugar dropped fast.  I'm not a diabetic, otherwise my blood work would have told me so years ago.  I think I'm hypoglycemic whatever the Hell that is.  Sometimes if I get distracted (his name is Austynn), I'll lose count of Hershey chocolate swirls in my coffee cup, put too much in, and then get the shakes.  This is when I need to eat something with protein early in the morning.  I usually keep protein shakes in the frig (of course, chocolate ones) to keep me steady.  I ran out a few days ago.  I didn't have the brain processing to make eggs because I knew I'd burn the house down.  Apples and Peanut Butter - way too much work.  FRITOS!  Yeah, that would do it!  Nice.  Feed my face with greasy, crap food.  This makes my manic depression so much better!!  Ooohh, add melted cheese.  Yummo!  Frito Cheetos (at least that's what I call them, I don't know why).

Of course, I felt terrible after that.  I took my Adderall.  I thought this would get me going.  My Jack Ass psychiatrist does do some things right.  He prescribed me Adderall for the days when my depression kicks into full gear to keep me from hiding in bed.  I took it.  Hmm...The house looked ok.  I know I needed to do the laundry but couldn't move yet.  I needed the stimulant to get going first.  A MOVIE!  That would inspire.  Popcorn and a movie!  "Being John Malkovich".  A quirky, silly, keep me awake until the Adderall kicked in kind of movie.  The dogs and I ate the popcorn and ten minutes later, I crawled deep under the comforter into a fetal position, and slept until my eldest son came home from school.

I'm not trying to make light of manic depression or being bi-polar.  I'm trying to explain it to those of you who don't have it.  It's a terrible, paralyzing disease.

I wish I could say that was the end of my day.  Nice and tidy in bed but it wasn't.  It got worse.  Austynn had a bad day at school and his consequence was no PlayStation at home.  By the time I had to take the boys to their bi-monthly psychiatrist appointment at 4:00pm, he was wired up so tight that he could not stop talking and accusing me of being a horrific mother.  I obviously was not in a good place to listen to anything much less his incessant, accusational rattling.  Of course, his older brother plays the antagonist making things much worse than it needed to be.  The entire drive on two freeways of traffic made my face ache from clenching my teeth shut. 

Eric and I had a nasty argument on the phone driving home from the boys' appointment.  He's been trapped late at work all week due to team building exercises and has not been available to rescue me from the madness of the kids at his usual allotted time.  This week has not been easy for either of us and I took it out on him. 

Once I got home, all I wanted to do was throw some clean clothes in a bag and leave.  Financially, it's impossible.  There's no money anywhere.  I'm trapped.  All I could do was sit at my laptop and listen to the boys argue over the TV and holler, "Hey, mom."  I wanted to scream but my throat was sore because I had already done that several times.  They just weren't getting it tonight.  LEAVE MOM ALONE!

When Eric came home, I wept in my bathroom.  I wept long and hard until my eyes hurt, I came down with a headache, and wanted to vomit.  Afterwards, we held each other and talked about everything.  I shared something I'd been hiding from him.  It didn't wreck our marriage, and by the way in case some of you are wondering, it strengthened our bond more than I thought was possible.  I'm so very much in love with him.

So...that was the story of a manic's ugly day.  This morning I'm better.  I'm on the cusp though.  It could go either way, if you know what I mean.  I'm taking it slow, doing the laundry, staying away from the Frito's, and taking one moment at a time.  AND, definitely appreciating what I have.  Where's my vacuum?



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Come on! Make up your mind already!!

Change.  I get it.  Things happen.  Move on.  Improve.  BUT, they must improve.  Don't suddenly update something, make no accommodations to explain the change until the deed is done, and then expect us to be pleased about it.

My theory on change is that if a fix improves or adds to a system then go for it.  If it does nothing more than change things around or confuse the end user just to keep an analyst busy, then unfortunately the analyst needs to look for another job.  I'm sorry, I can be rather callous that way.  Today, the Facebook programmers that be sort of pissed me off (is it showing?).

I wouldn't normally be this grumbly about a silly computer application, after all my coffee was outstanding this morning; however, last night I had to deal with another type of change - indecision.  I HATE INDECISION. 

Now I must confess that at times, particularly when standing in front of the candy aisle at the grocery store, I am guilty of waffling between a Snickers Bar or a Milky Way, Lemon Heads or a box of Mike and Ike.  It can be embarrassing especially for Eric who apologises to the check-out clerk waiting patiently for me to make up my mind.  Yes, I do this and on a regular basis.  I am guilty of sweet tooth indecision.

What happened last night is that the woman in charge of religious education made a decision to pull another small class into my group (which made a lot of sense) and then after class changed her mind because one of the children cried before everything started.  Good grief!  Perhaps had the lady waited, she would have realized that the kiddo acclimated just fine as most 2nd graders do.  In fact, the little one had a lot of fun.  Now, next week, she'll probably cry again.  This kind of stuff drives me crazy.  Make up your mind and stick with it especially when it involves other people.  It's not candy, you know!

I hate to openly admit this but my Mama is quite an indecisive character.  She has always relied on every one's input to determine her final decision.  This just can't happen.  One can't make a final determination based on eight different opinions.  This makes for "Willy Nilliness" and this is a very ugly couple of words.  Consider, if you will, asking all of your children plus three of your sisters and their spouses where they'd like to go for Sunday Brunch on Mother's Day.  Is she nuts?  (Yes, but that's an entirely different blog or two down the road.) 

First of all, it's her day.  She shouldn't be planning it.  Her daughters know where she'd like to go.  Let us take care of it.  No, she doesn't want to put us through the hassle, after all we're mothers too.  Deep sigh.  (Violins sound very nice with Catholic guilt hymns.)  Secondly, everyone has their own opinion and Mom wants everyone happy on their special day, so needless to say instead of one quick phone call as to where and what time, we are inundated everyday with not one call but four sometimes five and usually in rapid succession of one another (because you know she just finished speaking with four of five other hapless victims).  Third, on Saturday, the day before the big feast, the restaurant selections will be narrowed down to three all of which she's made firm reservations with.  This is almost unforgivable from a business aspect because remember, she's planning this for her children plus three of her sisters and their spouses.  I did not mention that each of her children have children and her sisters have children and their children have children and so on and so forth.  These firm reservations - on this busiest brunch day of the year - are set for a group of possibly 30 or more people.  We are practically a banquet hall of diners.  Once the final decision is made, my Mom will call and cancel the other two "firm" reservations at 11:00pm the night before.  I believe my Mama is single handedly responsible for why we have to pay cancellation fees at major restaurants these days.

Willy Nilliness.  This phenomenon also happens once we get to the restaurant.  I tried to explain it once to Eric after we were married.  We arrived at the restaurant and once he had found a seat promptly sat down.  Sounds normal.  This is what normal families do.  Nah.  Not mine.  He looked confused as my Father, siblings, their families, and myself stood around the long table waiting for my Mother to get situated.  You see, we learned a long time ago to never, ever get comfortable at a table because it would just be a matter of time before my Mother determined that the seating was not up to her liking.  For instance, the children should be down at the end, away from the adults.  "Richard (my father), why don't you sit down here across from Eric (my husband) since you haven't seen each other for awhile? (It didn't matter at all that Eric would prefer to sit next to me, his wife).  Kathy (my sister), why don't you sit next to Tiffany (her 10 yr. old daughter)..." and on and on and on...  Cringe worthy embarrassment because the entire time this is happening, we are standing in the middle of a restaurant disturbing and at the same time, being personally introduced to each and every diner around us. 

Change, Indecision, Willy Nilliness.  Oh for the love of God and everything good, can't Brad just make up his mind already?!  Angelina or Jennifer.  It's driving me crazy!!!






    

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Smell is a powerful thing.

Have you ever picked up on a smell that brought you back to a completely different time and place?  Now, I'm serious here.  Yes, we all know how this can go.  I'm naughty so I can take this topic in all sorts of strange directions but for the sake of my morning coffee and whatever you may be munching on at this moment, I will not. 

This came racing through my mind when I stepped into my guest room last night and was flooded with the scent of baby clothes and toys.  You see, I'm collecting gently used clothing and items for a lady in need and my spare room is the holding area until early October. 

There was a time in my life, particularly in my early to mid thirties, where this scent would make my body ache.  You see, Eric and I could never have biological children of our own.  My husband has a non-cancerous brain tumor which prevents his ability to have children and even if he could, I knew that I would also have difficulty in conceiving.  Some couples are meant for other things.  We were meant to adopt.  Still, when I was younger, before we had William and Austynn placed in our home, I carried a seed of hope.  Many, many times I'd walk past the baby section in a department store or hold a friend's newborn and breathe them in thinking...maybe, possibly, what if?    

Growing up, my parents often needed to get away from the four of us for a week or two (this was before my baby brother was born), so they would arrange to drop us off at my Grandparent's house in San Juan Capistrano, California. My Grandfather was not retired yet so we were left with my poor, rattled Grandmother.  She loved us but often as not, we drove her crazy too.  Her great respite was the community pool where we spent most of our days driving the rest of her neighbors loony.  No one knew who we belonged to so she felt quite at ease with leaving us there for hours on end screaming and fighting with one another. 

It's been many, many years since my Grandparents have passed away but not too long ago, I walked into a kitchen where someone was using her same brand of kitchen soap.  Suddenly a flash of memories came rushing back to me.  The mornings when we sat around her yellow, formica kitchen table forced to eat oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins (to this day, I hate it), her beautiful bird whistle of Laura's Theme from the movie, Doctor Zhivago, the clock ticking in the living room, and her awful grey poodle, Gigi.

And finally, my Dad's cologne.  To this day, I don't know what brand he wore but it's unique and when I smell it, I feel him near me.  His presence is intense.  One afternoon I received a phone call I thought I'd never recover from and Dad and I were the only ones home.  My heart had been broken and I had openly and deeply wept.  He held me against him and wished my pain away.  When I sense his presence, he's doing that all over again.  Smell is a very powerful thing.

Wait, I think I smell some microwave popcorn.  Time to start a classic movie and chill out for the morning.  I'm exhausted from all of these memories.  How about some Dr. Zhivago?  Nah...Omar's weepy, dog eyes drive me crazy and not in a good way.  Might as well make some brownies.  Now, that's another really good smell!


Monday, September 19, 2011

I'm a clutz, it's in my genes.

I once referenced that I inherited my father's gift, or lack thereof, of gracefulness.  Again, I have proven that I'm not a multi-tasker.  I can not walk, talk, and consider throwing in a third option without stumbling over my ridiculously wide size 10 feet. 

Yes, I fell.  It wasn't pretty and with every humiliating collapse, as if it isn't horrific enough, I see it happening in a slow motion out of body experience.  Oh, the shame!  First, the foot twists in a funny, awkward angle.  Then the other foot charges out in front trying to stop the momentum of my fluffy body behind it.  The arms sprawl with hands outstretched ready to deflect what in this case was the certainty of my head crashing into the front door and my knees ramming into the porch step.  My face, I always see my face.  What usually is a composed, pleasant looking countenance is now a twisted, bug-eyed, open mouthed cartoonish look normally with my tongue hanging out in some sort of ghoulish half-scream.  SLAM!

"Someone's at the door!!"  No worries.  Just me.

Now, this is the tricky part.  How long do I lay there? Of course, the first thing I do is look around and make sure no one witnessed the crime.  After all, it was a lovely Saturday evening.  Kids were out riding their bikes (piss ants).  Families were across the street at the park.  Wheew.  Coast clear.

"Oh my gosh, Bri!  Are you ok?"  Too late, discovered.

"Ouch, oh...aww.."  I mean, I did seriously whack myself.  A few years ago, I would have jumped up a lot faster but these kind of falls can take a girl down both figuratively and literally, if you know what I mean.  However, I must admit I did play it up a wee bit.  "I'll be ok."  I added a bit more moaning for theatrical effect.

"Look at the door!  Did you do that with your head?"

Geez, I hadn't noticed that yet.  Now I was really impressed and started feeling it too.  I was not jumping up quickly.  I was going to be pampered and loved back onto my feet.  It felt nice.  "I guess I did.  Ooh, see?"  I showed Eric my booboo on my wrist.

"Yeah, that looks bad."

"And see?"  I showed him my booboo on my knee cap. 

At this point my dear husband started catching on.  He understands me so well.  "Let me help you up, Breezy.  Do you need to lay down and recover?"

"That sounds nice.  Maybe I should take some Tylenol before it really starts hurting."

"Ok, I'll get that for you and some water.  Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"Maybe you should kiss my bruises before they turn into something cancerous and of course, then there's my pride..."

I heared him laughing as he walked away to tend to my wounds.  You see, it wouldn't be a good fall without some sort of laughter.  Thank you, Dad.  I guess I inherited your sense of humor too.   






  

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Like a good neighbor...

It's important to have good neighbors isn't it?  During the winter months when our electricity goes out, we know we can count on each other for help if necessary.  When we need an egg or an extra cup of sugar, we can send our kiddos next door instead of driving to the store in our slippers when the cake is in a half mixed state.  We gather around the fire pit on chilly Autumn evenings with a glass of wine, laugh, and relax together.  And finally, on those sweltering summer nights when our bedroom windows are left open, when Mr. and Mrs. Potts forget that all of God and creation can hear our moaning and groaning (oh, good grief!), it's so nice to know that they politely ignore mentioning this the next morning over the fence line.

At this juncture, let me just add that we heard another couple once or twice screaming with ecstasy.  We thought this was awesome.  But since they moved away a few years ago, all is quiet on the western front.  This is due in part that we live in a very discreet neighborhood.  Eric and I now tend to be the rather shocking couple.  In fact, I have a neighbor who introduces me at parties as her "liberal friend from California".  However, let me add that I have never intended my love life to be broadcast over the Homestead Hills (no soliciting) Community of Thornton.  Now that we've solicited how often we make love, I believe we've certainly earned my girlfriend's title.

Oh well, make love not gossip - that will have to be my new motto going forward.  And, like a good neighbor...we'll try to remember to close our bedroom windows next time.   


Friday, September 16, 2011

I've been called a lot of things in my life...

I've been called a lot of things in my life and unfortunately many of them are true.  The one title which really unnerves me is that of a "control freak". 

Control Freak.  If there were to be a definition in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary it should just have my picture:




Yep, there you go.  No more needs to be said.  That's me.  Control Freak. 

The reason I believe that control freaks are the way they are, well - controlling, is because we feel we have no sense of control anywhere else in our lives.  For instance my weight.  As a kiddo, I felt I had no control over a chaotic home life.  Things were pretty insane so I controlled my little space by hoarding food and eating as much as I could.  It comforted me.  By the time I stopped playing sports in junior high and became a freshman in high school, I weighed close to 200 pounds.  What I thought I controlled, I didn't.  I would buy 2-3 fast food orders because I didn't want the guy at the window to think I was ordering for just one person and then, sadly enough, I would shove them down my throat before I got home.  I didn't want to waste the food.  Don't you realize that there are starving children in Africa - not to mention extremely obese children in America?

As you all know by now, I've given that piece of control up.  It's not easy to let things go - to accept things as they are but that's what I'm striving for, one day at a time.

The reason this came up today is because of a huge, friggin' pimple in the center of my chin.  Laugh if you must but this is a very serious issue for me.  (Pardon me, but I can hear snickering in China!)  I do not appreciate the fact that at 44 years old, I still get acne when Banshee decides to come for her monthly visit.  If I want to announce her visit to God and the rest of creation, then I will announce it dammit, but not by a huge whitehead on the center of my chin!  I feel I should have some control over who knows what's happening in my life and when.  This is horrific.  Now I face the daunting question of whether to pop it and make it red and more noticeable or do I safely stay at home and pray that it dries up before I pick up Austy this afternoon from school.  (Yes, you're right - another title, "vain".)  Chances are I'll pop it because I'm obsessed with pimples.  D'oh! 

Oh and by the way, if I seem a little testy this weekend, Banshee has arrived.  You may want to stay clear of my mood swings for a couple of days. 

Haha!!  I announced her arrival before you saw the pimple and turned away in horror and disgust.  I am the master of my own information.  I have control!  Now if I could just leave the friggin' pimple alone...      




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Two to type with, eight to point with.

After two and a half years I still get so excited when I see my dogs "relieve" themselves outside.  It's a moment of celebration.  I clap my hands, pet them, love them, give them treats because I know for at least two to three hours I do not need to concern myself as to why or where they're sniffing throughout the house.

Tulip and Tank
10 Weeks Old
 I had this whole house training thing down before they moved in.  I had read the books.  I knew how it was done before we even lost our last dog.  Crate training.  I knew there would be accidents, but with consistency and love, the training would be completed within a few months and my carpet would be, for the most part, saved.

Yeeeeessss, weeeelllll.  I do not want to point any fingers, but since I type with only two, I have plenty to spare.  You see, I'm the one who stays home and smells residual pet stink on warm summer days or on winter mornings when the house is bundled up against the Arctic blasts.  I'm the gal who must search out and destroy the spots because if I don't, I hear my dearest spouse complain that the house smells like dog urine.  This is all fine and good but I was raised with Catholic guilt.  It's an inbred trait and has been handed down through generations of Catholic bloodlines.  Even though it's not my fault that the house smells like dog pee (I'll get into that in a moment), I can't help but feel guilty about it and this thoroughly pisses me off (pardon the pun).  I say we Catholics need a guilt box to throw all this miscellaneous shit in and bury some place next to our local church.  It belongs to them.  Let them have it.  I certainly don't want I anymore.  (Boy, that was a ramble?!)

I digress, the reason it's not my fault that the house smells like doggy pee is that my dearest love of my life, apple of my eye could not stand the sweet puppies whimpering their first night in the crate.  Oh dear God in heaven!  They were going to keep him up all night (despite the fact that we got them on Memorial Day weekend).  They were just too cute.  He had to have them on the bed with us.  Who's following me here?  The crate?  The consistency?  It just never happened.

So now we have yet to have more than one or two good full nights of sleep because our wee little puppies have grown into full sized dogs.  Granted, they are still small dogs, a Shih Tzu and a Lhasa Apso; however, Eric and I are large adults and we never could afford that king sized bed.  Tulip, the Shit Tzu, sleeps down the center of the bed sprawled out on her back in what we lovingly refer to as, the "porno dog" position.  Tank, the Lhasa Apso, because he's terrified of the "porno dog", must sleep next to the headboard above/on my pillow.  This makes it awful when I take him out after it's been raining.  The smell of a wet, furry dog on my pillow that insists on snuggling up to my face.  Disgusting.  In the meantime, Eric and I are crunched up into small angles hanging off the sides of the bed.  When the dogs shift or kick, it's all we can do to hang on for dear life.

So, I type with two fingers which leaves me eight to point with.  After I take the dogs out to potty again for the fifth celebratory time today and sniff out the stinky pee spot, I'll have time to point all eight fingers at the culprit of my angst and love. 
   

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Equus asinus is defined as a Jackass or in other words...my doctor.

How much do I love my psychiatrist?  Let me count the ways...hmmm, well...  I'm thoroughly stumped.  He's a complete jackass.  Why don't I change doctors you ask?  Because it's nearly impossible to find a new one in my area on my insurance.

Let me give you a few examples as to why he lands in the Equus asinus species of animals.  He believes he is above himself.  That he is some sort of thoroughbred stallion.  Not so.  Every time I walk into his office, he looks down his long, donkey nose at me, past his bi-focals and waits for my greeting.  It is beyond his social magnitude to say, "Hello" to his lowly, crazy patients sitting across from him.  So I wait.  I have come to play the game.  I am the lowly, crazy patient who sits across from him and stares.  I never say, "Hello".  I wait and attempt to look as nutty as possible.  My eyes are big and blue and I can make them look as dazed as the next guy.  

"What's up?"

"Nothing new."

"No feelings of listlessness, wanting to hurt yourself or others, feelings of distraction, sadness, impulsiveness, extreme mood changes, euphoria, etc.?"

"No, I'm good.  I did miss several appointments last month - including yours (hmmm, wonder why?) and had a serious deja vu experience.  I lost about ten minutes while writing checks and paying bills.  It really frightened me."

"It sounds like the Topiramate.  That can happen."

"Yep."  (Thanks for your concern asshole.)

"Anything else?"

"Nope.   Except that I'm sorry about missing last month's appointment."

"Hundred dollar late fees are why you never have to say, 'you're sorry'"  Seriously?  Did he just say that?  Do I hear baying in the room?

"We'll see you next month."

"Yeah, thanks."

Tell me again why women fall in love with their doctors?  Less than five minutes of agony which cost me $20.00.  Equus asinus.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Really, is this the path I chose?

"Hey Mom, I'm hungry!"

Really?  I know I signed up for this but really?  This is my time.  It's not my fault Austynn felt compelled to get up an hour and a half earlier this morning. 

"Umm...Sorry dude.  It's not breakfast time yet, you're going to have to wait a little longer." 

Some mornings I just want to crawl back into bed and pretend it's all a dream.  Am I really a homemaker in a Denver suburb typing away at a laptop while two finches are squawking away behind me?  What happened to my goal of going to journalism school, living in a loft in some big city, and being independent?  Did I ever really believe I could obtain it?  I didn't think so at the time so instead I allowed a long haired, chain smoking pagan dude with blue eyes and a sweet smile to enter my life.  I knew what I was doing.  I was terrified of failing so I chose another path.

I'm not saying my other choice was wrong.  All paths lead to where we are now; however, I would prefer to finish my coffee at my own leisure this morning then dealing with frozen waffles covered with bananas and syrup. 

My ex-husband and I were obviously not soul mates.  We both know that now.  We lived together for a few years and then I pushed the marriage ticket.  In his mind, and he said this out loud (clue #1, Bri!), it was just a piece of paper.  Why did I do this?  I figured it was time.  D'oh slap!!!  Not only did I insist that we get married but we had a big, beautiful wedding in a Catholic church.  With Jeff and his best men all wearing pentagrams and Wiccan charms under their tuxedos, I'm surprised the church didn't explode in fire and brimstone.

I was eternally lonely married to Jeff as I'm sure he was to me.  There was no communication, no connection.  He was absorbed with his pagan rituals and gaming friends and as long as we lived in California, I at least had my friends and family to spend time with.  When we had an opportunity to move to Colorado (for reasons I will not go into), he soon made new gaming friends and seemed to acclimate quickly into the local Wiccan community.  I, on the other hand, receded deeper into myself.   It would still be years into my marriage with Eric before my bi-polar and depression would be diagnosed.  I had no one to confide my sadness to.  When I wrote home everything was sunshine and daffodils.  There was no need to tell my parents we were selling plasma twice a week.  Why worry them that we were walking to work in sub zero temperatures in light weight clothes because we weren't prepared for the harsh Colorado winter and our car had broken down.  This was my rock bottom.

There were so many days I wanted to die.  I would sit on the back porch in the cold winter winds and wait to fall asleep.  Ironically, there was always a tug at my heart string that either woke me up or kept me from closing my eyes.  Something told me it would get better.  To hang on.  That my life wasn't over yet and I needed to make the best of things.

Even though you know that someone doesn't love you, to actually hear them say it, "Bri, I don't love you", can be the most devastating and demoralizing words of a lifetime.  Everyone wants to be loved, even if its not to be "in love" but to be loved.  My small, fragile world shattered.  I can't truly recall what happened from day to day, moment to moment going forward.  I remember there were other women, nasty words, glass throwing, tears...and then, it was over.  In a way, he did me a tremendous favor.  He let me go.

So here I am today.  Sitting at my laptop, having just fed and dropped off Austy to school (by the way, I changed my mind about the waffles, Toaster Strudels this morning and a banana).  My trusty dog and companion, Tank is laying by my feet and waiting patiently for me to feed him.  And Eric, if I had taken that different road, if I had gone to journalism school, if I hadn't married Jeff and Eric wasn't there to wipe away my tears and hold me up...what then?  How much would I have missed?  Far too much.

If I had a choice to live through the sadness all over again, I would.  Those tugs at my heart strings were obviously very powerful.  God didn't pull down the church in fire and brimstone for a reason.  He had something else planned for me.  He had a very special man and two little boys who require my love and attention far more than my depression and the cold winter winds of Colorado needed to take me.

I'm here of my own free will. I don't want to be anywhere else, except for maybe on a big bed (oooh), on a beach (ahhh), with a pot of coffee by my side (oh my gosh!!)...I guess I'll warm up my coffee now and finish it at my own leisure.


Pismo Beach 2005
William, Eric, and Austynn
My three loves


 

         

  

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mean Girls, Mean Boys...this one's for you!

While looking through Facebook pages yesterday I came across one of my friend's old high school pictures.  This friend and I haven't spoken or seen each other face to face since elementary school and as many people do, we found one another again through the miracle of social networking.  His senior picture quite honestly blew me away.  I mean, sure I've seen current day pictures of him.  Nothing unexpected there.  Both he and I are in our 40s now and look like it.  He's balding and middle-aged and I'm fluffy.  We have extremely similar tastes in humor and politics.  On a personal level, I don't know him as well as I'd like.  I'm sure if he ever came out to Denver we could hang out and have a great time.  Perhaps hit the driving range together.  I'd love for this to happen. 

The reason that this high school picture so unnerved me was that he was breathtakingly handsome (my dear friend, and you know who you are, feel free to blush if you read my blogs).  You see, in grade school, he was the butt of every mean girl's jokes.  I went to a private Catholic school where cruel things like this never happened.  We were taught to be decent and loving towards one another.  Yeah, right!  (Sarcasm on the highest level!)  We were awful.  Probably more so than public school kids because we were one class of children who stayed together from 1st through 8th grade.  We were 30+ kids and out of this number there were a couple of very mean and nasty cliques.

I was in the lowest of the low group of girls who were teased.  I wasn't picked on as much personally but my friends were and I loathed the mean kids for it.  This friend, who I'm writing about today, was in the group of boys who were teased incessantly.  I remember how dreadful it was for him.  I won't go into detail but there were times I would watch him in class nervously fidgeting around and feel both sadness and curiosity for him.  I didn't understand.  Now with my two Aspergian/ADHD boys, I do.

I hate mean kids.   You know the ones I'm referring to.  The ones who are so full (or no so full of) themselves that they must tear everyone else down around them.  If their parents have a bit more money, or if they're pretty or good-looking, or just generally popular, they can be so cruel - and they were.

As I mentioned before, I didn't receive a lot of bullying in school.  I was a "middle of the road" kind of kid.  I minded my own business and seemed to get along with everyone.  But with the girls I hung out with, I saw and felt their embarrassment; the painfully shy one, the klutzy one, the girl with the high squeaky voice, the one with the freckles and green plastic glasses, the overweight one, and last but not least this boy with horned-rimmed glasses who couldn't sit still in his desk.  I felt redemption when I saw his high school football picture.  I felt a certain amount of pride that he survived those nasty jerks in grade school and seemed to thrive once he left them behind.  He went on with his life.  Of course, we all have.  I haven't given the mean kids much thought until I saw his picture or when the subject of bullying comes up.

My sons, my eldest in particular, are always telling me that it's different today than it was when I went to school.  I just shake my head sadly and know that it's not.  The forms of bullying may have changed a little but the bullies haven't.  They're the same mean kids that I went to school with except for now it's their children who are doing the bullying.  My advice to my boys is always the same; stay strong and above the nonsense.  I'm guessing Bill Gates was bullied and I can only imagine how stupid those jack asses are feeling right about now. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Innocent girls need a handbook...

I read a small MSN news snippet this morning about a woman calling her ex-boyfriend in Amsterdam more than 65,000 times last year.  This would roughly equal over a 178 times a day.  My first reaction was to click my tongue and "tsk tsk" her.  What a freak!  How could anyone be so deranged?  But then I think back to my past and remember my first horrible crush.  Yes, it's true.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but I've also been a stalker.  Certainly not to the extent of making 178 phone calls a day but yes, I've been known to drive around my ex-boyfriend's neighborhood at night to see if his bedroom light was on.  Eeewww.  It sounds...well, so dirty.  Breezy the Night Stalker!

What is it that compels people to be so desperate?  Seriously?  What were the odds that the same unique car his ex-girfriend drove would show up on his street at 11:30 on a Tuesday night and circle around 6 times?  What was I hoping to gain from that?  That he would turn on his light and say, "Oh, Bri my love!  Let me come outside and passionately embrace you?!"  Forget about the fact that he had a crush on a guy named, Mike (names have been changed to protect the innocent).  I was such an idiot!

This brings me to another ramble which ties in nicely to the stalker issue.  There needs to be a handbook for the innocent girls of the world.  Back in my day, I had no idea what signs to look for in a straight man versus a gay man.  I'm hoping that today's Moms are much more open about it with their girls but obviously, I had no such discussion with my Mother.  Here I was - in love, enamored, and infatuated with a guy who was obsessed with matching the color of his bow tie with my prom dress.  Really?  I'm thinking that might have been a clue.

A couple of years later I met and had a terrible crush on an extremely handsome latin man.  We worked late restaurant hours together and became very good friends.  Some evenings we'd go out for dancing and drinks after work.  We talked and laughed about everything.  One night, as we were sitting in my car, he became very serious, "Bri, I need to tell you something." (in that sexy, swarthy accent only he had...swoon swoon..)

"What is it, Juan?" (Again, names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

"I don't know how to tell you this.  I'm afraid it will change our friendship."

Well!  For those of you who have gotten to know me over these past months, you know that I can be fairly self-confident at times.  At this particular moment, I was completely full of myself.  This was it!!  This was the moment I'd been waiting for.  Juan was going to profess his undying love for me.  He was going to tell me how much he wanted me...that in a moment he was going to take me in his hunky, Mexican arms and make wild passionate love to me.  Oh, I was ready.  I was ready!

"It's ok, Juan.  Tell me.  It won't destroy our friendship.  It will only make us stronger.  I promise."

"Ok."  With tears welling up in his beautiful green eyes he said, "Bri, I am gay."

Silence.  Long awkward pause.  And in that quiet I realized that this information was not at all what I expected to hear and a complete shock to my system.  Laughter.  Unequivical and unabashed laughter.  I couldn't contain myself.  I, as usual, proved to be an arrogant horses ass.

After a couple of moments I realized that one of my dearest friends just shared something very personal with me and I was laughing.  He probably completely misunderstood.  I quickly looked up and saw his shock and horror.

"Bri!  Why are you laughing?!"

I told him that I thought he wanted to ravage my body.  He gave the same hysterical response.  In fact, with even heartier laughter.  I didn't take that too well but apparently my ego needs a slap on the fannie every so often. 

So, my friends, for the sake of overinflated and innocent young egos everywhere, Mothers talk to your daughters or get some one to print that handbook soon.  Oh, and by the way, George Michael, the singer...he's gay too!  Who knew?




     

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Are you a moral shirt tosser outer?

We all have one don't we? A favorite shirt that we've hung on to for far too long? Yes, I have two and today I must part with one of them. It's inevitable. As I sorted my mounds of past due laundry from Tuesday, I saw it sitting there, my smelly, dirty compadre begging me not to do it..not to toss it into the trash. It's the right thing to do of course. I don't have the heart to tear it into cleaning rags. That would be the final insult. It will be washed, folded with respect, and placed carefully into a plastic bag before meeting the dumpster. This is how to repay a good friend. Nothing else will do.

It started out as one of my husband's T-shirts given to him when he was a Cub Scout dad many years ago in California.  It was completely too big for him and it instantly became one of my favorite "fat" shirts.  It was light, comfortable, and did not cling too miserably to my belly or boobs.  What more could a 300+ girl ask for?  And, I felt sexy in it!  Believe it or not, when I weighed that much, I really did feel beautiful.  It was just when I saw pictures of myself that I cringed.  Ladies, find yourself a man who loves you for who you are and not for what you look like because standing beside Eric, I've never felt fat a day in my life.
 
Once the shirt started becoming far too oversized for me, I delegated it as a "stay at home" shirt.  After years of kicking back in it and repeated washings, the wicked House Troll started nibbling little holes in the bottom of it...bastard!  I hate that villain!!  I've lost more clothes to that creep!
Then of course, because I'm so dedicated to how sexy I look at bedtime, it became a sleep shirt with my long johns or sweat pants.  (Hey, at least I don't smear cold cream all over my face or wear curlers.  I do have some compassion for my man.)  Two nights ago, this sleep shirt's holes became so big that my belly button felt Tulip's paw poke through while I was sleeping.  Since the colder months are coming, I feel that this will not suffice any longer.  Eventually every good thing must come to an end.
 
My other shirt is an orange tye-dye which is also suffering from House Troll holes and is not much longer for this world.  (Eric is secretly quite pleased with this because he's always hated my hippie streak).  I figure it has one more cold season because it's long sleeved and I can wear it under sweat shirts.  I just can't part with two favorite shirts in one season.  I'd seriously be in complete shock. 
 
So what do you do with your favorite shirts when they're no longer wearable?  Do you keep them in memorandum in the back of your closet?  Do you give them a final and decent send off?  If neither and you're a wicked shit using them to clean as such in your toilet bowl, please don't respond.  My heart would be broken.  I believe these are the questions which determine one's true character.  I want to feel that my friends and readers are good and moral shirt tosser outers...I want to believe...I want to believe!   

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Be sure to read the fine print.

Contracts can be very tricky.  There's a plethora of fine print which the parties involved are not always aware of.  Having been married now for sixteen years, I've become extremely knowledgeable of the small points on the bottom of my marriage certificate.  Here are just a few examples:

  • Back Scratching:  Spouses, in particular husbands, are required to scratch their wife's back when said wife needs additional assistance falling asleep at night.  There is no time limitation for this requirement.  Scratching must be gentle, loving, and nurturing and must continue until said wife is gently snoring.  
  •  Bath Tub Etiquette:  If a partner is enjoying a relaxing bubble soak and there is more than one available toilet in the household, the polite decision would be not to use the commode directly adjacent to the tub where one's partner is enjoying this relaxing bubble soak.  If indeed this happens, the contractual obligation clearly states to 1) close the door, 2) not to carry on an in depth conversation particularly about children, household needs, or yard work and finally 3) close the door upon the horrifying outcome. 
  • Sheet Fluffing or Nightwinding:  This is the act whereas one partner passes gas under the bed covers and then surreptitiously fluffs the sheets exposing their spouse to a most unsavory smell.  I am often blamed for this act; however, I must confess that before meeting Eric many years ago, I would never have considered such a thing.  I was a lady on all counts.  He has since taught me how to belch, spit, and pass gas in public though to this day I only accommodate these needs when absolutely necessary (for instance when in the rhinoceros house at the Denver Zoo).  This bullet should be outlawed and considered an act of treason for most relationships. 
  • Devotion:  This covers a wide variety of challenges but primarily during the cold and flu season.  Marriage contracts clearly state (in the fine print) that partners should remain vigilant, compassionate, and above all, devoted to their partners in times of illness.  Fluids and medication are to be distributed with tenderness and all household duties are to be taken up with a cheerful heart and loving attitude.  Crusty tissues wadded up the nose, cough drop breath, and greasy hair are to be completely overlooked.  After all, it will be just a matter of time before the germs carelessly spread on the opposite side of the bed will make themselves known to the other partner.