Category Archives: Outlaws

This is my therapy.

Lots of things happening, but either not feeling the urge to blog about it or lacking the time. Right now, I’m sitting quietly next to a digital dictaphone while it records the dictation from another dictaphone because I screwed something up at work. Sparring Partner has eradicated the louder humans from the house, so I’m doing what I can with the silence gratefully acquired.

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We were on vacation a month ago. We spent a week at my Southern-living SIL’s vrbo beach house. The arrangements were perfect for us; specifically within a very short walk to the ocean and our own private pool. We had invited another couple and their two children who are close to Dood’s age, but they weren’t able to accept. Instead my single, child-free sister was crazy enough to accompany. I think by the time she got back home to her two cats, she was thankful to be both single AND child-free. I often felt torn between letting the kids dictate the schedule and making sure my sister was able to take advantage of the local offerings.

Unfortunately, the most memorable part of the trip for me was the harrowing return flight. I won’t bore you with details, but please for the love of the sweet baby Jesus, if you bring carry-on luggage with you, and even if you plan on not letting that item leave your side the entire flight, put one of those stupid little tags that are piled on top of the terminal’s check-in desk on your bag. Shit can, and will, happen if you don’t. I was so traumatized that I have cried each time I recount the details.

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I recently had a birthday. My mom sent me a birthday card and at the bottom of it she wrote, “Come get your rabbit.” I have no fucking clue what the hell that even means.

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My daughter turns five next week. I still get phantom let-down pains when I think about her infancy.

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Next month Aitch will start kindergarten. Not a big deal, certainly, but I’m mostly concerned about how my tu-tu wearing, pink! purple!, girly-girl will adjust to the navy/khaki school uniform requirements. I imagine it’s also more of a struggle with girls than it is for boys at that age. The worst part for Doodicus was teaching him how to tuck in his shirts and to button a fly. In the past year, Dood has worn one pair of pants that did NOT have an elastic waist, and that was for his grandpa’s funeral.

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Since my FIL’s death, my MIL has been holding my husband emotionally hostage. If before I didn’t care for her, I now want to kick her in her artificial hips. HARD.

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Sorry to end on what can only be the most somber of notes, but it is important to note that my son’s best friend’s dad committed suicide on July 4th. I had the chance to speak privately with Danny’s* mom the day after the funeral. While the dad probably had always had depression, it was both undiagnosed and untreated, however the circumstances that led to the self-inflicted gunwound were mostly acute in nature; an accumulation of events from the preceding handful of days. If the news hadn’t been horrific enough, Danny was the first on the scene.

I was lucky enough to be able to see Danny the day I talked to his mom, but I was utterly speechless with him. We made small talk as we admired the crucifix his pastor gave him at the funeral. While I am completely heart-broken for the family, I am also very angry at the selfishness of the dad. He left two young boys behind who are THE age they need to have dad around (not that there’s really an age a boy doesn’t need his dad…), but both currently face heavy bullying (one of the reasons my son gravitated to Danny in the first place because they were both picked on by the same kids when they first met years ago). Plus the younger child has emotional issues that likely will have to be closely monitored all his life. It all just makes my head and heart ache. It’s unimaginable the burden the mom carries. At the close of our talk, she said on top of everything else, she feels humiliated by what he did and knows that the community will judge her unfairly. Sadly, she is right. I know being there just to listen will help, but I really wish I had the ability to perform just one miracle…just the one.

*name has been changed

Grandma Wanna Be

Tonight we were at supper with my in-laws and their visiting family. My husband’s niece was there as well with her children, including their youngest who recently turned two. One of the visiting family members, Sally, repeatedly requested that the two-year old come over and sit on her lap “…because I don’t have any grandchildren yet.”

The first time she said it, I didn’t think anything of it, but by the third time I was ready to smack her. As if saying that would suddenly convince the two-year-old that “Oh! Hey! I could totally pretend to be your grandchild, Strange Lady I Just Met Today…if I knew what a “grandchild” was, but you know how it is, being TWO and all!”

You know how people make vague announcement, like “Man, could things get any worse?!! *sigh!*” and you know the only reason their doing is is to get you sucked into whatever woe-is-me story they have going on? Well, I just knew that’s what she was doing with that “I don’t have any grandchildren yet” lead. However, since I’m totally antisocial and of the I-don’t-give-a-fuck personality, she unfortunately was barking up the wrong tree.

Luckily (??) someone else finally picked up on her sad sighs and asked her about her children. As I helped Aitch cut up her food, I eavesdropped.

“Well, I just really want a grandchild, but you see, my son, he’s been married now for a couple of years. He’s 31 and I just know that if they haven’t had children by now, they never will.”

I can’t really explain why this made me unreasonably angry, but it did enough that as soon as Sparring Partner and I were in the privacy of the car, I screeched at him. “Maybe they CAN’T have children?? Did she ever think of that?! If she’s constantly moaning about it to us, what kind of guilt trip is she laying on her son and daughter-in-law?”

If HE is 31, then we can safely presume she’s 31 or younger. Hell, I was 34 when I had my son! My husband was 37!! It always makes me uncomfortable when parents talk about their children giving them grandchildren because that means they are thinking about their sweet baby getting it on and conceiving. I don’t want that visual. Aside from that, some couples may not even want to have children. Being 30 seems so, so young to me. Many 30 year-olds don’t even a career, for heaven’s sake.

Having gone through years of infertility and miscarriages and dozens of embarrassing medical procedures, if I had to add my Mom’s (or Mothers-in-law) disappointment over the lack of grandchildren, I’m sure I would have gone straight to Batshit Crazy Hell. Someday, I hope I do live long enough to have grandchildren, but I would rather my children simply have fulfilling and rewarding lives that DON’T include me.

Tomorrow

Things have been not so good lately, but each time I sit down to draft it out, 600 words later I have deleted it and closed the window. One of my friends from Facebook posted on one of my wall updates how I never seem to be happy, and frankly, the words stung with their accuracy. I have not been happy.

It’s not because there is a sense of “buyer’s remorse” over our moving Doodicus from a private school to a public in the hopes he would have access to more…more what? Yeah, well, that’s hard to explain. And the remark about Buyer’s Remorse came from the psychologist, not from Sparring Partner, myself or Dood, but it kinda sums things up nicely.

It’s not because Sparring Partner’s dad is slipping slowly away in a too-small nursing home room. The giant man whose presence in any room could not simply be ignored – not just because of his size – but because his distinct Bostonian voice could drown any cacophony of Midwesterners, has become an almost empty, cancer-riddled shell. Or that my mom’s Alzheimer’s is progressing in what seems like light-speed ever since Aitch started going to school and we see her less frequently. Talking with her about how the kids are adjusting to school, or the home projects, or just little stories about day-to-day happenings is like trying to write on a chalkboard in the middle of a rain shower.

My unhappiness is not because my son had a crisis that shook us all to our very quick; that incurred a standing appointment with the behavioral health department every other week, that made me ache to go back in time and tell him a thousand more times a day that we love him more than anything. I should have hugged him more even though he always wiggled or turned away. Especially when he wiggled and turned away.

It is that culmination of emotional weight and stress and a feeling your life is spinning wildly off course even though there was never a course to begin with to follow. I know it will slow down enough so I can catch my balance. Yesterdays always seem much simpler, and certainly less of a burden. They are the days that no longer have long lists of things to-do and the things un-done. They are just simply the days that were. Tomorrows are hard because they are filled with expectations, anticipations, dread and worry.

I am hoping just for better tomorrows. Maybe even happier.

Hospice

My FIL was admitted to Hospice care after several months of increasing health issues. He was initially diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and even though after his treatments were concluded, he was told the tumors were shrinking. Unfortunately after one of his follow-up appointments they found tumors scattered throughout his body. When they attempted to treat one area, it would negatively affect another organ. Then when they would treat that next organ, another would fail. The cyclical pattern was telling: there was nothing more they could do as far as treatments.

This news has sent the in-law’s family into turmoil, driving a wedge between those who think the doctors gave up too easily and those who think he should be allowed a chance to pain-free and comfortable days. When I first heard that he was going to go through chemo, I was stunned. I didn’t agree with his decision, nor the encouragement of his decision, to go through treatments that would make him feel like crap with the slim chance it would actually add time to his life. If he was 70 instead of 20 years older, I would feel differently. In other words, I thought his quality of life was severely diminished.

And then the chemo DID make him horribly sick and now instead of spending quality time at home, he’s too weak and requires continued care in a nursing home. Not so say he wouldn’t have possibly spent time there if he hadn’t gone through chemo, but being laid out for weeks in a hospital bed prior to making the hospice determination is where I think his health was negatively compromised.

Sparring Partner and I are not seeing eye to eye on this, but I am trying hard to keep my mouth shut. This is not happening to MY dad; I don’t know what he’s really feeling. I just know he leaves almost every evening to see his dad and returns well after the kids and I are in bed. During the day, he is prone to moments of brooding and even tears. After all these years of hearing stories of childhood, I wonder where the sudden change of heart is coming from, but as my sister explained, for my husband’s family, their dad acted as the true patriarch of the family and was actively involved and had final say on anything they did. Not like my dad who was this person who would only say, “Ask your mom…” when there were decisions to be made (if not just an outright “no”).

It’s a strained atmosphere around here. Waiting for the other boot to drop.

The Royal Pain-in-the-Asses

Monday, normally the most derided day of the week, has been a godsend. It meant the end of the weekend. It wasn’t because of one major incident, but an accumulation of lowlights, only beginning Saturday afternoon when we all rushed out the door early to make it to Easter Mass at 5:30. We had dressed up and had sufficiently prepared Aitch’s diaper bag for the hour-and-a-half (minimum) we’d be sitting/standing/kneeling. I wasn’t screaming for everyone to hurry out the door.

When we pulled around the corner, I had a flashback to the prior year: we had arrived for an Easter Mass that wasn’t taking place. They preferred that the congregation make Sunday’s Mass since that is actually Easter so there was only one scheduled for Saturday. At 8:45 p.m. I’m sure the kids would be angels that late in evening. Apparently we have inadvertently started our own Easter tradition. Take note for next year.

When we got home, I changed and made a last-minute dash to WalMart for the kids’ Easter baskets. I was returning to my car after getting some things and saw a POS car with two adults in the front and a toddler standing between the bucket-seats as they drove through the parking lot. Coincidentally, they parked at the end of the row I was exiting and I watched them exit their car and walk towards the store. I parked next to their car and left this note on their windshield:

“Cute little boy you have. I hope you never have to watch him crash through your windshield because you are too lazy/high/selfish to buckle him in a carseat.”

I am unapologetic in my judgment.

The highlight of my weekend was later that night when I enjoyed a couple of beers with some friends we hadn’t seen in years. I climbed into bed right before 2:00 a.m., right after I prepared baskets and hid eggs filled with treats. I forgot to mention that I had found out early Saturday that one of my siblings wasn’t coming up for Easter. That’ll be important to note.

Sunday started way too early. Doodicus was up before 6:00 and scoping out where all the eggs were hidden. So by the time Aitch got up an hour later, he ran through the house picking up ALL the eggs leaving his baby sister in the dust. Luckily she didn’t care once she discovered there was candy in the egg she HAD found. My husband had to be nagged out of bed. Within two hours of waking, he was snoring on the couch.

I was chilling out as well, checking out Facebook while the kids gorged themselves on chocolate and taffy. I went to wish an IRL friend happy birthday and happened to notice that the Friends In Common looked off: My SIL and her daughter, who I had bravely accepted as FB friends months ago, were not pictured. They had conspired to unfriend me at the same time and within the preceding 24 hours of me noticing.

Sparring Partner suggested that they figured there wasn’t any dirt to get from my updates so they dumped me. I hope that’s true since I had my filters set up to not be visible to the people I knew in real life. However, Facebook has let me down before. I’m still undecided as to whether I will confront either of them. I know that ultimately, I shouldn’t care. They made their decision and raising a stink isn’t going to help anything except to satisfy my selfish curiosity. I didn’t take it all lying down though: I blocked her, her kids, and her husband from being able to even see me on FB as well as deleted all the tags I had on the photos of her grandkids from my albums so they will no longer show up in their photos. I’m Queen of the passive-aggressive.

And finally, SIL was hosting Easter lunch at her home but we hadn’t heard what time to be there, so my SP called and was surprised to hear, “In 15 minutes.” Why didn’t anyone tell us? he asked. “Yo-yo Mama said you were having Easter with her family.” Now that was true up until I found out my sister wasn’t going to be able to come up. I guess it was my failure to inform her and I felt like a schmuck. Unfortunately, the timing coincided with Aitch just going down for a nap and Doodicus didn’t want to go. So SP went by himself. I was actually relieved.

Apparently, I’m the Queen of Passive-Aggressive.

And Aitch is Princess Star Wars:

And Doodicus is our silly Jester:

Little Annoyances

Yes, I’m blowing off the Photo Ops. It’s called “procrastination”. Get use to it.

Tailor Wannabe?

My husband noticed that I had “fabric glue” written and struck through on the grocery list, because during one of my errands I picked up a bottle. Sparring partner asked what kind I got and I just looked at him stupefied. “Uh, the kind that glues…fabric…?” As if he knows anything about fabric glue.

Related:

I used the fabric glue to adhere some fleur di lis patches to the back of my daughter’s jeans, which were initially very plain. To ensure good adhesion and to keep them flat, I grabbed a concrete paver from the front deck to lay on the jeans while the glue dried. I finished my project and hung up the jeans and set aside the brick. Sparring Partner asked why it was in the closet of the bedroom. I explained. Are you going to take it back outside? he asked. If it bothers you, take it out now. I responded. Hurumph was his reply. I just walked past the closet. The brick is still sitting there. Apparently it bothers him enough to roll his eyes at me but not so much to take care of it himself.

GAH!-la

My ex-employer has an annual fund-raiser. It’s a hoity-toity affair. During my employment I did attend a couple of times. Since I’m no longer employed there, I don’t go. Obviously. My SIL works there so she’s always getting FIL involved with contributions. He asked Sparring Partner if we want to go to the fundraiser and my this was husband’s response, “Not just no….”

I “contributed” ten years of my life there for what?? Did I ever tell you how my ex-boss emailed me while I was on maternity leave “strongly urging” me to make sure I contribute to the expansion project?! I did and was fired a month later. If that wasn’t enough, when the stalking co-worker gave my ex-boss a sob story about her empty pockets, he contributed in HER name. Oh boo-hoo, bitch. So, yeah, no. Thanks for the offer, but we won’t be going to the gah-la.

The Title Is Just Too Obvious

So yeah. First Holy Communion. It was April 18th, right? On February 4th, I sent an email to the in-laws, specifically the in-law who is my son’s Godmother, to give them a heads up – a “save-the-date”, if you will – about the date and our expectations and even our hopes for their presence.

I prepared my son’s invitations and sent them out a couple of weeks before including a RSVP. On April 6th, I followed the invites up with an email to those same people (who have never bothered to RSVP in the past so I wasn’t expecting them to now). I knew that the time of the get together wasn’t wholly convenient, which was at 5:30 Sunday afternoon. We were serving supper after mass, which was at 2:30. Our options were a bit limited as you can see. I was also aware that the Godmother had two young children herself, add to that, she didn’t live here in town.

However, when I heard back from her that she had a “time conflict”, I was livid.

It’s not like I didn’t give her plenty of “warning”. She lives no more than a 90 minute drive away, and her husband was more than capable of staying with the kids, which is so ironic considering she runs them up here all the time to spend time with their grandmother. Also, even if the party had turned completely WILD and lasted longer than 7:30, she still would have been home early. And it’s not like she had to work the next day…

Yeah, I suppose 10 weeks notice was not enough time to make sure she was available. Oh, wait. as a child herself of a pious family and a Catholic school alumni, I guess she only had 8 years to be prepared for this event.

And yes, I checked. You cannot “annul” a Godparent. We’re stuck with her now. So chose wisely the Godparents to your child(ren). Don’t pick someone just because you think it’d be nice to include in-laws in your family’s special and important moments. I can hear the grail knight from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade stating matter of factly, “He chose poorly.”

Actually, I’m annoyed over the principle of the matter. My son never asked about her, and if it hadn’t been for the fact that I knew she wouldn’t be there I probably wouldn’t be as annoyed.