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I roasted a chicken and a half with vegetables on Sunday evening. 

Being the ever-on-top-of –it working mother that I am, I had dutifully read my Real Simple magazine, gotten new cooking ideas and recipes, made my grocery list and ran through the store at breakneck speed so I could get back in time for Jay to go pick up our Phish tickets for this coming Saturday’s show. I wanted to cook a nice Sunday dinner, especially since Greta was home.

I had cleaned the kitchen, poured a glass of pinot grigio and began to cook.  I was cooking enough for dinner that night, dinner the next night and lunch leftovers for me for the next couple of days at work.

I was busy. Things were being cleaned and cooked and prepped in a small space at a high rate of multitasking speed…and there was that pinot.

For reasons I will not get into, I was a bit distracted and emotional.  I had also fielded a couple of calls from my emotional and high strung mother while cooking said meals and was even more distracted than cooking for 5 people and 4 meals would have normally been – and that would have been hard enough.

When it came time to take the chicken out and check for doneness, I could not find the meat thermometer. 

I am horrible about timing chicken.  In an effort to make sure I do not serve my family salmonella on a plate, I over cook the chicken every time.  Then I am disappointed when I cut into that chicken and realize with the first bite that I did it again and, therefore, my efforts for a perfectly cooked meal were in vain. After all that work. Dammit.

So I have begun to rely on the thermometer.  Once that baby says my chicken has reached 165 degrees, it is out of the oven to rest.  I will not over cook the chicken.  I will not over cook the chicken.

But, when I tried to find the thermometer I had specifically laid out on the counter in preparation, it was not there.  I had just had it.  Greta had seen it on the counter as well. Still it was nowhere to be found. 

After a few minutes search, I realized I was wasting too much time looking for it and cut into the chicken to check for doneness.  It wasn’t. So I put it back into the oven and, after thinking about it, decided that the 10 minutes Jay had suggested could not be long enough and I doubled it to 20 minutes.  (Ensuring later, of course, that the chicken would, once again, be over cooked.) 

I moved on to the next step in the recipe – prepping the maple Dijon sauce. As I got the Dijon mustard out of the refrigerator, my mother called. again.  I listened to whatever it was she’d forgotten to tell me when we were on the phone 30 minutes before as I shook the mustard. I sat it down and checked the vegetables. 

Realizing they were almost overdone, I pulled out the roasted vegetables and poured them up into a corning ware dish and covered them with foil while I waited the last few minutes for the chicken (to over cook).  

I got off the phone with my mother and got out the maple syrup and a bowl.  I went to get the mustard and wisk.  No mustard on the counter.  Or in the frige.  Or in the pantry.  Or next to the sink. 

Where the hell was the mustard, dammit???

I had just had it. 

Of course, I had also just had the meat thermometer as well.  And no one could find it, either.  Jay had come into the kitchen and looked; Greta had come into the kitchen and looked.  It was gone.

And now the mustard.  AAARrrrrgggghhhh.

Jay, hearing my frustration and frantic search for the mustard, came into the kitchen.  With a “what is it this time?” and a cursory look around the kitchen, Jay helpfully suggested that I use the creole mustard he found in the frige instead of the Dijon mustard whose whereabouts I was currently losing my mind over. 

No.

No, no, no.  I was not using the creole mustard.  It was not like I had not checked the frige before I went to the grocery store and made sure we had the ingredients I needed to make the recipe.  Had I screwed up and not had it, ok. I would use a substitute mustard, as much as I would have hated doing it.  But I had the right mustard.  Hell, I had HAD IT IN MY HAND shaking it up not 10 minutes ago.  I would only need to use the creole mustard if we did not HAVE Dijon.  And, unless someone came into the kitchen and DELIBERATELY took the Dijon mustard and threw it outside, we HAD Dijon mustard. 

I AM NOT CRAZY.  It was here.  It was right here. I was on the phone with Mother.  I took it out of the frige.  I shook it up so the watery stuff that settles would not drip into my dish. 

I put it right HERE. I slapped the counter in the spot where I knew I had set the mustard a few minutes before. 

Or had I?  Had I imagined it?

Jay told me I was overreacting.  He told me it was not there anymore and no one knew what I had done with it.  We checked cabinets, the freezer, drawers.  I got more and more upset because the stranger the places we looked, the worse I felt.  If we did find the Dijon mustard in the freezer, then I am a lot more scatterbrained and out of control than even I thought.  And I hate that about myself.  I hate being scatterbrained and high strung.   I want desperately to be one of those calm, in control moms who have all the tools and time everything out – and never over cook the chicken.    

I was on the verge of tears.

Have you ever seen the movie Midnight Lace? It is a Doris Day, Rex Harrison 1960s thriller.  It has been a while for me, but from what I remember it is about a married woman who starts to doubt her own sanity.  Things start happening she cannot explain. She gets death threats by phone.  Then notes that disappear. When she tries to show proof, there is none to be found.  Her loving husband and best friend stand staunchly beside her as she descends into madness and hysteria.

I am pretty sure in one scene the husband takes his nutty, hysterical wife by the shoulders and tells her she is overreacting.  

Only the husband and best friend are having an affair and have orchestrated the whole thing so when the poor wife winds up dead it is not from them murdering her (which they fully intend on doing) but from her tragically taking her own life due to her stedily increasing paranoia.  Their mutual grief (and the conveniently dead wife’s inheritance) is the basis for their growing love and affection leading to their marriage and happily ever after.

Apparently, Ezra has seen this movie.  And understands it well enough to use their tactics to get rid of me. 

While Jay was in the kitchen holding me by the shoulders telling me I was freaking out for no apparent cause and it was just mustard, for heaven’s sake, who cares which one you use, Greta took Ezra into the living room and asked him where he put the mustard. 

Just as I was trying to tearfully explain to Jay that I felt like I was losing my mind and I had already been upset and THIS WAS NOT HELPING, Ezra showed Greta where in the pantry he had hidden the Dijon fucking mustard. I never even saw him sneak into the kitchen, the little rascal.

I understand that I had Ezra when I was 37 and that means I will be old, demented and crusty when he is in his 30s. I just never thought he’d have the wherewithal to start laying the groundwork for my incompetency hearing this far in advance.

He never would fess up about the thermometer though. 

Greta found that under her bag in the living room the next day. 

I am going to have to keep an eye on this one.

I sat at the desk with all my research around me.  My fingers itched and my mind raced.

I had carved out a bit of time and was looking to use it to my best advantage. I wanted to do something I could be proud of.  Mentally I checked in with all the outside forces that could pull me away from my task.  Everything was in order – or as much in order as was necessary  – and I took a deep breath. 

I was safe. I was happy. I had made it.

The bed behind me beckoned a bit, trying to coerce me back to its warm obliviousness, but I was only slightly tempted and refocused myself. 

I didn’t have a clue where to begin, but I was about to find out where the beginning was. It was right here.  This is how it started.  And I smiled, inspired by that knowledge.

My moment of excited contentment was as brief as it was satisfying.

A stirring in the corner caught my attention at the very last second.  My stomach clenched and dropped immediately. 

“Dammit! I had been so very close this time,” was the only thought I had time for before I heard the laugh I already knew was coming. It was cruel and heartless… and familiar.

“Hmmmmm… Just what exactly do you think you are doing?” she asked.

I didn’t answer.  I was not allowed to speak.

She stood up in the corner.  She was much taller and stronger than me.  She was much more beautiful, as well… but in a leering, jeering way.  I had a hard time looking up at her.  She was terrifying. She spoke only truth, but her eyes flashed with sinister intent.  She knew her job and she was good at it. 

“Remember!” she said.

Oh, I did. I never forgot. Not really. I had just been doing a decent job of ignoring it all lately. 

“Getting a bit big for those britches, aren’t we? Starting to believe some of those lies you tell others? Starting to think you have something worthwhile to say?? Forgetting is what you are doing.  We both know I am always right and no one else matters. Here, darling, let’s remember exactly who and what you are, shall we?”

Her contempt was palpable – and, oh, so bitter to taste.  I felt I would choke on it.

My faced burned with humiliation and embarrassment. I bowed my head, but pleading and explaining would be useless… not that I wouldn’t try before it was over, though.  I sank to the floor in a puddle of self-loathing.

She smiled a beautiful, horrible smile and, at her bidding, the memories play out in front of me, each more painful than the last. 

She was at my side forcing my attention… taunting and crooning… her voice almost sweet: 

That is what you are really like (screaming and drama)… That is what your true character is (lying and cheating)…. That is just how smart you are (failing and losing).” She said, following along with the ghostlike images playing before me.  “This is why you cannot forget (mother).  This is how well you manage (daughter). You cannot ever hide it (the ER). You stink of it (the men).  I am always watching (the psych ward).  I will always be here to remind you (countless therapists). There is no escape (the jail cell).”

I suppose she believes she is doing me a favor by keeping me in check. And if you could see the failures, sins and wrongs she shows, you may very well agree with her.  Certainly I do by the time she is done.  She gives proof to validate every doubt and fear I have ever had. 

And, as always, she reminds me that only she knows me.  And if there ever were anyone else who really knew me they would see me the same way she does – pathetic, stupid, manipulative, unworthy. There is nothing I can do about it.  There is no running from it and no redemption is possible.  She will always be there to judge and punish. 

Ah, she is enjoying herself now and there is no stopping her.

Any feeble attempts to defend myself or protest her harshness are immediately slapped down.  There is no defense.  Haven’t I learned anything from her?  It doesn’t matter what others have done or if they have done worse.  My crimes are not to be weighed against anything outside or against anyone else’s.  Others are not her concern.  No repentance matters and no absolution will be given.  Atonement is impossible and she revels in my damnation.

Once she is sure I am stripped down and firmly back in my place, she loses some of her edge.  A bit of spite is replaced by pity. She almost seems to care about me. A part of me thinks this is worse, but most of me doesn’t give a damn anymore. 

Just let it be done and over. I look longingly at the bed in the corner, my earlier excitement and contentment utterly forgotten.  I will do as she says and forget my ambitions. I knew I would as soon as I heard the slightest sound from her.  They were silly anyway and easily abandoned again. 

Finally, after what seems like forever, I am allowed to take what she gives me and crawl into the bed.  I am too tired to cry.  I am too empty to feel.

Her work complete, she whispers a final warning and promise, strokes my hair and retires out of my consciousness as I happily sink into glorious oblivion.

Her grin fades like the Cheshire cat’s, but even in my unsettled sleep I know she is there waiting… and I shiver. She will be back.  It is the one thing I am sure of.; it is the one thing I know…then, blissfully, there is nothing else.

Have you ever met anyone who is just a rotten person?

I am not talking about a child molester or ax murderer, mind you. That’s evil and there is a difference.

I am talking about a regular, every day, run-of-the-mill person – who also just happens to have a character flaw rendering them either a bitch or an asshole, as if it were truly no fault of their own.  They cannot help being negative, soul-sucking people lacking in basic human traits of empathy and compassion as they were apparently just born (or raised) that way and simply cannot help it.

This is the kind of person whose personal agenda is more important than the welfare of those they say they love – to the point they will justify and rationalize any actions, no matter how despicable, to callously (and, I suspect, self-satisfyingly) have their way.

Love, decency, kindness and respect are not things these people understand.

They operate on the idea that life is first and foremost about being right, even when “right” requires a good deal of “spinning of the facts” to make them “right.”

They are spiteful and vindictive people who are most satisfied making rules, passing judgment and handing out punishments…regardless of whether or not they have the actual or moral authority to do so.

You have heard of the kind, right?  Hell, I’d bet your know a couple.

They are the ones who are quick to blame the victim.

[A woman is raped outside a bar?  Well, sure, it is awful and no man has the right… but if she’d been a good girl and not some slut alone at a bar, it never would have happened, now would it?]

They are the ones who are apparently on the inside track with God, too.

[A tornado hit your house?  Awful.  Of course, if you were in God’s good graces and went to (the right) church and were not such a pathetic sinner, He might have spared your house. You need to be more Christ-like (like me) and things like that wouldn’t happen to you.]

Hmmm, sounds a lot like Pat Robertson, doesn’t it? Funny how those apparently most able (or presumptuous) to speak for God seem to have very few qualities that could be described as “godly,” isn’t it?

I can readily admit that there are people who I do not like (obviously). I can even admit there are a few who just don’t like me.  We all know that there are some people you just cannot get along with and have to do your best to tolerate.

Maybe it is your boss’ secretary who always seems to have eaten something sour and has a nasty attitude – never passes on your work promptly or messages accurately – yet you are stuck dealing with her on a regular (and unpleasant) basis.

Maybe it is your actual boss you have to put up with the same way you have to deal with your 4-year-old’s temper tantrums (but is not near as cute or loveable as your 4 year old – and you cannot put them in time out).  [To be clear, my boss is great and in NO way am I describing him, I promise]

Maybe you are lucky and it is just the dour, snitty person at the DMV you only have to deal with once a year.

Maybe you and someone in your family have a tenuous relationship making family gatherings terse and difficult.

Or maybe your ex-sister-in-law is a holier-than-thou, self-righteous, know-it-all whose vindictiveness and spiteful nature cannot even be tempered by her supposed love for her own children.

Or, you know, whatever your particular set of circumstances happen to be.

So, let me give you (and myself) a bit of free advice for dealing with such people.

1. Don’t take it personally – especially if they do. Realize that those that don’t like you are going to be out there and, at least with some of them, there may be nothing you can do about it.   So someone doesn’t like you.  Big deal.  Fuck em.  Go hang out with the people who do like you and have a blast. Besides, unless you are one of the people I am describing, you probably have a lot more people who love and like you than don’t.

2. Maintain your self-respect. Lowering yourself to the level some of these people will stoop to will not help.  Defend yourself vigorously, of course, especially if you are being wronged or taken advantage of; don’t be shy about that.  But always keep in mind, jumping into a pig sty and rolling around with the pig will leave you just as nasty, smelly and disgusting as the pig.  What’s worse, though, is that the pig won’t know any better.  But you will.

3.  Just do what is right and let go of the outcome. While watching those who have wronged you to finally get their comeuppance can be gratifying, you should get your pleasure in life from the wonderful and positive things that abound rather than waiting for the downfall of others. Life is too short for that shit. Then, when God or karma does get to them, it will be like a little surprise gift – unexpected and, therefore, even more enjoyable.

And, finally, as a further public service, I will give you some words.  If you are unsure whether someone qualifies as a soul-sucking bitch, try this simple little test.  If you can honestly use (more than) 3 of these terms to describe the person, you probably should do everything possible to excise them from your life. At the very least keep your distance.  There is no proof that it could rub off on you – but no sense risking it, right?

Vindictive, spiteful, vengeful, negative, judgmental, self-righteous, sanctimonious, pious, hypocritical, hypercritical, pharisaic, smug, hateful, self-serving, self-satisfied, snide, superficial, artificial, duplicitous, moralistic, arrogant, contemptuous, haughty, disdainful, divisive, proud, rude, hoity-toity, heartless, obtuse, insensitive, foolish, shallow, neurotic….

In my endless poking around the bottomless pit that is the internet, I came across a cringe worthy list of suggested “Love SMS for Boyfriends and Girlfriends.”   Now, first of all, let me just say that I am in no way suggesting using the following.  These are strictly for the enjoyment of those of us who are either sad and lonely and hate Valentine’s Day, or the others who are cool and contemptuous of the sappy-happy crap they come up with specifically for V Day.  Some of us may belong to both categories.  Regardless, these were so very, very bad, I just had to share so we could all make fun of them together.  So, if you repeatedly watch Titanic (past seeing it at the movies, which is acceptable – owning and singing along with the soundtrack is not), watch Gossip Girls and love all Jennifer Lopez movies, please forgive me – this may offend you.  They were copied and pasted from a website – I did not edit them at all (as you will see), but I swear I did not make them worse – I don’t thing I could have if I tried.  I especially love the last one.  I think if I received it, I would immediately go and seek a restraining order – but it would make for an interesting story:

“The list of some wonder valentine messages is given below:

Without Love — days are sad day, moan day, tears day, waste day, thirst day, fright day, shatter day. So be in love everyday…Wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day.

ill drop a tear drop into the ocean & the day i find that tear drop is the day i stop loving u!

baby i have an addiction problem.people say i shud go to rehab but I always tell the m i dont wanna go cause im addicted to … YOU

one day the moon sed 2 me, if ur lover makes u cry why dont you leave ur lover.. i looked at the moon n replied would u every leave ur sky?

When u feel alone just look at the spaces between ur fingers remeber that in those spaces u can c my fingers locked with urs 4ever!!!

there was an headcount of angels in heaven, pandemonium struck discoverin dat an angel is missing, pls call heaven & tell dem ur safe wit me,my sweet angel

I am in da emergency room now talk’n to da doctor he says it doesn’t look good he says I am going to die… If I ever stop loving YOU!

My eyes are blind without your eyes to see, Like a rose without color. Always be there in my life sweetheart.

I am opening an emotional bank account for u sweetheart, so deposit your love in it and you will get the interest.

“I’m enthralled by your beauty, mesmerized by your charisma and spellbound by your love. No wonder I am always thinking about you. I wish to celebrate every Valentine with you. Happy Valentine’s Day!

If I could die early I would ask God if I could be your guardian angel, so I could wrap my wings around you and embrace you whenever you feel alone.

Love so much my heart is sure. As time goes on I love you more, Your happy smile. Your loving

I ask God for a rose n he gave me flowers; I ask God for water n he gave me an ocean; I ask God for an angel n he gave me the best love ever!

Love can be expressed in many ways. One way I know is to send it across the distance to the person who is reading this.

To be honest with you, I don’t have the words to make you feel better, but I do have the arms to give you a hug, ears to listen to whatever you want to talk about, and I have a heart; a heart that’s aching to see you smile again.

May this Valentine bless us with the cupid of love and warmth of romance. Happy Valentine’s Day Honey!

My heart for you will never break. My smile for you will never fade. My love for you will never end. I love you!

DISTANCE CAN KEEP US AFAR BUT NOT APART BCOZ U WILL ALWAYZ B A CRUTIAL PART OF MY HEART

U r the one whose thought 4 a sec in my mind makes my every movement pleasure through out the day.

Little keys can OPEN big locks,Simple words REFLECTS great thoughts, Your Smile can CURE heart blocks, so keep on smiling…..it Rocks………..

every tears is a sign of brokeness, every silence is a sign of lonliness, every smile is a sign of kindness & every sms is rememberance of u.

Sun appears in the morning, Moon appears in the evening & at late nights but U always appear in my Heart.

You’re precious, this is true.

For you, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do.

Life is a book we all read it. Luv is a blessing we all need it. Always be happy, always have a smile coz. Remember in this world we are just for a while!

Love is a medicine for any kind of wound, but there is no medicine found in the world for a wound given by love.

A candle may melt and it’s fire may die, but the love you have given me will always stay as a flame in my heart.

We cannot be together, But we’ll never be apart, For no matter what life brings us, You’re always in my heart.

I don’t care how many lips u’ve kissed, how many shoulders u’ve embraced & how many times u’ve said, I Luv U! All I care is not be the first but to be ur last!

Feelings are many but words are few, clouds are dark but sky is blue; Luv is a paper, life is glue, every thing is false, only My Luv is TRUE. Feelings are many but words are few, clouds are dark but sky is blue; Luv is a paper, life is glue, every thing is false, only My Luv is TRUE.

U want & u get, that’s luck, U want & u wait, that’s time. U want but u compromise, that’s life. And U want & u wait & u don’t compromise that’s LOVE.

If you r in a dark room, you find blood everywhere and the walls are shaking- don’t worry friend, u r at the safest place, you r in my heart”

So, if you are alone on Valentine’s Day, don’t feel too bad.  It could be worse.  You could be on the receiving end of one of these messages.  And as an added bonus – say my Valentine gift to you – here is a truly early 90s song with that nicely nostalgic 80s guitar rock ballad feel. 

Wishing you all the best – in life and love!  XOXO – Marnie

Originally written July 2011

I am having a problem keeping my emotions in check.  I am angry, disappointed and downright disgusted.  I am frustrated and feel completely powerless to do anything about it. 

I may also have PMS, but that is beside the point.

One day though, I will not hold my tongue. “I told you so” will roll off it like velvet.  And the person on the receiving end will deserve it.  Because every single one of us, whether we want to or not, has to buck up, put on our big girl panties and deal with life.  Not just go from one shitty situation to the next, but to actually LIVE a responsible and productive life.  You can fight it.  You can postpone it.  You can bitch and cry and whine and wish it were different.  You can find people who tell you what you want to hear.  And you can excise those who tell you the truth (aka, NOT what you want to hear) from your life.  But the truth is the truth, even if it is ugly and awful.  And you will grow up to know this. 

I am trying to spare you the regret that is coming.

One day you will have to face the fact that the friend you told to Fuck off when they tried to reason with you was right.  You should have listened.  Had you listened then, you may have been in a shitty position where you felt miserable and alone but you would have had that friend.   But here you are.  In full realization that you were fucking up and you will know with all certainty that if you call that friend now it will be her turn to tell you to fuck off.  And you will deserve it.  And it will make it all the worse.  And you will have to live with that every single day until you learn to forgive yourself.  And that will take a long time.  You will regret it more than you can imagine. 

Oh, you will hate him for it, but it won’t matter.  He will be gone, too. The only difference between losing him now and losing him later would have been keeping a friendship.  Right now, while you are in love, you cannot see that.  Your stubbornness blinds you from it.  You think it is your love for him making it all worthwhile.  But it isn’t.  It is your own stubbornness and fear.    

But you will see it one day.  And you will hate yourself for it.

There is no way to describe the level of frustration involved in being made to sit back and watch someone do something that BOTH of you know is not good for them and then just have to take and swallow it when it becomes more than obvious that they just don’t give a shit. 

Or, actually, the person who they are giving up possibility for is simply not worth a shit. 

Do you know how I know when person is not worth a shit?

It is not because I know them. I may have only met them once. I know that may sound judgmental, but I do know for a fact that you can and should judge people to a certain extent.  There are some things that are beyond rationalizing.

I know how a bad apple ruins the whole bunch.

I know how you try beyond measure to teach your children that they are better off if they do not associate with people who are not worthy of their companionship.

I understand how the easiest way to become a certain kind of person is to hang out with that kind of person.

You want to be a success?  Surround yourself with successful people.  Observe them.  Emulate them.  Study them.  And one day you will be like them. 

Well, unfortunately, it is true when the people you surround yourself with are losers.  That is the quickest way to become a loser yourself.

Or maybe it is just to fall in love with one. 

I should know.  I have done it enough.  I have even married a couple of them. 

And you want to know the one thing I have managed to learn from dating and being married to losers over the last 20 years?

I know how to spot one a mile away. 

The first clue is that nothing ever goes right for a loser.  But they ALWAYS have a really good explanation as to why things are always so stacked against them. 

He really and truly does love you. He just needs to borrow a couple of hundred to cover the rent this month and he’s just not ready to move in yet.  And you need to watch where you go and who you hang out with.  Your friends don’t like him because they are jealous of our wonderful relationship and don’t get how good we are together. But he insists you give him your passwords.  You would give it to him if you have nothing to hide, right? He just loves you and is scared of losing you.  That’s why he doesn’t like your friends. 

It is not his fault he drank his last marriage into divorce court.  She was a bitch.  You are totally different. So things will be different this time.  Weird how he spends most nights a week passed out on the living room floor, though. 

He only cheated on his last girlfriend because she did not understand his needs.  I am different.  I get him.  Until he turns out to be another fucking Anthony Weiner having phone sex in your bed with some weirdo from the internet on your son’s first birthday.

He will take care of me and I will be able to support him in his career.  He doesn’t understand my kid because he just doesn’t have any yet. They will love each other one day. He smokes weed to relieve the stress of his sensitive nature.  And the coke is not a problem, it is just on occasion for fun.  Until he sells his mother’s farm and puts it all up his nose. 

It is not his fault he was arrested for dating an underage girl.  She lied to him.  How was he supposed to know?

It was not his fault that he had his kids taken away.  His wife was a drug addict.  What was he supposed to do? 

It is not his fault that he doesn’t have a job.  He can’t because he is on probation right now, but as soon as he gets off he’s got something awesome lined up.  Promise. 

But, he is a really nice guy and you just aren’t giving him a chance. 

You know what a really nice guy who gives a shit does?  He puts you first.  He even breaks it off if he knows he is holding you back. 

A bastard holds onto you for his own selfish reasons. 

He is clingy.  He is manipulative.  He can rationalize everything away.  And then he brings you breakfast in bed and make it all better.  He makes you think he is the only one who “gets you.” 

He is a liar, even if he himself doesn’t know it. 

I have had breakfast brought to me in bed.  I once even had a guy who knew I was fixing to call the whole thing off surprise me with a trip to Gatlinburg.  The hotel room overlooked the river and had a fireplace.  It actually worked and, not only did I NOT break it off, I told my best friend she was jealous.  I am surprised she still speaks to me.  But I thank God for her now. Him?  Don’t have a clue where he is now.  Giving some other girl grief, I am sure… and his life sucks, it is just not his fault.  I guarantee it.

Another one took me on an impromptu trip to New Orleans because I had never been.  It didn’t matter to him that I had left my daughter with a friend for what was supposed to be one night out.  He was actually offended and mad with my friend when she was upset.  His “gift” was being seen as negative because I had a kid.  And my friend? Well, she was just a bitch who didn’t like him and was jealous of a spur-of-the-moment NOLA trip for me.  And what about my daughter who I was supposed to spend the next day with?  Why was I whining about her?  Like I’d miss her – I had plenty of time to spend with her.  Jesus.  Quit being a fucking kill-joy and have some fun.  Damn, you just aren’t even satisfied with anything ever, are you??

I have found that it takes around 2 years to get fed up and rid of bastards completely.  And they always beg you back.  And you are always tempted. Sometimes you actually go back.  Because he has some redeeming quality – he’s a nice guy, or he forgave you a transgression, or he is good in bed, or he looks like theguy who you had a crush on but who never knew you existed, or he is talented, or he is interesting, or he is teaching you to play the guitar… or any one of a million other excuses you can find for him.

But one redeeming quality is not enough.  Neither are 5.  Because there comes a time when all the red flags will add up to something you cannot deal with anymore and you will get out. 

What really sucks is that there are guys out there who ARE worth it.  Hell, YOU are worth it.  And while you are rationalizing this fucking loser to your mom and your grandmother and your friends… you are wasting your time with someone who will not only bring you down to his level, he will undermine your self-esteem. 

Because one day you will realize he wasn’t even near the right one for you. And your mother will say “I told you so” and you will be angry and resentful and hate her for it just a little bit.  You will also keep your mouth shut and take it because you know she is right. 

And you will hate yourself for loving him and losing friends and putting your life on hold.  That is the real damage a loser does.  The regret will fester.  You will miss that friend.  You will realize that guys come and go and friends tell you the truth.  And you will not be able to undo the damage completely, even if you are able to repair your friendship.  You will not trust yourself and you will wish beyond hope that you had listened and could get the time back.  But he will have moved on to someone else and the only thing you can do is blame yourself.  After a while, and if you do it enough, you will think regret and self-loathing are normal and you are a fuck up.  When it was him all along. 

Do not do this to yourself.  No man is worth it.  Trust me. 

And don’t you dare roll your eyes and say I don’ t know what I am talking about.  I have more experience with dating, men, relationships and regret in my pinky than you have in your entire body.  How does it not make you clueless (if not downright idiotic) if you choose to dismiss my knowledge in favor of your own limited experiences? 

And if, after all this, you still don’t want to trust me, ask yourself this:

Why in the world would I lie to you? Who, between he and I, do you know only wants the best for you?

You and I both know the answer to that. You may think he does.  You may hope he does. 

But you KNOW I do. 

So, really, what is all this about?

I am operating at about 115-120% capacity all the time.  This means that in a 24 hour cycle, I am spreading myself as thick as possible across all my responsibilities.  In a day’s time, imagine what it would be like if all the balls I am juggling came down at once.  Just sit back and imagine from my perspective how devastating that would be.  You would realize that I really need to be working at 150% capacity all the time, but I cannot.  I am simply unable to give more than 125%.  That is my drop dead level.  But, at 115% I am working at the bare minimum capacity to have things “livable.”  That means I am not succeeding at one – or any – of my tasks beyond a basic level – it also means that no one is happy.  My boss, my son, my self, my daughter, my parents, my ex-husband and even my friends are pressuring me at this level.  No one is really bitching badly (God help me if I drop down to only giving 100%), but no one is really satisfied.  I leave my relationship off the list of pressures, but this is the very first time in my life I have ever been able to do that.   Imagine if, for the first time in your life, your relationship is a pressure release valve instead of a pressure cooker.  That means a lot. Read More

I’ve read a couple of things this morning that have gotten me to thinking.

One was an article entitled Do Children Ever Belong on Reality TV? And the other was a Mouthy Housewives post about a woman who discovered her husband was trolling the web for local sex partners.  Included in the response to the post was this, “If you choose to move on with your marriage, you’ll become obsessed with checking his mobile devices, computer, and mail. You won’t be living your own life. You’ll be trapped into making sure another person is living their life correctly. And that’s just not something you can do.” [Um, Amen! Get the hell outta there!]

I know these two things may not seem connected, but give me a minute. Read More