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In rare cases, I believe so.

During WWII if an American had been with German troops planning, abetting and conspiring against the Allies wearing a German uniform and living with the Germans, not one American soldier would have been called out for shooting the traitor on sight. A story like that would have hit the new reels and pulled Americans together in horror at the treasonous nature of such an individual and the soldier would have been given a commendation. Not a moment would have been wasted worrying about the rights of such a traitor and their having been killed without due process and trial, though the only thing anyone would have thought a better outcome was that he be captured, tried with due process and hanged back on American soil – after we’d gotten as much intelligence out of him possible.

I understand that today technology exists that is truly awesome in its power and can give the impression of ease and seemingly remove the immediate consequences of  killing so that it is different than shooting someone on a battlefield like we did 70 years ago.  But then a lot of things have changed since then. You don’t have a country declaring war and an enemy in uniform out posted along a battlefield front.  It is not an army we are fighting now, it is a semi confederation of terrorist cells working underhandedly and deviously because they cannot get a legitimate government to back them and take us on face to face.

So if a born and bred American posts, plots, joins and otherwise aids terrorist groups, training them and training with them, living among them and – because they understand our lives, beliefs and culture – provides tactical and other intelligence to these enemies who have taken it upon themselves to come after us and we get the opportunity to take them out at some training camp or some hidey hole they’ve scurried to out in Yemen with a drone? I’d fire the rocket myself if given the chance and sleep like a baby afterwards.

When an American does such a thing, it is not our responsibility to follow him around the globe with an arrest warrant, reminding him of the rights he obviously does not care to have and putting troops in danger to make an arrest.  As an American you do have rights – and I think in such traitorous situations those people have exercised the right to give up those rights.  You hate America that much?  Fine.  We don’t stop people who want to leave this country.  And if they want to denounce us, they are free to do so.  Go join the enemy.  But when they join in the fight against us, they should know what they are up against.  After all, they were born and raised here.

And anyone who does such a thing and then whines about their civil rights once captured should be shot, just out of principal.  They can’t have it both ways: Death to America.  Down with the American system of government.  Oh, wait.  I’ve been caught by America?  I want my American rights granted to and protected for me by America!  Give me a fucking break.  Save the cost of a trial on that. I’d rather pay for the drone strike with my hard earned tax dollars and not give these people a propaganda platform in the guise of a trial.

You want to have the conversation about drones and whether or not they are ethical?  Fine.  There is a discussion to be had on that. We can and should debate this, especially when it comes to killing kids as such strikes by necessity sometimes do. But don’t go getting your panties in a wad about the killing of a traitor whose own actions and Youtube videos confirm it.  That doesn’t even make a blip on my ethical meter.

I have a 5 year old little boy and it has been a hard few weeks to be his mother.

It was hard to turn on the news.  Hard to listen to the names and see the faces of those murdered. Hard to hear about a child being taken at gunpoint and held underground for a week.  Hard to contain maternal hatred for men who would perpetrate such horrors. Hard to contain tears of gratitude and grief for those who stood between a gunman and children to die more valiantly than most of us could ever hope to live, much less die.

It was hard to process the mixed feelings of relief and shame at that relief because the only thing that was different about me and someone else was their unimaginable loss and grief and my luck and chance not to have lived where they did.

Then a murder/kidnapping on a school bus 20 minutes from my parents’ house where I grew up – 10 miles from the bus route my daughter rode for years – reminded me that proximity was a risky defense on which to base my relief.

And, to be perfectly honest, in an attempt to shield myself I pulled away from these stories to a certain degree.  I read about them daily, I offered my prayers and held out hope, but I stayed away from commenting, watching and participating in the hourly drama of it, because the more I watched, the more certain I became of one fact.

There is no real safety for my children.  And that haunts me.

I grew up in a world where mothers don’t die in childbirth and, except in the direst of cases, babies live.  Polio, smallpox, dysentery and other child killers have all but been eradicated due to the advances of medicine.  I walked through an old graveyard months ago looking at all the tiny gravestones from 150 years ago (one family I remember had more than 5) and gave thanks that I live in an age where my children will most likely all live to adulthood – something that didn’t happen for either of my grandmothers, nor any of my great-grandmothers. In that I am so very blessed.  Even with the health risks of Downs, Sawyer has every expectation through science, education and the advancement of compassion to live a high quality life where 100 years ago doctors would have recommended I never see him and that he be thrown into an asylum to rot –something completely unfathomable to me, as his smiling face is my greatest joy every day.

But I have other things to fear – not viruses and disease – something worse: my fellow human beings.

The things I used to lay awake worrying about in the night – that Ezra may one day put himself danger because he doesn’t listen when he should and do something dangerous like run out in front of a car, that Sawyer will one day be taken advantage of and mistreated because of perceived disabilities – have been replaced by more violent actions from the insane adults around them.

When my daughter was growing up my big boogeyman fear was that she may be lured into a van with candy or a puppy and raped and murdered.  I taught her about strangers, was vigilant and kept my fingers crossed, relying a good deal on the knowledge that – statistically speaking – she was probably safe and doing my best to keep the odds of such dangers as low as possible. I tried to raise her to be aware of her surroundings and stay out of high danger situations. She is 20 years old now; so far, so good.

I still have that boogeyman to worry about with my young sons to some extent (I cannot forget about the Sanduskys of the world), but now I have a new one to hate and fear.  One whose insanity cannot be explained away so simply and straightforwardly as a child predator taking one child at a time for their own sick gratification.

Now we have these mass child murdering motherfuckers to worry about.  Ones whose insanity is sneaky and devious and seemingly has no recognizable profile as of yet.  Ones that you cannot warn your children about because if your child is in the presence of this kind of madman, it is probably too late.

How am I supposed to teach my little boy to be vigilant and protect himself when his entire world view is based on the knowledge that he is precious, loved and cherished and that adults are his protectors? Do I shatter that innocence?  Would that be more dangerous?

These crazies operate so far outside of our society’s moral contract that the rest of us cannot fathom their levels of insanity. And quite frankly, I don’t care to.  As compassionate as I can be, these monsters engender no compassion or forgiveness from me – no matter their circumstances, problems or mental diseases.  May they rot in the bowels of Hell for all eternity.

The mindset of one who would intentionally target children is so horrifying and terrible that it is impossible to protect against it. I listen to the arguments from banning all weapons to putting armed guards in schools and know that neither would work.  Neither would stop someone who wants to kill children. There is no sure safety against that.

There is one thing that we all agree on, no matter where your political, religious, racial, ethical, sexual  or any other dividing line in society may be; whether you have children or suffer from a phobia of them; we ALL operate under then indisputable knowledge that children are precious.

We recognize and believe that children who are the least among us in years are in fact the future of the entire world. Just the amount of energy and imagination embodied in one child is so precious to  us as adults who have grown up and lost their wonder that, without children, we would be utterly lost in a cynical world unsavable and unredeemable.

Our children are that redemption.

They are our lights, our beacons, our reasons, our future.

I am terrified for all of them – quite selfishly, mine in particular – and thus the future of humanity.

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.

We need wonder. 

This morning while most of us were sleeping (and some of us were hovering over our 10 month old who had spiked a fever of 103.2 out of the blue) Curiosity landed on Mars.

I had heard this was happening a few hours before on CNN.  But that was a 3 minute mention right before CNN turned back to covering the latest shooting for the next 3 hours and I changed the channel quickly to HBO to be entertained and irritated by the Newsroom for the 5th time in a row.

I came into work this morning and, after touching base with my boss whose vacation had been frustrated by me having to interrupt him several times last week, caught up on my Facebook and news. 

I read the story about Curiosity and thought how cool it was that we have an SUV tooling around Mars right this very second. 

Then I checked my Facebook and read status updates saying that, while cool and all, the $2.6 billion spent to get Curiosity to Mars was basically a waste of money.   

And once again I was frustrated with humanity.  But this has been true for the last week.

Really, folks?!  The money is spent.  Why can’t we just be amazed by it.?? I wanted to put in all caps on their statues. 

Someone said that “in better times I’d be all for it.”

Well, Mr. Killjoy, please tell me when would be a better time?

When we have stopped insane people from shooting up high schools and colleges and theaters and Sikh temples…not to mention politicians and 8 year olds outside a Walgreens in AZ?

When we have tracked down and killed all of Al Qaeda and their ilk?

When Syria is peaceful and the government isn’t torturing children so their parents won’t fight… because they are afraid that if the fundamentalist rebels win the country will roughly regress about two centuries in civil rights? (yes, you have to love the irony there)

When a woman caught in a tug of war between two men in Afghanistan isn’t publically shot to death because both of them want her and so they have her killed as if she was a toy they broke so neither one of them could have her?

When Israel, Palestine and the rest of the sandbox of the Middle East learn to coexist?

When Iraq gives up nuclear ambitions and Russia stops imprisoning journalists?

When, pray tell, is it a good time to travel to another planet?

Because if we wait until all the above is realized it will NEVER happen. If we waited until half that was realized, it would still never happen. 

Hell, if we spent that $2.6B on the homeless or put it towards the national debt it would barely make a dent.  

We just spent the entirety of last week with the Christian and gay communities in this country getting prideful, nasty and judgmental over chicken sandwiches!

We needed this.  We needed a Moonwalk Moment. 

But there was no pride of achievement here.  This was a footnote to most of us.  CNN should have been hyping this for a week.  NASA should have had Curiosity land in primetime and we should be watching this with our kids and marveling over it.  My 4 year old should have seen it. 

Someone should have written something amazing to be the equivalent of “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

But as it is I did not even know it was happening until a couple of hours before and in the middle of the night. 

However, I do know that the Sikh temple shooter had a 9/11 tattoo and was “possibly” a white supremacist. 

I know Dan Cathy and a shitload of other Christians think we are “inviting God’s judgment” by even thinking about accepting gay marriage. And these people are so very proud of themselves for going and making him a shitload of money last Wednesday.  I know because my Facebook page was full of pictures of all the lines at all the Chick-Fil-As in my hometown. 

I know a whole lot about a whole lot of really bad things I wish never happened… like someone breaking into a woman’s house, carving “dyke” into her arms and stomach and setting her house on firelike underage kids posting pictures of themselves raping a passed out girl at a high school party and the rape victim almost went to jail when she tweeted their names… and, God help me, I know about Jerry Sandusky. 

I also know a whole lot about a whole lot of things so inconsequential and petty that I should never have heard of them… e.g. Kristen Stewart’s affair with her director, Steven Tyler has quit American Idol (a show I have never watched even once), that Elton John is dissing Madonna and that years after her death there are still picture books of Marilyn Monroe coming out, though most of us have never even seen Seven Year Itch

I know that there is a presidential election coming up and you have to pick a side: the Private Sector or the Government because apparently it is impossible to think that both are important to our way of life.  You have to demonize one and love the other.  You cannot be a reasonable person and think that Capitalism and Government are in an inextricably linked symbiotic relationship of equal importance.  And God help you if you are a moderate in today’s political climate.  You will just quit.  Ask Olympia Snow or Steve LaTourette

We have divided ourselves into groups.  And to a certain extent that is fine.  It is a part of the human condition to identify with a group.  We have always done it going back to the beginning of our history. 

The problem is that we are now living in the best time humans have ever experienced.  So now we have plenty of time to judge other groups.  We no longer have to band together to survive and mind our own group’s business.  We band together because we want to.  And what we really want to do in our group is judge other groups and list all the reasons why we would NEVER be a part of THAT group.  THAT group believes X and we believe Y and so we have to MAKE them stop believing X and FORCE them to believe Y.  It is, after all, what God would want us to do, right?

We ESPECIALLY like it if the other group is having some sort of sex our group forbids.  We LOVE to get our noses into other people’s beds and judge what they do there.  It is scandalous.  It is titillating. 

So, please, please, please, as a nation and a people, we need to be brought back together.  We need to be united in accomplishment and pride.  Not AGAINST something or someone but FOR something we can all believe in.

Landing an SUV on Mars could have been that thing.  But it wasn’t. 

And, really, how can we come up with something more amazing than that?

Going outside our solar system??  Yeah.  That would be awesome, right?  Everyone would think that was cool!  Wait.  We already did that.  I bet you didn’t even know it. 

So much for wonder.  We can all go back to bickering amgonst our little groups now.

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