You and Me

I’m trying to write tonight, but I keep deleting and re-writing and deleting and re-writing.

The Nerd proposed on Friday night, and I’m having trouble figuring out how to write about it here without taking any of the special away.  I want to share this happy news!

Though we’ve been talking about getting married for at least a year, I was completely surprised.  He had already talked to the boys about it, and even showed them the ring.  The proposal itself was perfect in that it was silly and sweet, and totally unexpected.  The ring is beautiful; true antique style.  I have been on cloud 9 all weekend, even though I worked through most of it.

Right now, I’m just really enjoying being affianced.

 

I Miss This

Is there anybody out there?  Has it really been over a year since I’ve written here?  Since I got so scared that I yanked every post from sight and, in the process, jumbled them all up into a mishmash of 2 years of my life?  Apparently so.

Tonight, I was listening to some music, and Ben Harper’s “Another Lonely Day” came on.  I suddenly had a flashback to posting that song here, on a Tuesday most likely, and feeling utterly alone.  So much of my writing here has been sad or angry, and I believe that this page served as a therapeutic outlet , helping me to work through emotions that I sometimes couldn’t even comprehend at the time.

The past year has been pretty great, and I guess that’s one reason I haven’t written much.  I haven’t had to write to wrap my head around things or rant and rave about some guy who did me wrong.  A brief re-cap of the year…

I am still dating The Nerd/Dexter, and he continually surprises and amazes me with his kindness, humor, and goofiness (you know me, I love goofiness).  He has taken a pretty big role in my boys’ lives, including going to parent-teacher conferences with me last week and teaching Big J how to drive this summer.  He does everything he says he will; he is steady and solid, and I love him dearly.

My boys are now almost 16 and 12.  They’ve just finished another season of football and will be starting wrestling soon.  They keep me busy with JROTC competitions, football, wrestling, student council and various other activities.  The boys did not see their dad this summer, because he and his wife had another baby in June.  They did go down to Texas to visit all their grandparents and various relatives, though.

I’m in my last year of school, and will graduate in May.  I continued mentoring other students on campus, and received a pretty big scholarship from IU’s alumni club last month that will be applied in the spring semester.  Starting in January, I’ll be student teaching in a 10th and 11th grade English classroom.  Excited doesn’t even begin to describe it, but terrified is pretty close, too.  Bring it on!  I’m ready.

I miss writing here, and I miss the camaraderie of it all.  It wasn’t until I was speaking to a professor a few weeks ago that I  realized how much I missed it.  So, here I am again, heart on my virtual sleeve.

Happenings

The reason for the secrecy all of a sudden is the Douche and a threatening email he sent last week.  After three weeks of not a word about the boys wanting to live with him, why it might be good for them, or why he all of a sudden wants them there after three years of nothing, I sent a very cordial, non-threatening email to him letting him know my reasons for wanting them to stay.  This was the exact email I sent (besides the names being changed, obviously):

We need to talk about what’s going on with Big J.  Email is the easiest way
with time differences and busy schedules, so here goes…

He told me that he would like to come and live with you and Cunt (his wife).  As
I’m sure you would guess, I’m upset about this, but Big J and I have talked
about it and discussed the reasons he wants to and the reasons he should
stay.

In talking to a counselor and also with a lawyer, it’s not as cut and
dry as someone led Big J to believe.  Because I have sole custody, a judge
would have to change the custody agreement in order for him to move
there, and in all honesty, why would a judge change custody?  It would
be splitting up the boys, you’re deploying again, and they’ve only spent
a total of 9 weeks with you in the past three years.

He starting high school next week at a magnet school, in a program that
would pretty much guarantee him entry into a good college for
engineering, which is what he wants to do.  He’s also guaranteed a full
scholarship to any college in Indiana through the 21st Century Scholars
program he’s enrolled in, as long as he finishes high school in Indiana.
He’s in football and wants to do wrestling, baseball, and track, too.
He has lots of opportunities here, and I’m not sure why we would want to
change that now.

He misses you and Cunt, and he wants to be a part of his sister’s
life, and that is all very understandable.  We can’t be irresponsible,
though, in letting him believe that he will be able to live with you,
which is only going to hurt him in the long run.  There are lots of
visitation times that don’t get used.  I have never keep the boys from
you, and I never would.  I know that it’s expensive, but are there
military or stand-by flights you could take to visit the boys more
often?  It seems that we should be able to work something out where they
could see you more often, which is really what they want.

No matter what is decided, it has to be our decision, between you,
Cunt, and me.  We are his parents, and we can’t go back and forth
between the boys.  It creates more stress for them, and they don’t need
that.  I understand that he came to you guys with this, but ultimately
we are the ones who make the decisions.  I hope that we can reach a
consensus on what is best for the boys and then talk to them about it.
And this was the response I got:

They both came to me and said they want to live with me and Cunt. I
don’t want to hurt your feelings about what they’ve said. It’s his
decision who he wants to live with, and I don’t want to split up the
boys either, which is why I’m taking the proper steps in getting all
information I need. If I do deploy anytime soon, they can spend that
time with you. Most people I’ve talked to can’t see why you would not
let them come and stay with me. I can’t think of any good reason why you
won’t let them. All that stuff about college is all good and stuff, but
he can get into college anywhere. Are you saying that’s the only way he
can get into college?? If so, you don’t have that much confidence in
Big J. They were scared to death to talk to you about living with me. Big J
texted and called after he first talked to you about this, I was asleep
of course. When I tried to call back all day, and no one answered, I had
to call the police just to check. If you notice, he doesn’t feel
comfortable talking to me on the phone when your around him, he’s afraid
he might upset you. And giving him a phone and telling him not to give
me the phone number was low. He should have plenty of minutes with child
support and your job together. I’m always trying to figure out why they
can’t do a lot of things they want to do with all this money you got. It
can’t be that bad there. You live with your mom, so you’ll always have
room and board, that alone, takes away any possibility of you having
money problems or worrying about having a place to stay. So where is all
the money going. Kids go to school for free. I guess the only way to
know is to have you show me for the last 4-5 years where my child
support went. OOOPS, that’s right, since I’ve made all my child support
payments, I have the right to see how it’s being spent since I started
paying. Listen, I’ve stayed silent for a long time, I knew from the
start what you would do, I felt bad for the boys for a long time. I knew
I would have to let them live with you for awhile after I set you up.
But now they want to live with me, THEY WANT TO, it’s what they want. I
know what you are going to say, it may be want they want but it’s not
the best thing for them or whatever you want to tell yourself. They can
still do what they want to do for their future, I’m going to support and
push them to success. I will do everything in my power to make sure they
don’t end up like us. One joining the military to get out of the parents
house, and the other one a 30 year old living in her mother’s basement.
I won’t let it happen. It’s too easy to let them come up here. THEY will
succeed. Again, they came to me, it’s what they want. The only one not
allow this to happen is you. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and
think, what would make them happy. Isn’t that what parents want for
their. As long as there happy. They haven’t been happy for a long time
now, if you would have noticed or made them comfortable enough to talk
about it. They spill their guts to me. They also need their dad at this
age. I’ve had a lot of stress released of me since our divorce. The boys
have notice a great deal difference. They actually feel comfortable
talking to me. They told me you wouldn’t give up without a fight, and
you made them go see a shrink, which made everybody laugh by the way,
but honestly if you want to fight this in court, that’s fine. But, I’m
telling you, you will not live it. Please, please don’t let it go that
far. I know you, you think you have the upper hand. But after the boys
start talking, you won’t like it. I let you take the boys during the
divorce because I was worried, not because it was the best thing. After
4-5 years, maybe they should live with me. I really want you to think
about this, I don’t want a long drawn out thing here, it’s not good for
the boys, there in the middle. I feel bad for them. Maybe, maybe you can
see what’s best for them and what you’re doing to them. Please, please,
please, please think about it.

For the record…he has LOTS of visitation time that has not been taken advantage of.  As you know, he saw them for a week in the spring of 2008, a month for the summer of 2008, and the five weeks they were in Alaska this summer.  He’s called the boys ONCE since the day he called the police, which was the Monday after they got home from their trip.  He called the police after calling our son’s cell phone twice and leaving one message on the home telephone (we weren’t home).  He never called my cell phone, and the text message our son sent him said, “We told her, I’m a little scared.”  I checked the phone.  We will have been divorced for three years in November, not the 4-5 years he keeps referencing.  When I bought my son a cell phone, the first thing I told him to do was text his dad, step-mother, and paternal grandparents with the number.  I have never told him he can’t talk to anyone, I only told him that since his phone was prepaid and minutes are expensive, if he wanted to call his dad, it would be better to use my phone instead.  So much of this disturbs me, not the least of which is him telling me he’s “gathering information” and that I won’t like it when “the boys start talking.”  Talking about what?  What information?

When I read this message, I began sobbing.  Not only is he threatening to take my children from me, he’s actively putting them in a position to give him information about me and my life.  Even though I know that there is no reason for a judge to change custody, and even though I absolutely believe that this is the best place for them to be, it’s terrifying to think that he, his wife, and his mother are seemingly out to prove that my kids belong with him.  I don’t think that anyone knows about the blog, but I am not about to give them a chance to find something here that could be used as a bargaining chip against me.  I changed all of my albums on Facebook to “Friends only” and removed his sister from my friends.

It seems more of a vendetta against me than wanting to spend more time with the boys, no?  I know that my boys want to spend more time with their father, and I wouldn’t keep them from it…at visitation times that were designated by the divorce agreement.   I’m not sure why in his mind it has to be all or nothing.

Have I told you lately I hate my ex?

Underground

Looks like I’ll be private/password protected from now on…

My Summer Vacation, Part 3

I arrived in Houston on Tuesday evening, and by Saturday I was ready to get out and visit some folks.  Usually, when I visit home, I’m running from place to place, trying to fit everyone in, but this time I only planned to see mydad, sister, grandparents and maybe Douche’s grandmother.  If I got to see anyone else, it would be a bonus.

On Saturday, I’d planned to go visit with Douche’s Granny.  She’s always been very kind and sweet to me, even during and after our divorce.  She’s also into her 80’s, so I knew that I should go and see her if I had the chance since I didn’t know when I’d be down again.  Did I mention Douche’s mother lives with her now?  Luckily, she was gone up to Alaska for a visit when I was in Texas, although I did see her scummy boyfriend (unemployed, bald on top but long hair in the back, you get the picture) while I was there.  One of Douche’s aunts who I was always close with met me there, as well as one of his cousins with his wife and daughter.  It was a good visit, and I’m glad I went.  Here’s me with Granny:

When I got back to Dad’s house (my dad, not Dad the blogger ;) ), my older sister, Em was there and we headed out to Dad’s church for a choir concert he wanted us to see.  At least, that’s what WE thought.  Turns out, we were going to his church, the choir was practicing, then we were driving to another church downtown for mass, then a reception, then dinner.  Em and I don’t particularly care for going to mass, as we aren’t Catholic, nor religious, but we did it for Dad.  The choir sounded great, and Dad was really glad to be able to participate again.  By the time we finally got to eat dinner, Em was suffering from a migraine and Dad was exhausted, so we didn’t get to take any pictures even though we were all dressed up.  We did see this car in the parking lot, though.  The picture isn’t great, but it’s a Mini Cooper with horns on the front and cowhide-patterned inlays.  One of those things you shake your head at and say, “only in Texas.”

On Sunday, Em picked me up and we headed to see our grandparents, who live near Nasa, where my grandpa worked for Nasa in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.  Even though Em lives about 60 miles away from them, she hadn’t gone to visit for 6 years!  :O  We had a nice visit, showed them lots of pictures of our kids, and they told us lots of stories – all the while arguing about the details.  I always have a good time visiting with them, and this was no exception.  We stayed all day long and didn’t end up leaving until about 7:30.  Some pics with Em and the grandparents:

The next day, Dad, Em, her oldest son, and I visited my uncle and his family.  They have a pool, and invited us to come swimming and have dinner.  Some pictures from that day:

Thus, the end of my trip to Texas.  Oy, I guess this’ll be more like a 5 part series or so!

My Summer Vacation, Part 2

I wonder how many parts this series is going to end up with?  At least three, I suppose, and probably more.  Onward!

My trip to Houston was a very long one, with a 2 1/2 hour car trip to the airport, a 40 minute plane ride to St. Louis, a 2 hour layover, a 2 hour plane trip to Houston, and then an hour long trip to my dad’s by car.  I was completely exhausted by the time I got off the plane, but some family friends, i.e., my second parents picked me up and took me out to dinner here.  It’s a Houston institution, and I was able to geat REAL!  GULF!  SHRIMP! for dinner.  I was so excited!  I wish I’d thought to take a picture of my dinner, because I don’t think people who haven’t been to the gulf realize how big the shrimp is.  And, oh so delicious!

After dinner, they dropped me off at Dad’s house.  He was sitting in his chair waiting for me to come home, and when he stood up, I’m surprised I didn’t gasp.  My dad, who in all my memory had been a big, hulking, barrell-chested man, looked withered and old.  He’d lost at least 40 pounds since the last time I’d seen him – 20 pre-surgery, and 20 post.  For the first time, he looked like an old man to me, and when I hugged him, his arms weren’t rock-solid anymore.  He showed me his scars, the worst being the one that went from his ankle up his thigh, the chest one had already mostly healed.  We said goodnight and went to bed.

Now, I feel like I have to tell you this so you’ll appreciate the oddness that occurred at Dad’s house that week:

My step-mother and I have never gotten along, and while for the most part I suck up my anger and don’t speak up to her (well, except THIS time).  When my dad went into the hospital and his children couldn’t get any information from her, I called my aunt, who called my uncle, who unloaded on my step-mother for not calling anyone.  Because she hadn’t called any of us directly, the story was skewed and we thought dad had been in the hospital for three days, when he’d only just been admitted.  Rather than call any of us directly, she called HER daughter first, who then called my oldest sister’s husband.  Yeah, that’s how much she didn’t want to talk to us.  Grrr. 

Anyway, before the trip, I decided that I’d send her an email letting her know my schedule and that I was planning to stay the entire week so I could help out.  I honestly wanted to stay with friends, but my dad was adamant that he would rather I stay there with him.  So, I sent a short, cordial email realying that I was ready to do anything I could to help.  She replied with what was probably the nicest email she’s ever sent.  She told me Dad was really looking forward to seeing me and that she was going to leave a car for me so that I could take him to walk at Wal-Mart (it was too hot for him to walk outside, and he could use the buggy for support) and to the chiropractor.  She said that she was going to be busy at work, but she’d be home by 7 and on the weekend so that I could go visit my grandparents and sister.  I started to feel better about everything.

Okay, back to the story!

The first day I was there, Dad and I just stuck around the house until it was time for him to go walk.  We watched the first two Indiana Jones movies, and he napped a bit.  By 8, he was getting worried because his wife wasn’t home yet.  He called her and left a message, and a little while later, he said he was going to call her again and went into his bedroom.  I heard him talking, so I thought he must be on the phone until he came back out and said, “She’s home, she came in the back door.”

Oh-kay.  The “back door” is a door in the master bathroom that leads to a courtyard.  Houston was feeling the effects of a tropical storm at the time, and she chose to walk around the back of the house, through that door, rather than come through and say hello to me.  This happened every time she was at home that week.  I did not see her one time my entire visit.  She had never done this before.  She’d been incredibly rude, condescending, and talked smack about my kids before, but never this. 

When I was able to get together with my older sister on the weekend, I told her about it and asked her if she knew why our step-mother would do this.  She said she wasn’t sure, but that while dad was in surgery (WHILE HE WAS IN SURGERY!), she was complaining to her daughter about everything I’d ever done or said to her that she didn’t like.  She actually said that I tried to keep them from getting married, which I most certainly did not.  The only thing I can think is I might have told my dad that I wished he’d wait a little longer before getting married again.  Who knows?  Bitch is crazy.

So, that’s what it was like at Dad’s house – incredibly strange.  Looks like the rest of the trip will have to wait for the next post!  Here’s a picture of the house, though, because it looks pretty:

My Summer Vacation, Part 1

The day the boys flew out of Chicago towards Alaska, my sister had planned a night out for my birthday, which was a few days later.  So, once their plane had taken off, The Nerd and I drove to my aunt’s condo on Michigan Ave., had lunch with her, and picked up some things she’d told me she wanted the boys and me to have.  Since we had left town at 5 am, by the time we got back home I pretty much passed out for a couple of hours.  My sister came over when I got up and did my hair and make-up for me.  We were ready to go out!

Now, since we are proper grown ups (and mostly because sis is pregnant), we decided to forego the clubbing and have a big dinner with some family and friends at one of my favorite restaurants, a small, family run Italian joint in the basement of an old building.  Almost all of my buddies that I’d invited from school showed up, as well as my parents and my sister’s in-laws, who may as well be mine, too.  Even little Senor Fussypants was there!

He had fun being ooh-ed and aaah-ed over by everyone, including people at other tables. 

After dinner, we walked across the parking lot to the Mexican place to have margaritas.  We weren’t ready to go home, but I promised sis that I wouldn’t leave her out and we’d go somewhere smoke-free.  Plus, flan!  Of course, The Nerd was there and he kept the booze a-flowin’.  Sis and I giggled a lot that night.  I was very happy that my school buddies came, even The Superhero.

It was a great birthday.

A few days later, The Nerd and I set off for the first of our road trips.  This one was to Lexington, KY, for a 4th of July party at his aunt’s house.  Now, I’d met his parents, but his brother, sis-in-law, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins would be there, so I was a little nervous.  His aunt’s house was friggen fabulous – right on the golf course, brand spanking new, and wonderfully furnished.  Everyone was very nice, especially one of his uncles, who noticed I was pretty quiet and ended up talking to me about cars.  Turned out he had just bought a ’65 Corvette coupe at auction (Corvettes are my favorite cars, especially ones from the ’50’s and ’60’s).  I even got to play a bit with his youngest nephew, who’s only a few months older than Senor Fussypants.  We ended up staying the night at his brother’s house in southern Indiana AND I found Blue Bell ice cream in the nearby Wally World!  BLUE BELL!  For those of you who’ve lived in the south, you know what this means.  After all these months of me telling The Nerd how wonderful it is, he finally got to see for himself.

Two days after we got back from this trip, I was on my way to Houston…but that’s going to have to be a post in and of itself.



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