Archive for July, 2009

You Think Your Neighbors Suck?

Thanks to everyone for their advice.  I am hearing you, and you guys seriously rock.  I’m recycling an old post today, because there’s not much going on.  Hope you have a great weekend! 

Now that you’ve heard all about the crazy folks I encountered while living in paradise, it’s time to tell you about the Redneck family.  After Hawaii, we were sent to live in Louisiana.  It’s a cool place and all, but the base we were sent to is located smack in the middle of NOWHERE!  Seriously, the town around the base has a few restaurants and a Super Wal-Mart, which we called “the mall.”  We were excited to move there, though, because all of our family lived only a short 2 1/2 hour drive from the base. 

When we first arrived in Louisiana, it took a while for us to get housing again.  Luckily, some of our friends from Hawaii had moved there eight months before and had a large apartment where we could stay in the interim. 

After a week and a half of sleeping on our friend’s son’s metal bunkbed, we were given a choice between a two bedroom-one bathroom flat or a two-bedroom, one bathroom townhouse.  We chose the townhouse.  It had a very strange layout, the closets were HUGE, but the rooms were small.  I had to stuff some of our furniture into the closets, in fact.  There was a carport we shared with the Redneck family.  It was more of a curse than a blessing.

The Redneck family had three children.  The oldest was about 10, the middle one about 7, and the youngest was about 2, I think.  They were all boys.  They all were hell on wheels.  They all had different fathers.  (The middle one obviously didn’t have the same daddy.)  I learned that from their mother, who was a bottle blonde with about 10 teeth in her head.  The teeth she did have were brown.  See a pattern here?

She looked somewhat like this.Mrs. Redneck looked somewhat like this.

I met Mrs. Redneck at the bus stop, along with the other moms who were there.  There was Greta, a wonderful German woman whose husband had been deployed for 18 months.  There was Robin, who tanned every single day and obviously cared a lot about her appearance.  I was the only one whose husband was not deployed.  Over the weeks, Mrs. Redneck told me how she couldn’t sleep at night, how her baby stayed up all night with her and then they both slept all day when the other boys were at school.  I also noticed that the older children were always wearing dirty clothes.  Not as in, they wore them twice in a week.  Dirty as in, stains all over, wearing the same pants three days in a row.  O-kay. 

The only problem we really had with her at first was her tendency to play music late at night.  It wasn’t that the music was really loud, because it wasn’t.  It was that she had the bass turned up so loud that the walls shook, and it was impossible to sleep.  At least three times a week, either Douche or I would have to go knock on the door and ask her to turn it down.  I think most people would get the hint and keep the bass turned down, but not Mrs. Redneck.

Later, since we had to share a carport, we were constantly picking up trash that the little Redneck children had left on the ground.  The older kids were always outside playing and eating and goofing around.  Wrappers, cans, napkins, etc.  There was always something on the ground.  Even though the trash and recycling bins were RIGHT at the top of the driveway!!!  There were times when we’d have to move bicycles or toys out of the way so we could park our car.  Kids will be kids, I know, so we let it slide, moved the stuff, and went on about our business.

About six months after we moved in, Mr. Redneck came home from Iraq.  A surprisingly handsome man, I wondered what he was doing with this dirtbag woman.  (Scratches head.)  Not long after he came home, they showed up one day with a Harley Davidson motorcycle on a trailer, which they then proceeded to park right in the middle of the shared driveway.  I was always very careful when parking to pull up closer to the edge of our side, so as not to bump or mar the new bike.  I told my boys (now 8 and 4) not to touch it or even go close to it.    And they didn’t.   They were never outside unsupervised because they were too little.  Basically, we tried to keep to ourselves where they were concerned.  You know, stay out of our way and we’ll stay out of yours.

One evening, Mr. Redneck came to the door and asked Douche to come outside so they could talk.  A few minutes later, Douche came back in and told me that Mr. Redneck had a scratch on his Harley and was blaming ME for it!  He thought I must’ve hit it with my car door or one of our kids had done it.  At first, I was just stunned.  How could anyone think I did something to their property?!  Me, the one who has been so careful not to disturb said property.  The one who’s gone out of her way to be courteous.  Really? 

Then, though, I got angry.  Very angry.  I marched right outside and showed Mr. Redneck how my car door COULDN’T have hit his precious motorcycle, because the door and the scratch didn’t line up in any way, shape, or form.  My kids couldn’t have hit it with the back doors because we had a mini-van at the time (stop snickering), and the doors slid back, not out.  I also took it upon myself to inform him that my children were never outside alone, and if they HAD done something to someone else’s property, I would have let the owner know about it instead of waiting for them to ask.  I then told him that I knew one of his step-sons had rammed their bicycles into my van and dented it ON PURPOSE, but I hadn’t made a big deal about it.  I dared him to call the cops if he really thought I had done it.  Well, that worked.  He backed down, and we never heard another peep out of them.  We only lived in that place for a year, before moving to a larger apartment across base. 

Lucky for them, because I would’ve fucked a bitch up.

Okay, now dish.  Tell me your neighbor horror stories!

Calling All Angels

How often do you analyze yourself, looking back on your experiences and how you’ve dealt with them?  I have to admit that while I reflect on things daily, that’s usually all it is – daily reflection.  I write about it and then pretty much forget it, unless it’s something big, and that’s okay.

Lately, though, I’ve been trying to figure out what the pattern is in the relationships I’ve had since my divorce, and what my role has been in their demise.  I’ve had three real boyfriends, and they’ve all ended pretty much the same way.  I can only blame “stupid boys” for so much.  When the same things happen over and over, you have to figure out what it is that you can do to change it.  Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome is insanity, right? 

I never dated before I was married.  My first serious boyfriend became my husband when I was still a teenager, and we were married for a decade.  Therefore, when I was ready to date after the marriage was over, I had no clue how to do it, I only knew how to be married.  I was 27 and going on my first real dates.  To say it was awkward is an understatement.  I had fun, though, and it was an end to the dry spell that seemed it had been going on for years (in reality, six months).

What I’ve realized, though, is that the men I seem to fall for are ones who don’t have boundaries.  They’re the ones who give me a key to their place within a few weeks, who say “I love you” very quick, and who like to talk about the future before it’s really appropriate.  I want to be loved and feel secure so much that I get swept up.  I will be the first person to admit that I have poor self-control.  There are a lot of times that I will say exactly what’s on my mind.  If I like someone, I tell them.  If I want to kiss someone, I kiss them.  Ditto for sex.  I like-ah da sex a lot

So how can I be smarter when I start dating again?  I need to change the way I’m doing things, for sure.  I have a few ideas, and I certainly welcome yours, too.  I need to make sure that I don’t give so much of myself to another person that doesn’t deserve it, which means making whoever “courts” me work for my affection.  This also means that I’m gonna have to slow physical stuff waaaay down with any new guy, which I am sure is going to be very hard for me (see above).  If it helps me to keep my head about me, though, it will be worth it.

Okay y’all, I need some help.  Give me all the advice you’ve got!

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today was an absolutely gloriously beautiful day out.  Clear blue skies, tons of sun, and temperatures in the mid seventies.  Ahhhh.  THIS is when I like living in Northern Indiana.  From November to March…not so much.

Back in May, my mother took a class about gifted education, and ran into my best bud, Bekki.  They knew of each other, but didn’t really know each other.  One day, Mom asked for Bekki’s phone number so she could ask her something about an assignment.  So, a friendship was formed.  It was a little weird when Mom started texting Beks a lot, but no big whoop.  Bekki said she didn’t expect to like her so much, but she does.  I probably would like her more, too, if we weren’t in such close proximity all the time.  Mom came along with us for lunch on my birthday, the one where I didn’t really eat anything because of this, and she and Bekki talked about us all getting together again soon. 

Today, Mom, the boys, and I hopped in the car and drove over to Bekki’s for lunch.  Another friend of ours was coming also, and we were going to have sandwiches and then just hang out for the afternoon.  Everything was pretty cool while we ate and sat around the table talking.  The kids all went downstairs and played in the basement, with the boys (14, 13, and 9) shooting pool and the girls (16 and 4) doing craft-y projects. 

After a while, our other friend had to leave with her 4-year-old, so Bekki’s daughter (the 16-year-old) came back upstairs with us and we all went into the living room to talk some more.  I should tell you a little bit about her, so for all bloggy intents and purposes, she will be called Fawn, because she is a dear.  The first time I met Fawn, I was impressed for several reasons.  First, she is absolutely beautiful – but not in the made-up, fake tan, “oh my God, I must have those $90 jeans” type of way that so many teenagers are these days, it’s a natural beauty that she seems completely unaware of.  Second, she is whip-smart – the girl can hold her own in any conversation.  Third, she is one of those very special people who genuinely cares for others, sensitive, sweet, and completely empathetic.  She is the type of child that you just know is going to do wonderful things in the future.  I could see all of these things in the first meeting.

I don’t see Fawn or her brother very often (he is great, too), but she and I text each other sometimes, usually joke-y type things or movie quotes, and we sometimes share music with each other.  This afternoon, we were sitting there with our mothers, and it was completely awkward for us.  Both my mom and Bekki are very outgoing people,and both Fawn and I are more reserved…we are a lot alike.  As Mom and Beks chatted along about teacher-stuff, Fawn and I started texting each other about how weird it was.  After a while, they caught on that we were doing it, which we thought was funny.

Later on, Fawn went off to her room after Beks teased her about something, and I went in to talk to her.  I knew how she felt, because my mom used to do the same thing to me.  It’s embarassing!  We talked about all kinds of things – boys, girls, music, divorce, school, sex, and all other things in between.  She is an amazing girl, and I’m proud that she trusts me enough to talk to me about all those things.  Go me! 

The boys had a great time playing with Bekki’s son, Mom and Bekki had a great time together, and Fawn and I had a heart to heart.  We came home and had steak and corn and broccoli for supper, and the boys ran around the backyard with the dogs.  It was a beautiful day, y’all.

Totally Music Tuesday

Whoops…I forgot it was Tuesday.  Here’s the song for the week, Joe Tex’s The Love You Save.  Enjoy!

Lyrics:

People, I’ve been misled
and I’ve been afraid
I’ve been hit in the head
and left for dead
I’ve abused
and I’ve been accused
been refused a piece of bread

But I ain’t never
in my life before
seen so many love affairs
go wrong as I do today

I want you to STOP
and find out what’s wrong
get it right
or just leave love alone

Because the love you save today
maybe will-l-l-l be your own

I’ve been pushed around
I’ve been lost and found
I’ve been given til sundown
to get out of town
I’ve been taken outside
and I’ve been brutalized
and I’ve had to always be the one to smile and apologize

But I ain’t never
in my life before
seen so many love affairs
go wrong as I do today

I want you to STOP
and find out what’s wrong
get it right
or just leave love alone

Because the love you save today
maybe will-l-l-l be your own

Searching

I’ve been kind of hemmin’ and hawin’ over today’s post.  I had a great night with great company last night, but I didn’t get much sleep.  When I finally did drift off, I had another nightmare.  This is becoming de rigeur, I suppose, and I don’t care for it one bit. 

At first, it was just the boys and I going on a trip somewhere.  We were on a bus, and when we got to our destination, everyone stood up.  Somehow, the boys got ahead of me and there were people in between us.  The boys got off with their suitcases, and the bus started moving again.  I yelled to the driver, but he wouldn’t stop, so I just jumped out the door and rolled to the ground. 

In between the time the kids got off and the time I got off, they had disappeared.  I went inside the official-looking building (it reminded me of the buildings on military bases) and looked for someone to help me.  I came to a lady at a desk, and explained the situation.  I told her that we had planned this trip with my ex-boyfriend (the Fireman, whom everyone knew there somehow), but since we broke up, the boys and I were there alone.  I explained about the bus and how I couldn’t find my children, and couldn’t she please help me?  She seemed more concerned that I had left my own suitcase on the bus, but she started calling around. 

That’s when Big J showed up.  He said that Little J had wandered off on his own and he couldn’t find him, but that he had his phone and we should try to call him.  I got him on the phone and told him where we were.  He said he was in the middle of the woods and he didn’t know how to get out.  He was scared and alone.  My mind was racing.  How was I going to get my baby back?  What would happen to him if we couldn’t find him?  I had images of my little boy being found a week later, laying prone near a tree.  Then I woke up.

I’ve had dreams where I’ve lost him before, but not to this degree.  It was terrifying.  It seems to be a re-occuring type of nightmare, and I’ve never dreamed about losing my older son.  The only reason I can see for FM being mentioned in the dream is because he let me down, big time.  What do you make of this?

Also, to distract you from the weirdness, and for Karen, I give you this.  Can you see the ferris wheel?

Chicago with the boys 127

Summer in the City

When I tell you that our trip to Chicago couldn’t have been better, I mean it.  The weather was great – partly cloudy with lots of sun, and it was sort of hot (nothing like Texas hot, but hot for up here).  Our northern Indiana summer has bee pretty mild, and some days have been downright chilly (4th of July), but this day was made for me.  It was perfect for a day on the water.

We arrived in the city on the train at around 11am, and headed to my aunt’s condo.  From there, she walked us down to the beach (a pretty fair piece) so we would know where to go later in the afternoon.  Then we walked back near the aquarium to catch the ferry to Navy Pier.  It was a nice little trip, and almost as soon as we got to the pier it was time to hop on the sailboatIt was a really cool experience for the boys, and I loved being out on the water like that.  The views were gorgeous!

Chicago with the boys 033

 

When our sail was over, we walked around the pier a bit.  The boys thought they might like to ride on the swings, or maybe go on the ferris wheel, but there were so many people they would have been waiting for a long time.  We hopped back on the ferry and headed back to the beach.  The kids were so excited to go swimming, and it really was the perfect little cove for them to swim in.  As they swam, I took in the sights.  I saw two different wedding parties taking photos over near the planetarium.  One of the couples seemed to have a great photographer, and they were doing all kinds of fun shots.  After about an hour and a half, it was time to head back to the condo for our dinner of what else?  Pizza.

My aunt had invited an older couple (she’s in her 70s) to join us for dinner and to watch the fireworks, and by the time the boys and I got back, they had arrived.  She stuffed us with pizza, soda (boys), beer (me), corn, tomatoes, and finally – homemade peppermint ice cream and brownies.  The couple were lovely, and the husband told the boys about his days in the Air Force (in the 50’s and 60’s), and asked them lots of questions about their dad.  Once everyone was stuffed, it was time to head up to the roof.  We were waiting for a while, but I did get some great pictures before the fireworks started.

Chicago with the boys 087

Chicago with the boys 090

Aunt Becky asked her readers (I think it was her, anyway) a while ago what things they felt were good omens.  The ones I told her were mine were rainbows and seeing things like this:

Chicago with the boys 094

We saw both from the roof that night. 

After much waiting and tons of goofing off, the fireworks finally started, and they were great.  I think they lasted about thirty minutes, and we were exhausted by the time we got back down to the condo.  We made up our beds and hit the hay.  Big J and I shared the actual bed, which hasn’t happened in at least five years.  I kept waking up with his elbow in the back of my neck (just like his dad), and had to snap a picture when I woke up, because this boy?  He is a giant, and now I have proof.

Chicago with the boys 147

We ended up staying longer Sunday than we’d expected, and Little J helped my aunt make blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs.  We were all so tired when we got home, but it was a wonderful weekend.  I have many more photos that I’d love to share, but this is taking forever and you can see them on facebook if you’re my buddy there.

I got an email this afternoon that my aunt forwarded from her friends that we met.  They were impressed by my boys, and as a mother, what better compliment can you receive?  Proud mommy!

What did YOU do this weekend?

Lying Liars and the Lies They Tell

I think that will be the title for my memoir.  The one thing that can make me the angriest is a liar.  I was lied to for so long during my marriage that I do not tolerate it well at all.  Not that anyone should tolerate it, but if I find out someone has lied to me, I get so…fucking…mad.  Like, wishing I had a punching bag kind of mad.

There is a difference between omitting information to not hurt someone and lying when you are asked a question right out.  I don’t understand the point of lying, for any reason.  To flat out lie to someone is such horseshit, man.  GAH, I am so riled up.  I had a super weekend, and then I came home and (probably my own fault for being curious) saw something that made it clear that I’d been lied to.  And for what purpose?  To not hurt my feelings, I’m sure would be the answer.  I call bullshit.  Lying – to me – equals being a pussy.  You’re a pussy!  Don’t lie to spare yourself the discomfort of dealing with whatever the outcome might be.  You make yourself look like…well, a pussy, and it makes it seem as though you think I’m not smart enough to see the truth.  If that is so, you grossly underestimate me, and that makes you the fool.