Sunday, June 29, 2008

ANOTHER Wal-Mart Story

Just when I think I can't endure any more humiliation, I am proven wrong. I don't know who I ticked off in the cosmic universe, but someone out there is none too pleased with me. Why does Wal-Mart have to be the source of my humiliation? Are they unhappy with the number of posts about them? Maybe they think even negative advertising is good.

Actually, this particular humiliation was sort of my fault. Do you remember the Wal-Mart lady? The mean one who told me I had too many items to go through the self checkout lane? The one who tried to run me out of the self checkout lane? If you are a new reader, click here for more details. She was working today, and it just so happens that I was shopping today. I didn't have as much as usual, so I proceeded through the self checkout. She didn't try to run me off this time. Maybe she remembers me, maybe not.

I was checking out my groceries, and I was distracted. I was distracted because I am a nut. Instead of focusing on my groceries, I was thinking about that mean woman. I was thinking maybe I had been too hard on her. Maybe I should just let the last time go. While all these thoughts were going through my head, I prematurely swiped my card. I didn't hit the "credit" key before I swiped my card. The automated system DID NOT like this. At all. It beeped a message at me to tell the cashier to hit the credit key. Then it indicated that I should hit cancel and start over. The whole time this scenario is playing out, I did not look at Dr. Evil even once. I would not give her the satisfaction of knowing that I was having trouble with the machine.

She eventually came over and pointed out what I had done wrong. I KNEW what I had done wrong, I didn't need her to tell me. Then she said,"What about these filters?" I told that it was a return I was taking to customer service. Yes, I know what I will do today, I will steal some filters for the pool I bought for the kids, and I won't even try to hide the fact that I am stealing them. I will leave them in my buggy in plain sight. Anyway, she was unable to get the machine to accept my transaction and had to call over a manager. The manager came over and did something to the machine. It still wouldn't work so he had me go over to Dr. Evil's station. My humiliation was complete. Now I HAD to deal with Dr. Evil. She ran my card through and handed me the slip to sign. She didn't give me a pen. I didn't want to raise any more of a ruckus, so I fished one out of my purse and signed the slip. I was even trying to be nice to her. I shouldn't wasted my energy.

Good, that was pretty painless, right? Hah! As I was walking away, she called out that I had taken her pen. I told her no, she didn't give me a pen and I had used my own pen. She didn't believe me! She started arguing with me while simultaneously looking for her pen. She said it was a black pen. I told her no, I used a blue pen...OUT OF MY FREAKIN' PURSE YOU MORON!!! OK, I didn't really call her a moron. She found her pen and I continued on my way.

I was feeling bad about the last run-in I had with her. Obviously, I need not feel guilty. She is still the same rude cashier that she was the last time I had dealings with her. The beauty of it is, had I been paying attention, I never would have needed to even acknowledge her presence, much less have her accuse me of stealing her stupid pen, if I hadn't swiped my card before selecting a payment type.

I guess I mentioned that I bought a pool for the kids. A large, very luxurious pool. It is so big that I feel I should be careful not to brag. I wouldn't want anyone to be jealous of our very fabulous pool. It is a whopping 8 ft x 30 inches.

See, I told you that you would be jealous. Try to contain yourselves.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Today was the day from h-e-double hockey sticks. I can't remember when I have had a more miserable day at work. I try to avoid blogging about work, after all you never know who is reading this stuff. This one is a doozy that I feel must be shared.

I got to work early this morning and checked my email. I had an email from a client requesting some information they needed in order to pay some invoices. The email was completely foreign to me. I didn't know the person who sent it to me. It was a forwarded email that this person had sent a couple of weeks me. Which I did not get. It was also copied to my boss. My boss promptly comes over and asks me if I have sent the information. I search in all my archived folders and can find NO PROOF that I received this email, even though it was obvious that it had been sent to me TWO WEEKS AGO. I was completely dumbfounded. My boss asked to find where I had sent the information to the client.

While I was doing this, The Boss went to his office and printed off an email he had sent to me, asking me to send this same information to the client. It was also dated for a couple of weeks ago. I had NO PROOF that I had received his email either. We determined that I had not sent the information to the client as requested. He wrote me up. I understood why he wrote me up. He asked me to provide a client with information, and I didn't do it. I told him I understood, but wanted him to know that I would never intentionally not take care of something he asked me to do.

The more I thought about it, the more my gut screamed at me that something was very wrong. I would never delete an email from my boss. I would never carelessly disregard his instructions to help a client. I had NO recollection of ever receiving or reading the email he sent to me.

I went to the IT department and asked if it was possible for an internal email not be received by my computer. I was told that was not possible. I thought about it some more, and my gut was still telling me that someone had some splaining to do. I persisted. I ONCE AGAIN asked IT the same question again. This time, I was asked if there were any attachments associated with the email. I said that there were indeed two attached files to the email. I was told that IF an email contained files that were over a certain size, that I would not receive the email.

By this time I was to' up from the flo' up. I was branding myself an incompetent loser, incapable of performing my duties. I can't remember a time when I have felt so badly about myself. I couldn't believe I had been so careless. Yet the other part of me was saying, "Hey, you would not delete an email from The Boss. If you read the email, you most certainly would not disregard it. You would handle a request from a client most promptly".

The IT department sent me a test email containing a large file. I didn't get it. It was lunchtime now, and most employees including my boss were out to lunch. For the first time in my life, I was going to have to go to my boss, and tell him he was wrong. That I in fact, NEVER received the email from him or our client because of the size of the file attached.

The rest of the lunch hour passed slowly as I paced the halls, waiting for him to return. When he returned, I went into his office with my hands shaking. After all, it's never fun to have to point out an error to a superior. I was not looking forward to it, but I was excited at the thought of vindication.

I explained how upset I was over what had transpired this morning. I let him know this was the reason I went to the IT department. I didn't want him to think I was trying to pull anything sneaky. I told him everything I had learned from the IT department, and asked him if he would tear up the "write up" paperwork.

He gruffly said he would and I thanked him. I returned to my desk to attempt to get something accomplished. I heard him come over and ask IT if it was possible not to receive an email because of the size of the attachment. Once this was confirmed, he spoke with the head of the IT department and went back to his office. He called my phone and asked me to come back over. I was thinking, "Great, now I'm in even more trouble". I went over to his office again and he said that he owed me an apology. I told him that I was just relieved to clear my name.

I want to be someone that can be depended on. I want to be the kind of employee that gets things taken care of. I don't want to be the person that constantly needs to be checked after. I felt like this episode would make my boss feel as though I couldn't be counted on to take care of business.

I am so glad that I listened to what my gut instinct was telling me. I am SO GLAD that I didn't just let it go. For me, it wasn't about being right, it was just about clearing my name. I am also glad that I have the kind of boss who will apologize if a mistake is made. I am glad that he listened to what I had to say, and then checked it out for himself. I am VERY glad that I am not an incompetent loser.

Tequila, I really need that tequila now. It's a shame I don't drink......or have any Valium handy. I think I can resume my plans for world domination once again. My credentials have been restored.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A Side Note About My New Blogroll

I just started working on this, so I have more blogs to add. I just don't have access to ALL my favorites from work.

Crime and Punishment

I heard an interesting little segment on my favorite radio show a couple of days ago. They did a segment where they had listeners call in and tell the most unusual punishment they received growing up. I am going to sort of steal their idea. Of course it won’t be exactly the same as this is a blog.

My TN dad was something else when we were little. I am sure having four children ranging from 7 to 2 was an experiment in agony, for the adults anyway. One of fun things for us as children was having so many other siblings to blame our numerous misdeeds on. In this case, we all chose denial rather than blame each other.

I don’t even remember what the crime was. All I remember is my dad lining us all up in a row. He said he was going to use an old Indian trick (back then no one used the words Native American so excuse the use of the word Indian) to determine who the perpetrator was. He whipped out his pocket knife and his silver Zippo lighter. I still remember that shiny silvery lighter. He lit it and held the flame under the knife and told us he was going to get the knife hot. Then he would put the knife on all our tongues. The knife would not burn those that told the truth. The guilty party would have their tongue scalded. I remember knowing that I didn’t commit the crime, but I was still worried about getting my tongue burned. I mean, after all, it was a hot knife.

The knife didn’t burn my tongue and I remember saying something like, “Daddy I didn’t do it! The knife didn’t burn my tongue” in an excited voice. I didn’t figure out until I was an adult that he didn’t really get the knife hot. I really thought he did. I remember thinking when I was a little older how mean that was. Actually, I think I must have been traumatized because it is one of only a few memories that I have as a small child. Knowing my TN dad as an adult, I realize that he wouldn’t scald our tongues with a hot knife. I suspect he was trying to teach us a lesson about all of us saying we didn’t do it, and the importance of telling the truth. I learned that if you lie, Daddy will put a hot pocket knife on your tongue. Oh I’m just kidding! Actually as a parent myself, it’s really pretty diabolical. I have to give him respect for that creativity of the idea.

What was your unusual punishment? Would you use it on your kids? Or even better than than, did you use an unusual punishment? I need to know so that I can steal your ideas and use them on my kids conduct some very important research. Yeah, that's it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

World Domination Must Wait

Death. Or near death. That's the subject of the day. I went to get Melissa today from her summer trip. Her friend's mother and I meet halfway. Did I mention that I have been driving every weekend for the last four weeks? Well, I have. Kind of annoying if I do say so myself. Much to my own dismay, I took Melissa's car again, even though I said I wouldn't.

After driving for four hours by myself without stopping, I decided that Melissa could drive us home. One of the benefits of picking her up in her car. I am not sure if she is covered under my insurance to drive mine.

We are driving along just fine, when all of a sudden, the cars in front of us were slowing down and stopping. My daughter wasn't. I screamed BRAKES!!!!!! MELISSA BRAKES!!!! My daughter with all of her vast driving experience (she got her license in January) decided that she had a much better plan. Instead of slowing down or stopping, she would simply weave in between the cars. Which she managed to do successfully without getting us killed (obviously). Then there were no more cars to weave around because everyone was stopped. She WAS NOT slowing down. I screamed again, "DAD GUMMIT MELISSA........ BBBRRRAAAAKKKKKEEEESSSS!!!!".

We barely escaped with our lives. She says I am being dramatic, but I beg to differ. She did managed to get stopped with nothing worse than a spilled soda all in the floorboard. My heart was pounding, I felt nauseated, and my knees were weak. I am not one who is prone to being fearful, but I am telling you, my entire life flashed before my eyes. I have NO IDEA how she managed to weave through those cars or get us stopped without us having an accident. I don't even think she checked her blind spots. It turns out a pickup truck lost a mattress from the back of the truck. From what I could tell, it hadn't been tied down. The mattress landed right in the middle of the lane.

I had to allow about thirty minutes before I felt calm enough to talk to her about what happened. It took that long for my heart to stop pounding. It took that long for the weak feeling in my knees to subside. I am not sure if I have ever been that scared in my entire life. Of course Melissa is young and probably doesn't see it the way I do. I used to be so cool. I remember being a teenager of 18 and taking off on a long road trip in a piece of junk car all by myself. As a matter of fact, I remember one trip that took place where I left out at 10 at night and drove all night long. In the dark. By myself. I didn't worry that the car wouldn't make it. I didn't worry that if I did break down, that I could be kidnapped and mutilated before anyone even realized I was missing. I didn't worry that my young face would be plastered all over news with headlines such as, "Girl driving piece-of-crap car never arrives at her destination. Details at 11".

Now I carefully plan my trips so that I arrive before it gets dark. I am always mindful of the condition of the car that I am driving. I am always mindful of the speed limit because I had a couple of tickets when I was younger driving over the speed limit is unsafe. I have become the woman that puts her purse in her car, and locks it in before I unload my groceries. I also look around as I am leaving a store just to be aware of my surroundings, and those in it. I make sure all my doors and windows are locked before I go to bed.

A few years ago, I may have been able to laugh at what happened today. (Which I guess it is sort of funny, if you like nearly being killed by your own daughter) That girl is gone. In her place is a worried, cautious, extremely anal woman/mother. Of course this does reinforce my belief that Melissa is too young to travel on her own. I wonder if she would have stopped if I hadn't been there to scream at her save her?

I have composed a short list of considerations for taking trips where you may contemplate letting your teenager drive.


2. If you decide to disregard consideration #1, be sure to have valium, or a nice bottle of tequila under the seat. I promise you, it WILL be needed.

3. If you decide to forgo consideration #1 but are contemplating consideration # 2, you may need to take along a barf bag. This barf bag will be multi-functional. You can use if you have to barf because of the teenage driving, or if you drink too much of the tequila.

4. Never leave home without the lime or salt. Personally that's the only way I can stomach tequila.

OK, OK, that last one really doesn't help much, but tequila is some yucky stuff. At any rate, due to my trauma today, I am putting off my plans for world domination. I feel that if I can't stand teenage driving, I might need to reconsider my qualifications as a person who could dominate the world. I'm only being realistic.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Daughter's Perspective

Finally, at least one of my daughters is home. Something to blog about. I become increasingly aware over the last several weeks that my life is dreadfully dull without the girls. Sad, but true. Yesterday, a local convenience store was crashed into. A young driver hit the gas instead of the brake and completely ran her small SUV into the Quizno's part of the store. I mean, COMPLETELY into the store. I tried to find the picture to link but I couldn't. It just so happened that Keri was there right after it happened. She called to tell me about and said and I quote, "You should have seen it Mom, it was so cool". Somehow, I don't think that the girl who crashed her SUV thought it was cool. She then proceeds to tell me, and I quote again, "The worst thing about it was we didn't even get to be on TV". Again, I don't think that girl thought that my daughter not getting to be on TV was the worst part.

Oopps, wait I found it. Click here.

Not only did she crash her car into a store, now she has to suffer the humiliation of having it broadcast ON THE NEWS. I seriously think there is not much going on where I live........

Patience Is A Virtue (Or So I Hear)

I fill my gas tank up every Thursday morning on my way to work. I am spontaneous like that. I love the thrill of shaking things up. OK, maybe not so much. Anyway, I stopped yesterday morning to fill my car up with gas on my way to work.

I got out and filled my car up, oblivious to the world around me. I just don't have it in me at 7:15 am to care what is going on in the world around me. So I fill my car up and get back in my car. I slide my card back into my wallet, then grab my Ipod. I wanted to untangle the earbuds and get it going before I got back out into traffic. See, I don't like to be distracted while I am driving. I realize that all it takes is a split second for an accident to happen. I really don't believe in too much multitasking while one is driving. If I need to check myself in the mirror, I do it at a red light. If I need to apply lip gloss, same thing, I wait until my vehicle comes to a complete stop. Did you know that if you talk or text while you are driving that you have the same reflexes as a drunk driver? Neither did I until recently. It's something to think about, but I won't preach.

So back to the story. I am getting myself situated in the car and I hear a horn beeping. I glance up and see that there is a car behind me waiting to use the gas pump......and they are honking at me to move. I was livid. Have I mentioned that I don't really happy my happy face on before 8 in the morning? I think I have a time or two. Honestly, it didn't take me THAT long to put away my card and get my Ipod ready. COULD YOU JUST GIVE ME A FEW MINUTES HERE!!!! My first instinct was to jump out of my car give that "b" a piece of my mind. How....freakin'......rude!!! I decided that exiting my vehicle and confronting the cow was not the most mature thing to do. All though, for confrontation.

As I started pulling away, I glanced around to see how busy the gas station was. To my unending fury, there were at least four gas pumps available. Yet that woman was behind me like that pump was the one shooting out gold nuggets or something. I can't believe she was honking at me.

Why is everyone in such an all-fired hurry I wonder? Is whatever you are trying to get to that important? Are you really in THAT big of a hurry to get to work? Frankly, I'm not.

While I am on my soapbox, don't you hate when you go through the drive-thru and they shove your money in your face and expect for you to just throw your money in the floorboard and move along? Can't we just have a moment to put our money away? Maybe I would like to count my change. It stands to reason that if my order is wrong consistently, that maybe my change is wrong too. I refuse to give in to this. I always calmly take my change and put it away, then move along.

Well enough ranting for now, I am off to plot world domination and to figure out how to bring down the oppressive management. While I'm at it, maybe I should just pour lemon juice into my eyes.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Bad Ole Days

Did I ever tell you about the time I worked two jobs? No?……I didn’t think I had. In 1997 I finally got my own apartment. I barely made enough money to pay the bills and buy food for Melissa and I. Shortly after we moved in, my car broke down. (Of course, don’t ya know that’s how it goes?) My car broke down to the tune of about 600 dollars. Which I did not have. I had just moved into this apartment, and the idea of having any savings was completely foreign to me at this time. I could barely afford to eat, much less save money.

I had a real dilemma. I worked for a small company as a receptionist. I reported directly to the owner of the company. He was willing to loan me the money and he was willing to accept installment payments. I already knew that I didn’t have enough in my meager budget to allow for this. Hence, the second job. I was desperate lucky enough to be able to go back to work in a restaurant I had worked in before. Melissa had an in home sitter at this time because I couldn’t afford regular daycare. Her sitter was willing to keep her on the nights I had to work. So, my day would go like this: Get up at 5:30 am (because I lived 45 minutes from where my day job was) get ready, get Melissa ready, drive 45 minutes, drop her off, go to work, work all day until 5. At 5 I would go in the bathroom, change into my waitress uniform and go to my second job. It was hell right here on Earth.

Since I am all about keeping this real, I have a confession to make. I sucked at being a waitress. My tips reflected that. It wasn’t that I couldn’t keep orders straight or brought out the wrong food. I had two things working against me. The first one is that I tend to wear my emotions on my face. Which means, if I am ticked off, it shows. The second, was my unfortunate bad temper.(Does that mean I was temperamentally challenged? It could be real…right?) All it took was for someone to be rude to me and it would send me on rampage of stomping around and muttering and carrying on. Most of the time, I would carry on in the back of the restaurant where customers couldn’t see or hear me.

Once in a while, I would fill in as a hostess. Let me tell you “The Rules” of subbing as a hostess when you are a waitress. If you are subbing as a hostess, you are not supposed to wait on tables. One reason is that the pay scale is different for each respective position. So on this particular day I was working as a hostess for whatever reason. The restaurant got pretty busy quickly. There was this gnarly old man sitting in a booth near my hostess station. As I was running around trying to seat people, he caught my attention or something. He was ranting and raving about how I wasn’t doing my job, and I should be waiting on him, blah, blah, blah. Don’t you just love it when customers tell you what your job is? Like there is circular that is passed out that has all of your job duties in it for all the patrons to peruse. Maybe they are published in the newspaper so that all customers will be armed with the knowledge of what you are supposed to be doing. This way if you are failing in your supposed duties, one of them will be able to quickly point out where you are going wrong, and exactly how and what you are supposed to be doing. I digress. Sorry. Anyway, I let that old gnarly man have it. I was having one of those days where I had just had enough. I was a broke, tired, single mom and putting up with his crap was the last thing I wanted to do. I basically told him that MY JOB was to make sure that customers had a place to sit. MY JOB was not to wait on him. IF HE would be patient, a server would be with him soon to WAIT ON HIM!!!

I don’t remember how long I did this. I want to say maybe a couple of months. I would leave work at night anywhere between 10 and 11 at night. Then I would pick Melissa up at the sitter’s, go home, go to bed and do it all again the next day. Pretty soon, another opportunity for me to repay this loan became available. The person who had been cleaning the office where I worked decided they didn’t want to do it anymore. I offered to take over. It was really a sweet deal. I made extra $350 bucks a month for cleaning the office every weekend. It took about four hours to clean. I quickly turned in my notice at the restaurant and took over this cleaning job. It was perfect. I could bring Melissa with me and instead of having to work three or four nights a week, I only worked four hours on Saturday or Sunday. Bliss! Joy!

Thinking back on this time in my life, I realize that things were really hard. The “hard times” I experience now are nothing like the “hard times” of back then. Hard times back then included wondering if there was going to be food on the table. Hard times now are much different.

My pending student loans are what brought this memory to the forefront of my mind. In a few short months, it will time for me to begin repaying my student loans. After a careful budget analysis, I have determined that in order for us to remain a little comfortable, as opposed to strapped, I need to take on a part time job. Which is sort of a bummer since the whole reason I went to college in the first place was to make things more comfortable for my family.

Anyone know of any offices that need cleaning?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Confessions Of An Ex-Wife Part V

I found myself alone with two children to raise by myself. I had a low paying job and a home I couldn't afford by myself. Around the time my ex-husband left, my little sister found herself pregnant. She was fearful for the safety of her unborn baby. Without her permission, I can't reveal anymore details than that. We talked and she decided to move to my state and we would live together.

Through a friend of hers, we found a place that we could afford. In the middle of all this, I had been given a promotion at work. Financially, this was the best thing that could have happened. It would allow me to be able to provide for the girls without any government assistance.

I can't put into words how devastated I was over the breakup of my marriage. I meant every word of my wedding vows. The overwhelming sense of failure and rejection was crippling. Not to mention that my ex-husband and I were now in a place where we couldn't have one conversation without it erupting into a fight. He pushed every.Single.One. of my buttons. I think he was doing it on purpose, I just didn't realize it at the time. He insulted me, my home, my parenting capabilities, and anything else he could think of. I responded by cursing him out. The filth that came out of my mouth was surprising, even to me. Not only that, he had very quickly found someone else. I later found out that they had started seeing each other before he left me.

Boy I can really pick em'. Now I had to deal with the break up of my marriage and the fact that he was seeing someone else. I was consumed with jealousy. I can honestly say that this was the emotional bottom of the barrel for me, and I wasn't emotionally healthy to begin with.

I did the only thing I knew to do. I started praying, and I prayed hard. I truly believe that all kinds of doors were opened to me because of this. I had ended this marriage with nothing, and slowly things started to get better. Me, the self proclaimed atheist, was turning into a Believer.

For quite a while, I blamed my ex-husband completely for the downfall of our marriage. In time, the Lord began to show me some things about myself. Not very nice things either. Things about my attitude, and the way I handled things. I do believe that he would have left regardless of my attitude, but it certainly didn't help things either.

My sister stayed with me through most of her pregnancy. I don't know how in the world she was able to tolerate me as long as she did. I wasn't letting anyone get to close to me. I still had a great deal of healing to do. Not only from my failed marriage, but as a person also.

I eventually landed an office job that allowed me to work regular hours and to get assistance paying my daycare. I was still bitter, but healing just a little bit every day. My ex and I had horrible fights as I mentioned earlier. One day I realized how tired I was of the fighting. It could be over money, visitation or anything at all. One day he called and was reading me the riot act once again. I remained calm. I didn't cuss or yell or name call. I simply told him that I was sorry he felt that way and that I was not going to argue with him. I told him I would no longer be responding to his tirades. It was like a freakin' miracle. He apologized and that was that.

It took a long time for me to perfect my ability to remain calm. Sometimes I wasn't able to do it. I would always feel like a failure when I allowed him to get to me. I kept at it though. Eventually, the out and out brawling came to a halt. That's not to say that we never disagreed. The unhealthy attacks on each other stopped. I was able to communicate with him and express myself without being a stark raving lunatic.

I find that people tend to take you more seriously when you are able to remain calm. Yelling and screaming most of the time makes you appear to be irrational and without control of your emotions. There are times when I just have to hang up the phone. If a conversation with him is getting me nowhere, I simply end it. I refuse to be sucked back into that old habit. Of course we still disagree on things as my last post stated. Unfortunately for him, he has not changed over the years, but I have. I realize that I jumped into a serious relationship with him way to soon. I just didn't want to be alone. Had I waited to get to know him better and taken things more slowly, I imagine the outcome MAY have been different. Then again, maybe not. I believe I HAD to have this experience in my life. If not, I wouldn't have Keri and I could never take her back, or wish that I didn't have her. This experience changed me, and I believe for the better. Someone asked me recently if I would ever be able to allow another man into my life. The answer is yes. I will not allow this experience to rob me of my faith in men or in basic human kindness. One of the joys I have found in reading blogs is reading about people who have good relationships. Not perfect ones, but good healthy relationships. I love reading about men who are good to their wives and good to their children. It 's not too late for me. It may not be in the cards for me, and that's OK too.

One of the thrills about healing and being a healthy person is to be happy alone. I think if I can't be happy by myself, then I am not capable of being happy with someone. It is not the responsibility of our spouses to MAKE us happy. Not that they don't, but it shouldn't be their job.

I have no desire to jump head first into a relationship with a man. I have my daughters to think about. They both have fathers, though flawed they may be. I don't expect anyone to step in and help me raise my children. The best I can hope for is that, should someone come into my life, that they would at some point be willing to be a friend to my kids, and treat them with respect.

Eventually my ex remarried. Not to the same woman he was seeing when we split up. I was still grieving over losing him, and his marriage was a difficult blow. Despite my personal feelings about it, I did allow Keri to spend time with him and his new wife. I didn't like it, but I didn't want Keri to miss out on time with her dad because of my feelings. She became very attached to his wife. His wife treated Keri as if she were her own child. I was very jealous about that too, but I kept it under wraps for the sake of my daughter.

I was jealous because of the bond between the two of them, I was jealous that her stepmother's family had money and could do so much for Keri than I could do. It made me feel so incompetent. After a while, I realized that no one could take my place as her mother. I realized that I needed to see everything that they could do for her was a blessing in my life and not something I should be jealous of. It was a blessing to have them help buy her school clothes, or that really expensive toy she wanted that I couldn't afford. None of the things that they help out with is anything for me to be jealous of. I will always be her mom, no matter what. I have the privilege and joy of getting to be here for all of her milestones. I carried her and gave birth to her. I took care of her when she was sick. I was there when she started walking and talking.

For a long time I didn't realize how lucky I was for Keri to have such a wonderful stepmom. Many children are not that lucky. Many stepparents are not as giving with their love as K has been with Keri. She opened her arms and her heart to my daughter from day one. For that, I will always be grateful.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Road Trips and More Ex-Wife Drama

I went on a blog hiatus. This past week both the girls were out of town. I thought I would really enjoy the time to myself. It turns out that after a couple of days, I really didn't know what to do with myself. It was pretty lonely. So, let's catch up.

Melissa went to stay with one of her old friends in NC. We agreed to meet them halfway last weekend. Melissa gave up on the idea of driving herself once she realized I wouldn't budge on that issue. We decided to take her car so that we could both drive. I don't have her covered on my car because it would be too expensive.

We had to run a couple of errands before we left town. I drove first. I immediately noticed that her car wasn't driving quite right. I told Melissa that something was wrong with her car. She immediately responded with, "No, there is nothing wrong with my car". I told her not to argue with me, that I have been driving for 15 years and I know when something is wrong with a car.

After driving her car for awhile, I realized that there really was nothing wrong with her car. Her gas pedal is a little stiffer than mine, and it was making it seem as though the car didn't want to go. I told her that I was wrong. To which see responded, "See Mom, there you are floating in your boat of being right while I swim in my sea of wrong". I deserved that, so I let it slide.

After initially thinking there was something wrong with her car, I was a little paranoid about driving her car on a long trip. After all, her car is pretty old, and it was a long trip. The majority of the driving consisted of us driving through the boon docks. When she took over driving, I watched all her gauges very carefully. After a while, I noticed her temperature light creeping towards hot. I turned off the air condition and it creeped back down. Now I was nervous. I cut the air back on and once again it creeped towards hot. This time it got almost all the way to hot. The car wasn't smoking or anything, but I decided we should stop and have a look. I told Melissa to pull off at the next exit so I could check it out.

The next exit was of course, in the middle of nowhere. The store we stopped at was one of those little country stores. You know the kind I am talking about? The ones with the tables inside where the townsfolk gather to hang out or whatever. After waiting for a while for the car to cool down, I popped the hood to have a look. I took off the coolant cap and the antifreeze was full, it wasn't bubbling and the car wasn't steaming. I told Melissa that we should check the oil while we were stopped.

It looked like it was just a tad low. I told her to check in her trunk and see if she had any oil back there. She brought me the quart and I began dumping it in. As my eyes wandered down, these words jumped out at me: AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID

Yes, I was pouring transmission fluid into the engine. I totally freaked out. By this time, we had attracted the attention of the folks in the store. Of course why wouldn't two beautiful women messing around under the hood of a car not attract attention right?

So Larry, his brother Darrell, and his other brother Darrell came out of the store. Larry was an obviously elderly gentlemen who looked to me to be about 85 years old if he was a day. His brother Darrell was a big, burly guy in overalls. His other brother Darrell I think was just tagging along. Larry was the spokesman for the group. He asked me in a very southern accent , "Ma'm, do you need some help?". To which I responded, "Well, I didn't need help but I probably do now. I just dumped transmission fluid in the engine". Because Larry looked old enough to be my great grandfather, I trusted his judgment. That and I had no choice but to trust his judgment because we were in the boonies Larry said that I hadn't put enough transmission fluid in the engine to hurt it.

Thank God I will never see Larry, his brother Darrell, and his other brother Darrell again, because my humiliation would never have allowed me to show my face in public again. One of the things I pride myself on as a single woman/mother is that I am a capable person. I can check the oil in my car, put air in my tires, I know what to check for if you think your car is overheating, and I can pump my own gas. (Yes, there are women who don't know how to pump gas) Having to tell these men that I had dumped transmission fluid IN THE ENGINE was not one of my finer moments, I have to admit.

Anyway, the car didn't seem overheated and we were on our way. I really think maybe the thermostat got stuck. I will be checking that out soon. In the meantime, I will not be taking Melissa car on any long trips, it just stresses me out too much.


I met Keri's stepmother yesterday and picked her up. My summer seems to mostly consist of me picking up and dropping off children in other states. We haven't heard from her dad in several weeks as he was none too happy that I let Keri go stay with his ex-wife. He coincidentally called last night. He didn't even know she was coming home yesterday. We weren't home when called last night so he called again this morning. He wants to see Keri. The problem is that Keri knows he has a live in girlfriend, and has expressed to me that she doesn't feel comfortable going to visit him under the circumstances. I tried to talk to her dad about it this morning. He wouldn't hear what I had to say. He accused me of being the one who has a problem with his living arrangements.

The funny part is that I could care less who he lives with. It took me a long time to get over my failed marriage, but eventually I did. I even tried to tell him that I was happy that he seems to somewhat be getting his life together. He wouldn't hear that either.

What it boils down to is that he wants me to force Keri to visit him. I wont do it. Right now she is not ready to accept this new relationship in his life. I am not going to force this woman down her throat. What he wouldn't give me a chance to say was, that I think in time her desire to see her dad will outweigh the discomfort she feels about his new girlfriend, and she will want to visit. Right now she is just not ready. What really disturbs me the most is his unwillingness to accept her discomfort. He immediately blamed it on me. Which shows me that he is not sensitive to her young emotions. Do I really want to force her to visit him knowing that will be manipulating her into accepting this woman when she is not ready? No, I think not. It's really a shame that I have to protect my daughter from her own father.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Confessions Of An Ex-Wife Part IV

I know that some of the things I have pointed out may be common sense to most people. Keep in mind that I had a VERY dysfunctional childhood, which really stunted my emotional growth. When there is not a good role model in your life, sometimes it takes hard lessons to learn things that many people take for granted. Like knowing how to love other people or how to treat others with respect. They sound like pretty simple things, but to a great deal of people, these can be the hardest lessons to learn. While going through all this was VERY difficult, it has shaped me into the person I am today, and given me a beautiful daughter to boot. Thank God for therapy........and healing.

After we got engaged things kind of settled down for a while. We didn't set a wedding date and I really was not in any hurry. I knew we wouldn't get married until after the baby was born, and I had a lot of preparing for the new baby to do. I am proud to say that I worked up until three weeks before my due date. At that point I was big, hot, uncomfortable, and I was falling asleep at my desk. I decided I had had enough and I went on maternity leave. Four weeks later on August 20, 1998 I gave birth to Kering Grace. She weighed in at 8lbs 14oz. To give you some perspective, when I got pregnant with her, I weighed about 113lbs. I am and was a small woman....lugging around a freakin (almost) nine pound kid. The day I came home from the hospital was not fun. K picked me up and dropped me off at home with a newborn baby and Melissa. Then he left. Because he HAD to go help one of his friends hook up a washer and dryer. Not only that, while I was in the hospital, he did not clean up any of the messes he made, which meant that I got to come home to a messy house.

One thing I learned in this relationship was that his mouth did a lot of moving, but he rarely backed up anything he said. His mouth said he loved me, but his actions were not very loving.

As much fun as I am having rehashing all this drama, I am going to try to wind it down. I could post and post and post about all the things that we both screwed up. Looking back on it now, I can say that I don't think he ever loved me. He may have cared about me in his own way, but it was not what I wanted, and somewhere deep inside, I knew it.

In January, once again at my urging, we set a March wedding date. I have publicly displayed some of his finer moments, so I feel it's only fair to recount at least one of mine.

The night before the wedding, we had a knock down drag out fight. We were over at our friend's house where the reception was going to take place. When it was time to go home, he let me know that he was not coming home. It was bad luck for him to see me before the wedding. THAT was bad luck?! We had already been living in sin for a year and a half, and had a baby together, I didn't think him seeing me before the wedding was going to doom us. So, I pitched a big ole' redneck southern girl fit. I ripped him a new one in front of ALL of our friends. I threw a tantrum to rival that of any two year old on the planet. THE NIGHT BEFORE OUR WEDDING!

This is really important so pay attention. Never, never, ever, call your man/woman out in front of ANYONE. There is no greater disrespect than to have your partner call you out in front of everyone you know.

I even went so far as to tell him that I didn't want to marry him. In front of everyone. My humiliation is so great that I can barely stand to even think about it to this very day. This was the controlling me coming out. In my mind, if he REALLY loved me, he would come home with me just as I demanded asked.

Needless to say he did not come home with me and I went home and cried. In all fairness to me, I am sure part of my behavior was the stress of planning the wedding finally caught up with me.

I had a nightmare that night. When I woke up the next morning, I was really having second thoughts about going through with the wedding. I squashed my doubts immediately. After all, the deed was practically done. Everyone would be there, everything was paid for, I couldn't back out now.

Lesson # 10 or 11 Some pre-wedding jitters are normal, however if you have nightmares of epic proportions the night before the wedding, it might not be a bad idea to postpone the wedding. Just think of all the money I could have saved if I would have waited a little longer.

Despite my misgivings, I have to say that I had some pretty romanticized notions of what I thought it would be like to be married. We would vow ourselves to each other and that would be it. We would be together forever through everything. He would never leave me and I would never leave him. ( I really don't where I got that crap from, but I believed it...somewhat)

We did get married on that fateful Saturday in March. There would be no honeymoon for us as we really didn't have much money to speak of. We did have the rest of the weekend together and it was back to regular life on Monday. I really can honestly say that after we got married, I really didn't feel any different. Everything seemed somehow, the same as it had been before.

I think that us living together took some of the fun out of getting married for me. I already knew that he was a slob who left his clothes in the same spot he took them off in. That first Monday after we got married, he didn't come home until ten at night. I was not happy but I didn't say anything. I figured that was his way of feeling like he still had control over his life, and that us getting married in no way made me the boss of him.

The fighting got worse from there and in July he moved out. We married in March and by July he was gone. I was married for a whopping three months. If I thought things were hard before, they were getting ready to get even harder.

At the time we separated I didn't have a good job. Heck, I didn't even have a high school diploma at this point. I did not make enough money to support my kids on what I was making. I lived in a place that I couldn't afford on my own. I was scared. Really, really, scared. I was also devastated. Crushed. Broken hearted. Life would go on, it just wouldn't be quite the way I had imagined my life would be.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Confessions Of An Ex-Wife-The Story Drags On

After dating and living together for approximately three months, I found myself unexpectedly pregnant. He wasn't supposed to be able to have kids darn it! The doctors said so. His own track record of not getting anyone pregnant thus far said so. This was not supposed to happen.

I found myself really excited about having another baby. Melissa was six after all. He was sooo good with Melissa that I KNEW he was going to make a great father for this baby too. Still, even under the best of circumstances we had a lot to deal with. We were still getting to know each other, we had jumped head first into this serious relationship, and now I was pregnant.

Soon after I found out I was pregnant, I noticed two things. The first is that I had morning sickness morning, noon and night. It was like the demons of hell had been unleashed on me. I had the kind of morning sickness where you never barf, you just FEEL like you are going to. All the time. Every day. All day long. The second thing I noticed was that my boyfriend was not much of a homebody. He preferred to be bowling, riding four wheelers, working on his car, going to the racetrack, shooting paintball guns, doing anything except for be at home.

I noticed it, but I kind of shrugged off and thought that I needed to just be lucky to finally have someone. Finances proved to be a hurdle. He made twice as much money as I did, and we were splitting the bills evenly. This got to me. He had way more spending money than I did, and he was not too keen on sharing.

Lesson #......Well, whatever. When discussing finances when both parties are working, make sure that the agreement you reach is fair. If one person is making considerably more money than the other person, a 50/50 split is probably not the best idea.

Be prepared to live with whatever arrangement you make. I was so high on love that I didn't think about the long term issues that would arise from this arrangement.

Lesson # 8 or 9(I think) I cannot express this enough. Have your own life. Have your own friends and hobbies.

It is very dangerous/unhealthy to wrap your entire life around one person. If you don't have any hobbies, get some. Join the Y or a bowling league. Even Alien Watchers Anonymous. Whatever it takes to have your own interests. This would be a major problem for me later on down the road.

I decided around four or five months into the pregnancy that we needed to get married. We talked about and I pushed for it. He proposed. What I didn't realize at the time was that he didn't want to get married. I wanted to get married, but for all the wrong reasons. It wasn't that I didn't love him. My main reason for wanting to get married was so that I would be "respectable". After all, I already had ONE child out of wedlock, I didn't want to add another one. My lack of respectability was confirmed a couple of months earlier when I told my boss I was pregnant. She looked like I had just told her I was quitting my job to become a professional bull rider. I have never seen a more shocked look on anyone's face. No one in my family was shocked. We had more dysfunction in our family than the Osbournes.

So we got engaged but decided to wait until after the baby was born to get married. We said we didn't want to give the impression that we were just getting married because of the baby. K bounced around from job to job. I continued to work at my same job. Now don't get to thinking that I was little Miss Merry Sunshine. I was getting bigger by the minute, my hormones were raging, and he was dragging me all kinds of places that I did not want to go. I went to the racetrack with him, we went out to dinner, out to clubs, concerts, you name it. I was dragging my tired big ole pregnant butt all over the place.

Around the seventh month I realized that it was time to start buying baby stuff. Which I did. With my own money. Mr. Selfish did not spend ONE SINGLE DIME on anything for that baby. Then he complained that I wasn't letting him help pick anything out.

The amount of time that he spent with his friends was really starting to exasperate me to no end. The more frustrated I got, the more controlling I TRIED to be. At that point in my life, I wouldn't wish that version of me on Satan himself. I was so witchy.

Next Lesson: Never, never waste your time trying to be the boss of someone. The more you try to control a person, the more they will pull away from you and resent you.

Frankly, trying to control him took more energy than it was worth, and it didn't work. I can't begin to describe how unhappy I was at this point. I was wasn't getting what I needed or wanted (not that my wants were realistic anyway). Having this grown up relationship was not doing everything for my life that I imagined it would. I was so deluded and misguided I could barely see straight. I am really not even sure how I was able to parent Melissa in the emotional state that I was in.

The long and short of it is that we were BOTH walking disasters, that had somehow ended up together. The only question is: How much longer would it be before this ill fated relationship self destructed?.......and we weren't even married yet.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Confessions Of An Ex-Wife Part III

Isn't there a saying that says, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"? I left off with me telling my then boyfriend(who would later become my husband) that he could move in with me...several WEEKS after we began dating. I can honestly say that I fell head over heels for him. He was charming, funny, outgoing, honest(so I thought at the time). He had these great blue eyes and dark hair. He was great with Melissa. Her dad was pretty much absent at this point. He would disappear for months on end and we wouldn't even know where he was. Me being the imbecile that I was, I thought this was the recipe for a great relationship. So what if he was kind of arrogant and a little obnoxious, I could overlook that. After all, I wasn't perfect myself. I was still trying to figure out why in the world he was interested in me.

He moved in and I was on cloud nine. Now my life was going to be perfect. I finally found true love, and having someone to help with the bills was nice too. Lord he even cleaned up after himself. He helped make up the bed in mornings and even picked up his dirty clothes.....which lasted about two weeks.

Lesson # 5 Never, never move in with someone you barely know. It's best to take time to really get to know someone. In the early stages of dating, everyone is on their best behavior. Obviously even I was able to keep my nuttiness at bay for a short time. I think it probably takes about a year before the bloom of new love begins to wear off enough for you to determine a person's flaws. It 's up to you to decide which flaws may be deal breakers. Oh I almost forgot. 75 percent of people who live together before they get married, end up divorced.

We had our first argument shortly after he moved in. One night the phone rang. It was a woman. Asking to speak to MY boyfriend. We had caller ID so I could see that she was calling from out of state. I remember asking her what her name was and then being overcome with jealousy. If I could have, I think I would have reached through the phone and choked this woman. In a fury I marched to the bathroom and flung open the door. The look of surprise and embarrassment that came over his face still makes me giggle. I pretty much shoved the phone in his face and slammed the door. Nothing like a furious woman shoving a phone in your face while you are on the toilet.

When he came out of the bathroom, I went nuts. You see, little did I realize that I had control issues now. I had control issues because I had let Melissa's dad walk all over me and treat me like crap. I was not going to let anyone else to that to me again. My word would be law. I WOULD be running this show! (Ha, ha, ha boy was I stupid) I let him know that I would not tolerate women calling my house for him. He explained that she was his ex girlfriend from back home and she still had some of his belongings. I didn't care if she had the secret to world peace. I would not be putting up with it regardless.

I really think that after that night, the new bossy, controlling me emerged. I was not going tolerate anyone interfering in the perfect life that I had planned for us. We were going to be a happy family no matter what. I was going to make it happen. This time I was going to get it right. He was going to make all my problems go away.

Lesson # 6 Never think that another person is going to MAKE you happy or MAKE all your problems go away. That is a terrible burden to put on another person's shoulders and it is so unrealistic. You have a better chance of being abducted by aliens and used for reproduction experiments.

A couple of months later, a friend called and told me that she had a dream and she knew I was pregnant. I told her that was crazy. A doctor had told my boyfriend a few years earlier that he would never have children. His sister confirmed this for me shortly after we began dating. Then a couple of days later, I bought a pregnancy test on the down low. I didn't tell anyone that I was taking it. I got a negative result and didn't think much else about it. Until a few weeks later when I still hadn't gotten my period. I called my doctor and told him I thought something was wrong with me. Maybe an infection or something. He told me he couldn't see me until I had taken a home pregnancy test. I told him I had taken one a couple of weeks earlier and had gotten a negative result. He advised me to take another one and call him back. At this point I let K know what was going on. We bought a pregnancy test and I put it up to take the next morning.

The next morning I woke up and took the test without waking him. Sure enough, I got a positive result this time.........

Lesson # 7 is obvious....BIRTH CONTROL people BIRTH CONTROL! (Although I have never regretted having Keri she is my baby girl after all)