31 October 2007

Wordless Wednesday


28 October 2007

Sunday Secret

I am a huge fan of PostSecret - I have so many myself I think it's time to share them.

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I read the "Missed Connections" posts on CraigsList in hopes that one of the hundreds of people I randomly pass in my daily life might actually want to get to know me.

25 October 2007

Thirteen Pet Peeves

  1. My son ruining his $100 pair of shoes in less than 3 months by walking on the backs of them.
  2. Explanations beginning with the word "Again" - if you are saying what you just said, and I didn't understand it the first time, how am I supposed to magically get it just because you repeat it?
  3. People who verbalize punctuation while speaking - PERIOD!
  4. Mumbling, then saying "Forget it!" when someone couldn't have possibly heard what you said.
  5. Shouting "drop it" the moment a conversation veers into an unwanted direction.
  6. Restaurant forks whose tines are crooked.
  7. People who stand in the way of folks wishing to use an escalator, moving sidewalk or doorway.
  8. Swinging a cigarette wildly while making way through a crowd, especially at family oriented events.
  9. People who camp out in the left lane of the tollway/freeway driving the speed limit and/or blocking traffic.
  10. Laws that are never enforced (Illinois' law regarding the above.)
  11. People who chew with their mouth open or talk with food visibly in their mouth.
  12. Doctor's who expect you to be prompt for your appointment so that they can make you wait 30 minutes past your appointment time.
  13. Goofy holidays like "Sweetest Day."

21 October 2007

Some Things Never Change

Yesterday, I was wondering how I was going to make it through four more days with my mother - by 6:00 last night, I only had to wonder how I'd make it through the next 18 hours.

My mother is, and always has been, a button pusher. I remember the behavior as far back as when I was five. My mother finds, then pushes, pushes and PUSHES, the emotional buttons of EVERYONE she meets. She had been pushing buttons, and boundaries, since the moment she stepped foot in this house. Yesterday afternoon, a minor incident brought her visit to a screeching halt, when she decided to participate in her button pushing mantra one too many times.

Cam had picked up one of those paddleball toys and looked like he was going to start playing with it in the family room. I looked at Cam and said, don't play with that in the family room. If you want to play with it you'll need to take it outside of upstairs to your room." Seems harmless enough, doesn’t it? Well, here is the rest of the conversation:

MOM: Why can't he play with it in the family room? (Said in an openly defiant manner)

ME: Because we don't allow toys in the family room.

MOM: Why? (Again, openly defiant and taunting)

DH (to my mom): Karen, you don't want to go here. You really need to respect our home and our rules or you need to leave.

MOM: MAKE ME! (Anyone having flashbacks to a recent conversation with their five-year-old?)

DH: I'll pack your shit up and throw it in the middle of the road if I have to!

MOM: Dana, can I use your computer?

ME: Of course.

DH (as my mom heads down to the basement): Please close the door.

MOM: What do you think? I'm STUPID?

… and this wasn't the worst of it. You see, this little game has played out THOUSANDS of times in my childhood home. I know what is supposed to come next. It was at this point that I was supposed follow her downstairs and tell her how much I love her and beg her not to leave (she went downstairs to change her flight information). The problem? She was WAY out of line and there wasn't a chance in hell that I was going to do what she wanted. The next hour was ugly.

She eventually went upstairs to her room and beckoned Cam to bring her cell phone to her room. Not happening! Again, I *know* this game. This is where she finds the most vulnerable person in the immediate area (me, as a child, now Cam) and fills his or her head with nonsense about how everyone else is wrong and she is just misunderstood. You see, at this point she knows she's done wrong and she attempts to cover her tracks as best she can. This CANNOT be her fault so she begins her crusade to convince those she can manipulate to be on her "side." Well, she was NOT going to do that to my son, so I refused to let Cam go talk to her and instead, I brought her cell phone to her.

I can only speculate on what happened over the next 30 minutes. I *know* that she called her friend in Las Vegas who was going to pick her up. I *know* she called my aunt (her youngest sister) to make changes to her itinerary so that she could leave today (three calls from my aunt followed the blow-up with my mother) and I *know* that the story she told my aunt was NOT what happened in my home. By the time my mother went downstairs to attempt to print her boarding pass, I was livid! Not only had she been unreasonable with her behavior in my home (not a complete surprise), she had attempted to drag Cam, and had involved other family members and strangers, in this situation. Cam was SOBBING on the sofa - certain he was responsible for what had happened. It was time for me to confront her.

I don't believe my mother has EVER seen me stand up to anyone the way I stood my ground with her. Not only did I tell her I couldn't believe she had the audacity to do this to my son, but I told her I wasn't playing her games - that I was an adult and she was a guest in my home - and not only did she need to change her flight, but she needed to find an airport hotel AND call a cab because she was not welcome here any longer. Her response? GO TO HELL!

Eventually, with my aunt acting a "mediator," we were able to move somewhat forward. I decided to allow her to stay here her last night and I will be driving her to the airport at noon today. It is definitely time for her to go, and I will tell you that she is not welcome in my home again.

Now comes the tricky part. I don't want to interfere in the relationship between my mother and Cam, yet I'm not sure that her influence in his life offers more positive energy than negative energy. Cam deserves caring, loving and STABLE grandparents, and although I know my mother loves him, she routinely sabotages our parenting and our household rules. I'm thinking this is in no way a good thing.

I wanted to believe my mother had changed - that she had figured out that the way she lives her life brings nothing but chaos and confusion to her. Unfortunately, at 65, she still hasn't figured it out, it's becoming more and more clear that she never will.

20 October 2007

Would you shut the F*CK up? Please??

EGADS! Day two with my mother was *FAR* worse than day one. I would guess that is because I only had to listen to my mom talk for 3 hours that first day. I'm about ready to strangle her today, and I've still got FOUR full days to go!

Let's see ... first of all she has decided I am too thin. There is NO WAY I am too thin. She tells me I am too thin at least once an hour and has not only filled my house with cakes, pies and donuts, but "encourages" me to eat them about every six minutes.

She will not shut her mouth. I found myself watching TV last night and completely tuning her out. All of a sudden I would hear, "Dana?" and I'd realize she had been talking to me for the last 15 minutes and I had no clue what she had said. I am now extremely clear on why she is not married!

Last night, we were going through some clothes (stuff I had that is too big now), and I asked my mom what size she is wearing now so that I could figure out which clothes to offer. She tells me she is wearing a size 14.

Now, I am *not* trying to be mean in any way, and you've got to understand that I have this weird body image distortion issue (I really think I look *just* like I did 70 lbs ago), but my mom's ass is about as wide as the refrigerator, and she is insisting she wears just 1 size smaller than I do? I had to ask DH last night if he thought there was any way - if I am wearing a 10/12, that my mom is wearing a size 14 'cause if that is the case, I definitely need to lose another 30 lbs. He assured me that not only is my mom in need of duct tape over her mouth, but she couldn't pull a size 14 up past her knees.

I've got to wonder what world this woman lives in, but yet I've got to do my damnedest to stay OUT of her world!

19 October 2007

You know you're in trouble when …

You've got a new blog, only a handful of readers, and one of them (thanks Leighann) contacts you requesting an update! This will be a smattering of randomness as - fortunately - there haven't been any major, catastrophic events.

DH UPDATE

The DH situation is showing improvement. I've moved back into the bedroom, we are both spending less time on the computer and more time in the same room (actually having conversations) and he's being more cooperative in matters that involve Cam. I can only ask for progress, not perfection, and we seem to be moving in that direction. We've yet to contact a counselor, but I do see that happening in the next few weeks.

CAM UPDATE

Midterm report cards came out 2 weeks ago and Cam's Spelled A, A, A, B, C, F, F, F. Yes, you saw that right - THREE "F"'s! Now, I do feel somewhat responsible for this as it was at least partially due to a choice I gave him at the beginning of the year that I likely shouldn't have offered. He has shown an interest in being more responsible for himself, and I told him I would allow him to handle school *his* way as long as he maintained at least "C"'s in all of his classes. Well, clearly, that didn't happen and now we are playing a DIFFICULT game of catch-up. His teachers assure me that he can bring up those "F"'s to "C"'s, but it will require CONSTANT VIGILENCE (yes Tali, that was for you).

DANA UPDATE

I've had a few issues at work regarding billable hours (my lack of) which required some adjustments to my workday. I am now keeping track of all non-billable time as well as my billable time to account for every minute of my day. It's a CYA exercise, but one that I think is quite necessary at this point. It has also meant that Messenger was removed from my computer at work and I feel almost as if someone has put me in isolation, but I cannot ignore the priority of a steady income.

Other big news includes a visit from my mom. It's been over 5 years since I last saw her. Needless to say, we aren't exactly *close*. I talk to her on the phone maybe once every 2 or 3 months and email maybe monthly. So far, things have gone well - this is the first time she's met DH and they haven't yet killed each other. I'm a bit stressed about their relationship, especially after he told me this morning that my mother reminds him - a lot - of his ex-wife. Now there's a lovely thought!

We'll just have to see how the rest of the visit goes. She's here until Wednesday morning. I figure I'll likely be looking for the valium soon.

01 October 2007

Yes? No? Maybe???

Well, DH is now speaking to me. No surprise, I became “worthy” of conversation when my step-daughter came for weekend visitation. We wouldn’t want her reporting back to the ex that Dad and Dana aren’t talking now, would we? Of course, this is my cynical view of things, but I’m starting to think that is all I have left.

Before I start this next segment of blogging, let me give fair warning – following are adult topics that may not be appropriate for all readers!

Last night, DH and I finally had a “rational” discussion about the shit/fan moment last week. One of my *BIG* issues over the past 6 months has been sex, specifically the lack of it (before it became an issue of control). DH tells me last night that the reason he hasn’t wanted to have sex is because he fears I’ll get pregnant. Of course, he qualifies that by saying, “It’s not that I wouldn’t want you to be the mother of my child …” which of course leads me to believe that he does not want me to be the mother of his child (see cynical view comment above), but whatever.

He feels he/we are too old to have another baby. Actually, I agree – it wouldn’t be an ideal situation, but not only because we’d be in our 60’s when the child graduated, but because our marriage isn’t any place I’d want to bring another child in to right now. Of course, rather than discuss his concerns with me, he’s been sitting in his office, jacking off to porn every other night.

He doesn’t want any more children – wouldn’t it make sense that he make an appointment for a vasectomy? Of course it does, which is why he tells me that he just can’t bring himself to do that. OK, fine – I’ll get my tubes tied – quite frankly, I don’t see any need to keep my reproductive options open, and since my risks for serious side effects from BCP’s are significant at my age, and I don’t like the way IUD’s “prevent” pregnancy, having my tubes tied seems a reasonable thing to do. But wait! He doesn’t feel it’s “right” for me to have to do that.

According to him, we aren’t having sex because he’s afraid I’ll get pregnant, he doesn’t want to get a vasectomy, but it’s not “fair” that I have a tubal. Sure, that makes sense to me – NOT! Bottom line, I have no idea if his story is true or not. He’s had about a week to come up with some story (any story) that at least partially explains his behavior. Am I just hearing what he thinks I want to hear, or does he really find me so repulsive that he can’t bring himself to have sex with me?? I guess he’s the only one who knows …

He also claims that he will have a list of marriage counselors for us to review by the end of the week. Yes, this is EXACTLY what I told him last week that started the whole shit/fan episode, but now that he is offering (and not being TOLD), it’s all good. I’m not holding my breath (remember cynical view comment earlier) – I don’t look good in blue!