Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I Am Living with the Human Beat Box

The Boy has always been fond of making noise – singing, tapping on things, etc. I can always tell what mood he inhabits by the noises emanating from his person. These days, the joyful expression of this has manifested in beat boxing. For those of you elderly enough to scratch your head over the term, (like the Boy’s mother….) just think that cool black guy in the Police Academy movies who could reproduce any sound with his mouth and hands. Drum beats, cymbal crashes, weird voices, other sounds that go along with music, explosions, animals, you name it. And it is all coming from Max, along with this horrible sythro-noise in a bucket they call dubstep. I realize I come perilously close to becoming my mother with my complete rejection of this as a legitimate form of music, but dayum.  It makes me want to stick my toothbrush in my eye from three rooms and closed doors away, this is how much I cannot relate.

So this morning, a rare morning after a refreshing thirteen to twenty-hour sleep for the adolescent, he was loaded for bear in the beat boxing-singing-tapping-making growling voice noises department.  He howled, he whistled, he clicked and clucked and repeated inane lyrics in their twenty-four to eighty-six times sequences. All while I was closed up in the master suite frantically getting ready to go to work. Several times I raised my voice in attempt to connect with him to make this cacophony abate, to no avail. As soon as I was relatively decent, I emerged from my den and yelled, “Cut it OUT!” No response, the caterwauling continued. Walked up to said boy making said noise, lifted an earphone can and hollered directly into the brain area, “STOP THE EVERLOVING SOUND YOU ARE MAKING!!!!”  He took back the earphone, made a big pout and said, “You could have just asked me nicely…”

Really. I know, right?!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The King Poster, or Divorce Hysteria: it could happen to you.

As we ramp up to the wedding, there are so many magical things happening. We are filled with joy and anticipation for our new life together. One of the only draggy things, the proverbial fly in the ointment, a real potential 'I told you so' moment between FL and me: His Ex.Exxie has developed what I like to call Divorce Hysteria, which can threaten to take over normal, sane, perfectly reasonable women when an ex that they really don't want anyway, seems to find happiness and fulfillment with another woman. Now, these two people have been apart happily from each other for more than five years, living separately, the whole schlemiel. Granted, there had been no official moves to cut ties for various reasons through the years, but nobody had any money on them getting back together as a married couple. Well. Along I wander into the equation, last December, and after much prodding and inquisition, decide that yes, it is safe and okay to begin this loveliness with the FL, five years, ya dah ya dah. Eventually (okay, almost right off the bat) we decide that yes, we need to be together, we belong that way, and let's move to make that happen. Which precipitates the actual officiating of the split between FL & Exxie. She immediately turns from semi-benevolent non-issue into Divorce Hysterical Wronged Woman. Everything is now an issue, and there are claims that I am making things difficult, depriving her of her rightful whatever, and generally trying to pretend that 'she never happened.' She whines, she complains, she demands and sulks. SHE TOOK MY KING POSTER, I WANT IT BACK! Stuff like that. Ooh. Not very pretty.

Whoa, Chica. 

This, my friend (and I use this term as loosely as humanly possible, since one of Exxie's declarations is that we should not, under any circumstances, expect her to be my Friend... this after a disastrous faux pas during which my FB account sent hers a (gasp) Friend Request. I, in half a second, rescinded the request, but it still showed up on her radar.)  Anyway, where was I? Oh. Yeah. This, my friend, is Divorce Hysteria. Please understand that this is something I know, having been on both sides of this particular condition. And further, please understand, I want nothing but the best for you and yours. All love and honor to you for the years you put in as wife and mother. You on the whole did a lovely job, and in specifics, put up with an amazing amount of shit to do that. Unfortunately, somewhere in the process, you did realize that maybe it was more of a job than you were willing to do, and you didn't have the feelings that necessarily went along with keeping your heart in it. The bad outtipped the good, and the marriage was called for lost emotion. You knew the two of you had given it all you had, and made effort after effort to stay together, after which the tender feelings were diminished if not completely gone. So you moved out, moved on, got your life back to a tolerable level.

Well, nothing dregs up those loose scraps of tender feeling flotsam than realizing some other woman wants, desires, yes, even loves your castoff, makes him happy, gives him the will to jump tall stacks of newspaper in a single bound. Gah. So this is what you are experiencing now. Like that dread and anger you may feel having some other woman show up in your carefully-chosen outfit for the ball. Or losing Homecoming Queen to the team mascot. (sorry, couldn't think of another girlie reference past the wearing the same outfit thing) All I ask is that you take a good deep breath, and get past this. I will even loan you a picture of myself, or 50 xeroxed copies of a picture of myself, so you can fold, spindle and mutilate to your heart's content, until you do get past it. But you really need to shake it off, and recognize it for what it is. You really don't want to be married to FL, you've had five years to prove that. You know you and he are both happier in your new lives. I certainly am not on a tear trying to scarf up your precious stuff (I mean, how precious could it be, having been left for dead five years ago, just sayin',) and no, I did not demand the King poster, it was one of the things that came with FL when he moved. My wedding invitations and the wording of said had nothing at all to do with you, and were not meant to reference your story at all, nor to hurt or embarrass you in any way. I am sorry you've chosen to take these things as slights and hurts, and I hope we can at least co-exist peacefully without too much more hostility. It is my fondest hope that you, too, find your person in the very near future, and that you and the person can live your lives together happily. May the person also have an Exxie, so you can in turn pass this advice on to her. Divorce Hysteria passes, but it will block any other feelings you may develop until you let it. Time's a-wastin', and you may have your King Poster back as soon as Saturday.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Practice Dog

One of the things the Boy would dearly love is to have a dog. Now, we at the house of Whatever had been prohibited from having a fence, so no dog was able to be had... We are working to remedy that, and just when we needed it, along comes Sweet Girl, the Practice Dog. She was a pit bull mix, roly-poly and friendly, sweet and protective. She liked to plop down on your foot, and she loved belly rubs. She'd been hanging around the house and my neighbor's house for several days. She had a place where a collar had most likely been, and she was well-fed and used to humans enough to make me think that someone was missing her.

Yep. I was right. Her owners came to get her today, and Dog Practice ended. I have hope that the Boy will step up to the plate when the Real Dog comes along, and he will care for her as much as he did with his first Practice Dog. It was a sweet few days, anyway.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Just as Long as There's No Spinach in My Teeth, I'm Good.

You know what? I am not sorry. You’ll just have to excuse these two old people wondering and marveling on a pretty much constant basis about how completely lucky and joyous they are to be the other’s person. It just doesn’t stop. The joy is multiplied, the sorrow divided, as they say, and the little everyday pain-in-the-ass stuff just isn’t that big a deal, it melts away or gets dealt with, ipso facto shebang. I can leap tall stacks of newspaper with a single bound, outrun a speeding dachshund puppy, and stop raindrops with my bare hands. Okay, don’t make the stacks too high, and somebody distract the puppy. An umbrella should be lodged in my hands as well. But really. It truly cannot be helped; this is the universe, nodding and smiling, setting itself to rights. This is the only conclusion I can come to, based on all evidence. I am in possession of a goofy grin, 24-7, propping itself up onto my face at any given moment, refusing to give way to any other expression.  I guess (no, I am sure) it could be (and has been) terribly worse -- look back on this blog about nine months ago almost to the day -- and the expression could be what they call a ‘big boo-day’ (which I am sure, has an actual French spelling that could or could not resemble the phonetic gem right there…) around here, for there has been enough to boo-day about in our lives thus far. So.There you have it. For all it is worth, and for the rest of my life, I will be sporting goofy grinnage as frequently as possible.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Another in a Succession of Lovely Weekends Was Had by All. (hard work and a tiny spat also had their place...)

First, let me say… FL has relocated and I could not be more thrilled. Waking up next to this man is a joy I will cherish for the rest of our lives. Not to mention all the rest of the togetherness that comes with the waking up. Yay. Love love the life we are building together.

That being said, you must understand, gentle readers, that this is not the puffy clouds pink sky nothing can ever go wrong or be a challenge that might seem insurmountable to normal humans kind of a thing we wax rhapsodic about. This is real life, and we are figuring it all out as we go. This weekend, for instance, which started Thursday night.  We hadn’t seen each other for nearly two weeks and emotions were high. There was a small spat on the phone as I drove across the plains to help with the moving, something involving his spending of the afternoon with the ex-wife packing up the dregs of her stuff for the storage unit. It would have been fine, except he didn’t tell me this was going on. And he talked to me on the phone while it was, sounded strained and strange, but didn’t mention it until it was over.  I, of course, was tired and dealing with my own stress and strain, and so took umbrage at the ‘secretive’ nature of his afternoon of the ex-wife, and lost my cool.
Not that I was accusing him of anything, I worry more about HER motives. Ex-wives are extremely volatile and unpredictable. Take a normally-calm, cool and collected, competent and courageous woman, make her an ex-wife, and some crazy chemical reaction will occur. You can’t ever tell what they’ll do, just for spite or as a last-ditch reassurance that they are content in their ex-wifedom. I routinely dialed an ex in the wee hours of the night, just because, well, if I had to be up and miserable about you, then by god, you would be too. I was amazed he didn’t change his number. I also had a husband once whose ex would arrive regularly for friends with benefits activity beginning shortly after their divorce was final just because she could, and because she heard he had a new girlfriend he was very happy with – not me, I was the girlfriend once-removed in that situation. By the time I showed up, neither friends nor benefits were in play. Annnnnywayyyy, the afternoon with M announcement must have struck a chord I hadn’t been fully aware of, and set me off on a crazy ex-wife not-full-disclosure tangent. So there were words, threats, hanging up and assorted high school dramatic tactics until we got to the appropriate space to insert abject apologies and pledges for better information sharing and expressions of complete trust and love for each other. All good.  Moving forward. (Mark my words, though, that other M person is sitting in her apartment plotting. There will be more nit-pickity ex-wife shit before it is all in the wash…) So that was Thursday.

Moving on to Friday, the Fourth of July. First things first, we took  all the stuff M and FL gathered during their visit Thursday, hauled it to the storage place, and I calmly watched as she stacked, hauled and placed everything into her storage whatever. I smoked cigarettes, I read emails. I sweetly stayed out of the way. Then we went back to FL’s and started pitching, packing and loading our stuff. Well. The original plan had been: Friday, pack and load. Saturday, drive and offload. Sunday: rest and relax. Yeah. Well. At the end of the day Friday, we’d gone through only about half of the stuff we thought we would have to… so at some point before collapsing to the ground, there was an executive decision not to expect to drive home Saturday. And so we didn’t. We finished what we could, had a lovely dinner and a lovely evening, good night of sleep and non-sleep, and awoke to Saturday with a boatload of stuff still to do and some rather tired muscles.

Saturday was the day of the auto trailer. FL was towing his car back to my house, so in addition to the big ass truck, there was a big ass trailer with a large official car attached to the back. We went to the rental place, and lo and behold, the trailer promised to us…. Was. Not. There. Ew. Fortunately, we are journeymen and adventurers. And we can roll with it. So we did. We converted some paperwork, got the rental guy to attach trailer and car, and away we went again. We lost a couple hours, but hey. The rest of the day was spent loading off the side of the truck, etc. etc., lovely dinner, lovely evening, sleep, non-sleep, Sunday morning and time to roll out!

Ah, Sunday. The Day of the Drive. And the Day of the Debark, Unload, Unhitch, Rehitch, and Drive back to the rental place. First of all, the Drive. FL was the lone driver of the truck, with the Boy, all our guardian angels and I following in my car. That way, the Drive was relatively incident-free, save a tiny cloudburst right at the beginning, and a few times when I lost direct contact with the back of the truck due to some inconsiderate drivers (how dare they not yield to the Power of Love??) but overall, it was fine. When we got to my humble abode, however, a huge chunk of tired and cranky descended upon me, and I needed to provide support from within the air conditioned sanctum rather than deal with the truck for one more minute. This is how bad it was. I cleaned the litter box and emptied the dishwasher to avoid toting and carrying. Yep. I was done. 

Well, not exactly. After the unloading of the truck and refilling my house with boxes, it was then the recoupling time with the now-empty of car trailer. Night was falling, mosquitoes were amassing, and my cross-the-street neighbors were…. Shooting M-80s left over from Friday. So I stood in the middle of the street, trying to direct FL, driving this ginormous truck BACKWARDS onto this area not 6 inches in diameter in order to hook the trailer back. Had I mentioned I had not done this ever? Did I mention the M-80s? So there I was, yelling stuff like, LEFT! STREET! WHOA WHOA!!! To FL in the cab of the truck, accentuated by a rhythmic duck and cover precipitated by a louder than I thought it would be explosion. RIGHT ABOVE MY HEAD. Seriously, it was kind of funny, if you think of it. And I have to say, the back up onto the trailer thing went better than expected, with no head chewing off or anything. We were then ready for the final act of the day. The Driving of the whole rig back to the rental place. We had three different possibilities, according to the paperwork, so off we went. First venue, well, folks, it looked scary. The office was located in a former Pepsi bottling plant and was lit by a single giant fluorescent tube. Rather than risk a break in, snatch and grab or some other unknown criminal diciness, we went on to venue number two, a little further on but better lit, organized and friendlier.  Bottom line, we got home after 11 PM. There was exhaustion, shower, non-sleep and sleep, followed by the dawning of the Monday, with an unsuccessful wake-up attempt. The alarm on FL’s phone couldn’t do the job. Even my most devious tactics were snored at… ah well, that man needed the sleep. The verdict? We did a lot of work, and had a lot of lovely. A lovely weekend was had by all, and a lovely start to this life we are building.  

Monday, June 30, 2014

She Got the Wedding Fever

Oh, it’s bad. So bad I am wandering around the office with a copy of the vows we wrote curled up in my hands to shove under any given nose and force the reading of said vows until sighs, or best case, tears are elicited. The photos I took of the chapel / reception hall are on the top of the screen on my phone, at the ready to be shown to any susceptible office mate. Ditto picture of dress, description of reception foods, and the fact that we are having the First. Ever. Doberge Wedding Cake in the history of our bakery. Lemon and Chocolate, thank you very much. I have to call the florist, and get that going. The judge needs those vows faxed over. I am given at any moment either to daydreams of the pursuant marriage or mental list-making to pack the car for New Orleans that weekend. 

Oh, it’s bad. Add to this that it is Fourth of July week, there isn’t a whole lot of urgent granty stuff going on, and there’s maybe half of the staff physically in the office. I say physically, because there ain’t a soul here mentally, not really. Nopers. No takers for fully engaged, raring to go, go, gadget. I bet I could start a raging round robin of yawning through the office. I actually yawned twice typing that. Oops, three times. Yeah, it’s bad. You would think I had never done this before. Okay, well, I really haven't, not to this scale, in this time frame. And not to this point, to FL. That is the really really good part. The part I indulge in daydreaming about. Yeah it's bad, but it is going to be so so good.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

If You Can't Say Anything Nice, Post It on Facebook.

I admit it, I spend an inordinate amount of time stalking my friends on Facebook. There is just something so fun in seeing what they decide to put out there for the whole world to peruse. However, I have strict guidelines I follow about posting for myself. If it isn't pithy, smart, crazy or funny, I don't put it up there. I just don't. I don't feel the need to put my politics up, or the fact that I am in a gnarly miserable mood, or evidence of hurts or slights or devastation (unless global, that is another thing...) That's why I have a blog. Or not.

Others do not share this philosophy. And while I respect their right to post or not to post at will, I do wonder what goes through the head of these folks when deciding to post potentially harmful/hurtful things on the Internet with abandon. Such a thing happened just yesterday, when someone very close to FL and potentially to me, posted some things that, without knowing the backstory, cast her as bitter and sad, and elicited some uninformed at best and at worst, downright rude comments from assorted family, ex-family and friends. Sheesh. I have to say, there were moments when I stared at the blinking cursor in a reply box, but I decided anything I had to say to this person would be colored by the same misunderstanding and mean spirit of the other posts, so it was best to not say anything.

Ah, but man, what I could have told her. About love, about loss, about redemption, about finding your own happy endings after five years of limbo. About FL as a kind and considerate soul, who still wants to have a decent relationship with a woman who clearly rejected him and never looked back. About the joy we have reclaimed, about the future we rush to claim together. About the hurt and bad feelings generated by words on a website. It seems that this social media we participate in doesn't always make us more social; it can isolate and confuse. That makes me just a little sad. Not devastated, mind you, because I still have Real Life and the sweetness and positivity that awaits. So the moral of this little rant? Say nice things. Say them loud and proud, in person, and yes, by Zuckerberg, on Facebook. Post what you had for dinner. Tell the funny story you saw. Deep and profound sayings. Something that might uplift, not tear down. Save all that other crap for a blog. Or not.