Tag Archives: fear

Dear Diary, What A Day

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It was Boob Squish Day. That was all good until they found something and wanted to do the Elevator Door Squish and the Magnified Squish. Holy SMACK that was actually painful! Regular mammogram squish isn’t too bad…the mammo-lady told me a few years ago that I was very lucky to have such thin breasts…Not that I put that on my dating profile or anything but I’m secretly proud of my thin breasts…I nursed 3 babies exclusively for a total of 54 months and The Girls still look good when I fold them up and stuff them in an underwire (only on special occasions). So, yeah, they found something. They tell you that and then send you back out to wait in the waiting room.

I was pretty surprised because I have been having pain in the left one, but they saw something in the right one…I was sort of hoping it was money. Guess not. So they say I have to have a sonogram. They put me in the sono room and the tech and I chat about my finger and how mandolins should be outlawed. Then I said “Is it a boy or girl?” and she sort of looked at me funny. Sonograms are not nearly as fun when there is no baby…

She left to go check with the doctor. She came back and said it’s nothing really. So I hugged her and thanked her and well…that was awkward….Another lady in the waiting room was being all pissy because she had been waiting so long. She was throwing a bit of attitude. So, as I was leaving the mammo-lady made it a point to say “and thank you so much for your patience!!!” *sigh* the pissy lady was probably just scared. Sometimes I cry when I get scared. Sometimes I hug random sono techs. We all deal with fear differently.

From there I went to a whole other county to get my missing chunk finger looked. I can’t look at it so someone else has to look at it. Just to make sure it is still there and all. Yup. Still there! Still hurts!

But the best part of today, besides having my boobs squish session turn out ok and having my missing chunk finger looker atter say that my missing chunk finger is healing nicely, was having my shower finally fixed! Yea!!! We are back to being normal bathroom people! We no longer have to pack up our stuff and walk four houses down to our friend’s house to pee or shower! So, today was a good day. I could get all deep and say really wise and prophetic things about life and death and grief and fear…instead I will show you pictures of my adventures…

Boob Squish Day Selfie! All the kids are doin it!!! Check out my missing chunk finger bandage and my fake Chucks from Hills circa 1994....

Boob Squish Day Selfie! All the kids are doin it!!! Check out my missing chunk finger bandage and my fake Chucks from Hills circa 1994….

That's my boob. No money in there and no babies....not very fun if you ask me...

That’s my boob. No money in there and no babies….not very fun if you ask me…

Um, if they have xray glasses, why do we need to have our boobs squished? Just put on the glasses and check...duh.

Um, if they have xray glasses, why do we need to have our boobs squished? Just put on the glasses and check…duh.

Pretty sure that is an atari...maybe I want to be a sonogram tech when I grow up...they get xray glasses and atari???

Pretty sure that is an atari…maybe I want to be a sonogram tech when I grow up…they get xray glasses and atari???

That is my missing chunk finger without the bandage. Don't tell me what it looks like...I don't want to know. Just the thought of it grosses me out. But I thought YOU guys might like to see...

That is my missing chunk finger without the bandage. Don’t tell me what it looks like…I don’t want to know. Just the thought of it grosses me out. But I thought YOU guys might like to see…

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Dear Diary, Day of Maniac Mass Murderer

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Edward Fork Fingers might protect me from maniac mass murderers. Of he might just hold my cell phone while I sleep, which is also helpful...

Edward Fork Fingers might protect me from maniac mass murderers. Of he might just hold my cell phone while I sleep, which is also helpful…

Ya know how you run down the stairs, holding your boobs so they don’t hit you in the eye (or in my case get stepped on) and then you skate through the livingroom into the kitchen to check to see if your footbag is done heating up? And while you are skating, you are still holding your boobs because you’re a girl and that is what you do. But then, you feel eyes on you and you slowly turn towards the back door, still holding your boobs because you can and there stands some man looking at you through the door? Ya know how that happens????? So, you back up into the stove, still holding your boobs and trying to think of what to do…what to do…

When I was a little kid I always had a plan on what to do if a maniac mass murderer broke in and tried to kill me. What I would do would be to grab as many of my cats as I could and just throw them at the maniac mass murderer. I had already explained and apologized to the cats. They were ok with it. After all, he wasn’t after them, he was after me…except my stalker…he wanted my cats in the worst way.

Anyway, there were no cats in the vicinity. I figured I was just going to die. And you know what flashed through my mind? That I wasted all that time and money on junk food and cheese which I thought was going to kill me slowly. Damn it all if I had known I was going to go at the hands of some maniac mass murderer I would have eaten healthier.

And then, he knocked. The maniac mass murderer knocked!!!! So civilized. So, I let go of my boobs and slowly went to the door…to find a guy who I had dated a while ago, standing there, sort of swaying. Still, with the caliber of men I date, he could most definitely be here to kill me. I asked him what he wanted, he said he wanted his shoes back. I explained I had given them away 6 months ago. He seemed very sad about that. He asked to come in. I said no. And he shrugged and left.

I watched him get in his car and drive out of the driveway from my kitchen window. Then I skated into the livingroom, holding my boobs again, to watch him drive down the road. THAT was a close call!!!!!!!

I skating everywhere because I have hardwoods and I have my jogging pants pulled down over my feet like Gumby…so, I can skate. I’ve been doing it all my life. I am ready for the 2015 In House Winter Olympics.

So, after all that excitement, I got my footbag and came upstairs and told my cat that she is safe… for now…

Heartburn is keeping me warm tonight.

I despise hanging up my clothes in my closet.

Don't let her snuggly little face fool you. If I launched her AT you, she would kill you before you could say meow mix.

Don’t let her snuggly little face fool you. If I launched her AT you, she would kill you before you could say meow mix.

Dear Diary, Day What Not To Wear

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This was a few years ago. Because nothing says birth of Christ like matching footies and jazz hands

This was a few years ago. Because nothing says birth of Christ like matching footies and jazz hands

This has been a week from hell. In fact, it has been so completely wrong I am writing a novel about it because if I tried to write it out here, on this blog, no one would believe me. Because things like this just don’t happen to “people like me”. Which is really very funny. And not at all true. If you are one of those people who reads my stuff and thinks “Oh how droll…well, THAT would NEVER happen to ME!!!” Rest assured that it will happen to you. Maybe it hasn’t, maybe it isn’t, but it most definitely will. There but for the grace of God go you.

Anyway, that’s enough of the curses and voodoo dolls for now. You have been warned.

So, what does one wear when confronting truths they would rather not confront? To deep for you? A little too vague? It’s ok. One wears black stretch pants (the kids yell at me when I call them stretch pants. I guess they are now called leggins?) , puddle jumpers that are two sizes too big (so they make a *clurump clurump* noise when I walk) , a long sleeve teeshirt that sticks out the bottom of a sweatshirt with the neck cut out (a la Flashdance), a scarf and a long, sliver winter coat with sliver fake fur around the hood (circa 2004). OH! And ofcourse unbrushed hair thrown into a high messy bun. Unbrushed for 3 days. This is the uniform for dealing with unexpected life crisis-es.

Let me interrupt here and address a comment I received from a friend. It was bothering him that I misspell  the word :alot…alot. I actually do it intentionally because of my emotional immaturity which i explained to him (let’s all heave a collective sigh of sadness for me and my issues……………..thank you) But it’s more than that. I really believe that saying  “a lot” doesn’t get across my point as well as saying “alot” When I am speaking I do not say “I have a lot of really bad habits” I say “I have ALOT of really bad habits” Sometimes I say outloud “I have AAAAAAAAALOT of really bad habits.” To be clear, I don’t have alot or even a lot of really bad habits. I don’t believe in bad habits so it’s hard to have them. Also, ofcourse should be one word and teeshirt. So, there ya go. A lot is where boys from 1940 play stickball and alot is when there is shit going on and you are overwhelmed because it is ALOT of shit.

Tuesday happened and I wore a slightly better mom costume. I was wearing my skinny jeans. NOT because I am skinny. I am not. I am actually at my heaviest but I only know that because I went to the dr for my neck/shoulder/nerve pain and they weighed me. Bet you forgot about my outrageous pain didn’t you. *sigh* I wish you cared about me more….Where was I? Oh yes, skinny jeans because they go into my zip up knee high boots without causing me to look like I have kankles. I also had on a waist length sweater that is sort of the color of depression…it makes my eyes look soooo pretty. And the damn silver coat again.

Wednesday I stayed in my PJs all day until work so that doesn’t count. Thursday I showered and got dressed in sweats and a men’s florescent orange thermal long sleeve shirt with a men’s 2x sweatshirt over it and my keds. Because fuck you winter. I was in my car , driving (not just sitting in my car….THAT would be weird) from 8am until about 2:30. I came home and had  just enough time to get glitter in my eye and up my nose and change into my work clothes.

That brings us to today. The ensem for today is the same as Wednesday minus the shower and plus copious amounts of dog hair.

I did call the neck/shoulder/nerve Dr but they won’t see me until February and they called me a drug addict because I told them the pills the my regualr dr prescribe are doing nothing so I stopped taking them,,,,yeah makes sense to me too… so who knows if I will even keep the appointment. I also got my taxes done! Taxes make me feel like the rest of you. Taxes and death right peeps?

I whistle the intro music to my soap opera every day and I do it really really well.

I get very annoyed when it is sunny in the wintertime.

Anyone want to buy this picture? It's real purty and perf for over your couch...ooooooo you know you want it.

Anyone want to buy this picture? It’s real purty and perf for over your couch…ooooooo you know you want it.

On Becoming 41

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19 not thinking about 41

19 not thinking about 41

So I have been 41 for a whole 2 days. It feels pretty shitty. But I am chalking that up to having the worst head cold in the history of head colds. Or maybe this is just how 41 feels. Sort of runny and sore and watery and stuffed up.

I’ve got a year of being 40 under my belt…and a little over my belt. In the year I was 40, I dated some very lovely men. I dated an asshole or two but that is sort of the story of my life. I lost only one person whom I love, but I know where she lives now so I guess she isn’t truly lost. That’s a bonus as I have lost a loved one every single year for many years now.

I tried, I failed. I bet I succeeded but I can’t think of how or at what off the top of my head. I made some new friends, made some friends closer friends and lost some close friends to the abyss of mis-communication. I have lost more memories, I have gained more common sense. I have lost patience, tolerance and love. I have gained acceptance for myself and for others.

I think I would very much like to travel but I know I don’t want to continue traveling alone. I put my house up for sale and then took it down. I stayed put. I went to The City more often than I have since I was a teenager and I enjoyed every single second of every single trip…even the trip where I had the stomach bug, the one where I had to drive over a bridge and the one where I drove down and back in one day by myself. I went to Boston which is my new fav place to go. I went to the ocean alot and I want to go alot more.

I have not found my birth family. But I don’t think they are looking for me. And most days I can’t think of what I would say to them anyway. I look at my daughters who are the only people in the whole world I am related to and wonder…besides me, who do they look like, who do they sound like, laugh like…I guess they look and sound exactly like themselves.

But being 41 means thinking in new ways of new things that I didn’t have to consider when I was 39. 41 means growing up. It means stop being silly and start becoming witty. It means dating sophisticated men or not dating at all. It means witnessing my mother turning into HER mother and knowing that despite my very best efforts, turning into my mother is beginning to seem like a very comfortable idea.

I hear my biological clock ticking which was a great surprise…I thought it was going to run out soundlessly and gracefully…then I remembered I’m me. Nothing I do is graceful or soundless. I have had wicked tortured thoughts of another baby…just one more…for what reason? None. For who? I’m not sure. It is a strange and maddening longing that I don’t believe, but it is definitely there. And I know I am not alone in these feelings. Instead, I will concentrate on having a rock solid body or maybe getting a Lifestyle Lift.

Watching my kids turn into teenagers which is interesting and very frustrating. At 41, I am not that far away from 19…or 15 …or 11 for that matter. But they think I am. Officially uncool. Un-consulted. Uninvited. At least they have each other. I would like a parade and a day taken in my honor for giving them each other…but they don’t see it as anything special. I see it as the most incredible thing I have ever done, will ever do. Kids ppfftt…

So, day 3 of being 41 will bring a trip to the mall with the kids to see a movie which is my only form of escape, and dinner out because I still don’t cook. Maybe the dog will get a walk, maybe I will feel well. Maybe I will not think of the people I love and what may happen so that I lose them too, sooner rather than later. Maybe I will figure out a way to keep us afloat financially for one more day. Maybe 41 will be the year? Or not. Regardless, I am no longer sad. I have no expectations which frees me up to appreciate every single little joy that crosses my path.

I don’t think I ever thought about where I would be when I was in my 40’s. It was a pretty unclear forecast. I used to make plans…lists and dreams…but those things seem so trivial and small now. Now I just wait to see what the day will bring because I know that tomorrow is not a guarantee and should never be taken for granted and should always be held in reverence….

I lost all of the people I loved, I lost my home, my child, my family and myself but being 40 has given me new family, new children to love as the ones I lost and a home that makes me feel. And feeling at 41 is not as easy as it sounds. Everything around here is getting older…including me. Now I grow my hair to shocking lengths and get on with learning something new and loving someone new and going somewhere new. Or I will revel in the sameness of my every day existence and find the joy in the children becoming independent people riding out to find their own paths.

Or maybe I will invest in the arm gurtels I saw on tv and stage a comeback of my early 20’s!!! Or maybe I will just get another cat. That sounds alot less exhausting…

41 still thinking about being 19...

41 still thinking about being 19…

What I Did On My Spring Vacation

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After the drugs kicked in...

Any of you who have read my previous posts where I tell you about my fun and relaxing vacations are obviously reading the wrong blog…because I have never had a fun and relaxing vacation. Ever. My vacations are filled with stress, anger, fear and vomit. That’s MY idea of a good time! This year, despite my recognized and accepted fear of flying, I decided to fly the kids and myself to Florida to visit the Mecca For The Modern American Family, Disney World.

This isn’t our first time. I went as a kid and have been back twice more with my own children. I like Disney. It isn’t an obsession or anything. I appreciate it for what it is, the iconic nature of the place that was built for families. But my idea of a great vacation would be to rent a house in Martha’s Vineyard and shop and eat in small, exclusive, upscale places and read on the beach. But I have kids, so I felt the pull…Disney it is. But, I am a single mother and I just can’t see driving from New York to Florida with a 13 year old and a 9 year old.

I tried the train, which would have taken about 24 hours and doesn’t leave the ground, but it was booked. I thought about the bus as I had taken the bus to and from Texas and Philadelphia and Chicago when I was a wild and crazy teen. The bus would have taken about 28 hours and I remembered how the smelly, weird, drooling guy ALWAYS sought me out, sat next to me and then fell asleep on my shoulder. Not only do I have NO patience for the smelly, weird, drooling guy anymore, but I didn’t want to subject my kids to him either. Because in my experience there is a smelly, weird, drooling guy on every bus. So, no to the bus. I tried to talk my neighbor into driving with me but that was a no go also….which leaves me with the last resort: flying. Shit.

The last time we went to Disney we flew and it was the first time I was aware that I was terrified of flying. Prior to that trip, I knew I wasn’t a huge fan of flying but I would take a Dramamine and usually sleep. That last time I flew I had a panic attack for the 2 and a half hours we were in the air. I took about 10 Dramamine while in flight, which did nothing for me, until we landed and I basically passed out on the ride home. This time I knew I needed to be better prepared with stronger medication. I called my doctor.

She prescribed me 6 calmthehelldownyouspaz pills which sent me into a panic attack. Because it was only 6. I know how my vacations go. I was anticipating a week-long panic attack and 6 calmthehelldownyouspaz pills weren’t going to cover it. So, I wrung my hands and creased my forehead for 3 days and then called and exposed my crazy to my doctor and asked for at least 6 more. She listened to my logic and called in 6 more. Honestly, if my doctor could live inside my body for just one day she would burn thru her prescription pad writing out all sorts of meds I have no doubt.

And so the day came  to take myself and my two kids to the airport. I have read thru all the new rules and regulations, I have reaquainted myself with all my meditation techniques to relax, I was concentrating on the fun we would have once we got there. I know how to do this stuff but it is a Don Quixote sitch in my brain. The Don Quixote where he is going full tilt at the windmill but with a toothbrush…? Anyway, we are there waiting for the required 15 hours before the flight takes off. Ya know, 15 hours to sit and get nice and worked up with fear and anxiety. I took my calmthehelldownyouspaz pill  an hour before we were to take off. And it did nothing. Not. A. Thing. My panic was escalating by the second. The kids were doing their best to act as if all was right in the world, playing with their Nintendo, listening to their iPod, giving me sideways glances to see if my head would actually explode. I decided to kill some time and distract myself with a potty break. Good idea.

Except that being in the bathroom made me think of throwing up. I didn’t want to throw up. So I got the hell out of the bathroom. But the seed was planted and I began to notice that I felt sick to my stomach. Dramamine! My old friend! I popped two Dramamine and waited. Half hour later we had to do another potty run. That damn bathroom…despite the calmthehelldownyouspaz pill and the Dramamine, I totally puked. Now I KNOW it’s a vacation!

We go back to the boarding area to wait some more and then we board the damn plane. I immediately check for barf bags. None. WHAT??? I flag the flight attendant and ask for one. I also give her a heads up that I am probably going to be her “annoying” passenger on this flight because I am not a good flyer. To her credit, she smiled, brought me a handful of barf bags, some plastic bags and a ginger ale with a smile. Just before we started taxi-ing I turned to my kids and said “I don’t think I can do this.” and they, being 9 and 13 said ” I think you can mom!” And just as I was about to stand up and run off the plane we started moving and I knew it was too late. I popped another calmthehelldownyouspaz pill and 2 more Dramamine, said a prayer, and tried to find something to watch on the tv while I ignored the safety instructions about what to do if we were about to die…I mean crash (same thing).

All of the sudden, I felt numb. Like mentally. Like it didn’t really matter that we were in a plane, flying above the clouds. It was totally fine and if we crashed then oh well. My 13 yr old, on the other hand, came to a very sudden realization that she didn’t like flying! thru her tears she downed a couple of Dramamine while I held her hand and tried to get my “whatever” state of mind to rub off on her. What would a vacation be if it didn’t involve crying and panic and vomit? Well, it would be not MY vacation that’s for sure!!!

Come to find out the 9 yr old has a problem with landing. She didn’t cry but she squeezed my hand so hard and tried to make everyone around us be quiet and still. We really are a fun family huh? But we made it. I casually mention to the kids that we could always take the bus home…

After that beginning you would think that things could only get better right? Except that this is me we are talking about. Ofcourse I am on an antibiotic that says right on the bottle “avoid direct prolonged sun exposure” and ofcourse I am in Florida in April and the weather is completely perfect, sunny, 80’s beautiful. Now, I didn’t notice the STAY OUT OF THE SUN warning on the bottle of pills. I was just amazed that we were lucking out with the weather. Because this was my vacation, I just assumed it would be the first record snowfall in Florida in April ever and packed accordingly. We had jeans and long sleeve tee shirts. We all had 2 pairs of shorts and 2 tee shirts. So, we did some shopping. Hey… the weather is nice, we get to shop for new clothes…this has GOT to be someone else’s vacation…

Day One...survived the plane ride, the weather is perfect...who's vacation is this???

Day One we shopped. Day Two we did The Magic Kingdom. It was awesome! The sun was shining, the lines weren’t very long, the sun was shining. I got a bit of a burn but nothing bad. Day Three dawns just as sunny and warm and we head off to Animal Kingdom. I wasn’t feeling great and the places where the sun had burned my skin were feeling very prickly. Like needles under my skin but itchy also. I stopped taking the antibiotic that day after I read the sun warning and I grabbed some Benadryl from the gift shop just incase. I have taken enough vacations to know that if it is gonna happen, it’s gonna be bad. Later that day we went to Hollywood Studios. By that time I had purchased a black umbrella (because that is all they had) and was walking around like I was Michael Jackson, trying to stay covered. My mood was deteriorating rapidly although I was trying so hard to stay happy in the happiest place on earth for the sake of the kids. We went back to the resort and once night fell I started feeling a bit better. The kids joined a Wii competition,we swam and I took some Benadryl. All the other parents were having a drink and here I was pounding the Benadryl, praying that I didn’t wake up with hives. I didn’t wake up with hives. I woke up with my entire body tingling like it was on fire from the inside out. But what do I do? take some more Benadryl and head off to Epcot as it is our last day…and I love Epcot.

We got thru 3 rides and my lips started to swell. And as hip as swollen lips are, I knew it was a bad sign. So I get the kids, we go back to the resort and I call the front desk to try to figure out how I get help before the swelling travels to my throat. The front desk lady helpfully called me a cab to take me to Celebration ER. The kids and I pile into the cab and I feel like I want to die except I can’t cause I have a zillion needles under my skin trying to poke their way out and I have the kids who would be so bummed if I died at Disney World.

We walked into a hospital the likes of which I have never encountered. It was nicer than our resort. I said allergic reaction and I was immediately whisked away to  triage. I was put into a room that had doors and tv and a private bathroom. The last time I went to the ER in NY where I live, I was stuck on a cot in the hallway and the only entertainment was a drunk, crazy guy who was spitting on the cops and hitting on me. Celebration ER is paradise! They dose me up with steroids and pepcid and fluids and the Doctor tells me I do have hives but they are internal and on every nerve ending in my body. Leave it to me to have a unique allergic reaction while on vacation! Don’t be jealous.

The nurses were so nice and after 3 hours asked if I felt ready to leave, that I could stay as long as I wanted…what??? But I knew my kids were getting bored, ya know, after the excitement of having their mother almost drop dead and all…and I opted to go back to the resort and let the kids swim. The Doctor gave me strict orders to stay out of the sun, a prescription for more steroids and 2 epi pens because now I am apparently going to be allergic to bees also. Good to know.

We went back and the kids swam while I slept and then packed.

Oh crap. we have to FLY home?!?

Day Five we went to Downtown Disney and shopped like the girls we are. Had a lovely lunch and grabbed the resort bus to the airport. Oh damn it. We had to fly home!!! In all of the excitement of almost dying, I totally forgot that all three of us had serious issues with the whole plane thing. Great. Three calmthehelldownyouspaz pills for me, Dramamine for the kids and we are off! The flight went well except that it was packed and my 13 yr old wound up sitting with two young girls who tried in vain to comfort her as we took off. But all in all, it was an incredible vacation! I mean obviously right?

Here Kitty Kitty Kitty…..

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I can't imagine wanting to eat these.....

I’m sure we have all had a stalker. I have been fortunate enough to have TWO in my lifetime. My first stalker became obsessed with me when I was just 12 years old. That says alot about the pedophile tendencies of my stalker as I was not like some 12 year olds. I was a flat chested, zitty, braceface with really bad hair and no clue about presenting myself in a better light. I was awkward and dorky and I probably should have been wearing deodorant. Apparently, my stalker saw something in me that was attractive to him, as he was obviously a pedophile with really bad taste.

The prank calls began. Many times they were just hang ups. Other times they were peppered with Tourette’s like dirty words. My stalker actually worked his way up to telling me what he wanted to do with my cats. That was distressing. I loved my cats and I did not understand why anyone would want to eat them. Sometimes he would ask if I was alone, other times he seemed to know I was alone. These calls continued for over 6 years. When they began, the phone company was in the middle of a major strike and they didn’t have the power to tap our phone and trace the calls. They suggested that we write down the time of the calls and what the caller was saying. He was mostly threatening to eat my cats….and talking about how much he would enjoy doing that.

Now, I didn’t engage with my stalker and his full-blown obsession with feline consumption. I generally just hung up as soon as I recognized it was him. But he was definitely leaving an impression on my very young naive mind. I was always scared in my own home, I didn’t like answering the phone and I wanted to keep all four of my cats inside at all times. But, despite my well founded fears, I continued to grow up and answer the phone.

I actually had the unfortunate pleasure of meeting my stalker, face to face one night. I know! How often does that happen? I mean, David Letterman, Jodi Foster and me. We are some super special people to attract and keep a stalker for years but then to have them break into our homes and get caught…well, that just speaks to the level of our fame and the depth of our stalker’s illness. There I was, 16 years old, slightly more attractive than I was when I was 12, but only slightly. At 16, I had half a head of bright red hair, black eyeliner and lipstick to match. My usual uniform was Converse with ripped fishnets and my mother’s black slip and my grandpa’s white tee-shirt. Good lookin, but only to a certain segment of the population. And my stalker. He was one of those people who were loyal in the most perverted sense of the word.

I was driving, as I had just passed my permit test. My mother and best friend were with me. I pulled into the driveway, noticing that there was a car parked in front of our house. I didn’t give it too much thought, our development was tiny and it wasn’t uncommon for the neighbor’s friends to park on the street. My best friend and I walked to the door and I grabbed for the door knob, but before I could reach it, the door opened. And there stood my stalker!! Shirt off, pants undone with a look of complete surprise that matched mine. He slammed the door in my face, which was not what I would have expected from my stalker of over 4 years…I mean, he had been trying to get me to let him chow down on my cats (over the phone) and here he was with a face to face opportunity to talk me into his fantasy of  cat dinner and he slams the door in MY face!

My best friend and I screamed a very appropriate, high pitched, girly scream and about knocked each other over trying to escape from the door way area. I jumped back into the car and my best friend was standing at the back car door yanking on the door handle and laughing so hard she was crying. I had to reach over the backseat to unlock the door that she had so conscientiously locked just minutes before… back when we were still goofy teens who had no idea of feline eating stalkers in real life.

My mother, who had been taking her time gathering up her “stuff” into her various bags, was oblivious to what was happening. I started the car and was backing out of the driveway while my friend was still getting in the car and my mother was still attempting to get out. She had assumed that my friend and I were just being our usual silly selves with the screaming and all. I told my mother, at the top of my lungs, that there was a man in the house and we were going to the police. My mother, being very brave and slightly flakey tried to convince me to stop and go back. Her attitude was one of anger, not fear, that there was anyone in HER home that was not invited. I didn’t agree with her idea and proceeded at top speed the three blocks to the police station where I JUMPED from the car and ran to the locked door. I banged until a cop came running and I told them what just happened and they jumped in their cars, sirens blaring and raced back up the same street I had just raced down.

My mother was mad, my friend was in hysterics (laughing because that is what she did when she got nervous, she laughed and got hives) and I was scared for my cats!! Turns out my stalker had fled the scene before the cops got there, although he left me a present on my pillow before he left. Not a very thoughtful present either.  Thanks to my slightly OCD mind, I remembered the first 3 letters of the licence plate of the car that was parked in front of my house!! All those hours of watching tv talk shows about what to do if you have weird situations happen to you paid off!! I was never one of those people who said “Oh THAT will never happen to ME!” I just accepted that someday I may very well need to know how to escape from a trunk, or how to identify a kidnapper or remember the licence plate of my stalker’s car!! The police tracked down his car in minutes and my friend and I had to ride in the back of the cop car to identify it. We did. They arrested the idiot and I have no recollection of what happened after that. For about 6 months the calls stopped and although I was still nervous, I finally understood that it really wasn’t all about my cats. That was both a blessing and a curse.

I left for Texas shortly there after and really never gave much more thought to my stalker. But sure as kittens turn into cats, he called when I was home on Christmas break. Now really, that is some serious stick-to-it-ness don’tcha think? At this point, I was 18 years old and I was surrounded by my friends. Three of my best guy friends took turns passing the phone around and completely messing with my stalker’s mind. This must have coincided with my stalker realizing I had outgrown my fear of him and that I had also outgrown his particular age group of girls he considered fit to stalk. I don’t believe I have heard a peep from him since.

Oh the many lessons that my stalker taught me. I can’t say he was harmless, the damage he did isn’t visible (at least not after we fixed the bathroom window he broke in to and got rid of the “present” he left on my pillow). But I learned alot from having a stalker at such a young age. The different meanings words can have, how not to respond when the phone rings, and that if I can remember every licence plate number I ever see then I will always have a way to identify the bad guys. All of these lessons have served me well later in life believe it or not. And I didn’t even know they would. Be prepared is a good motto if you find yourself in a stalker situation. And for any future stalkers out there, please remember that “I want to eat your pussy” has different meanings to different people.

All the single mommies (all the single mommies)

Standard

which ones come from a single mother home?

Put your hands up!! (I was singing the song…not trying to rob you)

When I finally faced the reality that I was now a single mother, I threw tantrums and kicked and screamed. You see, being a single mother was not in my plan. I got married with the firm belief that it would last forever. My grandparents were married for 50 years, my parents were married for 25 (and would have stayed married but their divorce is a novel in waiting). So, I just assumed that it was a forever deal.

Sadly, it wasn’t and therefore I am a single mother of three beautiful girls. Now, there are many positives to being a single parent. I don’t have to back up someone else’s bad parenting decision to present a united front for the kids. On the other hand, I have no one to back me up when I have to make parenting decisions. I don’t have to negotiate with another adult for things the kids want. Ofcourse, I also do not have the luxury of giving them everything they want because I don’t have another income. Ok, so being a single parent is hard.

This wasn’t something I chose, it was just the consequence of the marriage I had. So, we make the best of it. My problem with being a single mother to 3 girls was there was NO representation (that I could think of ) in film, TV, or literature. So, I couldn’t envision what this single mommyhood was going to look like. I had no way to romanized it or spin it in a positive light. All I could bring to mind were statistics and bad outcomes of kids I had known growing up….and my own experience also. And it just was NOT what I wanted for my kids.

I finally remembered One Day At A Time starring Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Bertinelli and Mackenzie Phillips. From what I could recall about that show is that they were all sorts of screwed up. One of the kids had a drug problem, one had an eating disorder and Schneider was always hitting on the mom. Yuck. As far from the Cosby Show as one could get. So, it looked as though I was going to have to start my own sitcom, write my own novel, present my own screenplay.

Growing up, the majority of my friend’s parents were divorced. The ones who had intact families were the exception to the rule. So, I had role models. But it was the 80’s, the ME decade, and so, they were not the best role models. Or at least not the way I wanted to live my life as a single mom. I had to redefine single motherhood to fit the way I wanted to raise my kids. So, I have set about to make a life that I never expected to have to make.

I knew I didn’t want to make my kids my equal. I didn’t want to saddle them with the responsibility of making me happy or give them the role of caretaker of me and my emotions. I didn’t want them to see me as the victim. And above all I didn’t want them to grow up thinking that THEY were victims. I had experienced first hand “the victim as parent” and the children of that family were not stable,  not well rounded individuals. Ok, so I had an idea of what I didn’t want. Now what did I want and how do I achieve that?

I wanted to have secure, emotionally healthy kids who grow up to be contributing, stable members of society. Isn’t that what every parent wants? I had to get over the grief that I had that there was  no one to join me as a witness to my children’s lives. That took some time as grief has no time frame. Then I had to refocus on my kids and what they needed from me. And what they didn’t need. That took some investigating. Becoming the mother I wanted to be was time consuming. And not something that happened overnight or without alot of thought. When I was married I had the luxury of letting life unfold without a whole lot of thought, knowing I had another adult there to share the responsibility of all decisions good and bad. Now, my priorities had changed and I needed to be more focused because I want to avoid my family becoming a statistic.

I can’t tell you I have any answers, I don’t. So far, despite major tragedies, my kids are very centered and have amazing coping skills and don’t seem to be as damaged as I believed they would be. Yes, yes, kids are resilient…as kids. They do carry their hurt with them into adulthood and eventually they have to deal with the fall out of all the things that happened to them as kids. My goal is to give them the skills they need to be able to deal, as adults, when they finally have the words and knowledge to understand what they went through as kids. My job, as their parent is ever changing. I cannot tell you that if you and I  just follow these directions then our kids will be perfect and have wonderful lives. I wish I could.

But for all of us single moms out there, we can do it. We can raise happy, healthy kids. Maybe we didn’t choose to be single mothers, maybe we did. But it is doable. Our kids have absolute trust and faith in us and we deserve their trust and faith. No matter how we came to be a single mother, I believe it is no accident that we are. We can create our own ideal, our own idea of family, our own standards and boundaries. It is hard, harder than having a participating spouse, but it is so worth it.

So, when you are sitting up late with a crying baby, or finishing up a school project, or teaching your teen how to drive, remember although you are alone in doing these tasks, you are not alone in your experience. There is something very special in getting to be the only parent. There is a closeness we single mothers get to share with our kids that is different from the closeness between moms and kids in two parent households. Not better, not worse, just different. No one can negate our experience or tell us that we are less than because we do not have a partner to share our kids with. We know, no matter the circumstances of our single mommyhood, that we can do this job as well as any other.

Our lives take a bit more planning, a bit more luck and a bit more work than a two parent home. We need to rely on others, we need to ask for help, we need to be stringent on who we allow in our children’s lives. We need to see everyone as a potential role model for our kids because they will make role models out of  the most unlikely people.  We have to accept that our family is not going to be traditional and our kids will most likely not lead traditional lives. But how wonderful that our kids will become adults that understand how to go with the flow, who accept others, whose “normal” is stretchy. Our kids will know that traditional roles don’t have to be followed because they have seen us, their single mothers, do it all. What an incredible lesson we can teach our kids!!

Our single mother lives are sitcoms. How many times have you been in the middle of some parenting dilemma (like the 6 month old just found out how to remove her own poopy diaper and the 8 year old is running to get you while you are spilling boiling water all over the kitchen floor because you tripped over the damn dog and the 4 year old has stolen the “childproof” scissors and is hacking away at the hair that she just recently grew on her previously bald head) and been simultaneously glad and sad that no one was there to witness the chaos? What can you do but laugh, clean up the mess and pray that the hairdresser can make your little girl look like a little girl despite her self inflicted crew cut in the front…

We wrote that. It is all ours. And it is funny. Just because there wasn’t another adult there to share it with does not mean it was tragic or less than. It is ours. As is the drama of the 15 year old and her grades and her boyfriend issues, as is the 11 year old and her perfectionism and her obsessions, as is the 7 year old and her desire to be as grown up as her big sisters but yet remain the baby for a while longer. It is all ours, the sweetness and the sour. Enjoy it with no regrets. Our kids rely on us for everything but we also teach them, by example, that they can rely on themselves also. Our example shows them that they never need another to make a life, they are complete without another. That if they choose to be with another, it is not a necessity, it is a compliment to the life they already have. What a great gift!!

I am a big fan of marriage and two parent households. I support all of my friends in their marriages and family pursuits. I enjoyed being a married person. Today, I enjoy equally my single motherhood. I never thought I would be able to say that. I know what the generalized  risks are for my kids and yes, I worry. So does every mother.That has not a thing to do with being a single mother, that is just being a mother. My family doesn’t have to be a statistic. In fact, my family will be as unique and special as yours.

Oh yeah….Alice…The Partridge Family…Who’s The Boss! We are out there!! Now, I guess I have to get a bus, teach the kids to sing, find a nice italian man to keep house for me while I waitress at a greasy spoon….

copyright@sparklingbytheway 2010