I Shouldn’t Have Gotten My Senior Dog

I got my Jude as a six week old puppy on December 24th, 2007. Five months earlier, I’d lost all of my pets in a house fire, which I only later realized was started by my psychotic ex. Having grown up with pets and desperately needing the unconditional love of a dog, at that time in my life, I began to research smaller breeds. You see, at 20, even I knew that my life wasn’t exactly stable, so I wanted a dog who would remain small enough, even fully grown, for approval on a lease and wouldn’t cost much in food or pet care. Despite all evidence to the contrary, I naively assumed things would settle in the next few years and, like all other young middle class women in the South, I’d be starting a family. Whatever dog breed I chose had to be kid friendly. A beagle seemed perfect.

s0a3ri1iuua01

Y’all, I’m gonna come right out and say it, just in case the context clues haven’t given it away: I had no business getting a dog, the day I bought my Judybug. At 20, I couldn’t feed myself. I couldn’t pay for my own healthcare. I couldn’t guarantee a roof over my own head. I didn’t need to take on dependents. Sadly, although I was unaware at the time, my life had not reached it’s peak of instability, either… which means, neither had Jude’s. You see, the thing about having a psychotic partner is that you are not the only victim. When you can’t protect yourself, it’s just a heartbreaking reality that you cannot protect those in your care. For some, this means children and thank God I lost the baby, because what Jude suffered in his early years is difficult enough to recall.

The first few years of Jude’s life, he developed his fear of baths. As a working full time student, I felt it reasonable to expect my unemployed ex to care for the dog. I mean, it’s a dog. You take him outside, give him food and water, and on occasion, bathe him. It’s been a long time since I’ve considered my ex’s motivations, so I don’t know if it made him feel powerful or in control, when he was absolutely pathetic, but bath time for Jude was terrifying. At the time, all I heard was frustrated yelling, but a good deal more must have been going on, because to this day, Jude is petrified of baths and can only be calmed with the song I made up at 23, in my single girl apartment, to the tune of the dreidel song.

♩ Wash, wash, wash the puppy
Cuz, cuz, cuz he’s yucky
That’s why we wash the puppy!

♩ Grab that dirty doggy
He is so very soggy
That’s why we wash the doggy! ♩

Even my tough, country boy of a husband has seen the wisdom in Jude’s bath time serenade.

giphy2

Sadly, bath time was not the worst of Jude’s existence, however. What seemed simple enough to me, taking the dog outside between video games, putting some food and water on the floor, was apparently just too much to ask of an an unemployed man. It shames me to admit that, until I worked up the courage to leave my ex, Jude spent most of his days hooked to a leash on the wall. I’d text from work asking that my ex please unhook the dog for a few hours and give him attention. The week my mother took me on a cruise, I returned to discover Jude had spent so much time on the leash, he’d dug a hole through the tile, until his paws bled. I don’t know if he’d ever been free the entire week. That was the summer I worked at the movie theater. That was the summer Jude and I both could only afford to eat popcorn. That was the last summer I spent with my ex.

The only balm to my conscience, in regards to the above, is that Jude spent only a fraction of his life around that sociopath. He was three years old when we left and would spend the next six or seven years sleeping in the bed with me, snuggling freely on the couch, fattening up on table scraps… when I was home. While my ex was gone, no longer able to hurt either one of us or eat all of my food, I still had to work two jobs to support us. I still had to go to school to secure a better life for myself. So, while Jude was no longer being harmed and had all the food he needed, I left every morning at 8:30 for a substitute teaching job and came home at lunch to snuggle him for a few minutes and take him outside. If I was lucky, I’d have an hour long planning period and we’d get some extra time together, before I’d come home for 30 minutes between jobs to do the same. If I was unlucky and got tied up, my dear Gramma would drive over and take him outside. I worked until 9:00 at the library and would come home to Jude, who’d accompany me until the wee hours of the morning, as I worked on my homework. We’d go to bed and in five hours, do it all over again. I have many a photo of Jude asleep in a pile of papers and textbooks and in fact, he was the one to review my presentation of my graduate portfolio… a dozen times.

giphy1

We had good times, stopping by Petsmart to meet new people and look at the birds, walking around the golf course in front of my apartment at 2:00 am, taking trips to the park, visiting Gramma for extra snacks and snuggles. What we didn’t have, however, was the space for another dog, to keep Jude company, while I was gone. For a time, we didn’t have the money to remove his cherry eye. We didn’t have near as much daily time together as I’d have liked. We didn’t have a yard.

It has been just shy of 11 years since I brought home my fat little beagle puppy. He was my best friend for most of that, the only one to cuddle and comfort me when I was sick, hurt, or devastated after another rejection for a full time job or another bad date. He was a make or break when I met my husband. Watching Jake, who is generally very stern with his pets, be kind and gentle to the dog he knows was abused, makes me fall in love with him all over again. Jude is an old man today, sleeping on my arm as I type this. When I recall the last 11 years, I’m so grateful for him, but still… I shouldn’t have gotten him in the first place.

Jake gave me the best gift he’s ever given me, for my birthday this month. He gave me a six week old beagle puppy, who I’ve named Rupert, after Giles, the librarian from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Jude is getting older and while our wedding gift dachshund puppy has helped keep him young, we can only put off his aging so much. We needed another young dog and Rupert has been an absolute delight. I look at him, though, and I see how different his life will be from Jude’s. Jake and I both work only 40 hours a week, with a commute of less than 10 minutes. We have a full acre for a backyard. We have another dog for Rupert to play with, in addition to the sleepy old beagle who’s really only good for snuggles. We have food with meat as the primary ingredient and up to date shots and teeth cleanings and neutering. We have stability and time… and Jude is only now reaping the benefits of that.

I can’t imagine having these regrets with a child, knowing that the new children get to have a better life. While my sweet old man has been an ultimate joy in my life, I realize now what a disservice it was to him, bringing him into it when it was so chaotic. I love him and he loves me. I’m his world and it would have been cruel to give him up, come a certain point… but he deserved better and I’m sorry for that. I’m grateful for the time we still have together, for the chance to give him a few more good years, and for the chance to give Rupert what Jude always deserved. If I could do it over again, though, I’m not sure I would. I hope, if I had the opportunity, I’d let my Jude have the life that Rupert will.

b99

Advertisements

The Best Laid Plans…

I had it all planned. I would mail the invitations and send a polite, but firm, text message to my mother, simply stating that too many bridges have been burned and she is, therefore, not invited to my wedding. I’d find a way to subtly mention the presence of security, so she knew that if she were to show, it wouldn’t be overlooked. Perhaps I’d even blame my dad, claiming he said he wouldn’t come if she did. After all, the only reason he claimed he was joking when he did say it, was because my step-mom yelled at him. Sure, I hadn’t worked out the details. I hadn’t really told Jake or Gail that she was texting me more lately, trying to mend fences, but I figured I’d let all that be Future Belle’s problem.

I had it all planned, more or less… until she showed up at my new job, unannounced, uninvited, and unwelcome, seeing as how we’re not open and are still a construction zone. When she said my name, I genuinely thought that this could not be happening. Not even she was demented enough to think I’d want to see her at the new job I didn’t tell her about and that it was appropriate to disturb me during my first week, when we were still surrounded by construction workers. I turned, and there she was, with her kicked puppy look, the one that always reminds me of a sad Kathy Bates, the reason I can’t watch movies with Kathy Bates. She stood at the walker I knew she’d been using, despite having informed me specifically that the doctors have told her again and again that there is nothing physically wrong with her… emphasis on physically.

Me: “What are you doing here?”
Her: “I just came to see you.”
Me: “We’re not open. You can’t be here.”
Her: “Okay, I just came to say hi.”
Me: “You have to leave. This is a construction zone.”
Her Husband: “Alright, we know. We just came to say hi.”
Me: “You have to go. Now.”

The director of the system had left only hours earlier. I can only imagine what he’d have thought if he had assumed I’d invited my, apparently invalid, mother to tour an unopened library. Fortunately, she and her husband left before anyone but the construction workers noticed, leaving me shaking. I never know what I feel when I see her… anger, pity, longing? This time “ambushed” ranked pretty high, as I typed out a text message to her. It was cruel and hateful and I was angry, but even in hindsight, I can only think how she refuses to respond to any other expression of my wishes. I have asked to be left alone (particularly at work), in every other way I can fathom, so the only thing left, it seemed, was to be ugly… or reprimanded professionally. I pressed send, terrified that her husband, Victor, would return to berate me for it.

Mental illness receives the most blame for who my mother has become, of course, but I place Victor second in that column. My mother has always been… embarrassingly weak. Even when she was young, she was a chameleon through and through, adapting her personality to those who surround her. With my dad, she was convinced she wanted to live on ten acres and spend her money on boots and livestock, neither of which ever gave her any real benefit. After things went south there, she let herself be completely absorbed in having young children, both dressing and acting like a child in many ways, from oversized Tweety Bird t-shirts and fanny packs, to childish humor and  hobbies. Perhaps that was part of the cause of the divorce, not necessarily the effect, but I’ll never know. Then, she met this weird little man, who wears a conductor’s hat, lives in isolation, and makes his money from odd jobs and pyramid schemes, both of which naturally required her money, before she quit nursing to watch Netflix and self-diagnose herself on WebMD all day. This was the same man who convinced her to leave me and move in with him my senior year of high school, the reason she couldn’t “afford” my college application fees, the man who frequently tells her how horrible everyone in her life has been to her, increasing his isolation of her to only his home, where he plays into her contrived illnesses and doesn’t allow her to drive.

I think, often, about how different my mother would be, had she married someone even remotely normal. Perhaps she’d still be working, exposing herself to the outside world and the people in it. Maybe she’d share some random hobby with him, like disc golf or traveling with Renaissance Fairs. Maybe she’d still exist, period, because she is simply a shell of herself, today, and a poor one at that. Gone is the woman who insisted we wear my Gramma’s matching Christmas outfits for the family photo… who volunteered to chaperone every field trip and supplied cupcakes for every class party… who took me out of daycare just because she had the day off. I don’t even recognize her anymore, but I miss the woman she was.

In a weak moment, I called Jake and shared a touch of my mommy drama. I often joke with him that he can’t know the magnitude of it all until after we’re married and he’s trapped. I immediately regretted telling him. Despite my willingness to share everything else, I find I want to keep this particular pain from Jake. I left work just a few hours later and spent the evening ignoring his calls and crying over the horrible text I’d sent my mother, thinking that a man so respectful of his own parents was far too good for me. I thought about watching the home videos I have on a disc, but I know they would just make me long even more for someone who’s gone, and I’m not that masochistic. I thought of my wedding day, of dressing with only my Gramma and bridesmaids by my side, of the whispers from those who will never understand and I cried. I thought about having no mentor for marriage and motherhood and I cried. I thought about how I can’t do all of this without the mother I had at 7-years-old and how I’ll never see her again and I cried. I reread my text message and I cried.

Stop coming to my work. Period. I cannot talk to you. I’m working. I choose not to see you when I’m not working and forcing me to see you when I am is completely inappropriate. I didn’t tell you I switched libraries for a reason. Don’t come see me. Just assume that you are never invited to any part of my life. My wedding. The births of my children. Stay. Away. Do not respond to this message in any way other than to respect my wishes. I am not discussing this or anything with you.

The best laid plans… well, maybe not “best.”

Shout-Out to the Children of the Mentally Ill

I’m an active Facebook user. I love seeing people grow up and be happy. That’s why, even though I knew I’d regret it, I still thumbed through all of the photos of my friends with their moms. The sentiments were all the same. She’s their best friend, their major source of support, and an amazing grandma. She’s seen them through everything and taught them everything they needed to know about life.

lorelai-rory-mother-daughter-gilmore-girls-6515

Naturally, there were no shout-outs to the children of the mentally ill.

When I was nine, I found out I needed to wear deodorant when my dad snapped that I stank, assuming my mother had had that talk with me. I opened my first training bra in front of my family on Christmas, from an aunt who was trying to send my mother a hint. I came home crying, one day in middle school, because the other kids said I had a mustache. I mostly gave up on makeup in eighth grade, because I didn’t really know how to apply it and had no one to show me. My mother didn’t teach me any of the things I needed to know as a teenager and certainly not as an adult, considering she left me to live with her boyfriend two hours away, during my senior year.

I wish I could only feel anger. I know that’s not healthy, but I think it might be more bearable than this deep-set ache I’m feeling these days as I remember the good times we did have. Even though absent-minded about things like making sure there were tampons in the house, that I was wearing the right cup size, and keeping the electricity on… even when she was filling my head with lies about my dad molesting me and dosing me with 250 mg of Welbutrin so I wouldn’t leave her abuse…  there were good times with her. In my mother’s addled mind, we were only ever the Gilmore Girls, laughing over B movies and eating raw cookie dough. The mind of the mentally ill cannot be deciphered, so I don’t know how she rationalizes all of those other things, if she even acknowledges them. All I know is that she’s sitting at home on Mother’s Day, wondering what happened, why her babies don’t love her, while I’m sitting at home desperately missing the woman who hid the Easter eggs twenty times, because I had so much fun searching for them.

To this day, my big, tough, redneck dad still tears up talking about the mistakes he made. I’m the one who assures him it’s all good. There’s nothing to be done about it, not a DeLorean in sight, and we can go from here. I’ve tried that so many times with my mother and it’s ended the exact same way each and every time as I hysterically weep into the phone to either Gail or my Gramma that I wish Kitty Forman was my mom.

tumblr_mdimlwa5v21qju9ado1_400

The last time I initiated contact with my mother was two years ago. I say initiated, because she’s taken to showing up at my work, claiming there’s something physically wrong with her, deliberately speaking in stilted sentences and walking slowly. She’s told me herself the doctors can’t find anything and I’ve watched her become animated and drop the act as she gets engaged in conversation. My grandpa was our pediatrician and although he loved my mother, he thought she was making us sick, long before such things were used as plot twists in horror movies and Law and Order episodes. Today, either she or her husband is doing the same and I just can’t be a part of it. She refuses to get mental help and I refuse to entertain her insanity. I’m at a point in my life where I have to choose, and I choose me and my future family. So, today, as all the normal folks purchase flowers, take their mothers to lunch and movies, I think of all the future moments for which I won’t have a mom.

My mother won’t be there to help me choose a wedding dress, argue about how I have to have flowers, or even meet Jake, because I can’t invite her to the wedding. She’s burned too many bridges and too many people are uncomfortable around her, myself included. She won’t be able to guide me through my first pregnancy or answer questions about how to get the baby to stop crying. She’ll never take a three generations photograph on Mother’s Day, with me and my daughter. I won’t even have anyone to walk me through basic aging, like grey hair and menopause. I have so many good people in my life, including many who mother me, like Gail, my Gramma, Laura, Karol, my step-mom Lena, my Grandma Kay, and most certainly a mother-in-law one day. I’ll never have my mom, though… just a shell who resembles her less and less… and that hurts more than her absence. I suppose that’s just how it goes for the children of the mentally ill and you all have my sympathy.

gilmoregirls

“Your funeral is going to suuuuuuck.”

Malik was just a friend of a friend, until one day in 10th grade, when he decided that we were close enough that he could address a nagging concern. He stomped up to my 15-year-old self, clad in red suede Sketchers, overalls, and a long-sleeved red shirt, (me, not Malik) ripped the red bandanna print headband from my hair and snapped “Okay, Belle. Wearing the same red headband, every single day, is not fashion!”

We’ve been friends ever since.

Throughout the years, Malik drifted in and out of my life, keeping closer tabs with Gail, particularly as we all worked to shred our individual existences in our early twenties. Where Gaily and I had destructive marriages, crushing money troubles, and dead babies, Malik had DUI’s, restraining orders, that teensy weensy felony, and copious drug usage. Still, every now and then, we would get together and we were 15 all over again. We giggled about which celebrities we found attractive, made catty remarks about how all the cheerleaders who picked on us in high school got fat, and made fun of each other and ourselves.

High school has been over for seven years. Gail has a career she loves and a live-in boyfriend that she found on Craigslist, while looking for serial killers for a laugh. I have my master’s degree, two librarian jobs, and a handful of bad date stories. Our lives are moving forward and Malik… well, Malik is headed back to rehab for the second time this year. He’s losing the car he just got and will have to struggle to find a new job when he gets out, because if he returns to IHOP, he’ll have unfettered access to drugs, once again. He’s watching everyone he loves have a life while he sneezes chunks of cartilage out of his nose, his skin turns gray, and he explains to me that getting clean is just so hard, he doesn’t know if he even wants to anymore. He told me, in all seriousness, that he didn’t understand why suicide would be considered selfish. He’s tired of fighting. He’s tired of hurting the people he loves.

Malik: ::defeatedly:: “It’s all my fault. I know my problems are entirely self-inflicted, but hearing all these people have so much hope for me…”
Me: “Well, I don’t know if it’ll make you feel any better or worse, but you’re not going to disappoint me. I could definitely be proud of you if you get clean, but if you don’t, well… it’s not statistically surprising.”
Malik: “God… thank you. It’s so nice to have someone be so practical and point-blank about it, instead of assuring me I can do it like everyone else.”

After two and a half years, I had the courage to ask a question to which I desperately wanted an answer.

Me: “About two and a half years ago, when you and Gail were over at my apartment… did you steal money from us? The next day, Gail was missing $40 from her purse and I was missing $5 that my Gramma had given me. It really upset me not knowing where it had gone, since my ex-husband used to steal from me so much.”
Malik: ::silence:: “Oh my God. I think I did. No matter what I’ve done, I’ve always prided myself on not stealing from individual people. How could I do that?!?”

As Malik cried, I told him to remember that, because of his addiction, he’d stolen from Gail, a woman who’s heart is made of rainbows and pixie dust, a woman he loves unconditionally. I told him that if he needed motivation, he should consider that. I told him that if he killed himself, because of this information, I’d bury him in pleated plaid pants and pink Crocs. Then, we went to my apartment and we giggled about which celebrities we found attractive, made catty remarks about how all the cheerleaders who picked on us in high school got fat, and made fun of each other and ourselves. When most people hear about my friendship with Malik, they just don’t get it. They see this…

MAN STEALING MONEY FROM A CASH REGISTER - MODELmeth… and they’re right. Malik is a user and a felon. He deserves everything he’s getting, because he’s continuing on a destructive path. Maybe I deserve to have money go missing if I continue to have him in my life. He’s also the boy who cried when the football players tossed his CD’s all over the parking lot, because he was openly gay. He’s the boy who drew me a portrait of Marilyn Monroe for my 17th birthday. He’s the guy who told off Gail’s ex-husband for taking advantage of her and abusing her daughter. He’s the guy who told me I had nothing to be embarrassed about after my divorce, that my ex-husband was the failure, not me. He may have whopping self-esteem issues and a case of Peter Pan syndrome to rival the Lost Boys, but when I look at him, I still see this…

If Malik ends up in prison, I won’t be horrified and think our justice system done him wrong. Neither will he. He knows he’s had every opportunity handed to him and he never had a particularly bad lot in life… but he still can’t get his shit together. So, if that does happen… I’ll write. I’ll visit. So will Gail. Convict or not… he’s still just Malik, the sweet kid who could talk his way out of anything… the boy who danced with us at prom… the guy who insisted we claim the makeup was ours if his mom found it… the boy who was near tears when we convinced him my house was haunted in the 11th grade… the guy who believes every conspiracy theory he’s ever heard and thinks Meth addicts are a sign of the rapture.

Malik: “Everyone knows a different Malik.” ::sighs dramatically:: “Who is the real Malik?”
Me: “I’m pretty sure that, deep down, you’re still the same chubby, 15-year-old Malik, wearing a popped collar in our redneck high school.”
Malik: “Two popped collars, thank you.”
Me: “… with a tie tied around his waist. Two ties… but that’s because you had to tie the ends together so they’d go all the way around you.”
Malik: ::laughing::
Me: “Well, on the bright side, when you’re done with rehab, maybe we’ll get Fat Malik back! I loved Fat Malik!”
Malik: “Oh, my god. If there is one thing that is going to keep me from rehab, that’s it.”
Me: “You’re gonna miss Carrie!”
Malik: “I know! I was heartbroken about that! I was crying to a coworker about how I’d miss Carrie and when they asked who that was, I’m like ‘Hello! Carrie? The remake?!?!
Me: “Rehab is gonna suuuuck.”
Malik: “Seriously, Belle. You are terrible at this.”

Me: “You could drive a truck!”
Malik: “I have two DUI’s, Belle!”
Me: “We just need to get you a job where there are no drugs and no one cares that you’re a felon or a recovering addict.”
Malik: “Okay, Belle, but the places that will hire me are going to have drugs, because everyone else there is going to be an addict.”
Me: “Ugh. I know! We’ll Google it!!!”
“Um… wow. The Internet… has no answers. I think you broke Google.”
Malik: “You suck at this!”
Me: “I’m a librarian, not a substance abuse counselor!”

Me: “Have you ever had sex with a married man?”
Malik: “Yeah. I found out and told him I couldn’t do it anymore, even though he was paying me.”
Me: 
Malik: “Excuse me. I guess I was prostituting myself to a married man.”
Me: “Ooooh! You could do that!”
Malik: “All of your ideas are things that could get me put in prison!” 
Me: “You know, the guys from Sons of Anarchy were all addicts and felons and they seemed to be doing okay. Illegal gun running? Sex trafficking? I know, I know ‘I have two DUI’s, Belle!’

Me: “Wait… if it doesn’t do anything for you anymore, then why don’t you just stop doing it?”
Malik: “Because I’m an ADDICT.”
Me: “I would’ve made a bomb therapist.”

He’s vain, lazy, self-indulgent, and irrevocably flawed… but he’s Malik. The day he overdoses and they lower his 29-year-old body into the earth, something in me will break.

No Wire Hangers

::Last week to Gail::
Me: I hope she’s nice to me. I’m really looking forward to it.

::text::
Me: I’m crying in my mother’s SUV now. I am perpetually 14 years old in her presence.
Me: The night got a whole lot worse. Worst birthday celebration EVER.
Gail: Where are you? Do you need a ride home? Are you okay? What happened? 

Dad: “Just quit crying and tell me what happened.”

Me: “… and then she told me I never had to speak to her again for the rest of my life.”
Dad: “I can’t believe she fucking said that. She has no business being anyone’s fucking mother.
Me: “… and… and… she bought me a present I actually liked, instead of like last year, when she yelled at me for not wearing the lipstick… and… and it was normal before that and then she… she… ruined everything!” 
Dad: “Did you call your grandma?”
Me: “I talked to her earlier, before this all happened.”
Dad: “Well, call your grandma and see if you she can help you calm down.” 

Me: “… and then she started telling me that she had a bad example as a mom and that you stole us from her. When I told her that I forgot you were an evil baby stealer, she said she’d never said that. She had literally just said that!  I hate when she starts in on you!!!! It’s like a haze of rage!!!!!”
Gramma: “Belle, don’t worry about it. She can’t upset me. I know what she thinks about me. It doesn’t even phase me anymore.”

Me: “… and then she told me my Gramma convinced me she was crazy, so I told her that the time she mooned us on the front lawn while screaming like a banshee and flipping us off did that for me and that my Gramma defends her. She insisted that I told her my Gramma said she was crazy and I explained that she must have just been distracted, because she was foaming at the mouth and with the taste of all that crazy, it must’ve been hard to concentrate.”
Gail: ::snort:: “At least it was still funny.”
Me: “Ugh. I lost it. I said all those things I joke about when I call you pissed, so I don’t say them to her. When I said that she said ‘… and what were you doing? Cutting yourself?’ My mom threw my self-mutilation in my face during my birthday celebration.
Gail: ::silence:: “I’m so sorry.”
Me: “I wish she would get help, but if I tell her that, she gets pissed and insists my Gramma told me to say it.”

::text::
Me: … and then she hurled the cookies at my front door and drove off.
Jane: Wow. All I can say is wow.

::text::
I’m so sorry I ruined your birthday. I was trying very hard to make it special. I love you always no matter what. I’m always here if you need me. I will give you space. You know my phone number & address. I hope your real birthday is very happy
.

It’s adorable how much my dad does not know how to deal with his crying daughter, when the solution isn’t money. I have such good people in my life, but I miss the mom that put birthday candles in pancakes. She’s gone though, and I don’t know why.

 

Sometimes… I’m still a little broken.

daddy remember
When 10 family members like this post on Facebook…

So, this past week, I went on 1004 dates (blog entry both pending and a lot funnier than this one) and decided that my bias toward the free sites was unfair. There could be good men on there, if I’m patient enough to weed through all of the 28-year-old “students” living at home. So, as a tester, I reactivated my OKCupid account, since that was easier than building a new one on Plenty of Fish. Within just a few minutes I sent Gaily the following text:

Reactivated my OKCupid account. First Message:

Hey ur beautiful how r u doin? U look really nice n sweet n i am nice n sweet n wanna be friends?

She thought it was hilarious and I decided I’d deactivate again once the site would allow me to in a week. I wasn’t willing to completely delete the information of whom I’d been in contact with and whom I hadn’t.

In the meantime, I chatted with one guy who lives a few hours away (briefly, because he lives a few hours away) and giggled over the profiles of some obviously crazy people, which naturally led to… my ex-husband’s OKCupid account.

Upon seeing a picture of the man who… oh I can’t even outline his sociopathic tendencies again!!!!! I started to hyperventilate and immediately deleted my account forever. I was intensely freaked out that he might have had the opportunity to open my profile and read anything about my life. Everything about me has changed. I am unrecognizable both physically and personality-wise. The idea that he knows I like guns and college football and that I actually became a librarian? It has my heart racing as I fucking type the words.

So, naturally, I immediately turned to my human security blanket, The Great and Powerful Gail.

wizard of oz gail
Can you believe a female Wizard of Oz costume doesn’t exist?!?! No, seriously. I’m bothered by this. There’s a sexy Tin Man, a sexy Cowardly Lion, a sexy Scarecrow, and a sexy Glinda for crying out loud. Glinda was 55 years old in that movie! I fucking checked! What? A woman can’t be the leader of a magical city? Fuck you costume makers of America! FUCK YOU!

Ahem. See? I’m avoiding the point of the blog, because it’s making me nauseous.

Anyway…

As I was informing Gail of my e-run-in, I realized that I really wanted to know what my ex-husband’s profile said. I couldn’t quell the curiosity over what a man who refused to work for four years lists under “profession.” Gaily’s ex-husband, Shane, claims to be the manager of his parent’s pet store… as he did when he never went to work while they were married. Welcome to the Midwest, y’all: Home of the Commonplace 22-Year-Old Divorcée . I once texted Gail in regards to my ex:

Me: His Facebook says he has a job.
Gail: Hahaha. Sure. I’ll bet he was “hired” to burn down the pet store Shane “manages.” 

Given our oddly similar mental fractures from our previous marriages, Gaily was in full support of my creating a fake profile just to see what my ex-husband’s said. FYI, you don’t need a valid e-mail address to create a blank OKCupid account under the name Mobetterdogs and stalk people. I don’t know if it’s better or worse that I looked. I really don’t. I will say his profile name had both the word “nerdy” and the misspelling of the word “than.” His profile also included:

What are you doing with your life? 

“putting it back together after a tough divorce left me homeless, jobless, and pennyless.”


WHAT?!?!?!? 

One, Captain Asshat, it’s penniless, not pennYless. No wonder you failed senior English!

Two, Spawn of Hell, you were penniless and jobless the entire time we were married! That’s like saying our divorce left you fat and white! Also, you can’t talk about how you’re putting your life back together after your divorce 104 fucking years later!!!!

Gail: “How does a divorce make someone jobless?”

Three, Bag of Dicks, homeless?!?!?! You had months to make arrangements, because that’s how long you refused to leave after I asked!!!!! That’s how long it took for Jay to advise me to threaten to call the Sheriff and remind him of the WARRANT out for those checks you “didn’t write.” You were only homeless, because you were no longer welcome in the homes of your family after their shit went missing!!!!!! That’s quite similar to the reason you weren’t welcome in MY home anymore!!!!! It was, indeedMY home, since I was the only one paying for anything EVER!!!!!!  You even kept breaking into my apartment long after I kicked you out, so you could steal my shit!!!!!

Four, you Son of a Whore, “tough divorce”?!?!?! Try free divorce, since I’m the one who paid for it!! I went fucking crazy during said divorce and refused to sleep for two weeks while I threw out all of your shit and realized all you had stolen from me!!!! I found a card that proved that, after all those times you yelled at me for the implication, my wedding ring was indeed fake!!!! I still can’t watch Firefly because it reminds me of how you stole the boxed DVD birthday present from me when I forgot to pack it up with the valuables I had to store for safekeeping!!!!!! I LOVE FIREFLY!!!!!!!! How about my tough marriage?!!? I owe six digit school loans from living off financial aid when you wouldn’t work! You pulled roadrunner-esque schemes to FAKE JOBS!!!!! I lost 12 pounds the summer I worked at the movie theater, because free popcorn was the only food we had! I MISCARRIED THAT SUMMER!!!! You left me alone while I did, so you could go to a party!!!!!! 

Then I read his questions.

Do you like cats or dogs?

Both. As long as they’re trained and not pains in the ass. 

My precious little “pain in the ass” still cannot get through bathtime without my singing, because you used to beat him on the rare occasion you would bathe him, despite not working or being in school! He’s finally over his fear of men! YOU HURT MY PUPPY!!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!?!?!?

Gaily was right. Under profession, it said “student.” Not only that, but the text of his profile actually clarified that he’s “planning to go back to school soon.”

That’s still unemployed! You were “planning to go back to school” when you got kicked out of college at 19. At one point, YOU FAKED BEING IN SCHOOL!!!! Higher education is not for you. Get a fucking job.

Yes. I feel validated. I won the divorce. Clearly. It’s been two and a half years and I have a Master’s degree and burgeoning career, wonderful friends, an adorable apartment. I’m also 100 pounds lighter and know what eyeliner is. I did everything I said I would and then some. Go me. Most days, I feel wonderful and free and blessed.

Then, there are other days, when I’m still a little broken. I say the name of the beloved cat that died in the unexplained fire that got my nineteen year old husband a bunch of cash the day he lost his job… and I can’t breathe. I open a DVD case with soot on it and that smell puts me back on a charred futon, crying into a burned, wet stuffed animal because my pets look like they’re sleeping on the front lawn. I walk down the baby aisle of a Target and know it’s for the best that he has nothing to do with a child… but it’s a child I lost. I look for a movie on my shelf and realize it’s one he stole when he was breaking in at night. I have a nightmare that I’m still married and I wake to a panic attack. I cuddle the dog and promise no one will ever hurt either one of us again. Most days, I’m an upbeat, happy Librarian with a thriving social life and a skill for random Pinterest crafts. On rare occasion, I’m a morbidly obese, 23-year-old, sitting in a judge’s chair, holding back the tears. Another person who was supposed to love me had hurt me.

ex husband okcupid
… but thank the Lord for good friends.

I’m pretty sure I’m done with the free dating sites. I also feel completely justified in my refusal to date anyone with the profession of “student.”

sexy tinman
Yeah. That’s a fucking thing.

“Has she given NOT BEING CRAZY a try?!?!”

“And my mother began to go crazy. Not crazy in a let’s paint the kitchen bright red! sort of way. But crazy in a gas oven, toothpaste sandwich, I am God sort of way. Gone were the days when she would stand on the deck lighting lemon-scented candles without then having to eat the wax.” – Running with Scissors

When I was little, my mom chaperoned every field trip, even though she worked. She used to make a really big deal out of birthdays. She cooked pancakes with candles before school and made sure we had a gift to go with them. Small holidays were even special. She made heart-shaped pancakes on Valentine’s Day and put green food dye in the milk on St. Patrick’s Day. She even painted little green footprints all over the bathtub, where the leprechauns had been. She then made my brother, Bo, and I clean them up while the ten-year-old in the bathroom bawled his eyes out like a little bitch with a skinned knee, screaming “I HATE LEPRECHAUNS!”

screaming dean

Seriously, Bo believed in this shit waaaay too long. We had to sit him down the night before his wedding and explain why Santa wouldn’t come that year.*

* I’m lying.

“Why does she have to be so fucking crazy?!?!?! Has she… oh, I don’t know… given not being crazy a try?!?! It’s not that fucking hard! I’m doing it right the fuck now!!!

That’s generally how the conversation starts with Gail, these days…

“… and you know that in her twisted labyrinth of a brain, that’s exactly how it happened, the fucking lunatic! Hoggle is running around with a bracelet and a peach. David Bowie is somewhere in my mother’s brain wearing a completely inappropriate outfit for a children’s movie!”

… that’s where it leads…

::tearfully:: “Why does she have to be like this? Why does she do this to people? I don’t understand.”

… and that’s where it ends up.

God bless Gail for having been around for the past ten years and understanding, without explanation, that my mother is just abusive and crazy. We joke about being each other’s moms and raising each other from age fifteen. Gail wasn’t just the one to hear about every single high school crush, listen to me rant about my Sims characters and the latest Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode…

awesome
I interrupt this serious blog entry to say that I was a fucking awesome teenager.

… and get kicked out of a Wal-Mart with me for sword fighting in the craft section with dalrods. She was also the one to sleep in my car with me when I was too drunk to get up the stairs after I kicked my ex-husband out, taught me to put on eyeliner when I found myself 23 and single, and comfort me each and every time my mother went off the deep end.

When I was 13, I was going through a tough time, acting out because the only authority figure in the house had left. My mother wanted me to see a therapist and I refused. Through a series of events, the argument escalated and would’ve ended in a 911 call if she hadn’t grabbed me by the hair and thrown me away from the phone. It was a bad day. It was the day I started sucking my thumb again, though I hadn’t since I was 10. It was the day I threw out that dog leash and was relieved to find my toes weren’t broken.

When I was 14, my brother and I got into an argument and he stormed out, while I was painting the dining room. My mother screamed that it was my fault he left. The argument escalated and when she swung her purse at my head, she missed and hit the wet wall. She was furious, because I’d destroyed her purse and swung the step ladder next. I told everyone who asked about the scratch, that ran the length of my face, that I had a cat. It wasn’t technically a lie.

At 19, I told my mother to stop inviting people I didn’t know to my wedding. The argument escalated and she raised her hand to hit me across the face when I snapped “If you hit me, I will hit you back and then I will press charges.” She hasn’t raised a hand to me since, but she still plays her games.

Summer of 2011, Gail and I decided that a trip to New Mexico with my mother and her husband wouldn’t be a terrible idea, since we’d have a different room and drive a different car and it was on my mom’s tab. In hindsight, I’m kind of glad we went, because Gail understands my mommy issues on an entirely new level after hearing the woman scream at me for taking a quick trip to return something at Wal-Mart across the street since she was 30 minutes late… and watching me hyperventilate at Carlsbad Caverns because my mother was going to yell at me for getting separated from her and no one on this planet can make me regress to a frightened 14-year-old like my mother.

upset teen “Belle, calm down, sweetie. You’re not fifteen anymore. If she yells at you, we’ll leave, okay? We’ll go back to the hotel, we’ll get our stuff, and we’ll go home. Your Gramma will help with the gas. It’s okay.”

Those eleven days of being a psych major were far from wasted. That girl would be great at that.

All of this wouldn’t be so bad if my mother were consistent, but that’s just not how mental illness works. She’ll act crazy and yell at me about the lipgloss I told her I wouldn’t use, but she bought anyway. She’ll get upset that my background picture on my phone is of me and my Gramma. She’ll text me to tell me she doesn’t love me anymore, because she thinks I’m lying about having to work. I understand you don’t just stop being mentally ill, but she won’t even admit she has a problem or get help. She’s just certain the world is against her. Then, for six months, she’s my mom. She’s the woman who ate cookie dough with me while we watched Smallville. She’s slightly grating and has abysmal table manners, but she’s not cruel or abusive… so I let my guard down… like I have during these last six months.

Me: “It’s really going to suck when she starts eating the candle wax again.”
Gail: “Ugh. Yes… and I’m going to have to pick up the pieces. I hate your mother.”

The only other person Gail hates is the man who told her he couldn’t wait until their daughter got sexy.

free candy
I can’t believe he got the van in the divorce.

I once called my Gramma crying and referred to the fact that my mom was adopted when I said…

“Why did you even pick her?!? You could’ve chosen the baby to the left! What, were you approached by a man in a cloak? Did you make some kind of deal?!?!”

cloaked man
“I’m from the adoption agency.” Yeah… seems legit.

So, a couple of weeks ago, when I called and cried “You could’ve chosen the baby to the left!”, she responded with “Uh oh. What the hell has she done now?” My Gramma does not swear. My mother is threatened by no one as much as she is my Gramma, the woman who took me to spend the night with her the night my mother screamed at us both to fuck off and mooned my Gramma on the front lawn, when I was 15. According to my mother, she stole Bo and I away from her. So, when I was out with my mother and called my Gramma to tell her I was busy and that’s why I’d missed her calls, my mother was threatened and asked why I had to make the call when she was sitting right next to me. Not being 15 anymore, I was visibly pissed, because she hadn’t cared one bit about my constantly texting Gail. So, my mother has been texting and calling non-stop for the past week. The last text was to state that we were having Smithie’s barbecue for my Gramma’s birthday, Sunday at 11:30. I told my mother that my Gramma said she wanted Sim’s, not Smithie’s and she assured me that she’d just asked her.

Me: “Did you want Smithie’s or did mom?”
Gramma: “Well, I mentioned Sim’s and she said she thought that Smithie’s would be a better sit-down place…”

This led to a tearful rant on my part that I soon realized was only upsetting my Gramma, so I called Gail.

“Why does she have to be so fucking crazy?!?!?! Has she… oh, I don’t know… given not being crazy a try?!?! It’s not that fucking hard! I’m doing it right the fuck now!!!

There’s a cheap, sapphire necklace that came with a pancake and candle breakfast when I was eight. I put it away for safekeeping, because the woman who gave it to me is long gone… and I don’t know why.

pancakes with candles

“Divorce is the coward’s way out”: My yellow-bellied bliss.

A few weeks ago, a woman who was unaware that she was speaking to a once 23-year-old divorcée, told me that “divorce is the coward’s way out.” Fine. She was a coworker, because I am broken and no one I work with knows I’m divorced. Happy, Gail?!? Of course, this isn’t the first I’ve heard of statements such as the above. I’ve ranted about them here, here, and here. I didn’t even comment this time. Now that I think about it, though, that was an inappropriate time to burst out laughing. Once I caught my breath, I started to really consider the implications of this statement. What about leaving my marriage to a sociopath makes me a coward? Then I realized… holy shit, it did take bravery to stay with the man that long. He was terrifying and I was terrified of him. For the last year of my marriage I slept with my wallet in my pillowcase and drove around with my Gramma’s jewelry hidden in my car. I spent my few free hours, between jobs and grad school, chatting and crocheting with Gail in a Taco Mayo, because I could buy a .99 soda and get refills all night and not be home. When I did get home, I drank to take my mind off my misery and would even play the “let’s see how fast can I write this essay before the Everclear kicks in” game. Both drunk and sober, I created entire fantasy worlds where my ex-husband died (through no fault of my own) and just was not in my life. I secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) wished he’d finally give into all of those suicide threats, because then it would be over. To this day, I sleep with a revolver next to me in a gun sock, occasionally cuddling it like a stuffed animal when I have nightmares about still being married. So yeah. It took bravery to stay and perhaps, by extension, cowardice to leave. If that’s the case, though, my cowardice has reaped some fantastic rewards. In the last two years, I’ve made amazing friends, had some hilarious dates, taken several epic day trips, gussied up and gone on too many dates with me-and-only-me to count, reconnected with God, chosen a new career path, lost nearly 100 pounds, taken up a dozen hobbies (only one of which sprung from my fear of my ex-husband)… … and oh, yeah… today, I have officially earned my Master’s degree. That’s right. Despite that sociopathic son-of-a-bitch doing his damnedest to drag me down into the gutter with him, I did everything I ever said I would and am going on to live my life with a bright future. I’ll never again eat free movie theater popcorn all summer or shoplift bags of frozen chicken under the dog food, because that one hundred dollar bill went missing from my wallet. I’ll never find myself pregnant and praying for a miscarriage more than freaking Rosemary, because that baby would have a father without a soul and then weeping with shame when said request was granted. I’ll never miss another holiday just to avoid lying to my family about whether or not my husband has a job and I’ll never again wipe blood from the dog’s paws. I don’t live under constant fear of eviction, since he not only hasn’t paid the rent, but faked having a job. Because I am such a fucking cowardmy life is filled with absolute yellow-bellied bliss and he doesn’t get a single minuscule piece of something for which he did not work. I’ll gladly take this over the scars of bravery any day.


Bravery

Cowardice

The trouble with soulmates…

“I don’t believe in soulmates, and I don’t think that you and I were destined to end up together. What I do believe is that we fell in love and that we work hard for our relationship.” – Monica Gellar

When we were kids, Gail and I were stupid and idealistic. I’ll pause so you can gasp.

gasp disney

We used to talk about this theory we had, where there were many people on this earth that could be increasingly right for a person on a scale of one to ten. You could get along alright with a seven, better with an eight and have a lifetime of happiness with a ten. Then, there was the eleven: your perfect match, or soulmate. It was stupid and we had an excuse for believing it. We were fifteen. Plenty of adults, however, still believe that there is one perfect person for them and I’m willing to stand up and say that they are wrong.

I’m not going to lie. I enjoy the notion of a soulmate in my smut novels and even the occasional chick flick. Nothing beats a paranormal romance where everyone has a destined “mate”. How fucking nice would that be? There would be no strangers trying to drag you by your wrist to the parking lot of the cowboy bar, insisting that “it’ll only take a minute.” There would be no awkward meetings with men you met online who make jokes about how your master’s degree isn’t a real master’s degree. There would be no heart-wrenching, soul-sucking divorce. A close second to the paranormal “mate” is Instalove. Erotica and romantic suspense are known for Instalove. Hero’s been speaking to heroine for all of nine minutes and already she’s said something so astounding or given such a delightful laugh that he’s a changed man. He can’t place his finger on it, but six days later, we all know: it’s loooooooove. In reality, it’s been nine minutes, I’ve already made one inappropriate joke and it’s a good thing he’s in loss prevention and not construction, because clearly he cannot measure for shit: 5’8″ my ass. If he dares to say “I love your laugh”, I snort in disbelief and blurt “Really? Cuz no one else does.” True story.

beauty and the beast
Fairy Tale
sleeping with the enemy
Reality

The reason romance novelists write about “mates” and Instalove is because we women were raised by Disney and fucked over by reality. More than once I’ve expressed my desire for an arranged marriage, because my daddy sure could pick ’em better than I can. The idea of just knowing he’s the one, without the risk that he’ll take off with your Gramma’s jewelry or torture your pets… sa–woon. But that’s all it is… a big girl fairytale. Here’s why. Quick. Describe Anastasia Steele’s character without mentioning her physical appearance.

….

I couldn’t do it either when Jennifer Armintrout made the original challenge. She’s… um… a pushover? Way behind in modern technology for a girl who just graduated college? Sexually repressed? Name some of her hobbies other than British literature.

Drinking? Pushing her friends around? Insulting all women ever? Feeling insecure? Sure, this is a product of piss poor writing. E.L. James mentions Anastasia’s love for art in chapter one, but then on the honeymoon has her declaring that she doesn’t really know anything about art, so I’m not sure if I can or cannot include that under hobbies. My point, however, is that any character in a book or a movie is a pale comparison to an actual human being. For example, I’ll describe Gail’s character without mentioning physical appearance.

She’s tenderhearted and loyal to an obnoxious fault, sticking by people who fuck her over, yet somehow still managing to be shocked and hurt when they fuck her over again. Despite this lack of caution, she’s beyond paranoid in all other aspects of life. She’s intelligent, with a dry and dead-panned sense of humor. She would wear house shoes and sweats to a wedding without embarrassment, as long as it wouldn’t upset anyone, because her greatest fucking fear is rocking the boat. She’s irreparably damaged from the death of her infant daughter, yet this somehow has not affected her love and kindheartedness toward children. She has a deep-seated urge to mother and protect, which positively consumes her around the wrong people, resulting in exhaustion and resentment.

I’ll name some hobbies without mentioning road head.

smilingdog1Gail is fascinated by finance and legitimately finds Dave Ramsey attractive, because of his radio show. She listens to rap music and can sing it… poorly. She enjoys finding ways to give to charity and loves her job delivering mail… for some fucking reason. She likes crafts of all kinds, even if she’s bad at them and this girl is so into current events, I swear she masturbates to the news. She adores feminist literature almost as much as she likes arguing with me and engaging in e-slap fights about it, because it’s okay to rock the boat when people she doesn’t know are in it.

That’s a real person. No. That’s a blurry Polaroid snapshot of a real person. Real people are complex and multi-faceted individuals. All of them, including the people we’re dating. This soulmates horseshit encourages the idea of having a “type”, which is completely counterproductive to the dating process. We’re supposed to be getting to know new people and trying new things, but instead we choose one or two exceptionally narrow aspects of who we are and buy a painting to match the sofa with no regards to the love seat or the rug.

I like books, guns, pretty pink dresses, college football, fishing, shopping, and sewing. I’m the librarian who swears like a sailor… in prison. I could be with an accountant who was captain of the academic team in high school or a police officer who played football. As I’ve said before, good budgeting skills bring this girl to the yard and he’s not a real man if I’m the better shot. Limiting myself to only one or the other aspects of my personality… IS STUPID. I might find out the cop is more fiscally responsible than I am and the accountant can nail a headshot on the first try. Furthermore, those complex people? They change over time. Fifteen years, three kids, two dogs and a mortgage later, that funny sweet man you fell in love with may now be hardened and sarcastic and sometimes even cruel. He may be a drinker with unrealistic standards for you and your kids. The delightfully old-fashioned chivalry he displayed at 25 may have morphed into an expectation that you will organize the fridge just the way he likes it or there will be hell to pay. Real love takes commitment and vigilance to grow together and treat each other well. Your “soulmate” just punched you in the kidneys nine years into your marriage. Rethinking that soulmates theory, now? Or is he just not it anymore?

enough
Yeah, I had enough of this movie in the first five minutes.

Excuse me, Miss. You dropped your dirty bra on my newsfeed.

My bachelor’s degree is in Family and Consumer Science Education (home-ec), which is a degree focusing on a wide range of things. Stereotype mostly dictates these as sewing, cooking, child development, and marriage. I once burned Easy Mac. My dog’s alive because he barks at me if he doesn’t have food and he probably didn’t actually eat that bullet that one time. I’m 25 and have been divorced for two years. You can’t learn everything from a book, y’all, amiright? confused with book I, however, can sew and bake like a badass motherfucker. So there’s my proof that some lessons stuck. Another one of those lessons was how to be really bad at marriage… not that this was necessary to learn from a textbook, because Facebook provides me with constant guidance into this venture. The following are all paraphrased Facebook statuses, mostly only straying from direct quotes because I couldn’t bring myself to include all of those spelling errors.

 – “Ugh. I’m so tired of the fighting and verbal abuse. I just want a divorce.” –
You know how you get a divorce? You call a lawyer. If you truly “want a divorce”, you’re typing it into a search engine, not the Facebook status bar. You don’t want a divorce. You want to villainize your husband, so that your mutual friends will realize that you’re the wronged one in the relationship when it finally ends, and take your side. What you’re doing, however, is attacking him in public. This is the E-equivalent to taking off your high-heeled shoe and beating him with it in a Wal-Mart while screaming that he’s an abusive bastard. You don’t look verbally abused when you make this post. You look like the verbal abuser, who is making an effort to humiliate her husband to the masses. This is especially true when he makes no similar posts ever in time about your marital issues. If he’s calling you a worthless, fat, cunt, whose children are right to ignore her, it’s still not appropriate to lament about this on Facebook. It’s appropriate to call up your mom and sister to cry and tell them your marriage is a wreck. It’s appropriate to break down at a family dinner to your grandma and a room full of supportive cousins. It’s even appropriate to drink 8 LITs at a bar on Thanksgiving while blubbering incoherently about how he was supposed to make 60% of the income and not pawn your jewelry while your best friend gets the keys. All of these interactions are as perfect as can be in a disastrous situation, because they are confined to people who give a shit. That list doesn’t include your high school student council members, that girl who bullied you and was friended just so you could watch her get fat, or the third cousin who was never really open about why he went to prison.

abusive woman – “I just carried in a fifty pound bag of dog food all by myself. I always wanted to be a single mom. Oh, wait…” –
This particular woman’s husband was working out of town fighting wildfires, while she was staying home cuddling the baby. Don’t get me wrong. Babies are gross and loud. I wouldn’t want to be left alone with one, either, and I can imagine this is difficult… you know, sort of like how putting out wildfires is difficult. This is such a regular social networking trend that I want to bomb the Internet. I’ll flat-out admit that I am completely and totally biased here. These women are bitching about a man who works too hard to support his family. Try sopping up the blood from your foot because the cat knocked a glass off the counter three days ago and he never cleaned it up, despite not having had a job for three fucking years. Spend four years with a man who is too lazy to bathe and then you can bitch about how your husband has a well paying job in which he’s working in extreme and dangerous climates to buy diapers for your child. These men aren’t workaholics regularly taking on 80 hours a week. They just have mutually agreed upon jobs with unpredictable and sometimes non-local hours. Said jobs are often worth it, too, because they pay well enough for these women to stay home and whine on Facebook while their husbands bust their asses. Again, it’s not that these women are bad wives for feeling lonely, frustrated, or overwhelmed. They are, however, ungrateful and unsupportive partners for posting these thoughts on a billboard read by their husbands’ friends and entire family. If my son ever married a woman who complained publicly about having to carry fifty fucking pounds, I’d be perfectly willing to call her out on the fact that this is the approximate weight of a six-year-old and there are plenty of actual single moms carrying those inside all alone with a lot less bitching, because being a single parent is a lot more difficult than carrying dog food funded by their husbands.

overwhelmed mom
Key difference: she works to pay for that dog food and then carries it in alone.

 – “I’m so glad my husband decided that my telling him he could have one or two beers with the guys meant he could get plastered and leave me to take care of three boys alone.” –
No.Your husband does not need your permission to have a beer with his buddies, just as you do not need his permission to buy that new Coach purse. You are both adults and should be making any and all decisions with regards as to what is best for your family and whether or not this splurge is possible without hurting the overall unit. If he dropped the ball doing that, fine. People make mistakes. Telling your friends, family, high school acquaintances, and his friends, family, and work buddies when you fucking tag him in this status, however, does not undo the damage, and hurts the family unit far more than his original crime, by involving other people. I have never seen a man post a status update of “I’m so glad my wife decided that getting her nails done was more important than buying new tires for the car” or “I’m so glad that my wife got so drunk last night that she threw up in the entryway, passed out and pissed herself.” It’s not that these women don’t make mistakes or go too far, just that their husbands aren’t choosing to share it with the world. man screaming at computer – “I am so tired of hearing my husband tell me that the money I make doesn’t mean anything. From now on, I’m just going to take my money and spend it on whatever I want then, if it’s so unimportant.” –
Why in the hell would you even want to post this on a social networking site? No one sounds good in this statement. You have an unhappy marriage and you’re officially choosing to no longer contribute to it financially? Maybe next you’ll post about you got drunk, threw up in the entryway, passed out and pissed yourself. Sure, your husband comes off as a jerk here, but you look like a child throwing a keyboard tantrum. Perhaps, instead of bashing him on Facebook, you could take some of that paycheck and put it towards the marriage counseling that the world now knows you need. woman throwing keyboard None of the feelings that inspire these posts are particularly bad. You’re losing faith in your marriage. Fuck, I feel ya there. Run, run, run, and don’t ask me for marital advice, because that is always the answer. You feel mistreated. You’re lonely and overwhelmed. You’re upset about the fact that your husband made a bad decision and it’s affecting you. You’re feeling under appreciated. I getcha. I felt all of those things all of the time in my marriage. You have my sympathy… or you would if I fucking knew you outside of Google Chrome. I don’t, though. I know that when we were kids, you liked Batman, you have a golden retriever, your baby isn’t that cute, you like to take pictures of your overpriced manicures, you’ve put on a few pounds, you’ve decided to call yourself a “photographer”… but I haven’t seen you in person since high school. I should not know your marital issues at all, unless you’ve personally sought me out for comfort. When I got divorced, I had multiple family members ask at Christmas how over it was, because they hadn’t heard anything about it. I’d filed the paper work before I told any of them. That’s because, with the majority of them, we weren’t that close and they only kept up with me through Facebook, where I never complained about my marriage to Voldemort himself. What ever happened to the old adage about not airing your dirty laundry in public and why do so many women in my generation not understand it or realize the value of keeping private issues private? This is social networking, not your private blog. Everyone you know can read this. Yes, indeed, it is specifically a female problem. I have never seen a man make any of these personal posts about their relationships (though I’m sure it’s happened and is just rare) and it’s ridiculous that women think it’s okay if they do. Equality doesn’t mean we get our turn to humiliate. If a man posted on Facebook “I can’t believe she just spent $200 on the UGGliest boots when she needs new tires” or “I love that I’ve been stepping over bottles of nail polish in the living room for two days”, I would be mortified and expect him to immediately take it down and apologize. Why don’t we owe men that respect? Furthermore, why don’t we owe our relationships that respect? I get a say on this trend, because ultimately, when you air that dirty laundry for all to see, you invite those people to comment on your shitty laundering skills. bra on computer