Sunday, December 23, 2012

Brown Paper Packages...

I see Emma today. I feel a peacefulness I haven't felt in weeks.

I see Jeremy in 2 days.

My relationship with Hana has been...every mother-of-a-teenager's dream.

My job is going so well. I'm so proud of myself, and I feel incredibly valued there.

I think this post, in relation to the post just before it, proves that I'm a libra.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My State. Lordy, Lordy (as my Mamaw used to say)

Yesterday, for the first time since my divorce, which took place in May of 2010, I had the thought, Maybe it would have been easier to have just stayed married.  All I did was swap one set of headaches for another.  (Do you have any idea how many times I was told this in the last 8 years of my marriage when I was divorce-hungry?)

Now, hang on.  Let me explain the day I was having~

-My van had broken down on the freeway the night before.

-I am stressing about Christmas and absorbing Matt's stress about it.

-I am mentally exhausted from putting in over 40 hours a week for the past 2 weeks, ringing people up who aren't in the best holiday shopping mood.

-I need to get out of this house ASA-Freaking-P and get my own place, as I just do not feel comfortable here- not just in the house, but also on this street.

-I've been told by the orthodontist that Ada needs braces yesterday before her underbite sets in permanently.

So there I am in the car with Matt on the way to meet the tow truck, sobbing, as I feel all of these things crushing me and wondering how divorced people do it.

How in God's name do they get braces for their kids?  Get new cars?  Pay rent?  Provide Christmas?

If I'd stayed married to the homosexual, I would very likely be in a newer, properly functioning car THAT WAS REGISTERED.  I wouldn't need to worry about rent.  Ada's braces and Christmas would still be a strain, but doable.

I tried to reflect on what life was like married.  Financially, things weren't perfect, but nothing like the mountain I find myself trying to scale now.  And the other issues... OH, THE OTHER ISSUES...

I never dreamed that I could have all the wonderful things that I have with my fellah, Jeremy.  Granted he is a few states away, but the future promises us being together sooner than later and an emotional fulfillment that was quite simply not possible when I was married, which spurred me into one depression after another.

Not that Jeremy is the answer to my problems.  Because no human being can provide that.  This is pure and simple psychology.  (IHaveNoShameInTheAmountOfTherapyIHaveHad)




Life, man.

And, no, I did not come to a conclusion that I should have stayed married to Matt.  But having that thought at all, was... telling in regards to my state right now.  And I ain't just talking about the state of California!

Couples who are not happy stay married for these reasons.  I get it now.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ada's Growing Up...

Ada just asked me, "Are you Santa Claus?"

"Am I Santa Claus?"  I asked.

"Yeah, are you really Santa Claus?"

"What do you think?"

"I don't know," she replied sheepishly. "Are you?"

"Yes." I answered.

"Really?? You're Santa?"

"Yep...and daddy..."

Then Ada said, " Mrs. Claus?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#1 I'm Sorry About Your Neuroses That Cause You to Over-Parent Your 2 Young Children #2 Do Not Ever Call Me at Work Again Unless My Daughter is Bleeding Out #3 I Find You Verbally Abusive

I think I have moved past my need for a breather.

Something in my world is shifting.  I can't really describe it, but it's like I was in a cocoon for a few weeks.  I was feeling confused and vulnerable so I wrapped myself up.

So what was it that happened that made me feel safe to start unwrapping?  Or how did I know enough time had gone by, and I was ripe for unsheathing?

It could have been the awesome conversation I had with Emma 2 nights ago.

It may have been the incident that happened last Saturday...

(cut to sepia-colored flashback)

I was at work at World Market bustin' a freakin' move. I had been asked to stay later than scheduled (Manager:  "Ashley, can you stay till 9:30?"  Me:  "Yes!  Thank you, God!").

{Sidenote:  For those of you just joining us, I am currently living with my gay ex-husband... in a teeny tiny house... and this never ever ever needs to happen ever again}

I called home to check in with Hana who was left in charge of Timothy and Ada while I was at work.

"Hey," I began the phone call, "how are things going?"

"Good," replied Hana.

" haven't killed either one of them yet?"

"No.  They went to the Christmas parade with friends."

"Oh, good! Well, then it's nice and quiet for you! Just letting you know that I have been asked to stay longer which is awesome."

"How late?!" she sounded royally bent outa shape.

"Um, till 9:30.  Is that a problem for you?"

"Well... UGH!  There is NOTHING TO DO!  I'M SO BORED!"

"Okay, when do you think the kids will get back from parade?"

"Probably 9..."

"Well, until then, invite someone over to hang out with or you go do something with a friend."

"Mom, I have no money to do anything!  And no one can hang out!"

"I think you'll survive.  I need to make money.  Enjoy the peace and quiet."

"Mom! Wait-"

I hung up.

This particular day, I had been asked by the Powers That Be to be the Gourmet Department Head's '2nd' or 'Back-Up'.  This is huge and not just because of the potential to earn more money and get benefits in as little as 3 months, but also because I had already been asked to be the POS Back-up.  That's right.  They love me so much there that I have been asked to be the 'assistant' to 2 Dept Heads.

Y'all don't even know.  I kick serious retail ass.

So there I am working on making the end caps in Gourmet look marvelous when I hear over the P.A. system, "Ashley, you have a call on line 56.  Ashley, you have a call on line 56."

My head popped up from my work, my face turned red (it does that), and I worriedly walked up to the front to jump on one of the phones surrounded by cashiers and lines of holiday shoppers.

I picked up the phone and began, "This is Ashley..."

{So before I go on, I should establish a pseudonym for this woman that called me.  Let's try some names out:


I think for the blog, though, and for simplicity's sake, I'll call her Brenda.}

"Ashley, this is Brenda, Katie's mom.  I just want you to know that I'm outside and Ada is inside and she cannot hear how utterly frustrated I am,"  she was talking so fast, I barely caught what she was saying or who it was even calling me. "I just went to your house to drop off Ada and there was no one there!  I am frustrated because I need to get my kids to bed, not to mention my concern with the lack of parenting that is going on with Ada! When can someone pick her up or when will someone be back at your house, because I must get my kids to bed on time. I mean, I guess, Ada can stay up with me and watch TV, but my children will be in bed."

{Sidenote:  It is 7:45pm on a Saturday}

"Brenda," I had to interject quickly, "um, can you slow down for a sec and let me talk?  Uh, so I'm sorry, you're saying that you tried to drop off Ada and no one was home-"

"Yes.  That is correct, and it's not Ada's fault that I'm angry!  I love Ada. Someone needs to be taking care of Ada.  I've had Ada since 4:00- that is 4 hours! And I drove up to your house and the lights were all out and I banged on the door."

{Sidenote:  This time that Ada spent with them was a spur of the moment thing.  Not planned ahead.}

"Brenda, Brenda, hang on a second.  Are you telling me that because no one was home tonight when you tried to drop off Ada that means there is a lack of parenting going on?"

"That's what I'm saying-"

"Okay, so, um, I'm at work, as you know, and I left Timothy and Ada with my 14-year old daughter.  I guess we had a miscommunication, otherwise, she would be there.  She's never just left them intentionally when I've been gone."

"Okay, well, the 14 year old was NOT there."

"Right, I understand. And because of that I'm a bad mom?"

"All I'm saying is I just don't know who is parenting this child!"

"Uh, wow, Brenda, that is highly offensive... Also, I never leave for work unless my ex-husband or my 14-year-old is home with the younger kids-"

"And a 14-year-old should not be parenting an 8-year-old."

"Brenda, I am working.  I've never had problems with the arrangement before.  I'm assuming you've tried to drop off Ada in the past and no one has been there?"

"That is 100% true."

"Okay.  I wasn't aware of that."

"I tried calling you and your cell phone isn't accepting calls.  Your ex isn't answering his phone.  No one is home at your house.  And my hands are tied!"

"Your hands are tied?"

"Yes.  It is my children's bedtime."

"Brenda, I'm sorry about my cell phone.  It's been turned off because I can't pay the bill right now.  My ex is out of town-"

"You know, I work, too!  I have financial strains, too!"

"...uh...Brenda, I'm here until 9:30.  I, uh..."

"Ada is more than welcome to stay with me stay with me until 9:30.  Without question."

"Without question...?"

"Yes.  Like I said, this is not her fault!"

{Sidenote:  Brenda lives on our street.}

I realize at this point that I have been sweating.  There are people all around me that I am trying very hard to not look at.

"Brenda, let me get a pen and write down your number-"

"Yes, please, get a pen and a paper and write down my number."

"Okay.  Brenda.  I now have a pen and a paper.  Go ahead."

She gave me the number, and I told her I would call as soon as I figured something out.

I ended the call and walked straight back to the break room where the general manager was looking at something on the bulletin board.

"You're sweating!" he said.

And as I attempted to explain what had just happened (in a nutshell), a couple of tears squeezed through my eyeballs.

"Just go home.  It's okay.  Go take care of it.  Don't even worry," the wonderful GM said.

"I'm so sorry," I eeked out.

"It's not an issue."

"Thank you," I replied and then I lost it.  For real.

"Hey, hey!  It's okay!"

GM came over to me and hugged me.

I left and drove to Brenda's immediately where she and her husband were standing on the sidewalk talking.

I got out of the car.  Brenda said, "He'll go in and get Ada.  You and I can wait outside."


Husband had clearly just arrived home.  Had a bag on his shoulder, keys in hand, but had already been served a glass of wine.

{Sidenote:  Uh...who does that?}

"Hello," he said as he walked past me.


Ada came out all smiles.  We drove home (3 doors away).

...and I'm back.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Conversation That Coaxed Me Out of My Cave (with typos and all)~