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#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.


  1. fuck her if she can't take a joke. i know you and your ex and you are amazing parents, so, yeah, fuck her.

    stupid cow.

  2. Hey there Ashley – it’s your friendly neighbor Beth - - oops, I mean “Brenda!” This is a very nice story. I have a response but I'll just give it to you personally. I had originally posted it on here and then I realized that posting things like that only results in hurt feelings and embarrassment. I wouldn't want your blog friends to know the real details about your life. I'll be sure to bring the letter I wrote down to your house. Or maybe I'll just send it home with Ada the next time she's here to play. She's been here 3 times since I "verbally abused" you. Have a great night. - overdoingitmom

    1. "I wouldn't want your blog friends to know the real details about your life"

      You wouldn't? So then does that mean you are opposed to the very idea of this blog? Her first post? Have you read it? You think THAT wasn't her real details? Further; are you suggesting that you know this woman intimately enough that you could tell us all something that would surprise is?

      Really Brenda, trying to blindfold someone doesn't do much to hide bullshit. It stinks, and so does your little quip.

    2. Brenda, I'm sure in your story you are the heroine who selflessly cared for a child in need. If you really are that hero, then why out yourself by name? Why respond at all? If you want to claim you are the bigger person, let it go. Ashley did not name you. You chose to do that. Why? Did her action of taking her own personal power back piss you off that much?

      Here's hoping we never hear from you again. Because if you deliver this ominous letter, I hope Ashley posts it so I can tell you how full of shit you are all over again.

  3. LOL and touché Beth. You just never know who is reading your blog. Hi Oprah.


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