Thursday, December 31, 2009

You Won't Feel A Thing...

So, I've got this friend, a guy I've known for 10 years. We had the briefest of flings, waaay back in the day, that never amounted to anything, because the odds were entirely stacked against it. He lived four hours away. We worked for the same company, and that company considered dating co-workers to be incestuous and frowned upon. We were both nearly done with college, me for my BS and him for his MBA. It was nothing more than some super-steamy kissing, anyway. I could elaborate on the details of this kiss, which wins my award for "Hottest Lifetime Kiss", but then my friend Ang ( would lecture me again that my blog needs one of those "adult content" disclaimers, like her ever-so-nifty blog has. Let's just say that it was hot enough to keep me wondering about a progression of activities, even 10 years after the fact.

To make a long story short, he begged me to go back to his hotel with him. Begged me. I refused, because I was a nice girl who was looking for a husband, and nice girls who are looking for husbands don't have one night stands with boys they've known all of eight hours. Looking back, I regret that decision with every ounce of hormone in my body. See above: potential for progression of the Hottest Lifetime Kiss award.

A few years ago, we became Facebook friends. We were both married. He still is. Eventually, I busted him on his secret Facebook relationship with me, because I could not stop myself from Googling his wife. What?!? I just wanted to see a picture! It wasn't stalking! It was investigating! I found her Facebook. Him and her are not "friends". I am his only Facebook friend, on his secretive Facebook account. I am, in essence, his dirty little secret.

We exchange messages that have, from time to time, been a bit, um, scandalous. Not the kind of thing that I'd want to find, as a wife, that's for sure. Worse, I feel no guilt over it. I don't think about her. I don't think about his sons. I don't ask anything about his life, because to see him as a father or as a husband or as anything in real life would cause me to feel an emotional attachment, and that would hurt too much. His actions are his actions...I can't control that, even though I know that I would be a participant in something that could break his wife's heart, because my willingness to respond to him is obviously implied consent. Perhaps I have the ability to be so flip about it, because when I was married, I prayed for a woman to try and steal my husband away, so I wouldn't have to do the dirty work of divorcing him myself.

I have told him that I am like a burning match: he can't stop himself from lighting it. The temptation is too great. But as the fire burns down and the heat gets too close to your skin, you have a choice to make. And his choice is always made in fear, and that is to drop that match. But yet...he always comes back to strike that match right back up, even though I suspect it is more for his satisfaction than mine. I am sure, for a married 40-year-old guy, toying with me is a bit of an ego boost. Sometimes, I wonder to myself: if it really came down to it, if he decided he wanted to let that flame burn instead of drop it, could I actually follow through, or would I run? I'd probably run like Bambi from a hunter.

I have often thought of this "flirtation", and like to play a little game with myself, based on the lyrics of a Diddy song: "Let's play a game...let's pretend for a second you don't know who I am or what I'm about...and let's just put it to the test..." If things were different--if I weren't so lonely and hadn't been trapped in such a lonely marriage for so long--would he even be a consideration in my life? If I were to meet him right now, today, would there still be that intrigue, that attraction? I doubt it. He's let slip some pretty unsavory behaviors, including drinking at home after he puts his sons to bed, and drinking whiskey starting at 3 in the afternoon. Totally not classy, at least by my standards. But right now, it's the closest thing I have to attention from the opposite sex, so it's easy to fall into that trap. Besides, because I never had any real feelings for him to begin with and because I already know he's an untrustworthy cad, I don't have to be concerned about actually developing emotions for him or getting hurt.

Needless to say, we don't ALWAYS have inappropriate conversations. He messages to say Happy Halloween. He messages to say Happy Thanksgiving. He messages to say Happy Birthday, and Merry Christmas and today, Happy New Year.

Today's hit me especially hard...he thinks of me often enough to remember to send a message marking every occassion, but tonight, at midnight, he will be kissing his wife. And I will be alone.

There's something to be said for those New Year's Eve "dolls"...tonight, it will add a whole new meaning to "this won't hurt a bit..."

A Lack of New Year's Plans and Resolutions

I don't bother with New Year's resolutions. Why would I? I'm perfect in every way, so there is no real reason to attempt to improve on perfection. Besides, since I've lost at least 25 pounds since my divorce, I've knocked off the number one resolution people choose: weight loss. Who needs resolutions when you've got divorce?

Alas, since every year I feel the need to resolve to do at least one thing, if only to be socially acceptable and fit it, I resolve to watch more television. Currently, I watch little to no TV. I resolve to change this, because I figure it would be a way to settle me down and make me less busy and less commited to things. I never follow through with this resolution, though.

New Year's Eve is among my least-favorite "holidays". It is not a holiday. It is a day. That's all. A day. The last time I went out for New Year's Eve was when I was 22. My BFF at the time was a total alcoholic, and she peer-pressured me into drinking, like, seven Quick Carlos shots. I threw up twice and passed out before 1:00 am. I was with my ex-fiance, and we'd been together all of two weeks. It was pretty classy.

Since that occassion, I have avoided going out for New Year's. My ex-husband works every New Year's Eve, so going out with him was never really an option. And since he works tonight, I have AC, who is the perfect excuse for my lack of social interaction this year. And really, there are very few places I would like to go on New Year's. I detest waiting for a table at a restaurant, and don't care to invest two hours of my time waiting for a table at the Olive Garden, when I could go there any other day and get right in. And I sure don't care for going to the bars, because just the thought of being around that many drunk people makes me hyperventilate.

My typical plan for New Year's Eve goes a little something like this: eat mac-and-cheese with AC; give AC a bath; watch Spongebob with AC for quiet time; put AC to bed; draw up a hot bath and throw in a bath bomb from Lush; slip into the bathtub with my copy of 'Valley of the Dolls'; re-read the New Year's Eve ending of 'Valley of the Dolls', and then, in honor of Anne Welles and 'Valley of the Dolls', take two Ambien. Why not? After all, it's New Year's Eve!

"She brushed her hair and freshened her makeup. She looked fine. She had Lyon, the beautiful apartment, the beautiful child, the nice career of her own, New York--everything she had ever wanted. And from now on, she could never be hurt badly. She could always keep busy during the day, and at night--the lonely ones--there were always the beautiful dolls for company. She'd take two of them tonight. Why not? After all, it was New Year's Eve!"
~Jacqueline Susann, "Valley of the Dolls

Phantom Missing Ring Syndrome

So, yesterday I went to my regular nail salon, because I needed a fill, and I figured since I still have money left from my holiday bonus, I'd get a pedicure, too. Not that anyone sees my toes, mind you, but it was a good way to have a little relaxation in the middle of the work day. It's my version of the "afternoon delight" right now.

One thing I totally hate is being in the presence of really cute girls. I am pretty dang cute myself, but every so often, you encounter one who is so cute that it makes you sit and stew and think about how uncute you are. This is what happened at the nail salon.

As I soaked my feet in the lovely peppermint foot bath, I noted the cute girl. And she was cute: perfect hair, well dressed, extremely tan. And then I realized who she was: it was this girl that used to work at the tanning salon I used, like, 12 years ago. She was really skanky back then, and at the time, we were so young that we were going to "dry night" at the local bars, and she was known for stripping down to her bra. It took me a long time of discreetly observing her to decide that yes, this was indeed Pammy. The Pammy I knew was totally classless. This cute girl had a lot of class. But when she opened her mouth, it was the squeaky little Pammy voice, so I knew it was her.

Pammy and I were scheduled to be married on the same day--the first time I almost got married. I didn't get married that day. She did. She ended up divorced within two years--maybe even one. She moved back in with her parents. At least I managed to stay married for a whole seven years, and I have my own house. Pammy ended up in the same category as my ex-husband: cellar-dweller in the parental basement.

Because I always notice rings on both men and women, I noticed that Pammy was not wearing an engagement ring or a wedding ring, so I would assume that she learned her lesson the first time around and has not re-married. She did, however, have a fabulous ring on her middle finger, and now I am coveting it.

Even before I was divorced, I stopped wearing my wedding ring. My ex-husband did not know this, because I'd wear it out of the house, and as soon as I could, I'd slip it off and store it in my Coach pill case. But suddenly, looking at Pammy's ring, my own left hand felt really empty, and I can't shake that feeling. Usually my bling-y watch takes care of that, but now I can't get over the feeling of the missing ring--the Phantom Missing Ring Syndrome. My left hand feels so empty, even though this is what I wanted more than anything.

While I claim that I will never marry again, this is a blatant lie. I do hope to marry again someday, and sometimes even spend time daydreaming about my beach wedding and my wedding ring. My next wedding ring, I have decided, will be a cushion-cut diamond of 2.5 carats--minimum--and have two pave accents surrounding it: one in amethyst for AC's birth month, and the second in diamond. The wedding bands will be two--one for the top and one for the bottom of my 2.5 carat ring--and will be pave amethyst to match the pave amethyst row on my engagement ring. I hope my next husband has a lot of money, because I plan for this to be one hell of a custom ring. That's the only thing that is missing from my future wedding plans: the groom.

Alas, with no grooms lined up, I think I might need to do something about my Phantom Missing Ring Syndrome and shop for a nice middle-finger band, like Pammy's. I'm thinking tomorrow will be the perfect day to shop for this. New Year, new ring.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: A Recap

Since my last post, I have regained my positivity and my sarcasm and my charm. I do not know why. I had yesterday off work, and my toddler rode my ass like I was a racing greyhound. AC refused to take a nap, so I missed some valuable sleeping time. My friend J was having a boy crisis and insisted she come over, which then forced me to clean my house in a hurry. When I told her my house wasn't clean, she said, "Don't worry about it. I'm used to seeing your sh!t everywhere." This may not have been meant as a compliment.

Nevertheless, in my bout of positivity, I decided it'd be a good idea to recap the major negative events of my 2009, and fill them in with the good stuff they actually brought. So here goes:

*I divorced my husband.
--> To normal people, divorce is a major, life-changing decision that leads to depression and sadness and other maladies. For me, it was the best thing I've ever done, and a long time coming. I could pretend that I'm feeling some pain, but nope. My Give-a-Damn's busted on that one. I feel nothing but happiness and gratefulness and relief over my divorce. Best. Decision. Ever. I had zero feelings left for my ex-husband by the time we divorced: no anger, no love, no affection, no nothing. It always reminds me of my favorite book of all time, 'Valley of the Dolls'. Anne Welles had everything she ever wanted--the husband, the child, the career, the NYC penthouse--but yet her husband was a cheater, and she knew it. And each time he'd cheat, she'd be hurt a little less, but she'd feel a little less love for him...until in time, there was nothing: no love and no hurt. My marriage was a little bit like that. Only minus the cheating part.

*Thanks to my divorce, I have my daughter, AC, only 50 percent of the time.
--> At first, this was a tough pill to swallow. Then I realized that this just might be the best thing ever: I can go out for Tequila Thursdays with my friends. I can sleep all by myself in my big, beautiful bed. I can sleep for as long as I'd like, uninterrupted. I can watch whatever I want on TV, and I don't have to watch Dora the Explorer. I can read magazines without the tiny tot grabbing it out of my hands and screaming, "No! ME!!!" All my friends who are a few steps ahead of me in the divorce process assured me that I would appreciate my time. They were damn right.

*I almost died twice due to various medical issues.
--> For those who don't know, I have an enormous pain tolerance. You'd never know it by looking at me, but I could rival a Marine. I also have little sympathy for those in pain, because I think they should suck it up and deal. I'd make the worst nurse in the entire world. I'd be better off pursuing a career as a dominatrix. However, over the course of the year, I had two events where I could've died, at least according to me. With the first, I postponed a visit to the ER until I had quite near hemorrhaged to death. The registrars stared at me in disgust, shocked at the fact that I had driven myself to the ER and that I was there alone. I got priority treatment. It rocked. The second time was the infamous ambulance ride for my extreme tachycardia--the highest heart rate the fire department guys had ever seen! The one that almost caused them to stop my heart and re-start it! I would've truly been legally dead--but only for about five seconds, according to the paramedic, who told me he was bummed that my heart regulated on its own, because he's never been able to administer that heart-stopping med, and I would've been his first. Thanks, buddy. From both of these near-death experiences, I have determined that the ER is like a five-star resort for single mothers. It's pretty terrific to spend time in the ER. They bring you heated blankets and prop you up with pillows. They bring in enormous syringes of federally controlled substances to treat your pain, and shoot you up so high that they need to put the bed rails up so you don't fall out of the bed in your drugged stupor. You can watch whatever you want on TV. You can eavesdrop on other rooms, to decide if your condition is better or worse than the person next to you. Doctors and nurses and your family show sympathy and concern. I can think of very few places where I can relax in such a peaceful environment.

*I can date again.
--> Okay...not so much progress on this one. I've had one date. And it was highly unsuccessful. But it's that hope that I'll stumble upon a good one that keeps me going. But this isn't Hollywood, this is a small town, so we'll see...

*I have effectively eliminated the need for eating and sleeping, thanks to stress.
--> Since my success in eliminating these two seemingly basic needs, I have lost a minimum of 25 pounds. The way I see it, stress like this is equivilent to doing meth. Both eliminate eating and sleeping, so you lose weight. I just got to stay pretty with the stress, unlike what would happen if I did the meth. Right now, I can literally take my pants off without even bothering with buttons and zippers. This could come in handy at some point. See above: dating. Alas, this also came with a negative benefit: the DDs are sneaking away on me. No fair. I am seeing the need to invest in some new lingerie for 2010. Again, see above: dating.

*I feel as though my work load has increased exponentially, and my productivity has decreased exponentially.
--> I got a rockin' year-end bonus. And I still have a job. That always helps.

*I finally joined the 21st Century and now have an iPhone. This has resulted in me downloading $600+ in iTunes.
--> Well...I needed the iPhone for, you know, texting and phone calls from prospective dates. It wasn't a want, it was a need. Besides, it was really gratifying to learn to use iTunes all by myself.

*I wasted an enormous amount of money to see Britney's Circus tour.
--> C'mon! It's Britney, b!tch! Plus, I stayed in the same hotel as Brit, which was extraordinarily fabulous. The shower was amazing. As soon as I hit it big, I am so getting a replica of that shower, with dual shower heads. Oh, and the headboard was etched glass, that lights up. Fabulous. And I drained the mini-bar, of virtually everything, except for the overpriced sex toy kits, because I'll be goddamned if I'm gonna pay $27 for a mini-vibe that you can get at the sex toy store for under $10. I did not appreciate that bill, but it sure was fun. I can't wait until I find myself a boyfriend, because a weekend at the Graves 601 is definitely in order. It'd be a total bonus if Britney was also in town, since the Target Center is right across the street, but that would be highly unlikely, so I should consider other fantasies for my next stay at the Graves 601.

*I drank so many tequila shots that I had to throw up at the bar. At 9:00 pm.
--> Pfft...this happens to everyone, whether they are 21 or 31. I didn't get it out of my system at 21. I did get it out of my system at 31. Literally.

*After a bout of depression caused by a med change, I self-diagnosed myself as bipolar.
--> Yeah, I might have to opt with my medical provider's opinion on this one: not true. But it was a good excuse for a while, plus it was a way to bond with Britney. I never got to the head-shaving part, but I did think the neon pink bobbed wig was pretty sweet. I thought that'd be the best Halloween costume ever: Brit's 'Womanizer' cop costume, only with the neon pink wig instead of the blonde hair. But, alas, I guess I will have to side with my mom on this one: "It's not YOU who is crazy. It's your MARRIAGE that makes you crazy." Touche, because once my marriage ended, so did my craziness.

*I planned a hell-raising bout as a really, really bad girl. I fully intended to have one-night stands, drink a lot, smoke cigarettes, maybe smoke some greenery, date a plethora of boys, go to sleep way past my bedtime...
--> I was a total failure. A complete, full-on epic fail. Of this list of things I planned to do, I succeeded only in drinking a lot, and that resulted in the tequila-vomiting episode mentioned above. I smoked a cigarette, in the midst of a five-week bout of bronchitis, and looked like an ass when I coughed and coughed. I decided that I've never had a one-nighter, and don't plan to, since the idea of getting it on with someone I am actually dating freaks me out right now. Smoking the greenery? Forget it. Too much work. Dating lots of boys? I can't even find one. As it would turn out, I will forever be the good little girl next door. And I guess that's probably okay.

I'm sure I made many, many more negative or questionable decisions throughout the course of 2009, and I am sure I'll do the same in 2010. But at least I can laugh about it, right?

Monday, December 28, 2009

75 Hours...and counting...

I hate seeing myself as a negative, chronically pessimistic person. I like to think I am not. Sure, I am a bit cynical and sarcastic, but overall, I like to think of myself as positive. Or at least able to fake positive to the outside world.

I am not, however, feeling so positive or happy right now. Not at all. Maybe it's the holidays. Holidays can be no fun when you are alone, because it leaves you feeling so...alone. And the Christmas holidays just may go down in the history books my worst, and I don't expect New Year's to be much better. See? Cynacism. Or is it simply realism?

Right now, I am feeling pretty damn sorry for myself. Like, all-out, unproductive, lay-in-bed-with-the-dog-and-cry sorry for myself. My house still has that FMH look I first debuted a few posts back. It takes me an eternity to finish even a small task, because I will find a way to divert my attention to my own patheticness instead.

I realize that there are people out there who have it way, way worse than I do. I know this. There are people who are jobless and homeless. There are people grieving the loss of a loved one. There are people dealing with terminal illnesses. There are people eating Kraft Mac-n-Cheese not by choice, like me, but because they truly cannot afford anything else.

Alas, I still feel sorry for myself. I could make a list of all the things that make me feel sorry for myself, but then I'd have it in writing, and one day in the future, when I am out from under this giant cloud of self-pity, it will surface, and I will have no choice but to mock myself over my "problems". Worse, someone else would find it and make fun of me. There are few things worse than that: being made fun of. I'd rather be dishing it out than taking it in.

So, to cope with my incapacitating sadness, I am allowing myself 75 hours of sorrow. 75 hours. I chose this, because as of right now, there are 75 hours left in the year 2009. Once 2010 hits, the sadness and patheticness have got to go.

So, here I go...75 hours to get out all of my tears and sadness and anger...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

2009: A Year of Cruel and Unusual Facebook Status Updates

For those of you who know my Facebook persona, you know that I like to update my status. No, I don't just like to update my status--I LOVE to update my status. Like, crazy-mad-beautiful status updating.

Thanks to a tip from another blog I read,, I learned that FB has an application that allows you to pull up your status update history for the past year. Unfortunately, because FB reports that I have had 791 status updates over the past year, it would be cruel and unusual to publish them all. However, I offer some highlights:

December 2008/January 2009:

* is having a 2 tranquilizer sorta day, and it's only 10:30 am. Or to be more politically correct, a "2 anti-anxiety pill" sorta day.
* once had a friend tell her that if her dog was human, he'd be a serial killer since he was raised to believe he could do no wrong. She fears this for her kid.
* is ashamed that her dog did not turn out like his namesakes, JFK and RFK. Instead, he's the nasty Kennedy cousin: bad, rude, self-entitled, lazy, spoiled...
* response when asked if she's planning to have more children? "Not on purpose!", followed by sarcastic shrieks of laughter.
* kid is now obsessed with Beauty and the Beast, and runs around the house yelling, "Booty!" Her daddy does the same, though hoping for different end result.
* feels that Yo Gabba Gabba is tailored for toddlers and stoners, but is best described as "giant dancing BOBs". A BOB, you ask? Battery Operated Boyfriend.
* feels that the cure to her lethargy and unproductively would be a short-term meth binge, which would allow her to super-clean, super-work and super-mom.
* was amused to read a theory that JFK's rampant affairs were due to his feeling that f*cking someone else's wife was the sincerest form of flattery. Touche.
* is filled with fizziness for both Obama and champagne, which led to her champagne supernova all before noon.
* would have postponed this getting married-having babies thing had she known that someday, there'd be the opportunity to date Bret Michaels on national TV.
* vows every Sunday that she will stop being cynical, mean and gossipy. And then she gets to work on Monday, and that whole resolution just goes down the drain.

February 2009:

* is always grateful that she had a little girl, for if she'd had a boy, she'd inevitably raise him to be a drag queen. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
* is somewhat ashamed that in her parenting class last night, she could not help but snicker immaturely at the term, "refuel your love tank."
* wishes that it was not illegal to sell unused prescription drugs on the black market, as she could use some extra funds right now.
* is secretly hoping the schools AREN'T closed tomorrow, because she does know if she can take another iced-in day with her two kids: her toddler & her husband.
* is sometimes bummed that she isn't and never will be The Hot Girl, but then remembers that of all the words used to describe Jackie O, 'sexy' was never one.
* is guessing that she'll get exactly what she asked for for Valentine's Day: nothing.
* shares the dream of many middle-class children across America: she hopes to one day have her own bedroom.
* looks like a model, except she's got a little more ass.
* read a study that said the more liberal a person is, the less neat she tends to be. Looking at her house, it would be evident that she is very, very liberal.
* just found the perfect lunchtime spot for picking up men: the McDonald's by the air base and Cirrus. How did this not dawn on her sooner?
* would like a Get-Out-of-Hell-Free card.
* thinks that finding a good man is like finding a good job in this economy: all the good ones are taken, and the leftovers are too much work for too little pay.

March 2009:

* thought it was hilarious when the toilet at work had to be serviced for "Thomas the Tank Engine in toilet". It was not so funny when it happened at her own house.
* had an astonishing realization: her mental health is much like her hair color. It's been so modified and medicated, she is not sure of its natural state.
* had a boyfriend in the 1st grade who gave her a love letter with the following proclamation: "You will be my first wife." She wonders if the offer still stands.
* wonders if any of her fb friends have lived through a separation/divorce, and how'd you do it? Any attorney recommendations? Any wine recommendations?
* just endured a human resources meeting that included the words 'f*ck' and 'bullsh!t', in addition to her own slip o' the tongue with the word 'pecker'.
* has a backache, but not like the kind her husband has, which once caused him to declare that he was "in more pain than any human being has ever been in before." J would like to point out that he has never endured child birth.

April 2009:

* is exhausted from the weekend, due in part to the fact that she tends to confuse "passing out" and "sleeping". It would seem that they are not one and the same.
* is stressed, and to deal with her stress, she decided it would be good to take three Klonopin. Unfortunately, her latest stress is that she now feels wasted at work--never a good feeling, unless it's an after-effect from a particularly good night before.
* in an effort to take off a few pounds quickly, is wearing two pairs of Spanx today. She is trying this, as she has an appointment with her gorgeous OBGYN tomorrow, and she'd like to look extra hot...but then she remembered that all the Spanx in the world ain't gonna help when she has to undress.

May 2009:

* wonders why--at the age of 31--she still gets nervous and giggly when she has to place a business call to the hot insurance guy--she feels like she's in junior high again, though this would be "Junior High: Cougar Style".
* daughter started daycare for the first time ever today, at a daycare called the Think-n-Play. However, when her husband initially did a Google search on the Think-n-Play, he mistakenly typed "Thonk-n-Play"...a search that returned Adult Friend Finder, and makes J wonder what she is missing out on, since she has never "thonked".
* was amused by the young Baptist boy who kept trying to flirt with her while on a group tour at her museum today. She wondered what this 16-year-old boy would see in her, but then looked at his companions and realized that compared to the girls he was with, she looked like one hot MILF.
* had a low-grade fever yesterday, so she called in sick to work under the excuse of "not wanting to expose her coworkers to a potential case of the bird flu." Uh...bird flu? Fail. Major fail. Her excuse now is that the low-grade fever caused her to space out the fact that she actually has the SWINE FLU.
* grant me the serenity to accept those I cannot change, regardless of how hard I've tried; the courage to get through this once-a-year beast of a day without snickering or making inappropriate comments or gestures; and the wisdom to know the difference between sexual harrassment and simple jokes.

June 2009:

* daughter, when offered white milk, demanded chocolate instead. When her Grammie said no, her daughter proceeded to grab the cup, throw it against the wall and scream, "F-ck it!" J thinks it's time for some anger management classes for all members of her family.
* wants to be the sort of girl who always sees the glass as being half-full, and she does...except that glass is half-full of crap.
* is off to fetch supplies for a last-minute Father's Day BBQ, and since she's going to Walmart, she decided to skip showering, washing her hair and applying makeup, with the hope that she might fit in and go unnoticed for once.
* is glad for her tranquilizer prescription on days like today, in which a simple pill offers new meaning to the term, "This won't hurt a bit."

July 2009:

* is heartbroken that both of her childhood crushes--John Ritter and Michael Jackson--are dead. By way of statistics, this does not bode well for her long-lost first-grade boyfriend.
* knew that she reached a new level of nonchalance in parenting when, while waiting in line at Wal-Mart, her toddler looked at her and screeched, "You got boobies, Mommy?!?" Instead of freaking out and looking to see if anyone heard, J just nodded and agreed.
* was singing to her daughter, when her daughter screeched, "Nooo, Mama! Stop it!" She paused in her rendition of Baa-Baa Black Sheep to ask her daughter if she liked it when OTHER people sang to her. Without a beat, her daughter answered, "Yes!" J guesses this means her pursuit of the American Idol title is off.
* feels that rearing a toddler is like running a marathon that you are woefully unprepared and untrained for: the twists, turns and uphill sprints keep you guessing and winded; and the brief water stops leave you exhausted and begging for mercy. She wonders when the finish line will appear.
* learned tonight that Emergency Room x (morphine + IV drip) - pain = a happy, drowsy and slightly stoned girl.

August 2009:

* cringed when she saw the highway patrol while driving to work this morning, knowing that she was going roughly 15 miles over the speed limit. But no worries, as she figured she'd rely on her lip gloss and cleavage, attributes that have gotten her INTO and OUT OF the majority of problems she's run into throughout her life.
* finds that very little cannot be cured with a hot shower, Kraft Mac-n-Cheese and a Klonopin. Or two.
* will be taking on a daunting task this evening: she plans to take her 2-year-old to her first movie. She expects this will not go well, and suspects that by the end of the evening, she will have earned herself a place in either the Carlton County jail or the mental health padded-down lockup cell.
* was helping her daughter get dressed this morning when she looked at her and said, "You got boobies, Mama? Big boobies!" Yes, honey...Mama does have big boobies. DDs to be precise.
* is off to uncork a big bottle of whine.
* just bumped into an old acquaintance, who left his wife for a woman 9 years his junior who was pregnant with another man's kid and had yet another kid. So, together, they are blissfully raising her two children AND his two children...and the guy's completely manic and ecstatic with life. J questioned if he was taking meth, but he reported that no, he was just that happy. Huh. Whatever he's got, she wants some.
* knew that her daughter's obsession with boobies had gone too far when she asked her daughter what she wanted for dinner, and her daughter replied, "Dinner and boobies!" Now, she understands this is probably the desire of a lot of men out there, but does it also need to be the desire of her two-year-old?
* daughter was playing with her Dora doll in the bathtub, and looked up and said, "Look, Mommy! She's taking a sh!t!" there no end to this child's potty mouth? Sadly, her excuse is a whispered, "Daddy says that...", so it looks like it might be Daddy who needs a good scolding.
* spent an enjoyable day at the Public Urinal Bath--AKA, the community pool--where she scored a new boyfriend. She doesn't know what lured this hot 7-year-old in--perhaps it was her smokin' hot legs that haven't seen the sun since the Bush administration, or her barely covered DDs. All she knows is that it was a total bonus to be waited on by someone willing to go to the deep end to get her kid's wayward toys.
* in an angry rage, screamed at her husband that she wanted a separation. His response? "Well...maybe we could just have sex like, you know, people who don't know each other or whatever."
* is craving some excitement, so she considered adding former flings and exes to her fb friend list. But then she remember that there were so few of them and that she was either engaged and/or married to such a high percentage of them that at this point, any efforts to pursue a flirtation would be pointless. Sigh...such is the life of a good girl.
* is disgusted that even though her daughter just announced that "Mommy has big boobies", J's appearance in her shirt today does not seem to confirm that. She's gonna have to resort to spritzing on some Love's Baby Soft and using Kleenex to bump these DDs up to DDDs, just like the good old junior high days.
* life is purely a work of fiction, and any resemblance to actual people--living or dead--places or events is merely coincidental. Unless, of course, you are a person, place or event that has made it onto her notoriously naughty list. In that case, expect a scathing rehash of every detail of your mistake committed against her through her meticulously nonfictional life.
* is trippin' on Ambien, and strongly suggests that should you receive any messages from her, you delete them without reading or questioning why. It's not that the information contained in the message is untrue; it's that the information contained in the message IS true, but she doesn't want you to know it. Ambien = truth serum. And all the more reason to get off Facebook and into bed.
* is hosting her very own Whine Tasting...there's My House Looks Like it was Hit by a Tornado and I'd be Better Off if It Was Merlot; My Husband Bitches at Me for Things That Are Mostly Out of My Control chardonnay; I Will Never Catch Up at Work and I Will Get Fired Cabernet; and her personal fave, My Strong-Willed Toddler Caused the Tornado and is Now Beating Me with a Plastic Hammer from the Fair pinot. Wanna join?
* is bored senseless with the mundane pace of her life yesterday, so after a charming conversation with a very dear friend yesterday, she has decided that perhaps the answer is to become a phone sex operator. Work from home...$1 a minute...and as an aspiring writer, she is perhaps capable of saying just about anything to just about anyone. Sigh...why is it that she's consumed with the insatiable urge to cause trouble?
* just heard her boss utter the following phrase: "If you have boobs, don't even come anywhere near me." Umm...she doesn't know if she should laugh or cry. Or laugh until she cries.
* 's boobie-avoiding boss offered to pay for a fireworks show at her next wedding. Ha ha ha. As if there'd be a next wedding, though with a fireworks show, the entertainment value alone might be worth it. A next-day annulment is always an option, though as this point, she's pretty certain that she won't have to worry about this, as she's going to be alone for the rest of her life.
* isn't used to what she's feeling...what could this be? Failure? She doesn't know, because it has happened so few times in her life, but her current situation indicates an EPIC FAIL.

September 2009:

* got a scathing reprimand over her weekend activities, or rather, her failure to perform her weekend activities. She would rehash the mistakes made for everyone's amusement of her epic failures, but since she was already reprimanded once, perhaps it best that she just keeps her mouth shut from now on, much to her dismay, as she's really not a keep-your-mouth-shut kinda girl.
* was scorned again today over a FB status update, so she has had no choice but to create of Naughty List of people she has deemed unworthy of her brilliant and creative updates. If you can read this, she feels you are worthy. Congratulations on earning such an honor. "...But sometimes, man, it just seems, everybody wants to discuss this must mean I'm disgusting...but it's just me--I'm just obscene!"
* much to her dismay, is again blaming her pillows for her lack of sleep last night. How many pillows does a girl need to go through to find a good one? It's like trying to find a good man...after about three months, it starts to show its true colors and ends up being a pain in the neck, so you have no choice but to kick it to the curb and start shopping around for a new one.
* baked brownies, and washed multiple loads of laundry. She changed the linens on three beds, and ironed a week's worth of clothes. She tried to tame a toddler who is virtually untameable. She loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, and even sorted the good crayons from the bad. Meanwhile, she caught her husband...watching The Jonas Brothers. His defense? "The chick on there is really hot."
* thinks that, once in a while, she'd like to be something other than tired. It's funny...when she was growing up, she doesn't ever once remember thinking, "When I grow up, I want to be tired all the time!", but somehow it's become almost a career for her.
* would like you to know that according to her FB quiz results, Jesus thinks she's a selfish bitch, and all she does is "shop, eat and complain". Alarmingly, J is not at all unsettled by this, either by the disapproval of her lifestyle according to Jesus, or over the scorn for her favorite hobbies.
* 's concentration at her board meeting was broken first by her boss calling a volunteer a "horn freak", and second by the arrival of the only sexy man who has ever served on this board. She meticulously catalogs who wears rings and who does not, and for the past two meetings, he has not. So she wonders...separated/divorced/it's complicated, or likes-to-work-with-his-hands-and-doesn't-want-to-ruin-it?
* wonders, have you ever had a friend who is so obnoxious, you hope to never encounter that person in public? It happened to her today, at Target. Much to J's horror, the unnamed friend pointed at a group of three USAF boys in fatigues and yelled, "Look, J! It's a 4-some potential!" They were barely legal. They heard. J bumped into them nearly every aisle. Not good.
* does not play games she cannot win, especially when she was the one who initiated the game. Forget that.
* really wants to be like Foofa, who's pink and happy. She wants to be like Daisy, who simply says, "Lavender lollipops!" when things don't go her way. She wants to be like Patrick, who is too oblivious to really understand his own--and Bikini Bottom's--frustrations. Instead, she is more like Gargamel, who shrieks, "Asreal! You stupid idiot!" at his cat when angry.
* 's daughter got a hold of their dog's Christmas leash, and was running around the house with it. AC's Daddy told her that she was "not big enough to play with leashes yet". It made J wonder: what age WOULD be considered big enough to play with things such as leashes, whips, handcuffs or chains?
* bought Cover Girl's Outlast Lipstain, and wants you to know that it does live up to its advertised potential. She applied it last night before bed--what? It was NEW and she just got home and had to try it!--and after two showers, she can still see some vague color, as though she's been drinking Kool-Aid all day. In the event that she ever decides to take up one-night stands as a hobby, this product would be a must.
* is celebrating her seven-year wedding anniversary with her "estranged husband" today. She researched marriage statistics, and found the average marriage headed for divorces lasts 7.2 years, but the risk of divorce at 7 years is only 1 in 6. Hmmm...might have to get a move on this.
* really needs to invest $2 for a box of Kleenex for her office, to avoid the awkwardness that ensues when she needs to stumble out of her office to look for communal Kleenex while also covered in the tear stains and mascara that leaves her looking like a sleep-deprived raccoon.

October 2009:

* got to see her beloved OBGYN today, and she's not 100 percent sure--but she's about 99.5 percent sure--that he gave her a quick wedding ring check...just to see if one is present or not. J just KNEW that he was in love with her, too, and now she has proof. Either that, or there's that half-percent chance that he was actually checking out her poor choice of nail color, which J is afraid matches a porn star's.
* is thinking D-I-V-O-R-C-E. For real this time.
* is starting the first day of her new life, and it's taking all her strength not to have a Britney-like moment...not the head shaving moment, but the moment that she locked herself in the bathroom with her son because she didn't want to give him up. That kinda moment.
* is thinkin' that the single life ain't at all what the 'Sex and the City' girls hyped it up to be.
* is single for the first time since December 1, 1999. Luckily, her 50-something nerdy train-queer co-worker took the time to tell her, "J, I just want you to know that K found me. Even though you have a young child just like she did, you are still attractive, and there are men just like me out there who will want you." Umm...thanks, buddy.
* had the misfortune of her car dying on the freeway, despite the previous visits to the dealer where the mechanics ogled her Pussycat Dolls CD instead of doing their job. The bad news: J didn't have her cell phone. She had to use the highway patrol's phone. When she say the picture of the little girl on the screen, she considered saying, "Cute kid. You still married to the baby mama?", but figured it'd be a tad inappropriate.
* used to appreciate having the bed all to herself. Now she's not so sure that's a good thing. But she's trying to keep her chin up, because hopefully, someone, someplace, will ask her on a date someday, and maybe she will once again get to be aggravated at sharing her bed.
* encountered her unrequited crush today at work, unexpectedly. Had she known that she would be facing such an encounter--especially since she's now a single girl--she would've freshened up by applying new lip gloss, doing a better job at hiding the oh-so-pathetic circles under her eyes and shedding about 25 pounds.
* is watching 'Bob the Builder' with her daughter, and Bob just attended a dance where his crush told him how terrific he looked. First, should Bob the Builder even HAVE a crush--it's children's show! Second, if Bob the Builder can score dates, J's pretty sure she can, too.
* has decided it's time to put on her big-girl panties and deal...even if they are gigantic, white cotton briefs designated to keep her from getting too carried away with her new single life.
* is soliciting qualified candidates for her first rebound relationship. Qualities should include: 1) Fits her type of "tall, dark and stupid", a type that a friend once not-so-discreetly pointed out that she prefers; 2) Lacks traditional moral standards, as J is not exactly legally divorced; 3) Has his own home, or at least his own bedroom; and 5) Possesses the funds to meet her entertainment needs.
* has decided to leave her wedding pictures on her fb photo albums, because let's face it: she looks good. However, to deal with the fact that she is no longer married to the groom, she has decided that she will Photoshop the faces of her various crushes instead. Jeremy Piven one day, Josh Duhamel the next...
* is praying for the serenity to accept the man she cannot change, no matter hard how she tried; the courage to control her temper so that she does not kill the aforementioned man; and the wisdom to know that her life will move on and be good. Even if it doesn't seem like it now, and even if the aforementioned man tells her, "The only boyfriend you will ever find is the hard, plastic type that comes from Sex World."
* needs to shop for a first-date outfit that makes her look as skinny as possible. By tomorrow. Sigh...she thought that she was done with all these worries ten years ago.
* is not morally bankrupt. No, not all of her morals and standards have been depleted. It's more like...a moral recession.
* because she isn't having a rough enough day already, just got dumped VIA TEXT MESSAGE. The message: "Thought about it and you are just not my type. Sorry." Wow. Being a single, vulnerable girl is hard, and she is hating on herself for being so upset over some stupid a**hole of a guy with an ignorant Texas accent who gives too much sloppy tongue when he kisses.
* can't believe that she shed a single tear over her idiotic "date" who dumped her via text...he used the word "motherf*cker" in every sentence. He has multiple ex-wives and kids named Dallas Jr and Fancy. He chose to wash his truck instead of take a shower before their date. She saw an actual live mouse at his place. J believes she was born and bred to be a Kennedy, and she got sad over losing THIS treasure?
* "...shoulda, coulda, woulda..." my ass. Can't we just do it now?
* thinks that unrequited lust is like a burning match: you can't help but light that match because the temptation is too strong, but then as that fire in your hand burns hotter and hotter, you get scared and drop it. But can't stop yourself from going right back to it, because that fear makes it both scary and fun, an irresistible combination for pleasure.
* would like to point out that dating other men while separated from your husband is a bit like smoking pot and not inhaling: the devious intent is there, but since the act was not carried out to completion, it does not count. It is not, as her boss suggested, cheating, though J got a laugh out of his complaint of a railroad partner "cheating" on them: "Oh wait...that's something you know a lot about these days."
* brought her daughter to ECFE class last night, and during open play, her daughter discovered the plastic food section. J was dismayed when her daughter selected a plastic weiner, and started trying to shove it into J's mouth, insisting that she take a bite. For J, it brought back bad memories of so many first dates gone awry when they turned into that same scenario, minus the plastic part.
* after doing the walk of shame via her fingers to check for drunk texts sent from her phone or fb last night, checked the Txts Frm Lst Nght site--her FAVORITE site ever, hands down. It's her daily routine, because it makes her laugh and because she is certain that inevitably, one of her own texts or fb statuses will be featured sooner or later.

November 2009:

* is snug as a bug in a rug in her bed right now, torn between doing the right thing and getting up to get ready, or the wrong thing, and cuddle deeper in bed and doze back off. It's moments like this that she both loves and hates having the bed all to herself.
* is starting to think that she may need to curtail her status updates, as the ads on the side are now displaying lesbian dating events. She's had ads for David Sedaris; she knows this makes sense, since her profile clearly states her adoration for David. However, she does not recall clearly stating her adoration for being a lesbian, because she is not one.
* was driving her daughter home from daycare today, when AC pointed at the local Gospel Tabernacle and screamed, "That place is for CHEATERS!" J's heart froze for a moment, so she asked her daughter to clarify. Turns out, he daughter actually believes the Tab is for TEACHERS. J is not sure why, but perhaps this conversation was has to teach her a lesson.
* would like to share her latest experiences with boys: the first one dumped her via text message. The second wanted to "look but not touch". The third, and possibly most alarming, tried to talk her into having a threesome with one of her good friends. J's pretty sure that successful dating is not in her future at this point, if ever.
* looks socially unacceptable thanks to this crazy itching that has developed on her hands and arms, causing her to scratch herself until she is bright red and blotchy. Since J has never had allergies, her coworker suggested that perhaps God is punishing her for having impure thoughts about other peoples' husbands and military boys met on the Internet
* is reminiscing on the eight-year anniversary of the day that she scored her second diamond engagement ring and second fiance within a 16-month timeframe. Obviously, she was unsuccessful in both ventures, but has come to the conclusion over the years that if she really wants to collect diamond rings, she can buy them herself.
* was alarmed by how much she enjoyed the scent of her freshly-washed laundry while folding it. Typically, fresh laundry is one of her favorite scents; however, she usually only takes this much interest in it when it is attached to the activity of snuggling with a boy. Since it was not, she is now concerned that her inner domestic goddess gene might be attempting to emerge.
* has been told that she seems "different" since her separation from her husband. Today, she asked her coworker if he has noticed that she is "different". He took a moment to think, and then responded with, "Well...I guess you seem sluttier." J will admit to laughing at this blatant display of sexual harrassment in the workplace.
* thinks what she does is innocent...just for fun and nothing meant...Could someone please inform her ex-husband of this, as he hacked her blog and now thinks J is the devil's spawn?
* ♪♫ "...So let me go, just let me fly away...Let me feel the space between us growing deeper and much darker every day...Watch me now, and I'll be someone new...My heart will be unbroken, it will open up for everyone but you...Even when I cross the line, it's like a lie I've told a thousand times...I'll get it all figured out, when I'm out from under..." ♪♫
* ..."been so many things when I was someone else...boxer in the ring, trying to defend myself...and the private eye to see what's goin' on..."
* is thankful that she was finally strong enough to make a decision and stick with it, even though right now she feels as though she's in purgatory: too soon to know what's up ahead, but too late to change her mind.
* is thankful for the spare time she has on her hands tonight, which will allow her to focus some energy on packing up some more of her ex-husband's stuff and getting it the heck out of her house.
* is thankful that she spent the majority of her child-free time this week in bed, as she's now well-rested and recovering from her disgusting cough. She would, however, be even MORE thankful had she spent the last three days in bed next to someone, but perhaps she will put that on her wish list for next year.
* has decided that having the bed all to herself is by far the greatest advantage of being single, and she wonders how she ever even survived the past eight years, between sharing a bed and the husband himself. She may never date again, for fear that her date might get the impression that he can infringe on her bed territory.
* is having SO much fun with her new hobby: de-husbanding her house. It is so empowering to pack up his trash, and even more empowering to "split" their daughter's posessions, as J is in a position of power in deciding what goes to Daddy's house. Guitar? Check. Xylophone? Check. Yo Gabba Gabba Brobee microphone? Check. Drums? Talking Elmo? Check. Barney DVD? Check.

December 2009:

* is starting to feel like her life is a video game: she makes it through one hurdle to advance up a level, only to immediately find her next fight. She is hoping she can make it through all the levels to come out on top, though she sure does wish that she could find one of those guides that forewarn you of what to expect from your enemies so you can be prepared with a game plan ahead of time.
* is still in her bed, nice and snug and happy (albeit alone), and cannot muster the ambition to get up. She has decided that she just may stay in here forever, or at least until her planned 5:30 Tequila Thursday with H and A. Whichever comes first.
* is amused over a dear friend's message, telling J that she saw a story on sexting and automatically thought of J. J is really not sure if this is a compliment, but she is slightly embarrassed to admit that she does have proven skills in this area. Skills so good, in fact, that her sexting brings all the boys to the yard...damn right, it's better than yours...she could teach you, but she'd have to charge...
* is having a pathetic moment, because she received a group email message about the 2010 Duluth Air Show, and she teared up, knowing that with no husband, she has no guaranteed date for the Air Show next July. Granted, she has been known to go to the Air Show to LOOK FOR prospective husbands, but still...
* never used to dream at night when she was married to her ex-husband. She used to blame it on the fact that she had to be heavily medicated to sleep next to him. Now that he's out and she's sleeping alone again, she is dreaming again. In fact, this morning she woke up all sweaty after a dream about...her iPhone. Okay, okay...not the sexiest of dreams, but a girl's gotta have a starting point, right?
* wonders why Sundays always seem like the loneliest day to her...she is never actually "alone", but still can't shake that deep-down feeling of loneliness. Sigh...since she had perhaps the loneliest marriage ever, she doesn't understand her loneliness now, since it's not like anything has really changed.
* thinks that when it comes to dating, boys find her as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel.
* likes to think that she is the sort of girl who doesn't give up easily, even when she should. For example, it took her six pageants to finally win one time. She is applying the same philosophy to marriage: perhaps it will take her six marriages to finally win one good husband.
* wonders, is "careness" a word? Used in a sentence, "I would like a woman to show her careness for me". Yeah, that's what J thought, too. Not a word. And if that is an example of the candidates on online dating sites, J now has confirmation that she will be alone for a long, long time, because she lacks a certain careness for this quality of man.
* finds her relationship with her ex-husband to be the equivilent of today's weather: frosty, icy and filled with a raging, biting wind that will not quit. On her drive into work, she very narrowly missed slamming into a median. And on Jen's phone call from her husband, she very narrowly missed slamming the phone down. She sees a lot of misery between the comparison of a nasty Minnesota winter and a nasty divorce.
* is glad that you found your happily-ever-after, but can you please be respectful of the fact that she is no where near finding hers, and no Band-Aid in the world seems big or absorbant enough to take on the broken heart and broken trust she is nursing right now. Thanks in advance for your consideration.
* is thinking of that old adage, "God never gives you more than you can handle", and is thinking that she might need to have a little chat with God, because clearly he thinks that she is one tough b!tch who ain't deserving of a single break these days.
* ...sigh...Baby Daddy Drama...If only Baby Daddies came with a warranty replacement program, like electronics. If they did, in hindsight, J hopes that she would've been wise enough to pay for the five-year extended warranty
* was sitting in her office today, pouting over the current state of her affairs (read: non-existent), when suddenly, a thought dawned on her: now that she is single, she has a chance to pursue her fantasy of vying for Bret Michaels on 'Rock of Love'. Finally, the opportunity she has been dreaming about for years!
* thinks that sex with a new person is a bit like putting your iPod on Shuffle mode: you don't know what's coming next, which leads you to have to make the decision on whether you should lay back and enjoy, or click 'next' to move on to the new--and hopefully more rewarding--choice. Not that she knows. Ha ha.
* realized that today would mark the day that she would've been married for seven years, three months. She wishes that she could go back seven years, three months, and re-do that whole mistake, but since she doesn't get a do-over, she is just hoping that seven years, three months, from now, her life will be a whole lot different--in a good way.

It would seem, based on these FB updates, that I tried in vain to become a bad girl--and failed miserably.

While I make no promises, I certainly hope the upcoming year will be able to depict the rise of a new relationship, instead of the fall of an old one...

Random But Deep Four-in-the-Morning Thoughts

Remember my last post--the FMH post--where I elaborated that rather than clean my pigsty of a home, I'd rather read my Sunday papers? It only went downhill from there. At 2:30 in the afternoon, I decided I'd much enjoy a "nap".

I hate Sundays. No matter what I do or who I am with or whether or not I have to work the next day, I hate Sundays. Hate them. No matter the weather, my mood is always cloudy, gray and down.

So, for the second Sunday in a row, I have decided to "nap". And by "nap", I don't mean "I will sleep for a couple of hours and then get up and resume normal life activities". What I mean by "nap" is "I will sleep until Monday morning and then get up and resume normal life activities".

Nap involves wake-ups on a semi-regular basis, as so not to tip others off as to your true activities. So, I make sure I wake up at least once or twice throughout the duration of the "nap" to return phone calls and texts, and again in the later part of the evening to turn off the lights, so the neighbors don't know that I've been asleep all day and all night.

My boss, who has himself been through an unpleasant divorce, calls this "depression". I call it "catching up on my sleep". When I was married with a baby, this 15+ hours of uninterupted sleep would've sounded like it was heaven sent, but believe me: it's not as splendiferous or as rewarding as it sounds.

So, now it is 4:00 am, and I have been awake since roughly 2:30. Sure, I could take an Ambien, but--for once in my life--I just don't feel like it.

I could clean my house or catch up on my reading, but that makes me feel like a vampire. So instead, I am lying on the couch, in the midst of my piles of Christmas cr@p, with my iPod on shuffle, just thinking random thoughts. Among my thoughts on this cold and early morning:

* I hate when people sign correspondence "take care". I don't know why, but "take care" holds a certain finality to me. My boss signs everything with "take care", and it certainly does not mean that he is not interested in talking to or seeing me again. It's just what he does. But it irritates me. And it irritates me that a person I would definitely be interested in talking to and/or seeing again signed an email to me with "take care", and now I haven't heard from him in nearly a week. I know I should give cut some slack for the holidays, but "take care" seems so formal and final, and now my OCD mind runs wild, trying hard to re-create what had yet to be created.

* Why is it that I am barely out of a bad 7-year-marriage, I am so anxious to "find" someone? I insist out loud that I don't care if I find another man ever again because I don't ever want to be treated the way I was when I was with my ex. But the truth was that the whole time I was married, I don't know if I ever stopped looking for a husband in the first place. Sure, there might've been temporary reprieves, when my ex was actually good to me, when I postponed this search, but I think, deep down, I never stopped searching. So...where is he?!? If "he" exists, then where the hell is he? Have I been bad in this current or previous life, and now I will live forever without "The One"?

* Why did I never dream when I was with my ex? Never, ever. The only time I would have a dream was if it was traumatic, the sort that always makes you sit straight up in bed, sweat drenched and terrified. And those dreams almost always centered on a certain fighter pilot who got away (after all these years? Really?!?). I assumed that I didn't dream with my ex thanks to the heavy amount of drugs required to chill me out to sleep, but since I can drug as equally now as I did then, that doesn't seem to be the case.

* Why does my iPod play Britney songs like, every other song when in shuffle? Okay, I probably know this answer: because I have too much Brit downloaded, so it is envitable. Never mind.

* Why was I not born a hot girl? My friend H is the perpetual hot girl. She dances on top of bars and gives lap dances. I do none of these things, no matter how much Patron I have consumed. H lost a ton of weight after her divorce and is even having a tummy-tuck in a few weeks. She brought me a bunch of clothes that don't fit her anymore. I am torn between feeling slightly hurt, because now I know for sure that I need to lose weight, and that makes me feel really unpretty. But at the same time, I cannot help but laugh, because she included some corsets and lingerie that she never wore, because in her words, her husband "never wanted to have sex with her". It makes me laugh to think that she thinks that there are men who want to have sex with me.

* Why do so many books and movies need to feature the leading character losing weight to gain success, especially a man. Is that really a cure-all? If so, then why didn't I have more men when I was skinny and fit? And if I choose not to lose weight now, does it mean I have doomed myself to being alone forever?

* Would it be hopelessly sad to announce to everyone and anyone that the reason for my weight is an endocrine disorder called PCOS? Living with PCOS rarely makes me feel angry or cheated or like life is unfair, because I was one of the unlucky ones who got stuck with messed-up hormones. I just live with it, and that's that. But how lame is it to try and use it as an excuse for my lacking love life?

* Why do I work at a job where I am guilted into not taking vacation time, and I do so with a smile? Later today, I have to go in to do payroll, even though I "take the week between Christmas and New Year's off". I will also go in on Wednesday and Thursday, and this doesn't bother me. Am I a sucker or do I merely like my job? Or do I see it like PCOS and I just live with it?

Now that it is 5:00 am, it seems appropriate to end my 4:00 random thought session, so perhaps I will have a bowl of cereal before resuming my nap.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, December 27, 2009

FMH: F*ck My House

One of the good things about Christmas is that you get lots of gifts and new stuff. One of the bad things about Christmas is that you get lots of gifts and new stuff.

I am currently sitting at home, looking at the outright disaster that my home has become. It is going to take me, at a bare minimum, a good day to repair the damage. That's a whole day that I could be spending on other worthwhile and more rewarding activities, like reading fashion magazines and getting that hot-stone massage I so desperately need for my chronic buttock pain.

Last night, when my desire for a hot bath and a Jacqueline Susann novel overtook my urge to clean, I came up with a brilliant idea. So many of my friends enjoy the FML web site--to those not in the know, that would be F*ck My Life. FML features brief blurbs from people like you and I, who have encountered unpleasant situations in their lives. An example would be: "I just met the hottest girl ever at my family reunion, only to find out she is my cousin. FML"

It dawned on me that I could start my own site, called FMH: F*ck My House. It would be the hottest new site for people like me--those who have been told by their ex-husbands that they are "no homemakers!"--to post photos of their own household disasters, while also having the healing experience of seeing that others might just have it worse.

I will kick off FMH with photos of the aftermath of Christmas at my house:

I'd like to say that I have the ambition to do something about this, but unfortunately, my assortment of Sunday papers is draining what little focus I have today.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, December 24, 2009


Despite my best efforts, AC discovered her Christmas Pig well before Christmas morning.

Since my divorce, she has been sleeping in bed with me. Other than the fact that this has triggered some sciatic nerve pain that hasn't been present since I was pregnant with AC and the fact that I am lucky if I get three hours of sleep when she's with me, I don't really mind all that much.

However, last night, she announced that she wanted to sleep in her own bed. Busted: the Christmas Pig was in its cage--IN her bed. I had no choice but to move it, and since the cage is pretty close in size to that JFK aircraft carrier I want, it was impossible to hide it from AC, even though it was covered in a blanket.

The questions started immediately: what is that? Why? Who brought it here? Why? It has toys? Why? That's its food? Why? That's a caterpillar? Why? Why? Why?

I agreed that it was indeed a caterpillar, and told her I didn't know why it was here.

At that moment, the Christmas Pig darted out from its piggy bed, and I was caught in my own lie. AC screamed, "It's a chipmunk!". I did not disagree.

Because I was so busted and poor Christmas Pig was so scared, thanks in part to my 120 pound golden retriever, whose attention had been captured by the fuss, I took Christmas Pig out for a visit.

AC gushed over her new cutesy "chipmunk", and I asked her what she would name her Christmas Pig. No answer.

Since it was so close to bedtime, I hustled AC off to bed, where she threw a toddler tantrum. Naturally, my phone had to ring at this moment. A few days prior, I'd made the juvenile decision to download the Britney Spears' song '3' as my ringtone. It is inappropriate in every sense, and makes me wonder how, when I was a kid, the song 'Me So Horny' caused such a controversy, and now Britney singing about a threesome with "Twister on the floor" is appropriate.

Anyway, AC easily recognizes Brit's voice, and demanded more songs. With the hope of getting her to sleep, I decided I'd let her watch some Britney videos on my phone.

Now, apparently it slipped my mind that there really is no such thing as a family-friendly Britney video. We landed on 'Gimme More', infamous for my favorite quote in recent history: "It's Britney, b!tch!"

'Gimme More' features little more than Brit pole dancing. I cringed, hoping AC would avoid the question of "What that? Why?"

Luckily, Brit calmed her and she was ready to go to sleep--but not before one last goodnight to "Gimme". Yes, AC has named her guinea pig after a Britney Spears song: Gimme.

I am hoping that well-meaning people will think that she is saying "Guinea", not "Gimme", so I don't have to explain the fact that my two-and-half-year old named her new pet after a pole-grinding, semi-naked, infamous for its poorly performed at the VMAs, "It's Britney, b!tch" song. As the song says, its "got me in a crazy position...but if you're on a mission, you've got my permission..."

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Last week, I had a conversation with a recently-divorced friend, and I told him he'd be fine, since he was a "good catch".

He elaborated further on this: he was a good catch, but his wife of 15 years tossed him back in the sea when she asked for a divorce. Now he is a newbie fish, swimming around in uncharted territory, not knowing what to do, especially when it seems as though you are surrounded by other fish who seem to have it down-pat.

It got me thinking to that old adage, "there's plenty of fish in the sea". Really? Are there really plenty of fish in the sea, or is it like kissing 1,000 frogs to find one prince? That a good catch will take at least 1,000 reels to find the big one? If you do find one, will it be fresh and healthy, or will it have some unrepairable flaw and need to be tossed back out into that proverbial sea?

My own experiences with fishing, as in the activity, have not been positive. I have not been fishing since high school, when I went to cast off and promptly caught myself a person. Yes, a person. Hooked right through the nose.

As for keeping fish for pets, my daughter was in love with the fish she'd see at Wal-Mart, so I relented and purchased a Betta fish. She put Play-Doh in the water, and it was dead within a day. Not having much experience with fish--and especially dead fish--I pretty much hoped that it would just float round in a horizontal position until I could replace it, thus (mis)leading her to think that her fish was still alive. Unfortunately, that was not the case. When I came home from work that night, the fish was bobbing vertically, and it was such a gruesome sight that I had no choice but to flush. A conversation with my daughter ensued when she noticed the disappearance of her fish, and it went a little like this:

AC: "Where my fishy at?"
Mom: "I don't know. Where do YOU think he went?"
AC: "He at school?"
Mom: "Yes, honey. He is at school. The private school of fish that can be found only by a flush down the toilet."

Her dead fishy was quickly replaced, and shortly after that, she lost interest.

The job of maintaining these "catches" of hers now falls to me, and I rarely remember. Maybe every few days, I think, oh cr@p! I haven't fed those fish in days! Truthfully, when I go to check on them, I secretly hope they are dead, and that I will no longer have to deal with them. Alas, they live on, no matter how poor the conditions. It's a little like my ex-husband: I ignored him for days on end, deprived him of basic needs, and would wake up each morning, hoping he was gone. Much like the fish that refuse to die, he also refused to leave for a long, long time, well past the lifespan of what our marriage should've been.

Now much like my friend, I have been tossed back into the sea, looking for a good catch who will view me the same. I'm hoping that I can find one, even if I do need to forcibly hook him in the nose to convince him that I am catch-worthy, and this time around, I won't hesitate to flush him away to the private school of fish if necessary.

My Bedroom Stamina, According to Facebook

According to my results on one of those Facebook quizes that I always get sucked into, this is my result for stamina in the bedroom.

"J took the How long can you last in bed? quiz and the result is 00:01:37

- Wannabe -
You tell your friends about the late nights you and your lovers have had but in reality you get excited and "BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE" before you can say the alphabet backwords."

Actually, according to my calculations, this is approximately 00:01:37 more sex than I am getting now, and I am not too concerned about a quiz that has misspelled the word "backwards".

The Christmas Pig

Against the advice of nearly all of my friends, I have purchased AC a guinea pig for Christmas. For me, when I saw this face, it was love at first sight:

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It made me remember my own childhood pigs, Piggy and Lucy. Piggy was my first guinea pig, and she was, of course, orange. I am drawn toward orange animals, as evidenced in my selection of pigs and dogs. We were told the Piggy was a young pig, so I was hopeful that Piggy would be in my life for a long, long time. Unfortunately, one night I went to get Piggy, and she was foaming at the mouth. Never a good sign. Piggy died within hours. We should've checked to see if the pet store offered a money-back guarantee.

My second pig, Lucy, was purchased from the same pet store the very next day following Piggy's untimely death. There was only one pig available for sale, and we were told that it was Piggy's mother. Now that her breeding potential had expired, she was out for sale. I took her home the same day.

Lucy was an extraordinarily sweet guinea pig, and let me pet her and pick her up, and gleefully ran around the house, chewing electrical cords and depositing little piles of poo everywhere. Needless to say, I am doubtful that Lucy was my mom's favorite pet.

A couple of years after Lucy had come home, I noticed that she was a bit lethargic in her cage. She wouldn't eat, even when I offered her favorite lettuce. She wasn't drinking. It was obviously that my beloved pig was precariously close to death.

It took less than 24 hours for Lucy to die. I was devastated, and held her in my arms the entire time. I will always remember that she took her last breath on an "in" breath, and over the years, any time I've ever been present at a death, be it an animal or a person, the death always occurs on an in breath and not an out breath. Why is that? Maybe that's why it's called "taking your last breath".

After my pig died, I called my mom at work and begged her to come home. She did not. Some silly story about having no choice but to stay because she was doing employee reviews or something.

So I had no choice but to prep my pig for burial. I got a shoebox, and lined it with a blanket. I put a Cabbage Patch Kids doll dress on my pig, so she wouldn't get chilled. I included some lettuce, and I wrote a gut-wrenching goodbye letter to Lucy. And then I waited for my mother to come home from work, fully anticipating that she would dig the burial hole for my pig.

I will give my mother credit: she did try to dig a burial hole, but lacking a shovel or even a gardening tool, she used a spoon from the kitchen. In Minnesota, in mid-November, this does not get you far. Finally, she gave up, because she simply could not break through the frozen ground.

There was only one option: my mom threw my dead pig in the dumpster.

I have yet to forgive her for this, and when needed as leverage for a loan or babysitting, I will still bring it up in conversation.

I am hoping for a better outcome for AC's new pig, though I am not guaranteed, since when the pig arrived home yesterday, it seemed...lethargic. I hope it is just adjusting to its new home, but it has yet to come out of its piggy bed.

A friend wished me good luck with wrapping the guinea pig. The only thing that could possibly be worse is if AC unwraps the pig on Christmas morning, and it is dead. That is a Christmas morning for the record books, you can be dead sure.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Kennedy Sorta Christmas

Now, I've got a confession: I am, for no apparent reason, obsessed with the Kennedy family. We are not talking a little obsessed. We are talking full-on, obsessive-compulsive, stalker-like obsessed. I know an insane amount of mundane pop culture details, because that's what I go for. I'm not thinking historical, as in pondering the grassy knoll or the second shooter. What I think is, "Gee, I wonder what became of that pink Chanel suit that Jackie was wearing when JFK was shot?", or "Gee, I wonder how long Jackie waited to start dating after John was assassinated?" Once I think up these questions, I have no choice but to devote some time to research, because otherwise, the question will keep popping up in my mind. Should you ever be on 'Who Wants to be a Millionairre', I could totally be your lifeline if you got stuck on a question about the Kennedy family.

There is no real reason for this Kennedy fetish, other than my certainty that I should've been born a Kennedy. Despite the fact that I am not Irish, I am not athletic, I am not a womanizer and I am (usually) not drunk, I feel certain that I have been cheated in this life and that I should have my own spot in the Hyannis Port compound.

I have asked my mother, on numerous occassions, if she is absolutely certain that I am not a Kennedy: 100 percent certain?!? Since JFK died in 1963 and RFK died in 1968 and I was born in 1977, that only leaves me one paternal option: Ted Kennedy. I have asked the question over and over, in passing, if Ted Kennedy could perhaps be my father. I gave my mother one last shot at redemption this summer, when upon Ted's death, I asked her to fess up to my being Ted Kennedy's love child. She responded with, "Honest to God, J. Do you REALLY think you'd be living in northern Minnesota if your goddamn father was Ted Kennedy?" Good point, but nevertheless, I continue my pursuit to gain entry to the Kennedy family.

My friend K moved to Cape Cod last summer, because her husband is in the Coast Guard. I have asked her many, many times to see if she can hook me up with a Kennedy. She has tried to explain that the Hyannis Port compound isn't what I think it is: you can't just drive up to it to spy or gain access. I have suggested that perhaps she could start hanging out at the grocery store nearest the Hyannis Port compound and ask each young man, as he either enters or exits the store, if he is a Kennedy, and if so, if he would be interested in marrying a divorced single mother from northern Minnesota? So far, she has refused to do this, but I still hold out hope. She's coming for a visit in a couple of weeks, and maybe she plans to surprise me by bringing along a Kennedy.

I have spent a considerable amount of time reading Kennedy family books, mostly to look at pictures of Jackie, my dead-girl-crush. Even though we were born decades apart, I strive to master her style. I am currently saving for a set of replica Jackie pearls issued by the Franklin Mint, and I am rarely seen without pearls of my own, albeit fake. Michelle Obama comes in a close second as my girl-crush, but Jackie will always hold that top honor. Not only did she nail a Kennedy, she managed to score the richest man in the world when she picked up Aristotle Onassis. Not bad for a Bouvier.

So, since I have only the utmost of respect for anything bearing the name Kennedy, I was shocked to tears when someone presented this to me at a board meeting last week:

Christmas gift idea: maybe the carrier John F. Kennedy |

Really? I mean, seriously? I can still envision the photos from the day the JFK carrier was christened (a good ten years before my birth), with Jackie in her sweet kidd gloves and Sweet Caroline doing all the work. Now it's just getting tossed? JFK was perhaps the most-beloved liberal leader, next to Barack Obama, and now this tribute to him is merely trash? It feels like a slap in the face, a final nail in the coffin of the Camelot era, especially since the reason the John F. Kennedy is being de-commissioned is this: "When the Kennedy was de-commissioned, the Navy was told it had to keep it on the books until the USS George H.W. Bush was commissioned. When the new ship was signed off on this year, the process of deactivating the old ship began."

I've thought it over, and my yard is fenced in and nearly the size of a football field. If anyone isn't done with his or her Christmas shopping and needs a last-minute gift idea, this would cut it. Plus, it's free.

I Have to Kiss HOW Many Frogs?!?

"I'd kiss 1,000 frogs if I could catch one prince..."

My friend H is also going through a divorce, and this is what she recently told me. Kissing 1,000 frogs is a lot of frogs to kiss, so many that I wouldn't even know where to begin to find such a large number. Currently, I am only at 19 frogs kissed, and I wonder who number 20 will be, because I've had little luck trying to achieve that benchmark. Perhaps number 20 will be that magical prince, and I can end the kissing spree right then and there. H, on the other hand, got lucky right off the bat, and instead of making it to 1,000, she got to stop at 49, since she did, indeed, find a prince.

My ex-husband and I decided to bring AC to the Disney movie "The Princess and the Frog" over the weekend, as it was AC's first movie, and an experience neither one of us wanted to miss, even though it meant having to share each other's company. In between balancing AC and her Dino Combo on my lap, the movie gave me plenty of time to think.

Does it REALLY take kissing that many frogs to score a prince? What if I am already a princess? Do I still have to kiss frogs, trying to find that elusive prince? Shouldn't he just appear? Why do movie frogs have disgusting, mafia-like Italian accents? Why are frogs so slimy--or, as they insisted in the movie, "It is mucus!", which I am really not sure is any better than slime?

AC lost her patience about one hour into the movie, so I have no idea how the movie ends, but I bet I can guess: I bet Princess Tiana and her frog, Prince Naveen, eventually kiss, discover that they no longer need to aim for 1,000 kisses to catch one good prince, and they live happily ever after, forever and ever. Isn't that the way it always goes, at least in Disney movies? Perhaps I should make my own anti-Disney movie, where after kissing 1,000 frogs to find her one prince, the princess discovers that number 1,000 is no better than the other 999, and it ends in a difficult divorce with child custody and alimony issues. Now that would be a touch more realistic.

Alas, it got me wondering...when will my frog prince comes? I sure hope it's closer to 20 than it is to 1,000.

Economic Stimulus Package

I work in the non-profit industry, where large salaries and bonuses are not really part of the plan. Sure, I can't really complain about what I make, especially when I compare it to the less-than-full-time-hours that I work and the amount of work that I am expected to do, but I suspect that someone with an equal amount of education and tenure in a for-profit business would be doing far better than I, at least financially.

Typically, as our holiday "bonus", we receive a gift card in the amount of $100. It's not really so much a "bonus" as it is a "token". It's virtually laughable.

However, this year, the recessionary economy worked in our favor, and our railroad got a contract to store hundreds of coal cars on our line for the winter, as the coal cars were going unused because there was nothing for the railroads to haul and needed to be parked somewhere. Since our line doesn't run in the winter, it became the perfect location for storage. This has presented problems for the organization as a whole, as the coal cars are blocking Duluth residents' views of Lake Superior. My boss has taken quite the public relations beating over this, including being described by the media as "arrogant", "flip" and "myopic". I don't doubt that he is all of these things, and probably more, but I am just so used to him that it doesn't stand out to me.

The coal cars brought in a substantial cash flow for the museum and the railroad, more than we have ever seen and probably ever will see. The benefit--apart from having a boss who is arrogant, flip and myopic--is that we are getting actual cash bonuses this year.

The bonus, well into four figures, couldn't come at a better time, and now I am fighting my own fiscal irresponsibility on what to do with my bonus. What I really want to do is buy several new pairs Silver "date jeans", since I've lost a size or two, thanks to my divorce. Divorce = Best. Diet. Plan. Ever. I'd really like the new Britney Spears Circus perfume. I want a new purse or two, since it's been a few years since I've bought a new one. I'd like a trip to the Mall of America, because I want to go to Lush and spend my entire bonus picking out bath bombs and bubble bars. I'd like these pearl-trimmed sunglasses that I saw an ad for in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and have since carried that ad in my purse, just in case I happen to find myself in Minneapolis with the spare cash and spare time to hunt down the store that sells these sunglasses. I want new lingerie from Victoria's Secret, on the off-chance that I do date again in the near future. Of course, all of these things would be made better if I had a man, or at least a date, but that, of course, cannot be bought, no matter how big the bonus. At least not a quality man or date, and at least for more than one night.

However, the sweet little angel perched on my shoulder whispers into my ear that as a single mother, I should be fiscally responsible. I've never been good at fiscally responsible. Me and fiscally responsible just don't mesh well together. I am more of the "instant gratification" girl, and I want all of the things mentioned above, plus some. The thing I should do is use it to pay off my car, but that would be boring and besides, it would drain the entire bonus. I realize it would be the bonus that keeps giving, since it would eliminate the monthly payment, but still--where's the fun in that? I should use it to pay off a credit card or two, and I'd still have money left over to blow on the above things. I should put something in savings, because God only knows I will need it as I go through this journey of singleness.

What's a girl to do? I must decide--and fast--because along with the bonus check came the news that we are getting a raise starting January 1: two percent. And that, my friends, is the equivalent of the token gift card: laughable.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Lasting Division

Despite a complete and utter lack of skill in mathematics, I have been able to keep my job as a business manager, where I have been entrusted to crunch numbers all day long. Clearly, the board of directors is unable to see the truth, and are equally as happy to have a warm body in my seat as I am to have a regular paycheck and enough free time that I am able to periodically pursue more worthwhile personal interests while still being paid for my time.

My difficulties with math began at an early age. In the second grade, I was assigned to the least-desirable second grade teacher possible. After I’d spent an entire summer praying that I’d be matched with a cute, young teacher, I got the news that I’d been paired with Mrs. McK, a woman who was as old as she was grumpy. She was seldom seen without her ketchup-red knitted sweater vest, a look she believed to be paramount to her image as a teacher. Her gruff attitude indicated that she’d been vomited on by elementary school children one too many times, and she was simply holding out for retirement while spewing her vile temperament.

The bright point of each week was when I’d be rescued by the adorable young student teacher whom taught the gifted-talented program. Once a week, I’d be taken with three boys from my class to an upstairs classroom, where we were allowed to think outside the crayon box and even experience computers, with the hope of sparking our already-present genius. Mrs. McK happened to be absent on a gifted-talented day, her replacement inconceivably horrible, a woman smack out of the ‘Thriller’ crypt that was so popular at the time, with polyester pants and a smell to match. I’d plugged through the day, knowing that any moment, I’d be rescued, and with any hope, this would come before the day’s math lesson.

As the clocked ticked closer and closer to 2:00—my hour of reprieve—I grew more and more anxious. Where was she, this savior of a student teacher? I imagined her soft blonde hair and smooth skin beckoning to me, her outfits and shoes far trendier than any elementary school teacher who had graced my room, her personality as sparkling as any Miss Congeniality winner.

As the clocked ticked to 2:00, the unfortunate choice of substitute got up to teach her math lesson, which was to be on division. I smiled smugly to myself, knowing that I would not be dividing anything that day, except maybe the time I spend on my special projects and computers. I did not take out paper or a pencil to prepare for the lesson. Why would I? I was gifted-talented, after all, and I did not need this instruction. I felt it best to leave such a mundane task to those less gifted-talented students left behind in the classroom.

Barely into the lesson, we were interrupted by the shrill ring of the classroom telephone. The ring of the telephone is never a good sign in any classroom; it signaled that a student was likely being called to the principal’s office to serve penance for some crime that she thought had gone unnoticed, or that your grandmother was dead and your mother was waiting to collect you in the office, or perhaps that a bomb threat had been called in and the classroom needed to evacuate. However, the news of this call was far worse than any of those options combined. Our gifted-talented teacher had not arrived that day, leaving me and my cohorts to the regular classroom instruction of the substitute who could give a rat’s ass if we were properly educated or not—she was old enough that by the time we were running the country, she’d be long dead.

She announced the news to us, and resumed her lesson. My heart was thudding in my chest, with a raw feeling coming over me. Sure, I was gifted-talented in some subjects, but certainly not math. I suffered from some math-related disorder, I was sure, and I was thrown into a complete panic attack by even the thought of crunching any numbers, single or multiple. My mind raced, thinking of all the reasons that I could muster to get out of this.

My heart pounded as my eyes filled with tears. I couldn’t hold it back any longer. In the quiet of the room, filled with eager elementary students delighted to be learning about division, a sob escaped from my throat. I cried huge tears, fraught with emotion and fear: doing division was not an option for me. I simply could not do it. I had been rendered incapable by my math-related disorder, compounded by the disappointment that I was not being singled out for my special class that day. Didn’t these people know that I was above this? As a child who had shown such promise at such an early age, it should not have even been necessary for me to be subjected to such a lesson.

It was no longer possible for the teacher to ignore me. My sobs filled the classroom, as my classmates gazed on, stunned and horrified. Who breaks out crying in the midst of a math lesson, besides a severely misguided child? The teacher tersely addressed my crying, asking what was wrong, while giving me a look of consternation that I have since realized indicated that she knew that I’d be a failure in life, not even capable of being a cashier or a drive-thru attendant.

Through my tears, I told her that I could not remember how to divide. It simply would not come to me. Her eyes narrowed as she sternly told me that it was my problem to figure out how to resolve this problem. My friends in the classroom gave me a sympathetic nod as all eyes went back to our math workbooks, mine now stained with tears. As a gesture of good will and friendship, my boyfriend Clayton—a quiet young man typically dressed in a yellow button-down oxford shirt with coordinating sweater vest—passed me a note. It read, “You will be my first wife.” I sniffed through my tears, happy to know that despite my math-related disorder, I could still find a husband.

Throughout the years, I have blamed my mathematical incompetence on this teacher. How dare she undermine my fears, especially when as a girl, she should’ve been encouraging my interest in math and science? Where were my parents’ tax dollars going, if not to fund the salary of this woman who was entrusted with the task of education tomorrow’s leaders, not leaving them sobbing in a pool of tears and snot, no closer to being able to do long division than a turtle with an abacus? I limped through my remaining years of school, where passing a math class with a C was a major accomplishment. It all fell apart when freshman year in high school, I failed second semester of algebra. It was, of course, not at all my fault. It never is, especially when you are a freshman. I attempted explaining to my mother that this teacher was near retirement, but for some unknown reason, he upheld overly high standards, including making it to class on time and turning in homework assignments. My social development was far more important than this class—after all, in the real world, what would be valued more: algebra or networking skills?

Unfortunately, the only recognition the algebra teacher gave of my budding networking skills was a trip to detention, where I was able to meet students who might not have necessarily been in my crowd, either then or in the future, unless my future included a brief rendevous with incarceration. He also crowned me with an F, the first of my life.

A great misfortune of the public school system was its insistence that I complete an algebra class for graduation. I had spoken with adults through the years, and never once had an adult agreed that algebra was a worthwhile subject utilized on a daily basis, if ever. However, bearing in mind that life would be difficult for someone without a high school diploma, I was enrolled in the freshman algebra class as a junior.

Believing that it was the freshman students who were flawed—not me—I obligingly attended every day, avoiding conversation--or even eye contact--with anyone. Sensing my overall discontent—and perhaps the simple fact that I needed it to graduate and my failure to do so would reflect poorly on him and the school district overall—the teacher eventually provided me with his laptop and a specialized algebra program that was to allow me to work through the lessons at my own pace. He allowed me a desk in the hallway, ideal for my lazy tendencies, as it was away from the prying eyes of the freshman and the watchful eyes of the teacher.

Each morning, he would bring me out to the hallway and set me up with my program. I would pretend to work for as long as necessary—at least as long as I could hear the lesson begin inside the classroom—and then I would find better uses for my time, including harassing younger students with threats of physical violence by my boyfriend, and solitaire. The final consensus? I’d wisely taken the class as a pass/fail option, and I passed.

As a business major in college, I quickly realized that if I were to ever graduate, I’d have to take, at a bare minimum, statistics and calculus. Rather than face the inevitable jokes about needing eight years to earn a four-year degree, I opted to change my major to journalism, thus opening the door for me to knock off my mathematics requirement through a course offering called “Math for Everyday Life”, though it is debatable how much was learned in this class, as my checkbook still hasn’t been balanced in years, and if it comes to calculating a percentage-off discount in a store, I scramble in my mind before looking to my shopping partner for help. Fifty percent off I can manage on my own. Thirty percent off or seventy-five percent off? Not so much.