Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's hell in the hallway

Can we just have a moment of silence??? THE CARDINALS WON THE WORLD SERIES. Of course, 48 hours later they were named Most Dangerous City so it all balances out.

So I went to a friend's house Friday evening and ended up talking for 6 hours. She was my landlady when I was a senior in college, and I babysat for her 1-yr-old (who is this gorgeous actor in LA now). She and I had so much in common now that it was uncanny. She described what I was going through and what she went through as a trapeze act. The hardest part was letting go of the first swing. Once that was done, hanging in the air, waiting for the next swing sure isn't fun but it's necessary before grabbing onto that next swing. When I relayed that analogy to my sister's friend, she said, "When one door closes, another opens." And I thought (to myself, because my filter worked that day), "What a friggin' trite statement." And then she added, "But it's hell in the hallway." And I laughed. That's where I am. In the hallway. I want that on my tee-shirt.

So I went back "home" for 24 hours this past weekend. I do not recommend that. Yes, I stayed at the house because it was such a short visit. No, I did not sleep with my STBX. Yes, I was in the basement on the couch. Yes, it was friggin' lonely and weird. Yes, I deserved that. I'm glad I did it to see what had (and had not)been done. He has taken down anything that was related to me, family photos, trinkets that I hadn't packed, pillows. I couldn't blame him a bit. It was also good because I realized he had not done anything to get the house on the market. So in that way, I was glad to get there and see what progress had been made.

So I came back depressed and energized. Why did I think he would become pro-active when he is passive aggressive? And that's ok. Now I have to get things started. My sister is going out of town for a week (to see The Northern Lights) and instead of the STBX watching her cat, she suggested I come back and watch her house and the cat. Then I could help get our house on the market and not stay there. First, I secured an appointment with a well-known real estate agent in town. Then I will spend time every day packing up crap that I left behind when I ran away from home. Instead of being mean and vindictive, I called him and explained that I was sorry I left him with all that work and that it wasn't fair. Together we will get a storage unit for excess furniture and boxes. Together we will close out an account to pay off our credit card (and then I will cut it up). I am really not being naive. I just know how we work together. Why did I think I could get away with not doing this? Second, I called a lawyer and have an appointment. I think picking a friend who knows my STBX will make him less likely to think that we are "out to get him" as he would if I picked a stranger.

I'm not going through half the hell as The Artful Blogger or thousands of women with small children and shitty STBX-husbands. It's not cancer. It's just hell in the hallway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Now, my underwire's coming out

My first day in my new town the underwire from my bra came poking out.* As we women know, once that happens, there is little hope for recovery. You can stuff that damn wire down. You can duct tape it back into the place where it belongs. You can put a cotton ball where it is rubbing and tearing your skin. But eventually surgery and extraction must be performed. And after that, a little funeral for the deceased. And as we big breasted women have learned, an underwire bra without the underwire is merely a tee-shirt. And it was my favorite.

I have lost my sunglasses. I think I lost them on Saturday when it was so friggin’ rainy, dreary, and gray, and, I obviously didn’t need them so they got tossed somewhere. Will you let me know if you find them?

Hope this pattern soon ends and I stop losing things.

I did my first load of laundry as “a single gal.” And although my STBX husband usually did the laundry (Don’t you dare say a word. I do not want anyone asking me why I would leave a man who did the laundry.), I think it’s my underwear’s first trip in the washer and dryer without boy underwear. I think they kinda liked it.

*This time it was at the armpit side as opposed to the front. One Easter the underwire came out at the front right under my chin and literally snaked its way out during communion. I had to remove it while receiving “the body of Christ,” but luckily, the priest at the time was the father of 5 daughters, and I am assured he understood what the problem was. Matter of fact, he practically fell over laughing as I held the wire with the wafer in my hand.

Monday, October 16, 2006

I'm coming out so we better get this party started...

And by “coming out,” I mean moving on.

My STBX husband asked when I was moving out on Saturday. I assumed it was so he could be out of there and not watch the painful move. But instead, he never flinched. Never cowered. And actually helped me load the car. To all you out there with shits for husbands, please take note. You can hold your head up with dignity and be a kind person even when your heart is breaking. I so want to honor and respect that.

So my sisters gathered at my house on Saturday for the big move. I was, for the most part, ready with everything except the hanging clothes, of course. I had promised my Hub that I would iron some shirts for him (for interviews) weeks ago and had not gotten to it. So while I threw my last-minute sweatshirts and sweaters into a garbage bags, my one of sisters ironed about 6 shirts for him. And then away we went. Do you hug your spouse of 27 years as they are leaving? Yah, it was a little “awk,” as the kids would say. But I thought a quick get-away would be best. Or so I thought. My sister misplaced her keys (by the ironing board when she offered, at first, to iron) and it took us 30 minutes to locate the keys. Of course, she was parked behind me so I couldn’t even back out and tell her I’d meet her later down the highway. Yes, we looked like the Keystone Cops. We eventually found the keys, had another “should we hug” moment, but in the end, there was just waving out the window and away we went.

My one sister road with me, and we had a wonderful talk. The three of us met up 30 minutes outside our destination for a Big Mac at McDonalds. My healthy, practically vegetarian (except at Thanksgiving), work-out-all-the-time sister had been “jonesing” for a Big Mac in a big way. And since her husband had a heart attack 18 months ago, we can’t even say the "M" word (McDonlas, you goof balls) in her house. So it was funny that we found ourselves eating Big Macs that day. We got to my new house, and my tiny muscular sister carried the same heavy tubs in that my hub had carried to the car. Of course, she did so with a “you shouldn’t pack more than you can carry” look on her face. Ok, I get it. That same sister who did not attend this very Big 12 university was pleased she got a hotel room as late as last Wednesday and remarked that there was no football game this Saturday. I reminded her that she got a room because there was no football game this weekend. As we were about to leave to go to their hotel, my sister (the one who had misplaced her keys) realized that she had left her suitcase at home and, therefore, did not have her swimming suit for the hot tub. Ahh, that’s ok. She can sit next to us and watch. I take the sisters to the hotel to check in where my very together sister realizes that she has forgotten her bathing suit. And it hits us: I was more together than they were. Scary thought, huh?

So we went shopping and then picked up my daughters, first checking out the respective apartment and dorm room, both of which were cleaned for the aunts’ “inspection.” Off to dinner. Dropped the older daughter off because she opted not to go to the musical and the 3 of us were in our seats for George M! by 7:30. Can I just say my daughter did a great job on spotlight? As for the musical, can I just say my daughter did a great job on spotlight? (Who sings “It’s a Grand Old Flag” at that pace?) Dropped sisters off at hotel and back to my new home by 11.

After months of barely sleeping, I slept until 10 the next morning. It was glorious. My daughter called and wanted me to meet her at a coffee (I don’t do coffee) shop for tea and help with grading papers. I was able to test out the internet on my new laptop. But I was just basking in the fact that she called me. A friend from St. Louis was in town and called around 4 to meet me for dinner. Hope that happens a lot. My roommate is not home until tonight so I have the place to myself with 2 old dogs and a sweet kitty. (And by kitty, I mean cat.) Just me and the girls.

Doin’ great!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Do I need this now?

Do you remember this friend? I blogged about her last January when she went ballistic because her husband's family sent her flowers on the anniversary of her daughter's death. Well, I think the friendship is over, and I have to say I am somewhat relieved. I really don't need this right now, do I?

She has moved to another state to teach so we don't see each other much or call each other much, but when she found out what I was going through, she frantically wrote me that she wished she could be here for me the way I have been there for her over the years. Then she did it. For 6 years I have had to listen to her say horrible nasty things about a family who she "blames" for so much. These two sisters were her daughter's best friends even though at times there was adolescent cattiness. She recalls over and over an incident after the funeral where the father and daughter came over and said what she considered horribly inappropriate things. I won't even begin to go there even though I would mention that maybe there is no rule book as to how to act or what to say when someone has committed suicide. For 6 years I have heard the meanest things out of her mouth, and when she started calling this man "mousy" and "incompetent" AGAIN, I just snapped.

Maybe it was because I was protected by e-mail or maybe it's because I just got the nerve to tell my husband I was leaving him, but I told her that when it comes to this man/father, I begged to differ. He has been nothing but kind, thoughtful, sensitive, and generous to me over the 20 years I have known him. When he heard my news, he was genuinely sad, hugged me, said he was sorry and offered any assistance. And I told her that. Ask anyone at church, and they would agree with my assessment. I told her that she didn't see this man at her daughter's funeral when he had to watch his daughters bury their best friend. She didn't sit with this man at lacrosse games when he and I shared tears over this young girl's death. I said that I could never know nor try to imagine her intense pain over losing her child but that other people lost something that day, too. You can imagine how painful it is to watch your children in that much pain.

She blasted me with 2 horrible e-mails wondering why I would be so mean to her and say such horrible things defending that man. When she didn't hear from me (because I would not answer her cruel e-mails), she wrote a third time and said that I must be mad at her and she deserved "closure." I did reply and say that I wasn't mad. I just came to his defense after hearing her comments for 6 years. I had stayed quiet all this time and listened to her go off on this nice man long enough. She sent another e-mail that was horrible, and although I replied, I put it in "draft" and did not send it. A therapist friend suggested that in couples' therapy, they encourage the couples to say, "I am sorry you are upset by this argument" or words to that affect. And I may delete my draft and just write that. Notice she did not encourage me to say "I am sorry I upset you" because I'm not. She said she couldn't believe that I would be so horrible to her after she made ONE comment. When will she get it that it wasn't ONE comment? It was SIX YEARS. And you know, I just don't need this now.

My daughter said to give it up. Everyone has told me to forget about her. I have given her 6 good years and it's time to let go. And I agree. But it's still hard. She knows about this blog and may even read this. That is fine with me. I am not breaking any confidences from our friendship which she fears I am doing. And I am not writing anything I haven't already told her. Everything is still anonymous because I have not said any names. She wants to know what else I think, and I promise you, she's not ready for that. I have deleted all e-mails so they don't stare at me and need to go delete the draft so it doesn't taunt me. It is definitely time I let go.

But it hurts to lose a friendship even if it is time to let go. Sort of like how hard it is to lose a marriage even if it's time to let go.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The vacation of a lifetime

Words escape me now as I try to collect my thoughts from the past week. Have you ever fulfilled a dream you didn't even know you had. I mean, sure we all dream of meeting Leesa, but whoever thought I would ever get to Montana? How did she and Pam know I needed this week so badly? The timing was impeccable. The surroundings ideal, almost surreal. Well, they didn't know back in the summer that I would have needed such time for reflection in October. But I did. And when you're surrounded by animals who need you for sustenance and a dear friend for good laughs, it's the perfect "cure" for what ails ya.

When Brock greeted us on our first night, he jumped up and pawed at us as if to hug us. Of course, we told him "down," and he never did it again. That is, until the day we were leaving. It was as if he was hoping he could keep us around if he just held us there with his furry hugs. And Taylor was jumping on the couch to be held. One more hug, she begged.
Otis, King of the Porch, who keeps most creatures in line and off his domain, meowed for me to come see him on his throne and let me pet him. That had not happened all week. And if I talk about saying good bye to Spaz, I shall begin to weep. Each pet had the biggest heart and showered me with healing love all week. Well, except Trout who merely showered us with mischief. Pure, unadulterated little boy mischief. Did you know a kitten can swing from a fishnet used as decoration on the wall?

And what can I say about that hot tub? I know that if I lived up there alone, I would start to lift weights so I could lift the cover off the thing by myself. Or, as Pam reminded me, I would figure out how to sit in there with half the cover on, the other half off, as I peered from water. I think I found God in that hot tub, but it could have been the wine (and later the Mike's Hard Lemonade).

The drive home was truly breath taking with each state taking on its own character. From the top (apparently that's north) of Montana to the bottom (south), through Idaho into Utah and through Colorado, the "purple mountains majesty" illuminated the Big Sky. I missed my reds and oranges from Missouri trees, but these states have a beauty that is indescribable. I actually started to giggle as it snowed (yep, you read that right) through Colorado. I mean, I know they make their living in the ski resorts, but the beauty of the snow as it landed on the evergreens was breath taking. We couldn't have asked for better weather or a more beautiful sky across America.

Well, now it's time to pack. I have not even started. I don't know what to take. Towels? Sheets? Cotton balls and aspirin? I move to my new life in 2 days and am frozen, at times, wondering what to pack, what to leave, what to put in storage. But as a wise friend told me, of course I don't know what to pack. I've never done this before. Well, I'd better get packing or I'll be stuck here another 27 years.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Way to a Friend's House...

I bet you're dying to read about our next set of adventures. But it's been pretty calm around here. Well, calm after Pam almost peed herself when she saw a bear. Ya gotta go read my account of that episode over here. You'll pee yourself reading it.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingAfter that excitement, life has calmed down. Well, there was the time I was sitting in the hot tub yesterday morning (Yep, twice a day whether I need it or not.) and Brock (aka, Doofus Boy) got loose and was chasing some unsuspecting golden retriever. I flew out of that hot tub like lightning to catch Brock because it would not look good on our record if we lost the dog(s). Luckily, he came when I called and I got him in, but that meant where in the hell was Taylor. Pam went to the neighbor's to look because Leesa said that's where Taylor goes. I can't imagine why. She's got cable and internet. No Taylor at the neighbor's, but he was on the porch when Pam got back and wasn't talking. Whew. Shhhhh, Don't tell Leesa we almost lost the damn dogs.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingSo it's Diet Coke in the morning in the hot tub and wine in the evening. Many friends have suggested that I use this time for reflection, introspection, and prayer. But I say a glass of wine in a hot tub in the mountains of Montana is sorta like meeting Jesus. So we've talked. We went to Thompson Falls yesterday to check out the town and had lunch at some cafe that had an elk on the front. We had hamburgers, but they could have been elkburgers. I didn't ask. I'm sure two redhead strangers (notice, I didn't say strange redheads) were the talk of the town. We stopped at the gas station for gas and a pee break, and Pam couldn't find me cuz she was already back in the truck and I was waiting for her. You know what that does to my abandonment issues. But we soon caught up with each other and came on back to the homestead.

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWe watched the moon rise in the mountains last night. And I watched the haze obliterate the mountains this morning. Never thought the sun would come out, but it did, and it's another glorious day on Walton's Mountain. Woops, wrong mountain. The neighbor came by on his horse and was carrying a sidearm. He is going to show Pam how to use the ATV, but I'm staying right here, close to home. I don't go out with people wearing sidearms, but it doesn't seem to bother Pam. She's been in the Army, and she's seen a bear. She's not scared of too much.

The sun finally came out so we went up to Kootenai Falls to explore. I swear to God... if I had come up here rather than take lecture notes during geology, I would have gotten a better grade. (Yep, I got a D in that class. All Missouri has is friggin' limestone.) It was indescribable. Breath taking. Photos tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What I've learned so far...

from my trip to Montana...
  • they will pull the plane back and kick your ass off for 2 hours while fixing something with the de-icer even if it's not cold enough to use the de-icer?
  • that when you fly with a bunch of military people, especially ones that have just come back from Iraq, their luggage gets first dibs? Apparently, mine was on another flight to Colorado Springs because my bag wouldn't fit in with the khaki duffle bags and guns.
  • that when you live in an isolated community such as Pinedale, Wyoming, you can smoke the ganja in the room behind the "lobby" while checking in guests? Who the hell is gonna arrest you?
  • that you need to stay in your car when you take pictures of buffalo? They are not only ugly but apparently mean and fast.
  • when you've been driving for 18 hours, anything and everything is pretty damn funny but don't, no matter what, do not go into the local American Legion Hall for beer. You're not one of them.
  • you can tell that there are deer everwhere along the road by their "eyeglow"? Who knew?
  • little boy deer run around the yard in circles chasing each other just like little boys?
  • that bear poop out corn whole just like humans? It's not a pretty sight.
  • that when you step outside in the morning and are greeted by several cats, they are not coming up to you because of your winning personality. Feed them.
  • that you could shoot someone in the mountains of Montana, put him or her through the woodchipper, dump the parts in a pond, and no one up here would ever know or find out? (Don't ask me how I know.)
  • that 10 o'clock in the morning is never too early to get into the hot tub with a glass of wine.

  • and, most importantly, you can become good friends with people you have only met through bloggy world.

  • Monday, October 02, 2006

    Adventures of Thelma and Louise... or Lucy and Ethel

    Wow, we made it to Leesa's house at midnight tonight and both Ethel (Pam) and I were so slap happy that we almost stopped at the American Legion Hall in Paradise, Montana, for a drink before we got here. Of course, we were singing "Delta Dawn, quit that stomping on my lawn" at the top of our lungs and dodging deer on the road. I couldn't even see them, but Ethel could see their glowing eyes on the side of the road.

    She surprised me with a quick visit to The Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. We saw bison, elk, and antelope. No moose. No bears... yet! We drove up to see Old Faithful blow. It was incredible except for the part where I started mumbing, "I just quit my job. WHAT AM I DOING?" I do that a lot. I have never been in a car for this long and have absolutely no feeling in my butt. I could have never done this in a covered wagon.

    So for all my friends who are concerned that either Leesa or Pam are serial killers, I assure you they are not. Well, at least not yet.