So, I have to tell you all this before I get to the Ten. The party was AWESOME. I was a bitchy, sweaty, nervous wreck up until it started, and just a sweaty wreck for the next 40 minutes or so, but it was a success. My nerves were jangling and jumping over the prospect of chatting up my "old" family...worst-case scenarios filled my head. What if they were cold? What if they completely ignored me? I mean, the whole reason I was doing this was to give my kid a proper celebration for something he accomplished. So I would have been fine wearing a caterer's uniform and not speaking. But it was my house, and let's face it, catering uniforms are probably not very comfortable. And I'm not capable of keeping quiet.
My worries and fears were completely unfounded. All of my ex-in laws, each and every one of them, were not only civil, they were warm and loving and sweet. I was able to see little nieces and nephews I haven't seen in years (one that I had never met) and believe it or not, I got teary eyed when my former sister in-law introduced me to her girls as "Aunt Jenny". Ex-mother in law and father in law rolled in, armed not only with the cake (Costco creme filled heaven, by the way), but with tons of soda and a carrot cake and cookies. Even Big Daddy's brothers gave me hugs, and I think I've recruited one of their wives into the hen-fold.
And guess who showed up? Big Daddy himself. I have to say this...good for him. Charlie had called him earlier in the day to ask if he was coming, and his dad said "Yes". So seeing him walk into my backyard wasn't a total shock...but up until that moment the jury was out on whether or not he'd do it.
Now, you may be wondering, how did Jenny handle this? I did what I've done at countless baseball games, school concerts and other events where the two of us have to share oxygen: I ignored him. And he ignored me. Mature? Maybe not, but I think of all the possible scenarios, having the two of us carry on and pretend the other one wasn't there is probably not the most horrifying. And no, no Secretary or Spawn. I know she has big balls, but I think she also has some common sense. Good girl.
I will say this: Thank God my hens were there. A couple of them were very grown up, polite, civil...they actually talked to Big Daddy. They made nice, and I think that's awesome. They represented like good hens. However, civility is nice, but it doesn't change the fact that this man has done some really shitty things to me, and to his kids. And that's where another hen, and her hubby, came in. Her husband was eager to see Big Daddy, I guess to put a face to all of the lore, and I think my second-favorite quote of the evening was when I casually strolled over to this Husband and whispered, "The Eagle has landed." He and his wife did not go chat up Big Daddy. They instead gave him looks which conveyed how they feel about what he's done. And I was as grateful for that as I was for the hens being chatty. Conflict of interest? Mayhap. But sometimes life is like a twist cone, right? Both flavors combined into one tasty treat.
I should add that Charlie had a great time. He was acting like an ass to me the whole day, and it's hard to determine if that was just 18 year old a-holeness, or if my pre-party psychosis is genetic. But as the party rolled on, he warmed up to me and at one point, hugged me and said "Thank you, Mom." That's all I needed. Of course, he took off with his friends near the end and I didn't see him until late the next day (hey, he's 18 and can do what he wants, according to him) but getting that thanks made (most) the stress and freakouts worth it.
I also have to give some serious shout outs: Danielle, one of my bestest hens, came over early in the day and CLEANED like a mother-effer. She also let me borrow just about everything she owns for the party, including several throw rugs to hide the various stains in the carpet (William's run-for-the-bathroom vomiting incident after eating cupcakes with red icing will never be forgotten). She worked her ass off and I owe her, big time (even though she vacuumed up spiders instead of doing the Hausfrau Catch and Release). Love you, Mama D. And the hens who loaned out everything else I needed, from Laura and her firepit and chairs and beverage dispensers, to Shennon and her tablecloths and trays and roaster, Gillian for loaning me her husband for the millionth time (I think in some states, he and I are now considered common-law spouses), Michelle for her roaster and for helping me prepare the 30 lbs. of meat (anyone want a pulled pork or beef sandwich? Call me.), Whitney for making her kick-ass beans and for babysitting Walter, and Jen for staying afterwards with Michelle and essentially cleaning up the whole thing. And to all of you...THANK YOU. Thank you for showing up to help me show Charlie that he is loved. I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you.
And now for a quick 10:
1. My second favorite quote from that night: After the tenth awkward introduction of my ex-mother-in law to various friends, she pulled me into the kitchen and said: "Jenny, when you got divorced, your kids didn't become my ex-grandchildren. We are still your in-laws. You will always be our daughter in law. We love you." Do you think I cried?
2. I have a zit on my jawline that is so big I think I felt it kicking last night. If I was any kind of mother, I'd start taking prenatal vitamins and schedule an ultrasound. #concealerappliedwithatrowel
3. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does this: I was walking up my front steps the other day and tripped...cut my finger and hurt my knee, but the first thing I did was quickly look around to make sure there were no witnesses. Luckily the only ones watching me were the squirrels.
4. Charlie got a job at the posh movie theater in town! I'll admit, the first thing I thought of was Friends and Monica having a date with the former high school stud Chip Matthews who still worked at the local movie theater, but the second thing I thought was "Yay! Free movies for me!". That, combined with my newfound knowledge that Red Vines are 4 points for 9 vines, made me happy.
5. Charlie is also signed up for a few general classes at the local community college. He did this on his own, and yes, I am one proud mom. He is making good choices and I'm pretty sure I am getting some glimpses of the adult he'll become. Of course there are still several times in the day I want to throw things at him, but there are glimpses. That gives me lots of hope.
6. So I had a date with a former beau. Wait for my post titled: "Marooned on the Island of Misfit Singles" for all the details. I think I may just be single for life. Thank God for the Humane Society...
7. I am dreading today's weigh in. I didn't exercise as much as I could have this week, and I ate almost all of my weekly "extra" points at the party (ok, the tiny after-party cost me several points in wine but I needed to decompress!!). I got back on the wagon almost immediately (and thank you to my scavenger kids for making sure the tub of Red Vines disappeared quickly) but still, I fear the worst.
8. That said, the signs of weight loss are showing themselves...just a few weeks ago, my underwear was rolling down because the poor elastic waistband couldn't handle the strain. Now, they're rolling down because they're too big. Also, my bras are about ready to be retired. Bye bye boobies. It was fun.
9. I'm meeting with my author friend next week! I'm so psyched to hear what he has to say. I know that some people (ahem) are "concerned" about my blog but yesterday I got a long note from a young woman who read my blog at her mother's urging. She grew up with a man kind of like Big Daddy, and in her note (which was one of the most eloquent, heart-wrenching, beautiful things I've ever read) she reassured me that Molly will be ok. She told me about things in her childhood/teen years that made my heart hurt, but she also told me how her strong mom instilled enough pride and love and self-esteem into her to counteract most of the damage. That note, along with countless emails and comments I get telling me that I have helped them, is what will keep me going. Women who are going through this shitstorm need to know they aren't alone...myself included (or is it me included?). Thank you, young lady. You are already an amazing woman.
10. Have I shared with you the fact that I have severe dental phobia? I do. Like, I need valium and sedation when I go. I'm getting nervous just typing about it. I have a doozy of an appointment coming up and would love some of your prayers/good vibes.
Oh, and I guess I should mention, I GOT A JOB. Like a new job, one I've coveted for a while. Since it appears that I have some readers who may not have my best interests at heart (guffaw out loud) I'm going to keep details at a minimum, but let's just say, WOOOOO HOOOOOO.
And now it's time to try and get rid of every ounce I can before weigh in...if I could remove organs, I would.
Have a great day, my friends.
Oops almost forgot my weigh in:
Week 1: 4 lbs.
Week 2: 3.8 lbs.
Week 3: 3.2 lbs.
Week 4: 1.4 lbs.
Week 5: 3.4 lbs.
Week 6: 1.8 lbs. (!)
Grand total so far: 17.6 pounds GONE.