Women Like Us....we are EVERYWHERE

So, last night it happened again:  I met another one of "us".

I had volunteered to help with the picture taking station at the Junior High open house last night.  I've been in charge of our elementary school's Picture Day for a hundred years or so, and now since William has graduated to 7th grade, it's time to move on.

Some of my friends (ahem) despise volunteering, and openly mock me for doing so much of it. And I do admit, I have a nasty habit of saying YES when asked to do something (explains the four kids, huh?).  Sick truth is, I really enjoy it.  I love seeing the kids, and I love meeting other parents.  Last night was no exception.

My new "co-worker" and I didn't have much time to chit chat.  Picture time is one rife with confusion and the fact that it was 95 degrees yesterday wasn't making things any more pleasant.  You know I had big things on my mind, like, "When I get up is there going to be a sweat mark on this wobbly plastic seat?".  There were some quiet times, however, and we did get a chance to do intros and gab a bit.

She looked EXACTLY like Rachel Dratch, except very thin and blonde.  I didn't mention that, though, because as much as I love Rachel Dratch (she cracks me UP like nobody's business) there has been some recent and annoying controversy over her attractiveness.  I could meander off onto a whole nother subject here, maybe along the lines of "Slate used to be cool but now sucks" or "let's talk about the double standard when it comes to attractiveness amongst female and male celebrities" but I'll wait for another day to do that.  Where was I?

Oh yeah.  So Blonde Rachel and I were chatting.  And then, like the spider in the nursery rhyme, along came Big Daddy.  He had on his "I'm such a cool aging new dad" outfit and his requisite floppy hair/graying goatee.  He was there to retrieve Henry and William, who were somewhere in the school learning new locker combinations and hanging out with friends.  When Big Daddy first saw me sitting at the picture table,  I saw the look of disgust in his eyes.  I saw him scan the hallways for the boys, and when he didn't see them, I saw him begrudgingly make his way over in my direction. "Where are they?" he growled.  I wanted to take the little black Sharpie I was holding and draw a curly mustache on his face.  "I would guess somewhere down in the 200 hall" I answered, and then got back to helping people figure out the picture taking process.

Blonde Rachel gave me a look.  "Are you divorced?" she asked me, and then we really started bonding.  Turns out that she also has an ex, and in her words, "Funny how they all seem to act the same...like they took a class on how to treat their ex wives like shit."  That was when I fell in love with Blonde Rachel.  As the night progressed, we discussed things like ex-husbands, depressed kids, second chances and new lives. 

As I was driving home that night, I thought about how many times this scenario has come up since my divorce.  How many women I've met, women just like me who carry around scars and hurts that nobody can see.  When I was a rookie, a newbie divorced chick, the loneliness was almost overwhelming.  I remember wishing for a friend who knew what it felt like to be a single in a world of pairs, so clearly recalled being desperate to hear from others who had been there and had lived through that.

Slowly, but surely I found them.  You know why?  Because women like me, like us?  We are out there.  We are the women teaching your kids, the nurse taking your blood pressure, the young barista making your latte.  That woman sitting behind you at church or in the synagogue?  She's one of us.  We don't have big red "D"s on our foreheads or sad mariachi bands strolling behind us, but we're out there.

When I took Molly into Wells Fargo to open up her Teen Account, the banker who helped us was a sweet woman named Teresa.  Since Molly's account had to be linked to mine, the fact that I had to declare bankruptcy last year came up.  Teresa didn't judge, didn't say boo, in fact. I told her a little bit about how and why I am in this boat, and  she quietly suggested to me that I may want to get a secured credit Visa card to start rebuilding my destroyed  credit.  As Molly and I were leaving, Teresa touched my arm and whispered in my ear, "Mine left me after I paid his way through law school.  Hang in there." 

Finding other women like me wasn't my goal when I first started writing this blog.  I wanted to tell my story, get it down in black and white so that I could make some sense of it.  It was a beautiful bonus, all of these women I've met along the way.

That fact that there are so many of us isn't awesome, but the fact that we have each other?

That's pretty cool.  

Hang in there, sisters. 


Weigh in Thursday...I guess eating my weight in pulled pork sandwiches wasn't such a great idea..

I gained.

Ok, so I only gained 2 ounces, but still.  I was on a roll, man!  But...I did let things go over the past couple of weeks.  I stayed within my points, though, so my theory that WHAT you eat still matters has been proven true.  I bet if I had eaten extra avocados or extra helpings of turkey on my wraps or something along those lines, it would have been a different story.

But no...I indulged.  I ate graduation party food for two days straight.  BBQ sandwiches, pasta salad, POTATO CHIPS (with French onion dip, seriously I could eat that combo for-freaking ever).  And wine..oh the wine.  There was the intimate after-party, where a few hens stayed to help clean up and believe you me, by the end of the evening we were all sporting some purty purple teeth.  Of course there was leftover wine, two boxes of Trader Joe's finest.  And that's kind of like having an open bag of chips in the house.  "Just a little glass"...followed by "just another little bit".  Oh, I counted the points, because I'm not going to try and lie to myself, but still.  My cavalier attitude towards all things Weight Watchers came back and kicked me right in my chubby ass.

That's ok, though.  I did curse myself, loudly and with great contempt, in front of the Weight Watchers lady.  "I knew it!" I said out loud when I saw the results after I stepped onto the scale.  She actually looked a little shocked, and said, "You know what?  It's two ounces.  You basically had a maintaining week.  Don't beat yourself up!  You're here, you know what to do."

She's right, of course.  I know what to do.  And I did it today.  Drank gallons of water, ate sensibly and tracked all of it.

Next week will be better.  But can I admit something?  That food was good. 

Oh yes, and I started my new job this week!  Well, not the actual JOB job, preschool doesn't start for another couple of weeks, but I attended meetings, did the CPR/First Aid training and helped set up classrooms.  I came away with a couple of thoughts:

1.  Meetings are boring.
2.  This is a really cool job.  I'm psyched.
3.  Our school district is pretty amazing...we give kids great starts, and I'm so proud to be part of it.

But I'm a little worried about keeping up with the super fun stuff in life:  laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, parenting.  How do you ladies who work do it?  Hmmm Jenny...you have somehow managed to watch three seasons of Supernatural over the past two weeks.  Mayhap there is some extra time?  By the way, how I love that show.  Sexy Demon Hunters.  Plus a crap-ton of pop culture references.  It's all I need. 

I had some pretty cool things happen this week but I feel as though I'm stepping up to the point of being freaky stalker fan so I won't gab too much about it. Unfortunately, if we're friends on the facebook, you know already because I tend to SHARE my joys (also my pains but that's another post).  But I now need to learn to get over my fear of Twitter, and also to be thankful that I have so many amazing, supportive friends who cheer me on and never stop.  I love you guys!

And also go buy and read Jennifer Weiner and Sarah Pekkanen books.  Because those chicks are awesome.

Now my Mrs. "Lovey" Howell sleep mask calls...this working girl is tired.  Tired and happy. 

Oooh almost forgot, the weigh in.  Not a good week but considering all of the forbidden fruit I shoved into my mouth, it's not so terrible.

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.
Week 7: + .2 lbs.

Grand total:  17.4 pounds.  Still not too shabby.

Week 8 will be awesome.  


Me and the facebook...It's Complicated

You know, just by how many times I mention it, that I'm on facebook.  I don't like to admit it, but I'm on there quite a bit.  Not like I'm on there commenting and posting and liking things all the live long day, but thanks to technology and smart phones and stuff like that, it's safe to say that I'm a daily user.

I have mixed feelings about it.

There are positives aplenty.  I've been reconnected with so many people thanks to facebook, people I know for a fact I wouldn't have any interaction with otherwise.  Friends from grade school, friends from high school, friends from weird past-life places.  I've even become friends with people I've never met, simply because we both have mutual friends and somehow found each other through random posts.

If you like your favorite stores and movie theaters and brands, you can sometimes get sweet deals through facebook.  If you like your favorite bloggers and writers and actors and chefs (I like food so much), you can keep tabs on their latest releases and shows and whatnot.

Speaking of writers..I am a HUUUUUUUGE fan of the author Jennifer Weiner.  If you're reading my blog, I'm sure you know her, if not, check out her website here.  Girl has talent.  If you haven't read her stuff, I highly recommend you do so.  In fact, if we're real life friends, let me know...I have several of her books here.  I think my favorite book of hers is the first one I read, "Good in Bed".  She is a champion of fluffy ladies everywhere, a mom and a wife, and either she's a really good bullshitter (and has one hell of a personal assistant) or else she's remained incredibly real and human even though she's a New York Times bestselling author and probably a bazillionaire. 

Anyhoo...so of course I like her on facebook.  She seems to be one of the very few "celebrities" who actually post things on their facebook pages themselves (I'll admit right here that I'm a fan of Kendra Wilkinson, too, and I think she actually posts as well. I love Kendra!).  Last week, Jennifer mentioned that she was doing a Q&A on Jezebel and encouraged her facebook fans to ask some questions.  She said, "Ask me anything".  I wasn't going to be home at the time of the Jezebel thing, so I asked her a question on facebook, it went a little something like this:  "Do you read blogs?  What do you think of them?  And will you read mine?"  because I am a shameless person.  And honestly, I never in a million years thought that a:  she'd read it and b: she'd answer it.

But she did.  She did BOTH of those things.  Imagine how geekily happy I was when I saw that notification:  "Jennifer Weiner also commented on Jennifer Weiner's status".  And then imagine the weird noises I made when I saw that she had replied directly to my question!  Me!  Little old me!  She replied (and yes I've memorized it because I am desperate like that):  "Yes, I read blogs, and if you send me a link, I'll read yours!".  If this was a screenplay, it would say:  Cut to the hungry lady on the Ikea couch, who is squealing.  Loudly.  I ran and told all of my kids, I think Henry looked up from his Playstation game and said, "Cool".  The others asked me if I was going to make dinner any time soon.  Or second dinner, I can't remember.  But it was AWESOME.  And of course I posted a facebook status about it, because I'm a sharer.  And a famous author had acknowledged me, people.

Will she read it?  I don't know.  In my fantasy world, that same fantasy world where Jennifer Aniston and I dis our ex-husbands over margaritas, Jennifer Weiner reads my blog, cries and laughs and then sends me an email saying, "We should be friends" (can you hear the restraining order papers shuffling?).  In the real world?  Who knows.  She comes across as someone very real.  She also has said, in many interviews and such, that she is grateful for the support she received when first starting out and tries to do the same.  So, Jennifer (Weiner this time, not Aniston), if you are reading?  THANK YOU.  And I suggest you start at the beginning of the blog (clicking "newer post" at the bottom) (because I'm the one who will instruct a best selling author how to read a blog)(someone slap me, now)  lately I'm all about Weight Watchers and pre-party psychosis. 

So there you have the good things about facebook.  Friends, authors, coupons.  I love that.

What I don't like so much?  There are a few things.  I can't stand the way you only see a select few of your friends on the newsfeed.  I miss so many things that dear friends post.  Things that I see a few days late, and only because a mutual friend will comment on it.  And then I'm the one, 5 days after they announce that someone has died or that they just got a great new job or that they just came back from eloping, commenting "So sorry" or "Congrats" or "AWWWW!!".

I don't like the political and religious postings.

I really don't like the daily platitude things that everyone (including me, ha) posts.  Although some of them are actually pretty good, most are things we've all read before.  A few times.  Like, several.  Lately, the platitudians seem to be getting lazy, too.  Like, "Write something simply profound on a dry erase board and take a picture of it" lazy.  At least some of them are pretty.

I don't like that I had to block my mom from some of my posts because she'd use that as a form of communication.  I'd post something on someone's wall:  "Hey, good seeing you last night" and my mom would comment, "WHEn are you coming over?".  Or when a good friend of mine, who happens to be male, would post something to me, she'd comment, "WHO is ToNY?  Is he SIngle?".

(Re-reading that last paragraph has actually made me tear up a bit.  I'm falling behind in the daughter department and reading that stuff makes me feel guilty.  Note to self:  call your mother.)

I don't like that icky envious feeling I get when friends who have seemingly charmed lives will post things about those charmed lives.  And for the record?  I'm happy as a clam for my friends, truly.  A lot of these people have worked their asses off to get where they are, and I'm proud of them.  Some have married really well, and dammit, I'm proud of them, too.  I just don't like how I react to these things sometimes.  I should stay off of facebook when I'm PMSing.  Because that's when the green monster comes out full force.  I'll read something like, "We just got back from Paris, so blessed! Life is good!" and I'll be sitting there, all bloated and broke and worried and think, "Oh yes.  Life is so good!" and then I'll feel shame for thinking that and then start calculating how many points are in a block of cheese and a box of saltines.  It's a sort of downward-spiral thing, folks.

I forgot to mention my addiction to Words with Friends and Scrabble.  Which reminds me, please play WWF and Scrabble with me.  I need distractions.

There's also the stalkery aspect about facebook.  I will confess right here and right now, that I've done it.  I have looked up old flames and old nemesis (nemeses?).  Just the other day, out of sheer boredom and curiosity (I will do almost anything to avoid cleaning), I looked up one of my old victims...Curiously Cheap George.  George is looking good, and I saw that he has a lady in his life.  I looked at the pictures (seriously, doesn't everyone know about privacy settings???) and I wondered if he had given her the old "anal bead" treatment yet.  She's tiny.  My sphincter muscle felt some sympathy pains.

I'm also friends with a couple former lovahs, and that sometimes feels awkward.  Particularly when one former beau deleted my Happy Birthday wish on his wall.  Like it was Monica Lewinsky wishing Bill Clinton a happy birthday.  It was almost 25 years ago, man!  We were young and not married and it's all good now.  Or maybe it isn't?  Who knows.  There are a couple of Handsy types that I'm friends with, too....husbands that have been overly friendly, if you catch my drift.  There's one in particular, I haven't written about him yet but I'm sure I will, "Fistpump Johnny" is his moniker. I hate that little jump I feel in my chest when he posts something on my wall, or likes something.  It makes me feel dirty and icky and brings back some not so super memories. 

Facebook has a very creeping-Charlie-like aspect to it...I'm horrified at how many times I've actually looked for a "like" button on my phone while reading a text.  And yesterday, when I was walking Walter, and he was stopping at every other blade of grass to sniff it like it was the most interesting thing in the world, I said to myself, "That's the dog version of liking something on facebook.  Peeing on it."  I said that out loud.  To myself.  On a deserted walking trail. 

And there you have it.  The good, the bad, the facebook.  I'll see you on there soon, right?


Ten on Thursday Weigh In

Get it?  Blending two...TWO....two posts in one.  I'm a clever minx.

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.   

Feeling good!


My Ex-Husband is "Concerned" About My Blog

Or so my attorney says.  I have two responses to this earth-shattering news:

1.  I'm rather flattered to learn that he's still a reader (do you and Skankenstein cuddle up with your Kindle and read it together?).

2.  Pffffffft.

Concerns?  You want to hear about concerns?  Pull the Kindle closer, my former love, and let me tell you about some of my concerns.

For a long time, I was concerned about keeping my house.  Concern morphed into grief when I lost it.

I'm concerned about my kids.

Sometimes I'm concerned about feeding my kids.  Especially when the checking account contains nothing other than vapors and the slightest scent of despair.

You concerned me when you used to stay out until 4 in the morning and didn't answer my frantic phone calls.  

I was totally concerned when you told me you were "going out to get coffee" and in reality "signed a one year lease on an apartment".

It concerns me that you didn't pay child support for over 3 years, because you couldn't afford to do so.  However, you managed to buy lots of new things and kept your mortgage paid and ate at restaurants and made a baby (which is free to do, doy, but babies themselves are pricey).

When you first introduced your girlfriend to my kids, I was concerned about how she'd treat them.  And then, when I found out about how she treated them, I got really concerned.  And sad.

I'm concerned about the fact that the new fall shows are starting and I don't have cable (this one has nothing to do with my ex-husband but dude...I'm really concerned about it).

People are concerned about me raising these kids pretty much on my own.  I think it's going ok, but it's hard.

Your lack of concern about the fact that you have no relationship with your daughter concerns me.  I'm concerned that her future relationships are going to be effed up due to daddy issues.  But knowing what an amazing girl she is, what a smart and independent girl she is, lessens these concerns a little.

I'm concerned about the fact that there is a tub of Red Vines sitting in front of me, beckoning and daring me to eat them.  Again, this concern doesn't concern my ex-husband but damn.  They look good.

The idea of you trying to scare me with your concerns about my blog concerns me too.  I love writing on my blog, and I think you know that.  And I think it scares you, which is why you're trying to scare me.  All of this scariness is a cause for big concern.

I guess that about sums it up.

Thanks for your concern.

Oh, and P.S.  If this blog concerns you, how are you going to feel when my book is on the shelves of Barnes and Noble?  


Weigh In Thursday: Something Psycho This Way Comes (but she's lost weight)

Seriously, if you asked me to rate my bitch level today, like on a scale of one to ten, where one is "gives dirty look to person who threw out a cigarette butt from their car window" and ten is "climbs out of car, finds still-lit cigarette on the road and then proceeds to burn the words " 'I'm a stinky littering pig' onto their forehead", I'd say I'm at about a 12.

And here's what's lame:  I really don't have that much to be psycho about.  This party (have I mentioned that?  I'm having a graduation party in 4 days) is pretty much planned out.  The stuff I'm borrowing has either been borrowed or is in the process of being borrowed, the food is planned and just needs to be purchased, the deck has been power-washed and treated, the picture collage boards have been made...

It's pretty much a waiting game now.

But apparently in my Nutty World, that just gives the Party Lunatic more time to fester and become even more of a lunatic.  

If I was a puppet on Mr. Rogers Neighborhood my name would be "Lady Crazy".

I think it's the timing of everything.  I have a job interview tomorrow, an appointment to get my hair colored/highlighted on Saturday (which I am fretting about spending $$$ on but you know what?  Like those L'Oreal bitches used to say, I'm worth it.)(or am I?  I 'm having serious guilt over this).  I have A DATE on Saturday, and I'm freaking out about what to wear.  It's back to school time and there are so many things to buy and pictures to get taken and so many checks being written that there's smoke coming out of my checkbook.

Oh, yes, and the kids are driving me absolutely BAT SHIT crazy.  I am very thankful that this didn't happen until just now (it's really been in just about the last 48 hours) but for real...I've broken my Golden Rule of No Yelling When The Windows Are Open, at least half a dozen times.  And that's just today.  I think the reality of school starting is sinking in, and they realized, en masse, that they haven't tried killing each other much this summer.  So they're making up for lost time, the turds. 

But, there is good news!  Some very good news!  I had a FABULOUS week as far as Weight Watchers is concerned.  Dare I say, I'm getting the hang of this.  I'm learning the fine art of moderation, which is no easy feat. 

One thing I love is a good old quesadilla.  The kids love them too, they're a regular lunch/snack thing here.  So when I started Weight Watchers, I thought for sure I'd have to give up having that cheesy goodness.  Well, to some extent, I have....face it, the white flour tortillas, stuffed with a cup of Mexican blend cheese and bacon crumbles and grilled chicken deliciousness and then browned on the stove with butter...that's probably not going to cut it anymore.

But I did find some replacement items and have now been able to enjoy some quesadilla magic for only about 7 Points Plus.  There are some fabulous (ok to be truthful they are semi-cardboardy but whatever) low carb, low calorie tortillas I found, by La Tortilla Factory.  Each tortilla is just ONE point.  So I take two of those (3 points), 1/4 cup of reduced fat Montery Jack shredded cheese (2 points), a tsp. of real bacon crumbles (0 points!) and heat them up on a pan with a couple squirts of olive oil cooking spray (0 points!).  When the cheese it melted through, take it off, cut it into fourths and serve with 2 tbs. of light sour cream (1 point) and like half a gallon of salsa (0 points).  If you're feeling it, and you have points to spend, slice up 1/4 of an avocado and put that in with the cheese and bacon bits for an extra 2 points. Or add meat...grilled chicken or steak (around 2 or 3 points).  Yum.

It's filling, it's pretty good, and it tastes like real food.

I have one thing to add, before my weight update:

I lost it tonight.

My BFF( yeah, I have a few of these) and I went to Costco tonight, to buy the 30 lbs. of meat to cook for THE PARTY.  We got it all ready, all sauced and spiced up, had the house smelling like a carnivorous heaven.  And of course, since this is the BFF that is also my drinking buddy, we had a bottle of wine.  We talked about everything under the sun, as BFFs tend to do.  We talked about our kids being assholes, about husbands who want their wives to do everything, about marriage, about cheerleading (?) about football, about parties, about friends, etc.  We talked about everything.

I was a little testy, of course because I'm having A PARTY in a few days, but also because Big Daddy hadn't paid me his paltry alimony on time.  According to our decree, it's due on the 1st and the 15th of every month.  Now, granted, this isn't the king's ransom I'm talking about:  it's enough to keep a few bills paid, enough for a small grocery trip....enough to help pay for a graduation PARTY.  So I let Father of the Year know that I needed this particular check on the day it was due:  on the 15th.  He texted back:  "I can't do that."  I reminded him that the payments are due on the 1st and the 15th.  No response.

Normally, the lateness of these payments isn't an issue.  I keep enough of a cushion in my account so that it doesn't matter if "his" money is in there or not.  But this month is different.  I am having A PARTY in a few days, today was the day known as THE DAY PARENTS WRITE CHECKS day at the junior high, I have two regular bills that come out on the 15th...you get the idea.  So I was like that awful commercial where people are leaning out of their windows screaming "IT'S MY MONEY AND I WANT IT NOW".

Long story even longer and even more painfully boring...tonight was one of his dinner hour nights with the kids.  Of course, only the two younger ones went, and he dropped them off at 8:55 p.m., one of them clutching a white envelope in his hand.  The envelope, of course, contained one of Secretary's checks, signed with her sweet loopy signature and my name and the amount written in Big Daddy's stilted, choppy hand.  I hated myself, purely hated me, for grabbing the check and hopping into my tin can car and hauling ass to the ATM to deposit this pathetic slip of paper.  It went in at 9:03.  Cut off time for Wells Fargo is 9:00.

I don't think anything bounced tonight...I think I'm just kooky and doomsday enough of a person that every situation turns into "worst case" no matter what.  But I was still livid.  I was so mad that this person has the power to make me wait at the door like a Pavlovian dog, waiting for that god-damned slip of paper.  Pulling strings like a giant, floppy haired, jowly puppeteer, while I jerked and danced below him.  I hated him at that moment.

That hatred doesn't surface much anymore.  In fact, I cannot recall that last time I felt it like I did tonight.  Blame it on the Party Psychosis, blame it on the Back to School madness, be all Milli Vanilli and Blame it on The Rain.

I came home from my cannonball ATM run, and I slumped down on the couch.  The kids were bickering about the last piece of pizza, complaining about the shitty dinner their stepmother had made, bitching about why didn't we buy new shoes today and why we have to wait until next month to pay for yearbooks.

And I lost it.  I blew up.  I didn't blow up at my kids, but I said some pretty awful things about their father.  I said mean things, things that I have thought before, but never said out loud.  I said bad things about Big Daddy, about his selfish, horrible wife and worst of all, I said evil things about the baby they made together.  I wished bad things on all three, said things that I'm 100% certain my kids will remember until they are my age, and older.  I saw the looks on their faces and in their eyes immediately after I said these things, and I saw things I wish I hadn't.  They lost respect for me tonight.

I've always been the parent they can count on.  The grown up in their lives, the one who takes the high road, the one that just keeps on truckin' no matter what happens.  The one who tells them that they should love their dad, no matter what.  The one who tells them "don't sweat  the small stuff" and "it's all small stuff". 

Tonight I let them down.  And I'm beyond sad about it.

So there's my bummer of a post.  I'm going to play trivia now, hopefully laugh a little and probably go way over my point allotment for the day (like the bottle of wine didn't do that, right?).   I don't know what I can do, or more importantly, if there is anything I can do, to erase the bad things I said tonight.

But now for some more upbeat stuff:   My weight loss progress:

Week 1:  4 lbs.
Week 2:  3.8 lbs.
Week 3:  3.2 lbs.
Week 4:  1.4 lbs.
Week 5:  3.4 lbs.

Grand total so far:  -15.8 lbs.  Woooot!!!  

That's it for now...off to shred some meat.  And no, that isn't a double entendre.

And P.S.  The bottle of wine?  And the dirty martinis I had at trivia?  I only went 9 points over for the day.  And those came out of my weeklies so I'm still sittin' pretty for my big date and THE PARTY.  I am happy and yet also a wee bit embarrassed that I'm figuring out how to incorporate my love of cocktails in Weight Watchers.  Sigh.



Ten On Tuesday: PPP...Pre Party Psychosis is in da house

Hola amigos!  Yes, it's true:  I am becoming even more crazy than normal.  I like to call it PPP, short for Pre-Party Psychosis.  There are no pills for this malady, no behavior modification techniques that are known to help, and I can tell you from past experience that adding liquor to the situation does not help (although you do hug a lot more, which is funny).  No, my friends.  This is one crazy train you have to stay on until the ride comes to a complete stop.  Which, for me, will be about 10:00 p.m. on Monday night.

In case you don't know (which means you haven't spoken to me directly in the past 2 weeks), I'm throwing a very belated graduation party for Charlie.  I feel bad about having it so late in the season, but that's how I roll, and according to the RSVPs we should have a very nice turnout.  Which is all that matters, right?

My hens are once again rallying.  A couple of friends from high school have blown me away with unbelievably thoughtful and very generous gifts to "get the party started".  Others are offering up tables and chairs and beverage dispensers and food and fire pits and helping hands and husbands with trucks and just about anything else I could ever possibly dream of mooching. 

I've got some pretty awesome friends.  Can't say that enough.

They are also coming to the party for another reason, a more covert reason other than to wish Charlie well on his next chapter in life:  they're showing up to support me.  

You see, quite a few of Big Daddy's family members are coming to the party.  Don't get me wrong:  I am pleased as freaking punch that they're coming, seriously.  I love them, all of them, and miss them terribly.  I haven't seen many of them in a few years, and am looking forward to catching up. My ex mother in law is bringing the cake, for Pete's sake.  But I know myself pretty well, and I know that I am going to be feeling very exposed at the party.  I worry because I am HUGE compared to where I was on the scale the last time we all saw each other.  I worry because they are Big Daddy's family, and regardless of how they feel about him or me, there are bound to be comparisons made between our lifestyles.  I can't do anything about either one of those worries, but having my friends and their families here is going to be a lifesaver.

So even though I am about hip-deep in crazy water right now, I know that at some point during the evening I will look around and see my son being congratulated and loved by the people who matter in his life.  I will look around and see my kick ass group of friends who have been there for me time and time again.  I will look around and see all of this happening and I know without a doubt I'll have to sneak away into the bathroom and dab at my eyes a little bit.

That helps ease the psychosis.  But until that eye-dabbing moment, watch out.  Bitch be NUTTY.

Here's another way I can keep the looney tunes at bay:  Type out my Ten.  So here they are, in no particular order:

1.  The humidity has broken and we are now enjoying some of the most beautiful weather Minnesota has to offer.  I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to be outside for any length of time and not have to endure a Silkwood shower afterwards.  My water bill will be scary next month.

2.  The Big Ass Trivia Party was a hit.  Like a dumbass, though, I went over my cocktail limit and I'm pretty sure I creeped out more than just a couple of my teammates, and at least one server, with my tipsy Jenny hugs (see the opening paragraph for confirmation about drinking and hugging).  I was feeling very loving.  So loving, in fact, that I ended up making out* with an old beau later on that night.  I've said it before, and I'll say it again:  take my phone AWAY from me after anything more than two cocktails.

* I hope you know me well enough by now that you realize "making out" means rolling around and grunting like a female gorilla in heat.  Sorry for the visual, but it's been a long time.  I've got a spring in my step for the next week or so.  Yay me!

But, I do have a date this weekend.  Break out the weed whacker!  More details to follow.

3.  I'm so close to becoming a vegetarian.  So, so close.  I keep reading about the abhorrent conditions that animals endure, the awful ends they face (do you know what happens to baby boy chickens?  Don't Google it).  If only they weren't so delicious.  I hate my carnivorous side.

4.  I got my hair cut.  Like, 8 inches gone.  A good friend of mine owns a really cool salon, and she just opened up a new location here in Mayberry.  They were having a facebook-only sale on haircuts one night, and I had just about had it with my Roseanne Rosannadanna hair (remember, it's been HUMID) so I waddled on down to give it a try.  I was greeted by a sweet fella named Daniel who had me at "OMG..I love cutting curly hair!".  I think I have a couple of sweatshirts older than Daniel but the boy knows how to use scissors.  In fact, I liked him so much I'm going back on the day of my BIG DATE for some color help.  If you're a local, I highly recommend trying out The Beauty Lab.  Even though I'm not a wealthy woman, when I do spend money I like to spend it at businesses run by good people.  And the woman who runs this place is not only one of my favorite hens, she's also an ethical, kind and extremely earth-friendly person whom I respect and admire TONS.  If you do go, tell 'em Jenny sent you..we'll both get a little discount!

5.  If you ever need a self-esteem boost, I highly recommend asking some friends to write character references for you.  I've applied for a job at our school district's preschool, and since I've subbed there a gazillion times, I asked a few of the mommies (who happen to be some of my good friends) to write a few words about why they think I should get the job.  The letters they wrote were so beautiful, and so touching, I feel like keeping them in a little binder to read when I'm feeling blah.  The interview is this Friday, so please, if you can, send some good vibes my way!

6.  I took the little boys (funny to say that now, Henry is just about 6 feet tall these days.  YIKES.) to see Dark Knight Rises...finally!  It was FABULOUS.  My favorite of the trilogy.  I'm not Christian Bale's biggest fan, but I do like me some Sexy Gary Oldman.  And whats his name, the boy who was in 3rd Rock from the Sun?  Joseph Gordon Levitt...very good, very badass.  I did wonder how he kept his hair looking so freshly trimmed while all of Gotham was swamped in squalor, though.  Also, because I have some pretty serious issues, the character of Bane was oddly arousing. Maybe it was the fact that he sounded like Sean Connery doing a Darth Vader impression?  I need help.  Great movie.

7.  We don't start school until after Labor Day, but it appears as though many of you are ushering your babies off to the Land of Learning earlier, like this week.  I'm a wee bit jealous, but I am also sad to see summer end.  This one seems to have gone by faster than usual.  That said, I'm also biting my nails over back to school expenses.  My attorney and I are hammering out child support details with Big Daddy and his new attorney, and of course back to school stuff is never addressed.  Last year he tossed me a check for $100 to "help" with back to school.  For four kids.  Enough said.

8.  Speaking of Big Daddy, here's something about divorce that I can't stand:  one of my hens sent me a text this past weekend, she was at the zoo with her brood.  They got on this tractor thing, a hay ride tour of the zoo, and who do you think was sitting there, right across from her?  My ex husband, the homewrecker and their spawn.  My sweet hen said it was awkward, as she had to explain to her children exactly who this strange man was, this tired looking man with a floppy Hugh Grant "caught with a hooker" era hairdo.  I felt bad that my friend's day with her kids included something unpleasant and uncomfortable, all because of the fact that she and I are friends.  It left me with a sick feeling, not only for the awkwardness my friend had to endure but also because here I am, busting my ass to make sure our 18 year old gets some recognition from his friends and family at a long-overdue celebration and there he is, looking at baby farm animals with his stupid wife and their precious baby.

I was out one night last week, with a friend and her husband.  And of course, talk turned to THE GRADUATION PARTY, because that's where I force all conversations these days.  So the husband, whom I adore, said, "So, how does this work?  Do you guys split the cost of these kinds of parties?".  I almost choked on my water.  "Oh sweet, sweet man" I wanted to say.  "your innocence is beguiling".  But I didn't say that.  I just said, "Umm..no.  He isn't helping out."  That awesome guy, this great husband and father, just shook his head.  "I don't get that" he said.  And I wanted to hug him for that (even without booze).   I don't get it, either.

9.  Comcast is coming on to me, harder and harder every time.  Their last dangling carrot was an offer of cable t.v., a DVR and free HBO for six months, all for just $34.99 a month.  Had it been Showtime, I might have caved.  Damn you Comcast.  You can smell winter in the air, can't you?

10.  Anyone have any ideas as far as easy, cheap, yummy appetizers are concerned?  Well lookie here, guess where I'm going with this one.  I don't know if you're aware of this, but I'm having a PARTY in less than a week.  My BFF Michelle is helping me make her melt-in-your-mouth pulled beef bbq sandwiches, but I need some suggestions for other food.  Chips, of course.  I'm going to make my yummy spinach dip, and another one of my BFFs is making her delicious Texas Caviar...but if anyone has any more ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Suffice it to say, that night I will be dipping into my weekly Weight Watchers points.  Heavily.

Ok, now I must close and get back to....you guessed it, party psychosis.  I'm pretty sure there's at least one kid in the house I haven't yelled at yet today.

Enjoy your day, my friends.  As always, hug your babies.  And take lots of pictures....you'll need them for these damned  picture boards at their graduation parties.

Adios, amigos ♥

Fellow bloggers, type up your own ten and give a shout out to Lin over at Linny's Vault!  She's the hostess with the mostest.


Weigh In Thursday: It's Still Thursday somewhere, right?

I'm sure you've been DYING all day, waiting to find out what this week's loss was....right?  Well, it's posted down at the end.  Not awesome this week, but to be honest with you I wasn't expecting the scale to show much.  I didn't have that "OMG I'm shrinking!!" feeling I had the first three weeks, despite the fact that I was getting way more exercise.

I think one of the things that slowed down my progress this week was the fact that "Let's Drink" Jenny elbowed "Let's Eat" Jenny aside and took control a few nights.  Nothing awful, and I did stay within my daily points allotment, but there were a couple of nights that I opted to have three cocktails instead of my usual one or two.  I've heard from several WW ladies that they saw a substantial slow-down or (gasp) gain during the weeks they chose to imbibe more than they usually did.  So I'm thinking my loss would have been at least double what it was had I not chosen to indulge.

Although let me say that the Skinnygirl Cucumber Vodka IS TO DIE FOR.  See for yourself, ladies:

Say hello to my little friend

Here's how my friend Danielle and I prepared these glasses of loveliness:

1 jigger (that's about a shot and a half, using a standard shot glass, not a giant one, you lushes) of Skinnygirl Cucumber vodka
Diet Tonic
Slice of cucumber
(and we added a slice of lime too...YUM) 

4 PointsPlus for my WW friends.

I will also say that Skinnygirl is expensive.  This is not a drink my broke ass will be making a nightly ritual, if you know what I'm saying.  

I was all set to say "No cocktails" this week, to see if my hypothesis is on the money, but then I remembered we are having our Big Ass Trivia Party on Sunday night.  

My trivia team plays at TGIF's.  And when you win at trivia, you get Friday's gift cards.  Back in the day, we used to just split up the winnings that night, and everyone enjoyed a little (or a lot) of $$ off of their tab.  But then we got to thinking, "Hey...how about we save up the gift cards and then in a few months have a big party with all the winnings??"  and that is how the Big Ass Trivia Party was born.  

So Sunday night our team has over $1000 in Friday's gift cards to use up.  I suppose I could just order a Diet Coke, but what fun would that be?  I'll be laying off the alcohol for the rest of the week though, just to see if that makes a difference.  

I don't really have much to Weigh In about this week...I do have to thank a few of my awesome readers for contacting me about the Bible references I made last Weigh In Thursday.  You know who you are, and I think you are very sweet and very kind to take time out of your day to tell me that I am not, in fact, an abomination.  Thank you.

Oh wait...I am going to weigh in on this:  

One random night at trivia, that CeCe Peniston song "Finally" came on.  Danielle and I were both singing along to it, and I said, "This song will always remind me of the very first season of 'Real World', when Julie and Norm and Heather B. are all roller skating at the Roxy, and Heather B. was skating and singing along to this!".  Danielle stared at me for a second, and then burst out laughing.  "Oh my GAWD" she exclaimed, "I was JUST THINKING that!".  So we guffawed our butts off for a good five minutes, and the next day I found "The Real World: Season One" on eBay for $9.00.  

We patiently waited for it to arrive, talking about how awesome it was going to be to see Heather B. doing her little skate/dance/singalong.  I found myself humming the song while I cooked and cleaned (ha!  ok, while I cooked).  Pins and needles, I tell you.

Then the big day arrived.  Actually, it arrived and then passed, we both have been so busy this summer that it was hard to find time to just sit and watch a show from 1992.  But we did. 

And here's where I get pissed:  They didn't have the CeCe Peniston song on the DVD!  You could see Julie and Norm and Heather B. skating, you could see Heather B. clapping and singing along, but instead of the dulcet tones of CeCe there was some awful, low-budget porny music playing.  Talk about disappointing.  

I'll file this one under #firstworldproblems  (that's not getting old, is it?  Neither are the "said no one, ever" e-cards)

Watching the DVD took me back though, took me back to a much different time in my life.  I remember when the show first aired on MTV, my roommate at the time and I watched it and instantly fell in love with it.  I think I was 25 when it was on (I could do the math but my phone isn't handy), and I will tell you a little secret:  I actually wrote out a letter applying to be on the show.  You can laugh, go ahead.  But that's how much I liked it.

I totally wanted to have Heather B. as my best friend.  I loved her.  I thought Eric was a total d-bag.  I of course loved Norm.  I see now, after watching the DVD, that I tried to dress like Julie up until I was about 35 years old.  For a long time, I thought Becky was the chick who sings the song "My Name is Luka" (I live on the second floor...ha) (ahh Suzanne Vega).  I had a love/hate thing with Kevin, and I thought Andre' had watched a little too much Wayne's World.  And I can't believe how many of them wore overalls.

I wore overalls too.  Gap overalls. For a long time (well into the 2000's, I'm ashamed to admit).  FYI:  they are still good sellers on eBay, go figure.

I will leave you with the CeCe song, so you too can go back in time.... have a fabulous week, y'all.

Ooooh and here is the weigh-in stuff:

Week 1:  4 lbs.
Week 2:  3.8 lbs.
Week 3:  3.2 lbs.
Week 4:  1.4 lbs.

Grand total, with just a little under a month of Weight Watchers:

12.4 lbs. GONE!  I was feeling a little blue about "only" losing 1.4 this week, until I Googled "what does 1 lb. of fat look like?" and found this picture:

There are almost 12 1/2 pounds less of those things in my body now.  In less than a month!  I think that's pretty awesome.

And now I need to go back into Graduation Party Planning mode...please pray for anyone who has to be around me from now until the night of the party.  It's not going to be fun for them.


Ten Things I'd ask/tell my Ex-Husband if ever we were trapped in an ATM vestibule together

And right off the bat, a big basket of love to you if you know where I got "trapped in an ATM vestibule" from (shush Danielle).

In all seriousness, though, despite the fact that I am really, truly becoming less and less "I'M DIVORCED" every day, there are still times I'd like to get inside my ex-husband's head.  There are still times I'd like to know the who, what, where when and why about stuff.  Ok, maybe not the who and when (ick) but for sure, the why.

It's not like I obsess about it, not like I used to, but it still comes up.  The kids are getting older, and are finally seeing things for what they are.  I knew this day would come, but it's still a little bit heartbreaking to see them figure things out on their own...it still hurts when your kid asks you, "Would we be this poor if dad hadn't left?".

William was the one who said that, and I'll be honest with you...it stung.  I tried to convince him that we're just fine, we have it so much better than so many people on this planet...but he wasn't buying it.  "Mom." he said (he always starts his statements with that single word.  I love it.).  "Do you realize that I'm the only one of my group of friends who has never been on an airplane?".  I exclaimed, "Bull! I bet there are kids in your grade who haven't flown."  He went down the list of his homies, and then down the list of non-homies.  All of whom had been on airplanes.

What do you say in a case like this?  I did what I seem to always do when it comes to these kinds of talks.  I apologized.  I tried my best to explain that this is how it is for us, and that we have to be grateful for what we do have and not focus on what we don't have.  Which is so freaking hard for kids.

That's when he asked the question about his dad.  He's brought it up before, as have the other kids, at different times in the past.  They aren't dumb.  They can see the sometimes dramatic difference between our lives, and the lives of their friends.  Just as I can see the differences between my life and some of my hen's lives.  As an adult, though, I have the advantage of a couple things my kids don't have yet:  perspective, and patience.  I could tell William exactly how much it would cost for the five of us to fly somewhere, even someplace close like Chicago or Ohio, and then tell him what I have budgeted for travel (ha...).  But that doesn't work for kids.  Someday, he'll look back and see things for what they were.  Someday, he'll know I tried my hardest to give them a childhood as close to "normal" as I could muster.

Until then, I get to think.  I think about their questions, and sometimes I do wonder what life would have been like if Big Daddy and I had ironed out the wrinkles in our marriage, if he hadn't dragged someone else into the fray.  Certainly it would be different.  But good-different, or bad-different?  We'll never know.

But what I do know is that there are a few things I'd still like to ask/tell that man, if ever I had the chance.  Like, for instance, if we were trapped in a bank vestibule during a blackout.  /cue the Wayne's World fantasy hand motions, with "Dream Weaver" playing in the background/

1.  Do you know what a beautiful young woman your daughter is?  Do you know how smart and how incredibly funny she is?  And more importantly, do you know what a GOOD person she is?  Do you know that the parents of her friends actually want her around their kids because she's such a decent person?  There aren't enough words in the English language for me to describe how much I admire and respect and love that girl.  It makes me sad that she doesn't have the dad she deserves.  And it terrifies me to think of what kind of daddy issues she may develop.  Chew on that one for a while, Slick.

2.  When your new child asks you and the Missus about how and when you two lovebirds met, what are you going to tell him?  Are you going to clean it up, make it into something that sounds as hapless and romantic as a Meg Ryan movie?  Or will you put on your After School Special face and say, "Well, Junior (yes, he's a junior..have I told you that before?  The bathroom is down the hall if you need to vomit.)...you see, mommy and daddy were both married to other people, but we weren't getting what we needed from those marriages, so we...."  ok I'll stop now.  Sorry.  Of course they'll give him the Disney version.

3.  Are you prepared for the day one of your children asks you why you opted to plunk down thousands of dollars for an attorney rather than pay child support?  How you justified paying an attorney rather than help pay for the support of your own flesh and blood?  I haven't told them about this most recent development in our never-ending legal ballet, about yet another outsider you've chosen to invite to the party.  And I won't, because it's not my business to tell them.  But you and I will both know this, until we take our last breaths.  We'll both know this as we watch each one of them graduate, grow up, get married and have families of their own.  I can handle knowing this for the rest of my life.  Can you?

4.  I am teaching Charlie how to drive.  He's 18.  He should have his drivers license by now.  He should have his first car by now.  But we aren't going that route.  As I was driving around the elementary school parking lot with him yesterday, stomping on my imaginary brake pedal, trying to be encouraging while praying that the car didn't roll over during a too-fast turn, I got a little angry.  This kind of stuff, the driving, the picking out razors for that first shave, the "man" stuff...this was your job.  I'm going to do it, and I'm going to do the hell out of it, but I'm going to do it with some resentment.  And later, if you happen to do these sort of things with your New and Improved Kid?  Prepare to deal with some resentment from your first group of offspring. 

5.  Speaking of Charlie:  I'm finally having his graduation party (just when you thought they were all over for the season).  And I'm struggling to make it as nice as I'm able, with my limited resources.  I'm inviting your family, and per Charlie's request, you'll be invited but your spouse won't be.  It's going to be a simple affair, in our backyard and on our deck.  I'm Googling "Inexpensive Graduation Party Ideas" pretty much 24 hours a day now.  Molly is helping me put together picture boards, and I've come to the conclusion that people do these picture boards so they remember a time when their child didn't drive them insane.  We're including pictures of you on these boards, because that's the right thing to do.  But believe you me...your absence has made an impact on this kid's life.  I can see how that boy changed through the years, literally see his eyes lose a little bit of their gleam.  I hope, if you come, that you spend some time looking at these pictures of your son throughout the years.  I hope you see what I see.  And p.s:  It would be awesome if you could bring some pop in a cooler.

6.  Was there ever a time when you loved both me and Secretary at the same time?  I mean, was there ever a time you truly felt torn?  Or had you sufficiently smothered your feelings for me before you bent her over your desk?  Just wondering.

7.  The other day, one of the kids asked me, "How were you and dad ever married?  I just can't see it."  I could have taken that question, and I could have had a freaking field day with it.  But I didn't.  You know what I told them?  "Your dad was the funniest guy I had ever met.  He made me laugh so hard...I still laugh about some of our inside jokes to this day."  The child I was with just shook their head.  "I can't believe that's my dad you're talking about."  You should try and laugh more with your kids, Big Daddy.

8.  I noticed that the alimony checks I get are still being written out of Secretary's account.  She signs them, and then you fill in the rest.  What does it feel like when she hands these over to you?  Do you feel like a little boy waiting for his lunch money?  How does it feel to be a man in your forties having your lady hand you a check to give to your first lady?  I bet it feels a little emasculating.  Whatever happened to your checking account, anyway?  The one with the fancy baseball checks?  Things that make you go hmmmm....

9.  The other day, one of my kids called me a Fat Bitch.  It made me cry, a hard, wrenching long cry in the bathroom.  I wondered why he chose those particular words to say to me in a fit of anger.  Why that specific insult would come so easily to his lips.  And then I remembered, your lovely wife called me a Fat Bitch a few years ago.  Aha!  And then I remembered you called me a Fat Bitch within earshot of the kids just a couple years ago.  Congratulations.  You've made an impression on your children.

10.  This last question isn't really for you, Big Guy.  It's a funny one, and those who know all about the ATM vestibule will get it.  All of my "Friends" who know what I'm talking about.  If me and Big Daddy were trapped in a bank vestibule together during a blackout, the last question I'd ask him would be:

"Would you like some gum?"

Because gum would be perfection.

Sorry for the ranty post today, people.  I'll be back with more mirth and merriment soon.  In the meantime, please enjoy what I think is my most favorite scene from a t.v. show:


Weigh In Thursday: Adventures in Weight Watchering

So this was officially the end of my third week on Weight Watchers.  How do I like it?

I love it.

No, I'm not going to be all fangirl about it, but I am going to admit that I love it.  I think it is the perfect program for someone like me, someone who has very good, very sincere intentions but lacks the discipline and the self control to do this on their own.

In case you aren't aware of how Weight Watchers operates, here's the very condensed Jenny version (and keep in mind this may not be totally accurate because I am not a good listener and really never read directions or fine print):

You're given a daily allotment of points.  The number of points you get depends upon your weight, age, etc.  And then, every single food on the planet has been given a certain number of points.  They figure out points by taking the carbohydrates, the fat, the protein and the fiber amounts in food and doing some little math thing with it (told you I don't read directions...explains a lot, doesn't it??).

Veggies and fruits are FREE.  Like, zero points.  So I guess you could say they're "unlimited" but my guess is, if you ate like 2 pineapples a day that might not help with the weight loss.  Oh, and of course potatoes, corn and avocados are not free.  Which breaks this fat Irish girl's enlarged heart..did you know in Ireland they consider potatoes The Other White Meat?  Or maybe that's just me.

Oh, and there are activity points you can earn throughout the week, too.  For instance, I've been very good about being ACTIVE, and taking my lover dog Walter for almost-daily walks of about 4 miles.  We walk at a brisk pace (around 3.9 mph) for a little over an hour, and that gives me about 6 or 7 activity points (I'm sure Danielle will correct me on this, she's the Rainman when it comes to figuring out points.  I'm the optimistic rounder-upper).  You collect activity points throughout the week, and from what I've read on the WW forums, people are about 50/50 as far as eating the activity points/letting them go is concerned.

But wait, there's more!  There are also 49 extra weekly points you get.  These are like bonus points, I believe, and so far I've only used about 5 of these bonus points.  That was after a very unfortunate late night tryst I had with a box of Lean Cuisine spring rolls.  It was after trivia one night, after I had consumed two of my new go-to drinks (raspberry vodka with club soda and lime wedges, four points each) and then, unfortunately had a couple Diet Cokes.  Which meant I was wired at 12:30 a.m., which is never a good thing.  I had a movie to watch, so I decided to go ahead and fire it up.  And then, of course, I got to thinking, "Well, I have a few extra points left...why don't I go see what there is for me to binge on?".  I decided to try the Lean Cuisine spring rolls I had in the freezer.  And then I tried the second serving (you'd think people who make diet food would know better than to put two servings into a single box.  Have they never been inside the head of a fat lady?).  All together it was only 10 points, but I think the guilt and self-loathing added another 15.

But..the good news is, I had those extra points.  That's what they're for.

One other thing:  Weight Watchers is known for their meetings.  I am definitely NOT a meeting-type of gal, but I've been to two of them now and I have to say they're ok.  It's nice to be in a room with other people who count points all the live long day, and they have little "Bravo" celebrations at the end where we all clap and cheer for people who have hit milestones (like 5 pounds, 10, 50, whatever).  Yes, I do get teary eyed when they cheer, thank you for asking. Especially when they cheer for *moi*.  See the bottom of this post for my weekly progress report..I'm happy. 

So last week I weighed in on the cast of Modern Family having a little fit over their salaries.  Today I'm going to briefly weigh in on the whole Chik Fil A / gays and gay marriage thing.  Don't worry, I'm not going to be all preachy or angry.  I don't judge, really.

I have never eaten at one of these restaurants, and probably never will.  The reasons for that have been because 1:  I'm not a huge fan of fast food (haha!  ok, not a huge fan of fast food chicken) and 2: I don't think they have any here in Minnesota...but I could be wrong.  There aren't any in the little bubble I live in, though, so there.

Here's the deal:  I see that a lot of the pro-Chik Fil A people are using The Bible in their arguments over why gay people shouldn't marry.  It's an abomination, according to them.

I'm a Christian.  I'm not a very vocal one, but I do believe in God.  I believe the story about Jesus, and I do believe that he died and rose again and is now chilling in Heaven with God.  I know a lot of people don't believe in that, and THAT'S FINE.  Variety is the spice of life, and in my opinion, religion is like politics.  I think one way, you think another way, and that's just a tiny, microscopic piece of what makes me Jenny and what makes you, well..you.  Who knows, maybe we'll all meet up at the end and be delighted and surprised to find out that we were all wrong and there's something completely different waiting for us on The Other Side.

But here's where I have to disagree with the people saying that gays shouldn't get married (actually that gays shouldn't be gay, but whatever) because "The Bible tells me so".

Do you know what the Bible says about divorced women?

It says we're abominations.

In Matthew 5:32 it says:

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

So, basically, because my husband was a cheating tool, I'm now an adulteress, and whoever decides to tie the knot with me in the future will be committing adultery.  Oh, and my kids are unclean.  I could insert a joke here about smelly feet, pee on walls and body odor, but I'm trying to be serious. 

I didn't want to be divorced, but my husband and his girlfriend made it really hard for me to stay married.  I didn't wake up one day and decide to be divorced.  It happened to me, though.  Does that make you like me any less?  Does me being divorced mean that I'm a bad person?  Is that a good reason for someone to judge me?  I don't think it is.

That is why I don't take everything the Bible says literally.  I'm not an abomination.  My kids aren't abominations because their mother is divorced.  

Just like, in my humble opinion, gay people aren't abominations because they happen to be gay.  A few of them may be gay because I made out with them at a formative time in their lives (the first two boys I kissed are now gay, which I think is awesome and also kind of ironic).  I have friends who are gay, my kids go to school with kids who have gay parents, blah blah blah....  I think God loves everyone he created, regardless of what kind of people they happen to want to be with. 

But who knows?  Maybe all the Chik Fil A people are right, and all of the gays will go to hell.  Along with all of the divorced chicks.

Sounds like a party to me, let's hope someone remembers to bring diet tonic and raspberry vodka.

One other thing:  my friend Sarah will be saying goodbye to her boy James tomorrow.  Some of my Cul De Sac friends will be there to support her.  I wish more than anything I could be there with her, too.  But I'll be thinking of her and sending as much love as I can muster.  Here is a nice article about James, please read it and if you are so inclined to do so, please send Sarah some love tomorrow.

Read the article here.


Week 1:  4 lbs.
Week 2:  3.8 lbs.
Week 3:  3.2 lbs.  YEAH BABY!!!  And this was with full-on PMS bloat.  I'm a moody, proud woman.

I am 11 pounds lighter, people.  I think that means I've lost about 4 lbs. from each breast and the remaining 3 lbs. was one of my chins.  It's a start!

And that's it for me.  Time for some trivia...have to brush up on Dicks, Ducks, Docs and Ellen DeGeneres.  Should be interesting.

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