Changing With the Seasons

•September 8, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The kids are back in school, the humidity has dropped, there’s a chill in the air, the leaves on the tree in my front yard have purple around the edges. You know what that means. Fall.

Fall is my favorite time of year. It always has been. Spring is nice. I like all the rebirth and newness to everything, but it rains a lot. I used to love Winter. I was in ski club and in college, traying down the hill on front campus was the thing to do. As I got older, though, the cold is too much for me. I’m not a fan of Summer. Don’t get me wrong, I love to grow things and swim, but even was a kid I didn’t like all the sweat, bugs and stifling humidity that goes along with Summer.

No, it’s Fall that gets me going. I love the smell of the leaves and the colors on the trees. I love sweatshirts and bonfires and knee socks and snuggling under the covers. I love harvest festivals and apples and concord grapes. I love Halloween and dressing in costumes and eating candy. I love Oktoberfest and pumpkin ale.

I’ve always liked Fall, but my real love affair started September of 1990. I had started college a few weeks earlier. I was enjoying the freedom that college allows. I’d also met the man who would become my husband.

That first Fall we did a lot of walking. Walking around campus. Walking to the bars. Walking around the lake and through the woods. Walking hand in hand and falling in love.

I think that’s why I get so nostalgic this time of year. True, I love things about the season itself. I also love what it represents. As cheesy as it sounds, that Fall was the beginning of the rest of my life.

So when the air cools and the nights get longer, I’m reminded. I’m reminded of who I was before, who I am now, and what an awesome trip it’s been.

One Day at a Time

•September 2, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Mary and I have been friends for over 2 decades. We met in 11th grade and were best friends. We liked the same music, the same clothes and the same boys. Even back then, I knew she had a problem.

She was one of those kids who drank their parents’ liquor and replaced it with water. One time she came to school with vodka and OJ in a sport bottle. She went home that day for “the flu.” She actually had alcohol poisoning.

The first week of college, she had to be taken out of a bar because (remember, she was 18) she stood on the table on penny draft night and demanded to know how they ran out of beer. “You’re a bar! How does a bar run out of BEER?!?” An excellent question, but not an appropriate way to ask it.

Later on that year she had to go the ER and hide it from her parents. She’d thought she was dying. She had made a pipe and painted it with lead-based paint. Then when she smoked weed out of it…ta da…she got very sick.

Then there was the time that my BF (now husband) had to sit up with her all night while she came down off some pill someone had given her. She was hallucinating and shivering. She’s lucky he was a good friend. I’m not sure many people would have done that.

Our 2nd year, she switched schools. I thought I’d miss her more than I actually did. I missed her. I didn’t miss all the drama.

She came to our wedding. She *had* introduced us after all. I didn’t see her again for about 6-7 more years. She found me around the time of our 10 year HS reunion.

We started talking on the phone and came over a couple times. I thought she’d cleaned up a bit. Then we went to the first event of reunion weekend.

I knew she was nervous. Later she said that’s why she’d had so much to drink. She said she didn’t normally drink that much. I got it. I was nervous too.

It was several years before we hung out on a regular basis again. Thanks to the wonders of social networking, we started chatting and catching up. Then, about 5-6 years ago, I posted an open invitation for people to join me at a local bar for my birthday.

Guess who showed up?

She didn’t stay long. Her husband showed up (they’d gotten into a fight earlier) and she left. It was the beginning of what would be a rollercoaster of a friendship.

We always loved to dance, so we started getting together about once or twice a month to go dancing. With Mary, dancing also meant smoking and drinking. Lots of drinking.

Because her husband (now ex) was/is an alcoholic (and schizophrenic), she was usually alone and always drove herself. It was terrifying to me that she drove after drinking so much, but to be fair, she didn’t seem drunk. She didn’t slur her words or stumble. She claimed a very high tolerance.

Things went on like this for a while. Then I realized that Mary was a crisis junkie. If there was a crisis, she found it. Her husband’s DUIs. Her leaving. Living with her over-bearing bitch of a sister. Having to move back in with the husband so she could get the condo in the divorce. Her affair with a married man. Her ex becoming homeless and almost dying.

It was always something. No matter what my problems were, hers always trumped them.

The one that hurt the most was when my daughter attempted suicide and had to be hospitalized. We’d been at the hospital until 2am. Then we had to go back that afternoon for visiting hours. I’d called and left Mary a message. She called me when we were on the way home. She acted like nothing had happened. I asked if she’d listened to my message. She said no. I told her what happened. She said, “oh wow. That sucks…so let me tell you what Troy did today.”


The last straw came in the form of a phone call as we were pulling into our driveway after having gone out dancing with her. She’d had at least 6-7 Guinness. She said she was fine and I was tired of the same argument. She had gotten pulled over less than 5 minutes from the bar. The officer said he wouldn’t give her a DUI if she could get someone to pick her up within the next 15 minutes. We lived 20 minutes away. We made it, but just barely. She asked to be taken home, which was 20 minutes in the opposite direction. I told her no, I would give her a ride home in the morning or she could call a cab.

Not long after that, she called me in tears saying she thought she was an alcoholic. The night before, she had sat at home (with her daughter) and drank 13 Guinness through the course of the night. It occurred to her that she needed to get up for work the next day, so she had made herself throw it all up. I got her set up with an AA meeting and offered to watch her daughter. The day of the meeting she called to tell me she felt better and she wasn’t going to go.

I started pulling away. The drinking. The neediness. The general disregard for anything I was going through. It all got to be a bit too much.

I started ignoring her calls and taking a long time to call her back. I made excuses about why I couldn’t get together. Eventually she stopped calling. That was last Summer.

On Thanksgiving morning, she posted on Facebook that she was thankful for her family, her boyfriend and her 41 days of sobriety. I immediately emailed her. I congratulated her. I told her that I’d withdrawn because I couldn’t keep taking care of her when my own life was falling apart (this was during the time of the job loss/new job/moving/cancer meds time). She said she understood and that she missed me.

We made noises about getting together, but we didn’t. She stopped by once several months ago after visiting her parents. It was awkward.

She and her daughter came over for dinner on Wednesday. She was a different person. Quieter. Even when she was talking about her fear of being alone and the guys she’d been dating, it was all very matter of fact. No drama. She seemed interested in what had been going on with us.

It was refreshing, but a bit sad. I miss the old Mary’s animated way of telling stories and lack of inhibitions. Now I know it was probably the alcohol that made her that way.

I know things will never be the same between us. They can’t be. I am proud of her and glad she’s part of my life again. In 6 weeks, she’ll be celebrating 1 year of sobriety. I guess we’ll take our friendship like her recovery…one day at a time.

My apologies. That was a seriously cheesy ending. I just couldn’t pass it up.

The Thing

•August 31, 2011 • 1 Comment

In high school it was clothes. One day I’d wear a concert t-shirt with an ankle length skirt. The next I’d wear my black pants tucked into combat boots topped with a white dress shirt with a black bra underneath. The next day I might wear jeans with a white t-shirt and vest a la Mary Stuart Masterson. On Fridays I liked to wear a little plaid skirt with fishnets and Chuck Taylors.

In college, I gained some weight, so shopping at the thrift became a little tougher. Naturally, I moved on to my hair. I cut it and dyed it and cut it and dyed it some more. I went from having long blondish brown, natural hair my freshman year to super short platinum for graduation. Over those 5 years (yes 5…I really liked college), I had purple, pink, copper, cherry, chocolate, cranberry and peach hair and every thing from a bob to spikey.

Then I was forced into adulthood. I entered the workforce already a wife and about to become a mother. I needed to grow up.

What I grew was boring.

A little over a year after college graduation, I had my daughter. I was no longer a student, although I lived in a college town. We then moved to a small town (near where I live now) near my family, but away from my friends. As a stay-at-home mom, I spent all day in leggings and oversized t-shirts. I was lucky to get my hair combed in the morning let alone cut and dyed.

I’d lost my thing. It took me a while to get it back.

Right before my daughter entered kindergarten, I got a job that required office casual dress. I had no idea what the hell that even meant. I basically wore the same thing every day and I was on my feet a LOT.

Then I found it…shoes.

It started with a pair of oxblood Doc Marten Mary Janes that I bought on a trip to Niagara Falls. At one point I had 9 pairs of Docs and 7 pairs of Chucks.
At some point I started collecting and wearing heels. When I moved last Summer, the first thing I moved to our new house was my shoes. I have over 50 pairs.

I can’t identify when my thing changed this last time. I think it was gradual. Shoes were expensive, plus I no longer had a job where heels (no matter how fabulous) were practical. I’d been playing kickball for a couple seasons and had gotten some bruises/scrapes on my shins during games. I started wearing soccer socks to protect my legs. I liked the way they felt and the way they looked, but I knew I could do better that the plain Jane ones I’d gotten at the sporting goods store.

Someone turned me on to and the rest is history. I couldn’t even make a guess on the number of pairs of knee socks that I own. I have an entire drawer that’s overflowing with them. I have argyle, stripes and polka dots. I have nylon, cotton and wool. I even have socks that make a statement…literally. I have pairs that say NERD, EVIL, BEER, WICKED and PUNK.

Knee socks are my new thing.

I like having a thing. I feel lost without it. It’s something that sets me apart. I’ve been trying to figure out why it’s so important to me. I think I’m afraid of being boring…of not making an impression. Even if people don’t like me, they’ll remember me.

Who Needs Enemies With Friends Like These?

•August 24, 2011 • Leave a Comment

How many friends do you really have? Not family. Not acquaintances. Not co-workers. Not neighbors. Not people you party with or go to church with or go to book club with. Actual friends.

People you can count on. People that love you unconditionally. People who are there for you no matter what.


I’ve realized lately, that I have fewer of these than I originally thought. I’m the type of person who tends to put others’ needs ahead of my own. I’m a listener. I’m a giver. I care. Sometimes I care too much.

I’m the person that people want to talk to about relationships, parenting, depression, legal woes, and the like. It’s happened all my life. Apparently I’m easy to talk to.

Who knew?

Anyway, as any of you who have read some of my earlier posts know, I’ve been having a few issues over the past…well…year. Despite my health, financial and mental health issues though, I’m consistently there for those that need me.

I supported and provided a much needed sounding board for the friend that had a huge upheaval at work and took almost a month off because she was so stressed. I also kept her company while her boyfriend was away on his many trips this summer.

I was there for the friend who separated from her husband, dated a co-worker and subsequently reunited with said husband. Going to dinner or driving 45 minutes to her apartment when I barely had money to pay for food and gas.

I listened to another friend complain about her money woes while she bought a new wedding ring set (the diamond was falling out and it *had* to be replaced), finalized the remodel on her basement and planned a surprise trip to Disney (for children so young that they won’t remember it). All the while being unemployed and on food stamps myself.

I reminded myself that you can’t judge the needs of others based on one’s own situation. To them, their situation may be the worst they’ve experienced. Just because some of what was going on in my life may be worse to me, they’re not experiencing it, so they don’t have the same perspective.

Keeping all of the above in mind. One would think that all of the friends I’ve supported and through their tough times would also be there for me. Right? Quid pro quo?

Alas, not so. The friend with the roving boyfriend and job troubles? She makes a habit of not returning my texts for a couple days at a time because she’s, “just so overwhelmed.” My young, newly reunited friend? If I don’t text her back within hours, she feels abandoned and I have to allay her fears for days, yet she regularly ignores my calls for weeks at a time. The one with the refinished basement, new ring and fresh Florida tan? She insists she knows “exactly” how I’ve been feeling and then turns the conversation to herself again.

Out of all the people that I counted as my close friends, I can actually *count* on maybe 3- 4 of them.

I know in my head that I can’t hold others to the same expectations that I set for myself. Friendship doesn’t mean the same to everyone. It’s not their responsibility to make sure I’m ok. Still, it makes me feel a bit betrayed.

So what do I do? Do I cut them loose? Do I have a heart to heart with the friend that continues to hurt my feelings with her insensitive comments and questionable “good intentions? (I’ll save the specifics for another time) Do I do what I’ve been doing and withdraw more and more?

I honestly don’t know. As control over my life slips further and further out of my grasp, I find that I don’t have the energy to deal with them. Unfortunately, then I end up taking my frustrations out on *actual* well-intending friends who are just checking in to see if I’m ok.

Sorry t.

Right now, I guess I need to heed my own advice. I need to take in the good and leave the bad. I need to do what is best for me and my family and screw the rest.

Even if “the rest” happens to include some of those friends.


•August 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Today I am angry.

My husband didn’t get the job. We assume. He still hasn’t gotten the courtesy of a phone call. It’s not like he’s just some guy applying for a job. He’s given them 8 years and he still has to show up to work there in a little over a week.

My car broke down and can’t be fixed. So we have to buy a new one. We have just enough money in savings to get by for the next month until my husband starts getting paid again.

Even when he does get paid, it will be less than normal because the school took one of his classes away to give one of the new full time people more hours. Adds insult to injury…I know.

I am sick of hearing people say things will turn around before I know it, that good things happen to good people, that things happen for a reason. I just don’t believe it.

I also don’t want empty offers of, “what can I do to help?” There are limits of what helps. Offer me someone to talk to or a shoulder to cry on. Offer me a ride. Don’t offer to lend me your truck when you live 2 states away.

The thing I’m most sick of, is people trying to cheer me up. I know you mean well, but this is not something that will just go away because I watch a cute kitten video on YouTube.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate that my friends feel bad and that if they could help they would. I do. I’m just feeling completely overwhelmed and angry. So angry.

I can’t take care of other peoples’ feelings when I can’t take care of myself.


•August 15, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Insomnia. My old nemesis.

I’ve been doing well without you. Why did you choose tonight to rear your ugly head?

Is it because I had that latte this morning? Is it because I saw that overdue library book which reminded of all the things I need to do tomorrow? Is it because G asked if I was working tomorrow, which made me think about my interview, which made me think about R’s interview, which made me think of the fact that he still hasn’t heard from HR, which reminded me of how depressed he’s been lately?


Judging is Easy…Ask Me How

•August 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

People judge. Everyone does it. Even people who believe they are open-minded and don’t judge do it. If one prefaces a statement with, “I’m not one to judge…” they are almost definitely judging you.

We judge the mom who is screaming at her kids at the store. What we don’t know is that she is a single mom trying to figure out how she’s going to feed those kids *and* keep the electric on this month, her kids have been asking for stuff all day and she doesn’t know how to tell them why they can’t have it.

We judge that person for being so fat. We say, “they must be lazy,” and , “if they’d just stop eating so much.” Maybe that person just lost a spouse and is devastatingly depressed. Maybe that person has health issues. Maybe that person struggles every day to try to lose weight. What’s funny is we also judge that person over there for being so skinny. “She must be anorexic.” “Eat something already.” Maybe that person eats like a horse and just has a high metabolism. Maybe that person is being treated for an eating disorder. Maybe that person is sick

We don’t know. Yet we judge.

We judge our co-workers.  We judge that one that had an affair. We had no idea she was being abused until she came to work with a black eye. We judge the one that never goes to after work functions. “He’s so antisocial.” That co-worker has 4 kids and works 2 jobs to support them. We had no idea until he came to our door delivering our pizza.

We judge for many reasons. We judge because we don’t have all the information. We judge because we think we know best. We judge to make ourselves feel better. We judge because we *think* if we were in that same situation, under the same circumstances, we would do it *this*way…and it would be the right way.

Yet most of us have no idea what it’s like to have a child that you’ve had to call the police on and have committed to the psych unit…on Mother’s Day…after she tried to push you down the steps because she didn’t want to feed the cats. We don’t know what it’s like to have a job you hate so much that you cry every day and nearly had to go to the psych unit yourself and are forced to take a leave of absence. We don’t know what it’s like to miss work so much you almost got fired because your 5-year-old with undiagnosed autism was suspended 9 times from daycare and eventually expelled. We don’t know what it’s like to struggle, really struggle, to make ends meet. We don’t know what it’s like to be discriminated against. We don’t know what it’s like to feel desperate.

No, not all of the examples are me, but they are all real examples from real people who I’ve known or have worked with. These people were all judged. Usually, unfairly.

This is not to say that I myself do not judge. As I said, everyone does it.

I will judge you if you are abusive. Of course everyone’s definition pf abuse is different. I mean someone who is deliberately cruel and hurtful to someone who cannot defend themselves, be it an animal, a child, a spouse or an unborn child. The pregnant mom who smokes crack, the dad puts his son’s hand on the burner to teach him not to play with matches, the mom that refuses to keep her boyfriend from repeatedly raping her daughter, the child who thinks it’s fun to poison neighborhood animals just to watch them die…I’m looking at all of you.

Again, these are all examples from people I’ve worked with. I know, I totally need to choose a new career path.

I will also judge you if you judge me. I’m not proud of it, but it is what it is. No one likes to be judged. That’s why we get so defensive. When people judge us, it forces us to look at what we’re doing. To second guess. Even when we may know it is the best thing for us, or our family, at the time given the circumstances, we still second guess.  That makes us…me…feel resentful and angry. If I *could* change my circumstances I would. If I *could* do it a different way I would. You don’t live my life so you don’t know.

All this being said, judging does not have to run our lives. Spending 5 years getting a bachelor’s degree in Sociology taught me a few things. There is no such thing as common sense or common knowledge. Everyone does not have everything in common.  One can never, ever, be completely objective. Our experiences shape our perceptions. Know what your prejudices are and keep them in mind when you find yourself judging someone else.

I’m sure I learned some other things too…I just can’t think of them right now. Yay college!

So, I’m stepping down off my soapbox for today. I’ll leave you with this…If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else? Can I get an Amen?

Crushed By Life

•August 12, 2011 • 1 Comment

I was talking with a friend today about feeling overwhelmed and depressed about her circumstances. She said she knew I, of all people, would know what it meant to feel “crushed by life.”

She said, she has been dissatisfied by her life lately, her weight, her lack of a boyfriend, work that needs to be on her house…among other things. She said she knows there are people out there that have it worse off than her who can keep their shit together and are happier and that makes her feel worse.

I think she meant me.

Long story short, we have a mutual friend who one-ups everything you say. When I was on medical leave and had just found out they’d found cancer in my uterus, I was telling her how depressed I was. She said she knew “exactly” how I felt. I *may* have lost my mind and gone off on her about how she had absolutely NO idea how I felt and to say that she did was de-valuing my feelings and my experience. We’ve gotten over it, but clearly it made an impact.

My life is a mess.

Just when I think I have things kind of figured out…something else happens to fuck it all up. My husband is waiting to hear about a FT job at a place he’s worked for 8 years. He’s been passed over before, but they interviewed 8 people for 3 positions, so this may be his year. However, the semester starts in a little over a week and he’s heard nothing.

As far as my employment chaos goes, I thought things had settled into place. My brother’s sitter resigned via text message on Monday. They were given no notice. They asked me if I’d be interested. I love my niece dearly and it would only be 2-3 days a week so I could still clean houses on the side, get to appointments and maybe, finally, schedule some classes.

Then today I got a call for an interview for a job I applied for so long ago I’m not even sure I remember exactly what the job is. if I remember correctly, it’s personal care for adults with DD in the day habilitation program. Pay for that type of job is usually low, plus it’s 45 minutes away. I applied for it back before I got my unemployment and I was applying for anything and everything.

Of course I’m over-thinking. Do I take another shitty job just to have insurance again? If my husband gets the FT job, then he can get us all on his insurance. What if he doesn’t get the job? If I take a FT job at this point, I know in my heart I’ll never get my Master’s. If I don’t get my Master’s I won’t be able to get a good job. On top of that, if I take the job, I’ll be leaving my brother out a babysitter again, I’ll lose my flexibility and my other side jobs.

Mind you, I haven’t even interviewed yet, let alone actually gotten the job.

Why do I do this to myself? Another friend told me this morning (when I was talking about worrying about. Whether my husband will get the job) that I shouldn’t worry about things I can’t control.

This brought up the question: Why *wouldn’t* I worry about those things? If I had control, I could just change things to be the way I want them, not worry about them. What better things to worry about than then ones I have no power to change?

I know Christians believe you should just leave all those things to God and He will take care of them for you. If you’ve read my earlier posts, you know my feelings on that subject. I have no one to leave those worries to.

Should I take the job just to have a job? Will I be able to get into grad school? Would I be able to balance school, family and work? Should I stick with counseling or change career paths completely?

Not only do I worry about my own things, I worry about other peoples’ worries too. Will my husband get the job? Will my daughter have a better year and make some friends this year? Will my son’s nightmares stop? Will he get a good 3rd grade teacher that will work with him so he can be successful?

The list is never ending.

I need some peace and I need it now. I just wish I knew how to let it all go.

Get a Job

•August 8, 2011 • 2 Comments

My first job was working for my dad. He owned a small engine repair service. Mowers, tractors, chainsaws and the like. I worked the counter, did inventory, and ran the show when my dad was away. I started there when I was around 14. I worked there on and off on breaks and over the summers through college.

My next job was working in the snack shop at a country club. When the summer was over I moved to the kitchen and ultimately into the dining room as a bus boy (girl). I started the summer after I turned 15.

That was the summer I moved in with my mom. She worked there too. I worked there for a year and a half.

After a short stint back at my dad’s shop, I went into fast food for a while. I worked there through my Sr year of HS.

Then came college. I worked in telemarketing, the student center cafeteria, a local ski resort as a lift operator, the University library (I loved hiding in the stacks reading Vogue from the ’50s), in the student center painting conference rooms and finally in the admissions office filing and doing campus tours.

After I graduated (bachelor’s in sociology), I worked midnights in a group home for adults with developmental disabilities. When that wasn’t paying the bills, I added retail. In just a few months I moved up to assistant manager and got pregnant.

After a miscarriage, a disagreement with management and a new pregnancy, I decided to look for just one job. I worked a short (3 1/2 weeks) time for a visiting nurse service as a scheduler when I was in a car accident and had to go on bed rest. I lost that job.

No one wanted to hire a pregnant woman, so I stayed unemployed throughout the rest of my pregnancy. I stayed home with my daughter until she was 18 mos old. At that time I got a part time job at a Montessori school in the infant room. After a year I moved to the toddler room and full time.

It was around year 2 that I started thinking about all the money I’d spent on a degree and how I wasn’t using it. I took a chance an applied for a job as a case worker for the county children’s service agency.

I got the job.

It was then that I became the bread winner for our family. I was great at that job. It was also extremely stressful. After 4 1/2 years I was on 2 antidepressants, 2 sleeping pills and had a tic in my right eye. I’d had enough.

Unfortunately, my husband was underemployed and we had 2 children. I had to find a job fast. I started working as a manager for another group home for adults with DD. I was making crap money and was on call 24/7.

When my boss found out I was looking for another job, he fired me. Luckily, I got the other job and started 2 weeks later.

This time I was working in the social work department at a facility for children with severe disabilities. I did intakes and headed up the committee for programming for kids with autism spectrum disorders (little did I know that knowledge would come in handy with my son). Unfortunately (again) my position was eliminated due to budget cuts.


Fortunately (do you see a pattern here?), I’d had a feeling the end was nearing so I applied for a position closer to home as a case manager for adults with severe mental illness. I was great at it, but again I found myself in the position of being over worked and under paid.

When a job posting went up for a new grant funded position at the local community college for a mentor for students with disabilities, I jumped on it. I got the job and was facing a new challenge every day. It was a rough year and a half. Finally, my contract ended (and wasn’t renewed) last summer. I was upset, but didn’t really want to continue working for people who treated me so poorly anyway.

They gave me 3 months notice so I could find another job. Finally, in the last couple weeks of my contract I found one. I loved it and I was really good at it. I worked in a hospital helping uninsured patients apply for assistance.

When new management stepped in and took an instant disliking to me, I knew there was going to be trouble. Little did I know that despite my excellent performance reviews and outstanding productivity numbers, I was going to be unemployed again.

Unemployed. Again.

This time something inside me died a little. I’d been working for the last decade in jobs that I hated or burned me out to the point of being a shell of a person. The jobs I did like didn’t value me or the work I did. I’d been missing major moments in my childrens’ lives while my husband was unemployed, in school or underemployed. In fact, he was in grad school again for his 2nd master’s. He also has 2 bachelor’s degrees. I have one.

Wasn’t it my turn?


The problem is…I have no idea what I want to do with my life. In my field, you have to have a master’s degree to get a good job. So I should get a master’s in counseling or social work right?

Maybe. Maybe not. Jobs in social work and counseling are super stressful and I’m not sure I’d be able to handle the stress.

So…I should just decide on some other field and start over completely right?

I’ve thought about occupational therapy. There’s a 4 year waiting list at the local college. Speech and language pathology was another thought. I’m not sure my GPA is high enough to get in.

It seems like every direction I turn there are obstacles…and doubt…and fear.

So. Much. Fear.

Sometimes it’s fear that I won’t be able to make it happen. Mostly it’s fear of failure. What if I’m just not good enough?

I know that I just need to get my ass in gear and make a decision. I need to make an appointment with an advisor and face my fears.

Easier said than done.

How I Met Your Father

•August 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

My 18th wedding anniversary is less than 2 weeks away. About 3 weeks or so after that my husband and I will have been together 21 years. For someone who hasn’t seen my 40th birthday yet, that doesn’t seem possible. We’ve been together longer than we haven’t.

This is the story of how we met.

Shortly before I went off to college I broke up with my HS boyfriend. We dated for a year and a half. I thought he was the one. He wasn’t.

I decided that when I went to college I was going to date around and not have a boyfriend. I also was VERY determined that I was NOT going to get married.

Marriages end in divorce. I didn’t want that. Especially if we had children. What better way to avoid that pain and suffering than not to get married at all?

So freshman week came and went and I started hanging out with my friend Mary* that I had graduated with. Mary used to introduce us (and still sometimes does) in this way, “Hi. I’m Mary. This is my friend Mary we’re Mary squared.”

*Names have been changed to protect the innocent, the not-so-innocent and the easily embarrassed

I digress.

So Mary had this friend, who’d introduced her to this guy. She really thought he’d be perfect for me. I didn’t want to be set up, but I did want to go dancing. I agreed to go on a blind date with him to a dance club in town.

We showed up in our best thrift store chic. Me in a plaid skirt, black tights, New Order t-shirt, chunky black shoes. Mary in a ’60s dress. We looked awesome and strolled in with confidence.

Mary pointed him out to me on the dance floor. It was then that I realized that no one had told him this was a date. He had brought his own date. Her name was…wait for it…Mary.


We hung out anyway. I met his roommate Justin, who was preppy and a terrible dancer, but nice. I met him too. I thought he was a jerk. Although he *was* a good dancer.

We made the best of it and I went on with my life. The following week Mary suggested the 3 of us go out again. I initially said no. Like I said, I thought he was a jerk. She kept pestering me so I finally said yes. On the condition that she stay there the whole time and if I wanted to go we’d go.

We went to a cute bar in town to dance. He was adorable in a white dress shirt, grey pants, red Chucks and eyeliner. He kept trying stupid lines obviously designed to pick up freshman girls. Despite his attempts to be super cool and super cocky, I found him charming.

Every 15 minutes or so Mary would corner one of us and ask what we thought of the other one. When we decided he would give us a ride back to our dorms, Mary gave us a giant fake yawn and asked to be dropped off first.

Not at all subtle.

We got into his slightly cool, slightly sporty car to go home. There was a median strip on the main drag, so we had to go right and make a u-turn to go toward our dorms. Of course, being the boy he was (and still is sometimes) he took the u-turn too fast to try to impress us. He promptly hit the curb and blew out his tire.

Very cool.

So he changed his tire and we took Mary home. We went back to my dorm, where I took my contacts out, put my ridiculous late ’80s glasses on, grabbed my Bambi comforter and joined him in the formal lounge. I gave him every opportunity to excuse himself. I was totally myself.

He stayed.

He stayed until the sun came up. We’ve been together ever since. He, in a drunken haze, asked me to marry him 2 weeks later. I laughed. 3 years later we eloped. (That’s another blog for another time)

I can’t say it’s always been happily ever after. We’ve been through a lot, but we’ve gone through it all together.