Monday, May 31, 2010

May Gave Way!

Thank you for celebrating my blog's birthday over this past month!  The giveaways were just as fun as I thought they would be!  A very special thanks to:

Thank you, ladies, for making my blog's birthday so wonderful! 

And now, for the winner of the final giveaway for May, of the beautiful vintage jewelry box...

From Tracie said...
I love those purple pearl earrings.
I also love this box and hope that I win it!!! (thought I would put that out there!)
May 24, 2010 6:19 PM
Congratulations, Tracie!  Good thing you "put that out there" -- apparently the Random Number Generator heard you!  I'll be contacting you, or if you see this first you can go ahead and send along your shipping information so Winn can send you your prize!  Yay!!
And lest we forget...  
"A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself."
~ Joseph Campbell ~

Happy Memorial Day

Friday, May 28, 2010

Note to Self: Trippy Edition

  • You had fun looking through past posts this week.
  • You went looking for your first Note to Self.
  • You found it here.
  • In that note, you had gone to Starbucks earlier.
  • You went to Starbucks earlier tonight last night too.
  • Fascinating.
  • (Not really.)
  • You are tired.
  • It's probably because it's one in the morning it was the first week both girls were out of school.
  • And The Husband was out of town for work.
  • You want to go out of town for work.
  • Find out if there are business trips for stay at home moms.
  • If not, invent one.
  • Think about what The Husband would do for a few days if you weren't home.
  • Would he be proud of himself for not going crazy those days?
  • You are.
  • Would he be pleased that he managed to not call throughout the days, and wait patiently for the calls in the evening?
  • You are.
  • Except that call to say, "The car stalled at an intersection."
  • And then, "I got in the car to go to the mechanic's, and it wouldn't start at all."
  • And then, "Our friend is going to fix what we knew the problem was and the other problem that we didn't know was there for less than what the AAA guy quoted for just the original problem."
  • And maybe a text or eighty-seven two.
  • But LIL BIT IS WEARING BIG GIRL PANTIES is important information.
  • You wonder what The Husband would text.
Happy Friday!

Don't forget the giveaway!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Classics: So You Married An Idiot

Since this week day marks the second anniversary of when I started blogging, I decided I would pull out some of my oldies but (hopefully) goodies.  (Speaking of goodies, I'm having a vintage giveaway right now also!)  This post was the third one I ever put on my blog, when it was just in its infancy, on May 28, 2008.

What do you hear more often?

“My husband is such an idiot, yesterday he…”


“My husband is amazing, yesterday he…”

What do you say more often?

Do we ever stop to think about how that reflects on us? After all, we’re the geniuses that married these idiots. Committed to them for life. Us and the idiots, forever.  It’s not like we need to tell people our husbands aren’t perfect, they can probably figure that out on their own considering nobody’s perfect.

I try to brag on my husband. It’s kind of easy. He is the best daddy in the world. He’s a hard worker. He’s hilarious, he can always make me laugh — even when I don’t want to be laughing. He’s also hot and an excellent lovah. (You knew I was going to go there, don’t act all shocked.)

I have a couple of t-shirts from From*me Tees Union28. I love ‘em. I want more!  When I was on their site one time, I noticed some links on their About Us page. One was specifically for wives, so I followed it and found myself here. It’s a 30-day challenge for wives — for 30 days you don’t say anything negative to or about your husband.  But that’s not all.  You’re also supposed to say something you admire and respect about your husband to others and to your husband.

I did that challenge.  I used the guide they offer for my devotion time.  It was pretty easy for me to speak well about my husband to others.  It was slightly more difficult for me to refrain from saying anything negative, but I know how hard I worked and I think I did a decent job.

Do you know what the hardest part was? Saying uplifting things to my husband. It’s so easy to tell my friends how great he is, but when it came to telling him face-to-face, I fell short.  I am pretty sure part of that was pride — I didn’t want him to get too high and mighty, right?  But he needs that affirmation.  And even if he doesn’t need it, I bet he wouldn’t hate hearing it!  Once in a while at work he’ll get an e-mail forwarded to him.  A higher up in the company bragging on him, and someone passes it along for him to read.  It’s a good feeling!  Shouldn’t I, as his wife, be able to give him that kind of feeling too?  And do better at it?  I think so.

Even if a husband seems to have more negative traits than positive, focusing on those pros can serve you well.   Now don’t get me wrong, I know some husbands are creeps. Some wives are creeps too.  But if you’re married and you’re planning on staying that way, wouldn’t you rather be with someone you’re quicker to promote than put down?  Try it.  Brag on the man. Pick at least one thing you like about him and tell him about it.  Swell his pride.  I challenge you to the challenge.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Classics: B.C. and A.D.

Since this week marks the actual second anniversary of when I started blogging, I decided I would pull out some of my oldies but (hopefully) goodies. (Speaking of goodies, I'm having a vintage giveaway right now also!) This is an essay I wrote for a Mother's Day essay contest for our local paper. It didn't win, but they did use one part of it -- the mushiest part, naturally. From May 12, 2009.

My life can be divided into two eras: B.C. and A.D. – that’s Before Children and After Delivery.

Before Children, I doubt I ever even used the words “poopy diaper,” “placenta” and “pureed peas”. After Delivery, I was able use them all in one sentence – and it would make sense. Before Children, I took for granted the ability to go to the bathroom without an audience. After Delivery, I became a master of heading to the restroom silently, delicately tip-toeing like a ballerina in new shoes on a freshly waxed stage.

In the B.C. Era, I was entertained by Ross, Rachel, Chandler, Monica, Joey and Phoebe. Living in A.D., it’s Mover Rich, Mover Dave, Mover Scott, Mover Smitty, Nina and Knit Knots. Instead of hearing about Ugly Naked Guy, I’m hearing about Warehouse Mouse – which is an improvement, really. The B.C. Me didn’t understand how parents could let the television “babysit” their kids. The A.D. Me needed 25 minutes to get ready in the morning and decided “preschool on TV” was ingenious, and one episode of Dora the Explorer wasn’t going to hurt anyone.

Before Children, I didn’t eat vegetables. (And, contrary to what I was told might happen, lived to tell!) After Delivery… Well, I still don’t eat vegetables that often, but I do try them more. I take a deep breath, smile bravely and show my children just how delicious broccoli really is – or whatever green, slimy, oddly textured side item is on my plate. (Which is how I found out I like asparagus. Go figure!)

In my life Before Children, the only image of myself I could count on was the one looking back at me in the mirror. After Delivery, I became aware of my own reflection as it was presented to me in miniature form. My words repeated, my actions mimicked. No other life experience made me want to change for the better than knowing I could be shaping two little personalities with my own.

Before Children, I thought I knew joy and pain. After Delivery, I realized that those emotions are far more intense when seeing them through my children’s eyes, and feeling them through my children’s hearts. There is no greater joy than theirs, nor is there any greater pain that that which breaks their spirits.

Before I became a mom, I thought I loved, respected and appreciated my own mother. After I became a mom, I realized that I still did – only on a whole new level. I am in awe of her – for putting up with my sister and I and what we dished out, for holding herself together when we made choices that could have had disastrous consequences, and for showing us a strong and constant love through it all. If I can be a fraction of the mom to my girls that she was to me, I’ll be happy.

Interestingly enough, at this point in my life I’ve spent far more time in the B.C. era than A.D. And although B.C. brought me from infancy to adulthood, I believe A.D. has brought about more change, more growth, and more fulfillment than anything offered in the 27 years prior. The changes I have experienced have been for the better, all because of the two precious agents of change that brought them about.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Classics: Look into my crystal ball.

Since this week marks the actual second anniversary of when I started blogging, I decided I would pull out some of my oldies but (hopefully) goodies.  (Speaking of goodies, I'm having a vintage giveaway right now also!)  This is one I wrote to kind of explain why I want to remember that there's much more to me than "Mommy".  From June 3, 2008.

Monday, February 16, 2026. My 50th birthday. I’m standing at the bathroom mirror getting ready for… For what? I don’t know. The girls are 22 and 19 now, both away at college. They already each called me early this morning to wish me a happy birthday, a family tradition. I told the older one that I’d received the flowers she and her boyfriend had sent. I could almost hear her blushing over the phone as she told me they were his idea. The younger one still sounded half-asleep as she spoke, and I told her she could call me back later that day so we could talk. She yawned her thanks and I’m not even sure she was still awake as the phone hung up.

One girl ten months away from her Bachelor’s, the other six months into her first year at school.

I have an empty nest.

I think about the conversation The Husband and I had just the night before. “We can probably get rid of the minivan now,” he’d said. “We probably could’ve gotten rid of it after Li’l Bit started driving herself, you know.” I wrinkled my nose. “Didn’t you always want a Mustang?”

Did I? I can’t even remember. I narrow my eyes at the reflection in the mirror and try to remember the things I wanted before I immersed myself in Mommyhood. Before socializing with friends my age was replaced by attending parties with the girls, PTA meetings, dance classes and recitals, soccer practices and games. Didn’t I like photography? But what was there to take pictures of other than the girls? Didn’t I write? Who had time?

The phone rings and shakes me from my self-examination. It’s The Husband. “Did you get my card?” he asks. I tell him I did, and thank him for the gift certificate. Sweet gesture. Same one for the past 15 years, but that’s okay. It’s the thought that counts. If having it marked on the Outlook calendar so his assistant will remind him a month beforehand is considered thought. I sigh and remind myself to cut him a little slack, he’s a busy guy. It took him a lot of hard work to get to where he’s at, and it takes even more to keep him there.

I head out to the kitchen and squint at the calendar. A hair cut appointment for me this week (cut and color, it took 40 years but the greys did find me), a trip to the eye doctor for The Husband. No more lessons or scrimmages. Gone are the fundraisers and youth parent meetings.

“It’s been six months since she started school,” The Husband had said. “You could get a job, or start volunteering somewhere other than a school. Take a photography course or something. I don’t think you could possibly get the house any cleaner.”

It’s all so easy for him to say. He still plays softball. It’s on the Over 40 team, but he still plays. He golfs. He’s still able to take his dad out for fishing once in a while. Somehow, he still has a life.

I feel like my life is split 200 or 100 miles away.

The Husband said that he felt like I was miles away from him, too. That brought tears to my eyes.

Where have I gone? Where have I gone? When was it that I let myself get away? After this long, is it possible to find ME? To reconnect with the man who I allowed to only fill the role of Daddy to our girls? Can I still be Wife? Can I still be Woman? Didn’t I start there once? Can I get there again?

Could I have avoided ever having to ask these questions at all?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Giveaway May: It's all about WINNing...

I wanted to do something fun for my two year blogging anniversary, which is this month! And since giveaways = fun, having one giveaway a week during the month of May is fun times four, and I think that's illegal in some churches countries!

w said...
my fav is sexy man soap. but it's not there. so i'm gonna say:
Citrus Basil Shea Butter Hot Process Soap
did i win? when do i get my soap?
May 18, 2010 1:16 AM
Congratulations, WINN!  Lucky #16!  You WON!  You'll get your precious winnings winn when Dee sends them to you!  And now, it's time for you to offer the winner of the next giveaway something fabulous!
Now... It's really okay that Winn won this giveaway... Because without her, the last two giveaways wouldn't have happened.  Winn introduced me to Jenny Bunny.  Winn introduced me to Barefoot Bath & Body.  And now, I get the distinct pleasure of introducing you to...
Winn and her friend, Donna, started Vintage Umbrella, a vintage (surprise!) shop on Etsy.  You might be familiar with Winn's Garage Sale Chronicles, where she talks about the rules (because there are rules) and her finds. 
We, however, will not talk about the fact that Winn was not in town on the day that I had my very first yard sale.  No.  We won't.

Anyway.  Winn, who was generous enough to share her love of Jenny Bunny and Barefoot Bath & Body with me, is now also generous enough to share one of her amazing finds with one of my readers!  And, since this is the actual week of the second anniversary of my blog and I plan on pulling out some classic posts, what better kind of giveaway to have than something from a vintage shop?  Do you see how fabulous this is?!?  And just look at what she's offering!!
Vintage Farrington Jewelry Box
Made in USA
Two Tiers
Yellow with Gold Scrolling Design on Top and Bottom Trim
Working Key Lock
Butterfly Lining

Isn't it beautiful??  Do you want to know how you can win it?  I thought you might!
  1. MANDATORY ENTRY: Go to Vintage Umbrella, browse around a bit, then come back here and leave me a comment telling me what your favorite item is.  (You will feel a little classier just by visiting, too!)
  2. EXTRA ENTRY: "Heart"/Favorite Vintage Umbrella on Etsy.
  3. EXTRA ENTRY: "Like" Vintage Umbrella on Facebook.

As usual, leave each entry as a separate comment, and be sure there's a way for me to contact you -- either leave an e-mail address or make sure I can see it in your Blogger profile!  You can enter through Sunday, May 30th, and I will announce the winner Monday, May 31st.

Have fun!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Note to Self: Up and Down Edition

  • You're up because it's Big Sister's last day of school.
  • You're down because she already cried on her way to school, and it's going to break both your hearts as she says good-bye to her friends.
  • You're up because you know your girls will be having playdates with all sorts of friends this summer.
  • You're down because your girls still get bummed when they know the neighbor kids have playdates, and they're not invited.
  • You're up because you know it's not your daughters' fault.
  • You're down because that mean it must somehow be yours.
  • You're up because you had time to read your blogs today.
  • You're down because the majority of them dealt with cancer and death.
  • You're up because The Husband got home safely from traveling for work.
  • You're down because he had to go in on his off Friday.
  • You're up because you get to go to The Melting Pot for a girls' night tonight.
"When you hit that high note, say goodnight and walk off."
- Jerry Seinfeld

*walks off*

*calling over shoulder*
Happy Friday! Hope your weekend has more ups than downs!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Who are the REAL mysterious creatures?

This isn't really me and The Husband.
But it could be.

I don't hate sports or anything.  There are teams that I paid attention to before The Husband came along. 

I like sports, and I enjoy watching them most of the time.

But one thing I will never, ever understand is The Husband's passion for his teams.

At our wedding, he may have gotten a little teensy weensy bit choked up.  There's a picture I have of us after our older daughter was born, and his eyes look a little red, so I thought maybe he had cried then.  But he was also kind of tired when the picture was taken...

I remember clearly, though, the night in 2008 when the Phillies won the World Series.  I remember The Husband's excitement and I remember the tears that I know I saw in his eyes.


Over a baseball game.

I. Don't. Get. It.

For that reason, The Husband is not allowed to pick on me for crying over absolutely normal things. 

Like the end of Lost.

I know women are mysterious creatures and all that, but I think that there are some curious things about men, too...

Why must they have possession of the remote control?

When holding the above-referenced remote control,
why must they use it to constantly flip channels?

Why don't they stop and ask for directions?
(We don't have a GPS, so The Husband will stop.  But guess who gets out to ask.
He says it's because I'm cuter.)

Do they really think about sex as much as magazines tell us they do?
How long will it take for them to realize it's never okay to ask,
"Is it that time of the month?"

Don't you have some questions about men?  I bet you do.  And I may have a way for us to get some answers!  I have some guest posts coming one week in June, and one of my guest bloggers is none other than a man willing to take attempt to take on our questions!  Who is this brave soul???





(And btw, Ian, that's another question I have -- what is it with men and The Three Stooges?!)

So leave me a comment here with your question about men,
and let's see how much insight Ian can provide for us!
(Good luck, Ian!)

Psst!  You can still enter this!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Happiness Project: Free Makeup! (Cover Girl Bzz)

I'm double-dipping, in a way!  I got to try this stuff thanks to BzzAgent, and it really did make me happy, and if you want to see some more happy, then head to Leigh vs. Laundry and check out the links with her Happiness Project!

Cover Girl's Smoky ShadowBlast & ShineBlast Lip Gloss

I was on Facebook one day and I saw that BzzAgent was doing a couple of Cover Girl campaigns.  And I saw that they had already started and I had NOT received an invite.  And I was NOT happy.  And I know I pouted.

Because not only am I a huge fan of makeup (not just for concealing, either -- makeup is meant to highlight our positive features, not just hide the negative ones), I am a huge fan of Cover Girl.  I have used Cover Girl powders for years, and love their LashBlast mascara!  My mom gave me some Cover Girl & Olay Simply Ageless foundation, and even though up to that point I hadn't even been using foundation, I tried it and I love it!  I could go on and on about it, but I didn't get invited to that campaign...

I was, however, invited to the Cover Girl Smoky ShadowBlast and ShineBlast campaign.  *happy dance*  I received a full-size tube of each of the products, in colors I got to choose.

The Smoky ShadowBlast is a 2-step eye shadow stick that's intended to help achieve that smoky (hence the name) look.  If you already know how to "do" your eyeshadow, this might not be new to you -- but even an experienced makeup wearer will probably appreciate how quickly and easily this goes on.  For someone who wants to try to add something to their look but isn't as familiar with how to properly apply the products, this would probably be an awesome way to start!  Just use the rounded end for shading the lid, and then the tapered end for lining the crease and the upper and lower lids.  The shades are coordinated for you, the applicator is designed to get that smoky look -- you really can't go wrong!

While I love the look, I didn't notice it staying on any longer than any other eyeshadow I wear -- but all eyeshadows, from Cover Girl to Estee Lauder, seem to slide off of my lids easily.  So that might just be me!

The ShineBlast Lip Gloss is special because it has a fancy schmancy applicator that "hugs your lips' countours for optimum, smooth application and 4x more noticeable shine" (vs. your bare lips).  Now, I'm not a lip gloss wearer because it normally just feels too goopy, and I kind of prefer the matte look.  But the ShineBlast gloss was definitely not as goopy, I didn't feel like I wasn't going to be able to talk because my lips were stuck together.  It definitely gave a pretty shine, and the color I chose complements my favorite lipstick -- and they have 16 shades to choose from. 

How does it last?  I felt like it didn't last all that long, but I don't know how long lip gloss is supposed to last since I don't wear it often.

I would actually probably buy the ShadowBlast because of how simple it is to use.  If you do use eye shadow regularly, then you know it can take a little extra time to do more than just smooth a little color over that lower lid.  This really simplifies things for the "pro" or the "novice", in my opinion.  Also, there are always, always Cover Girl coupons in the paper, and if you are a CVS shopper, they are always, always putting Cover Girl products on sale.  So even at a suggested price of $7.99 for the ShadowBlast and $7.49 for the ShineBlast, if you like either or both of the products, you're going to be able to get a deal on them.

Thank you, BzzAgent, for responding to my pouts and giving me something fun and useful to try yet again!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Giveaway May #2: WINNER & Giveaway May #3: Barefoot Bath & Body!

I wanted to do something fun for my two year blogging anniversary, which is this month! And since giveaways = fun, having one giveaway a week during the month of May is fun times four, and I think that's illegal in some churches countries!

Amanda said...

Hey, Vanessa! I loved all of the jewelry, especially the long necklaces. I think my fave is the vintage onyx...very classy!
May 12, 2010 4:04 PM

First, the winner of the Jenny Bunny Creations giveaway!  Congratulations to AMANDA!  You won HEAT!  Please e-mail me with your color choice (opaque: black, white, yellow, cobalt blue or transparent: cream, smoky blue or olive green) and your address, and Jenny will send you your beautiful handmade earrings!  Enjoy wearing them!  If I don't hear from you in 48 hours, I'll have to pick a new winner, orIwillkeepthemformyself.  ...Did I just type that out loud?  Oops.

And now, my next giveaway...

Thanks to Winn and her generosity (déjà vu!), I was introduced to Barefoot Bath & Body's fantastic shaving bars!  I loved everything about the one I got so much that I contacted Dee to tell her I wanted to rave on her product and asked if she'd do a giveaway!  And she did!  Dee is so incredibly kind, she is doing another one for my blog's anniversary!  YAY!  Look what you can win!

Grace shea butter soap, Grace soy candle
& a hand crocheted soap bag, made by Dee herself!

1. MANDATORY ENTRY: Visit Barefoot Bath & Body, then come back here and leave me a comment telling me something you just l-o-v-e-d! (1 entry.)

2. EXTRA ENTRY: Start stalking following me through Google Friend Connect and let me know in a comment, or comment that you already do. (1 entry.)

3. EXTRA ENTRY: Start stalking following Dee's blog through Google Friend Connect and let me know in a comment, or comment that you already do. (1 entry.)

That's all, folks! I'll announce the winner next Monday before I start my next giveaway! If your e-mail is available through your Blogger profile, or you leave it in your comment, I will also contact you, because I'm just that nice!

Enter away!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Note to Transplants: Don't Hate On My State Edition

Guess what.  I'm tired -- and I said that in my best southern accent, so it sounded more like "tahred".  Because I'm knackered (and now I'm British), I'm regurgitating a post that I did almost a year ago.  It's okay.  It's my blog, I can do that.

So this is my Note to Transplants -- those of you that have moved to my fair state...


Somehow in my little neck of the woods, I have come to know a handful (actually, more like two fistfuls) of folks from the state of Alabama. Many of these people graduated from Auburn. Because of them, I have gained a little knowledge about the state… and Auburn grads.

For instance, did you know that a male Auburn grad may glare at you for a solid minute if you call him a “‘Bama Boy”?
Did you know that you should not question the whole mascot thing (tiger? war eagle?) unless you have time for a little bit of a history lesson?

And did you know that these graduates will arrange all of their fall social engagements around the Auburn football schedule?

I’m sure there are other fans that hold this kind of devotion to their alma mater, but I’ve known quite a few fanatics in my day and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the kind of dedication to a team (or a school) that Auburn alum seem to have. It’s actually quite endearing.
I have a similar kind of love. I’m a Florida girl. I’m third generation Floridian — third generation to my hometown, as a matter of fact. It’s kind of a rarity. I love Florida and, honestly, I don’t know what I’d do if I had to leave. Well, I do know — I’d survive. But I’d miss my state.
But Florida is home to lots of people from somewhere else. LOTS. I have noticed that sometimes, sometimes, these transplants need a little schooling. I wanted to address some of the most pressing issues... 
  • Yes, it is hot. Welcome to Florida. Just to let you know, in the 1700s, Gov. Henry Ellis walked around Savannah, Georgia checking a thermometer constantly, and he went insane. It could happen to you.
  • Flip flops ain’t just for the beach, baby. And if you’re going to go flipping and flopping, might I suggest a quick pedicure?
  • Gentlemen — socks and sandals are a no.
  • Ladies — pantyhose and sandals are a no.
  • Stop complaining about Florida drivers. When last I checked, the census said that only 30% of those living in Florida were native Floridians. So 70% of those bad drivers have come here from somewhere else. Maybe where you’re from.
  • Go outside. Do you see the ocean? No? Then you don’t live on the beach. You can say you live “minutes from the beach” or even “near the beach”. But unless you can walk to it, you don’t live on it.
  • The further south you go in Florida, the more northern things are.
  • The further north you go in Florida, the more southern things are.
  • From about October through May, you might want to start finding some new ways around your town — back roads and what not. The main roads tend to get busier during that time due to snowbirds. (Don’t hate — that’s someone’s grandma you’re thinking about giving the one-finger salute to.) 

  •  And finally -- no, mosquitoes are not our state bird.
  • Class dismissed.
Have a nice weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Never Marry A Man Who Lies. The End.

Did I tell you how The Wolf proposed?

We were in line at a restaurant and a police officer walked in.  He spotted The Wolf and headed over.  He said there was a warrant for his arrest.  Started to cuff him.  Then the officer kind of started lecturing The Wolf.  Said he needed to try to "settle down."

"Do you think you can do that, son?" the officer asked.

"Yes, sir," The Wolf answered.

Then he proposed.

Funny how things kind of come full circle...

It was approximately five seconds after I said the dreaded D-word to The Wolf that his precious cell phone rang.  And, yes, it was Skanky McSluttybritches The Other Woman calling.

I left the room.

The next day, I spoke to my bosses about The Big D.  The managing partner of the firm happened to be married to another brilliant attorney whose field happened to be family law.  She agreed to handle my divorce for free, I would just pay the court costs.  Court costs for a divorce were nothing to sneeze at, but if I'd had to pay for her legal services as well I would probably still be paying for it.

I moved in with my Granny for a little bit.

The Wolf continued to see The Other Woman here and there.  I saw a receipt on the dresser in the guest room once -- he'd taken her out using his company's credit card.  Classy.  Then one day, when I was on my way to Granny's for lunch, I noticed a familiar car in the parking lot of a Wendy's very close to her house.  It was his.  There they sat, right at a window facing the road.

Oh, how I wanted to create a new drive-thru for that restaurant.
Or go inside and show them how to use a Frosty as shampoo.

It wasn't too terribly long before I told The Wolf he needed to find his own place.  This, followed by a weekend trip home where he apparently was repeatedly told I was the best thing that ever happened to him and he needed to fix things immediately, prompted him to tell me he wanted to work things out.

I wish that I could type the way he said the words.  But I can't type flat.  I can't type emotionlessly.  (I don't know if emotionlessly is a word.)

Surprisingly, his plea to return did not stir my heart.

So the wheels were in motion for him to move out.

Well, my wheels were in motion.  My sister was going to move into the house with me.  His parents were paying for him to stay in a hotel, so he was in and out of the house.

One of the nights he was in the house, my sister came by with some of her things, and her cat.

HIM:   What's that?
ME:    A cat.
HIM:   Why?
ME:    Because you're taking ours.
HIM:   So that's it?  You're just giving up?  It's over?
ME:    *blink*  You're the one who had the affair.
HIM:   We never had sex!
ME:    *blink*

It was at that point I walked out to the garage and reached under the front seat of his Jeep, to where I had previously found a box of condoms.  I brought them back in and held them up.

"Count them," he said defiantly.

I reached into the box, and pulled out one. open. empty. wrapper. 

Who puts the empty wrapper back in the box, anyway?

The Wolf got mad.  Real mad.  And he directed his anger at my sister, and her cat.  He stormed towards me and pushed me through the closed bedroom door and headed towards my sister.  To this day, I cannot tell you exactly how it happened, but either I or she and I together pushed him out of the room, then we locked ourselves in.

"Call the police," she said.  I did.  The dispatcher kept us on the line while we listened to him crashing around the rest of the house.  He was yelling and screaming, saying he was going to drive a knife through his heart.  Then we heard him walking past the bedroom door to the front door, and he went outside.  We informed the dispatcher, and said he wouldn't be difficult to spot -- after all, he was only wearing boxer shorts and socks.

Then there was a knock at the door, and I thought the calvary had arrived.

Nope.  It was him.

And for some reason, which to this day I still can't figure out what it was, I let him in.  And if my sister is reading this, she is still shaking her head in disbelief.

I rushed back into the bedroom and locked the door, and the dispatcher told us that we needed to leave the house and get to a squad car that was waiting for us down the street.  Yes, you read that right, down. the. street.

My sister and I readied ourselves.  We swung open the bedroom door and dahsed towards the front door.  We heard The Wolf say, "What the f..." and my sister shouted,


I bolted out the front door with my sister on my heels.
It was totally COPS meets Baywatch.

We got down the street to the police car and were told to sit in the back.  An officer asked me if The Wolf was still in the house, and just as I was about to answer "yes", we saw the garage door going up.

"He's moving!" someone shouted.

RED AND BLUE EVERYWHERE.  I hadn't realized how many police cars there were until then.  They headed off in different directions and immediately stopped him.  He was arrested for assault and battery.

And an outstanding warrant for burglary.  Awesome.

The next morning I didn't go into work.  Instead, my sister and I went to the courthouse so I could get a restraining order.  Then we went to where The Wolf worked so I could drop off the keys to the vehicle he used, as well as the company credit card.  I found the warehouse and a woman I'd met once or twice before, and as she took the keys and the card she told me she was sorry.  They'd tried to tell him he was screwing everything up.

Well.  People had tried to tell me that also.

I left the warehouse and, as if on autopilot, I headed to the front office.  I walked inside and noticed that there was a handy dandy employee roster on a table in the waiting area, so I scanned it to check The Other Woman's last name.  Then I turned to the receptionist and said,

"I'd like to speak to The Other Woman, please."

I didn't know what I was going to say.  I didn't know what I was going to do.  I just knew I wanted to speak to her face-to-face.

She came out of the hallway and stopped short when she saw me.  She looked... intimidated?!  Really?  Cool.  I asked her in my most professional voice if she would please step outside for a moment.  She hesitated, and then followed me out.  (I'm guessing she figured if I went all crazy white girl on her, the receptionist would be able to see through the glass doors.)  I told her The Wolf had been arrested, and she mumbled something about not wanting to get involved.  I tilted my head.

ME:     I thought you'd be more concerned.
HER:  We're just friends.
ME:     Friends don't see forever in each other's eyes.  (Her words from one of the cards I'd found.)
HER:   *blink* He said you were getting a divorce.  He said things were over.
ME:     *smile*  I didn't mention divorce until I found your clothes in my laundry.
HER:   He said you cheated!  He found a condom!
ME:    *shoulders squared*  He was my first.  And my only.

Her jaw dropped.  I had nothing else to say to her.  I knew she was lied to also, and for a brief moment I pitied her, but then I remembered her kids, and the father of one of them that was living with her.  No more pity.

The Wolf got out of jail, and soon after got a craptastic apartment in the same city.  He dragged his feet when it came to finishing up the paperwork for the divorce, sending letters to my attorney through his apologizing and saying he wanted to work things out.  But eventually, a mere two years, three months and twenty-one days after we said "I do", it was officially over.

Then I moved on.

Not destroyed.
Not irreparably damaged.
Not a victim.

And I was thankful.

Because yeah, what I went through was pretty rotten, but it could have been so. much. worse.  And really, none of it had to happen in the first place.  Had I not been so pig-headed, I could have avoided all of that misery.  God was gracious to get me out as quickly as He did, and as unscathed.

... Something my mom said as we were growing up was, "If there's a doubt, DON'T."  If you have doubts, listen to them.  If your family have friends have doubts, that might be a clue that you need to get some of your own.

And if God is trying to get through to you with your own version of a drunken car ride, or a cake in the face (and nose and eyes and ears), or a car accident before you even really get on the road, you know, before things are signed, sealed and delivered -- for the love of all things holy, UNSIGN, UNSEAL, AND DO NOT DELIVER!

Not everyone gets out so easily.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Never Marry A Man Who Lies. Part Four.

We were living in our second apartment when he first mentioned this girl at work (at his third job in less than a year).  (To make things easier, I will go ahead and just refer to her as Slutty McHomewrecker The Other Woman.)  He said she was talking a lot about her problems with her boyfriend.  The boyfriend she lived with, the father to at least one of her children.  He asked me what I thought of her spilling everything to him, and I told him she sounded like trouble.  That was the last I heard of her.

Except at his office Christmas party, this girl asked him to dance with her.  I didn't really do fast dancing, so I shrugged and said it was fine.  I had no idea who she was.  I noticed an uncomfortable silence at the table as he got up and headed to the dance floor, but I didn't think anything of it.

I do now.  Duh.

We'd been married a little over a year at this point.  Were there good times?  Sure.  He did get me a kitten.  He did buy me diamond earrings for Christmas. 

There was also that night that he let the air out of one of my car's tires so that when we tried to go to church the next day, he could say, "Oh darn, we have a flat."

Good times. Good times.

Anyhow, we were actually looking for a house not long after our first anniversary.  My parents were encouraging this, and willing to help -- I think they thought that a house would settle things him down.

We bought a house.

Then everything basically went to h-e-double-hockey-sticks.

The Wolf was not the cleanest of men.  He would go a couple of a few several days without showering.  There wasn't much I could do about it, nor did I particularly notice, because he stayed up late on the computer or watching movies and slept on the couch a lot.  He didn't realize that he could actually put dirty dishes in the dishwasher.  He didn't realize the purpose of a laundry basket.

However, when I would go spend time with my grandmother, he would clean. 

One day I noticed that he was nearly done cleaning before I even left the house.  I told him, "Hey!  You're almost done!  We could hang out today, go out somewhere!"  He shook his head and told me he wouldn't dream of interrupting my time with my Granny.  Well, that was sweet.

Orrrr that was his way of getting me out of the house for a few hours so he could spend a lot of time online.  Or watching movies he'd bought or rented that I didn't know anything about.

Because although I handled our finances, adult video stores didn't show up as NASTY DIRTY FILTHY XXX VIDEO STORE on our bank statements.  Go figure.

Then I noticed some changes.

He started showering.  He started shaving.  He started wearing both earrings (one in each ear) because he decided it was "sexy".

He started hanging out with some guy from work, "Jeff".

One night he was talking to "Jeff" on the phone.  He was on the cell phone that he'd been supplied for work, the one that he carried around like he was Linus and the phone was his blanket.  He'd even taken it into the bathroom with him.  He was talking in hushed tones, and I slowly walked up behind him.

"No, not tonight," he said softly.  "Tomorrow?  ... I sure hope so."

As he said good-bye, he turned around and saw me standing there.

"Who was that?" I asked.
"Jeff," he answered.
"Well, either you're gay, or that was a woman."

He turned on the TV.  I went in and got on the computer in the office.  He got up and closed the door to the office.

What the...

I opened the door.
"Why did you do that?" I asked.
"I don't want to look at you right now," he replied.


I called my mom and asked her to call my house and say that she needed me to get groceries for Granny.  She did.  I drove to her office and spilled everything.  She called a private investigator she knew.

One night The Wolf said he was going to play basketball with "Jeff".  The private investigator reported first of all that The Wolf made a pit stop at an adult video store.  Then apparently he and "Jeff" played basketball at another co-worker's house, inside her living room, with her and The Other Woman.  Then I think they may have used the jacuzzi as the net or something.

After The Wolf found out that I knew he wasn't where he said he was going to be, he agreed to go to counseling.

I think it was our first session where he semi-admitted to going places with The Other Woman, and fully admitted to not loving me anymore.

My response: "We can work on this."

Pick up your jaw.

You see, divorce wasn't in my vocabulary.  NOT because I felt like I was sinning if I entertained thoughts of divorce.  NOT because I was so in love and couldn't imagine my life without him.  I knew I'd chosen to marry this man, even when it wasn't what God wanted for me.  In my heart of hearts, I did not feel the time was right to throw in the towel.

I had never felt so peaceful.

Later, when he came home from a trip to the beach with "Jeff" and was sunburned to the point of being practically immobilized, I took care of him.  When I twisted my ankle one night, while he was out with "Jeff", he came home and helped -- by moving his laundry off of the bed onto the floor, where I couldn't make it through on my crutches.

Yet, peace.

When he said he was going on an overnight fishing trip with "Jeff" and came home not wearing his wedding band... Peace.
One night when I went into the guest room, where he'd been sleeping, and found greeting cards with sweet messages written by The Other Woman... Peace.
When I looked around the guest room a little more and found a couple of large boxes full of adult magazines... *vomit

Can't win 'em all.

One day, not long after the pastor who was counseling us told The Wolf that he needed to, and I quote, "grow some balls," I asked him why he stayed. 

He answered, "Where else am I going to go?"

And then one day I was doing laundry, and I pulled out a t-shirt I hadn't seen before.  A Super Bowl t-shirt.  Size Small.

Guess what size neither The Wolf nor I wore.

All the peace I felt stayed with me when I told The Wolf that I was going to talk to my bosses (I worked for attorneys, remember?) about starting the paperwork for a divorce.

And right after the words left my lips, his cell phone rang.

Guess who it was...

And guess what else?
There's more.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Never Marry A Man Who Lies. Part Three.

Part One.
Part Two.

After the cake smashing incident, and after I did not ask my mom to sneak me out of the hotel so I could make a run for it, it was time for the honeymoon.

I'm an old-fashioned kind of girl, so I wanted him to plan the honeymoon.

I had also been a wee bit busy trying to find a place for us to live.

The plan was to spend the night at a hotel in town, and then head to the most exotic of locations.


Before you scoff and tell me how happy you would be to get to go to Orlando, allow me to remind you that I lived about an hour away from Orlando.  One hour.  As in, could go there pretty much whenever I wanted.  And I'd lived that far from Orlando my. entire. life.

Oh, but that didn't matter to me at the time, of course.  It was just about spending time with him.

But first, we spent the night in a local hotel.  A nice one, with a special sink with scalding hot water for coffee.  And trust me, if it says HOT WATER, it means HOT WATER.  It doesn't take a while to heat up, it is hot immediately.  Seriously.  Take my word on it.

Anyway, that was where we spent our first night as a married couple.

I went into the bathroom to scald my hand change out of my gown and into something less more comfortable. 

Then I heard voices.

I wrapped a towel around myself and stuck my head out of the bathroom door to see The Wolf with a maintenance man.

Apparently, The Wolf had tried to turn on the TV and it wasn't working.  So he called the front desk to ask about getting it fixed.  And after the maintenance guy checked it out and said that we needed another TV in there, The Wolf said okay, so they were changing out the TVs.

Let's review.  We have one night in this hotel.  It is our first night together as a married couple.  While I am changing, The Wolf turns on the TV, and, upon seeing that the TV is inoperable, decides to remedy that situation.  Right then.  Right there.  Because the TV is a priority when we are there for one night and are checking out first thing in the morning.


The next day, we got on the road for our trip to Orlando.

We had not even gotten beyond the city limits when God tried to stop me yet again we got into a car accident.

A car sideswiped us -- the woman was pulling on to the road and thought that we were turning one way or the other, out of her way. 

Well.  We weren't.

She pulled over and got out of her car, and The Wolf got out as well.  The woman was apologizing profusely. 

The Wolf was swearing profusely.

I'm not talking a couple of expletives to vent his frustration at the situation, I'm talking a string of words that would have made a sailor blush.

And then the woman's young son climbed out of the back seat. 
I know The Wolf saw him.
That did not stop him from continuing to rip this poor lady a new one.

I was mortified.

Somehow, I got him to stop and get something to take down her information, and I handled the conversation from that point on.

All the while thinking, "They probably haven't mailed the certificate yet."

The honeymoon in Orlando was largely uneventful.

We got back and began our lives as newlyweds.
I got back and began my life as the wife of an alcoholic and porn addict.

With the help of some family friends (of mine), The Wolf got a job as a general runner-type.  I got a job as a secretary in a law firm.  When I became employed, I celebrated by ordering cable for us.

He celebrated by ordering 24 hours of The Playboy Channel. 

While I was spending an afternoon with my grandmother, of course.

When I asked him about it, he apologized a lot, and didn't argue when I said I was going to make use of the parental controls.

Later, he didn't argue when I put a 900 block on our phone line.

I was confused and disgusted, but he seemed sincere when he apologized, and I thought that I was doing the best I could to "help" him.

It took me a little longer to realize he had a drinking problem.

Mostly because he didn't do it in front of me.
And mostly because I didn't realize it wasn't normal for a person to chug Nyquil every evening.
I thought he just had trouble sleeping.

Then, at my office Christmas party, he took full advantage of the open bar.  FULL advantage.  I watched in horror as he slurred his way through a conversation with one of the partners of the law firm.  With his fly down.  I believe I allowed myself more than two glasses of wine that evening, and once again, I didn't do anything to stop him from driving when we left.

We hopped a curb on our way home.  I don't know if we went somewhere to make the phone call or if The Wolf's job had provided him with a cell phone, but somehow we were able to make a call for help.  My mom or my dad or both of them came and drove us home.

Not long after that, we moved to a different apartment complex.  You see, The Wolf had a few disagreements with one of our neighbors.  She was probably 153-years-old.  Yes, she was kind of rude and she let her yippy dog poop wherever it wanted to, but I just don't think there was anything she did to warrant him calling her "Hitler".  I also don't think that her dog really pooped ON the stairs.  I think that he put the poop there himself before he showed the managers.  They suspected that as well, and they told me that when they asked to meet with me privately in their office.  They also told me that we might want to look for another apartment.

So we I did.

On St. Patrick's Day, I got a call from one of The Wolf's co-workers.  I might need to come get him.  They had gone to Bennigan's after work and The Husband was celebrating his Irish ancestry (his last name was definitely Irish -- however, he was adopted), and his celebrating was getting a little out of hand.

I walked into Bennigan's to see most of the patrons with bemused expressions on their faces.  It was maybe, maybe, 7:00 p.m.  Maybe.  And already one poor sap had had enough to drink that he was acting as if the restaurant was his personal stage.  He was singing, he was dancing.

He was making a complete and total fool of himself.

He was my husband. 

His co-workers explained that he'd earned himself some free shots right when they got there -- for having an Irish last name, for proving that he was, in fact, wearing green, even if it was on his boxers.

So after sitting for a while and having the distinct pleasure of running into at least three people I knew, I collected The Wolf and drove him home.  Because I couldn't drive a stick, I had to ask one of my parents to drive me back to the restaurant later so they could drive his car back to our apartment.

When I returned, The Wolf was laying in the hallway.  I imagine he had made a valiant effort to get to the toilet before he vomited, but he came up a wee bit short.

Within this first year of marital bliss (or a bodily fluid that rhymes with bliss), The Wolf had a little trouble holding on to a job.  His first job as a runner ended, and he somehow found out about an opening for a security guard at a new resort that was opening about 30 minutes away from us.  I remember when he told me about it, and I remember everything in me thinking it was a bad idea.  I remember telling him that.

He took the job.

He lost that job a few months later when he was accused of stealing from guests' rooms.

I had often wondered where he was getting the extra cash to buy movies -- because he was always coming home with tons of movies.  I mean, I knew he was a movie buff, but he was developing quite the collection.  He'd told me that because the resort was so new, he was sometimes taking luggage up to rooms, and he would get tips.

I believed him.

I also believed him when he told me that he was going to stay away from the girl he met at his new job who seemed very interested in telling him her sob story about her horrible relationship with her boyfriend.

More on that in Part Four.

Which I will post tomorrow.

You could always enter my giveaway while you're waiting.