Category Archives: Relationships

Stories From The 80s. Parenting thru the Generations.

 

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**everyone’s real name has been changed. 

Social media brings up a lot of feelings for me lately. I have to constantly remind myself that for most people, social media is showing their “best side”.  Even sometimes for me.

 

I hesitate to even share this story because the immediate reaction can be, “What does this have to do with your life?  Mind your own business. “ I want to point some things out, and some differences that I process between my life, and other people’s life. I feel like I am processing good thoughts and good concepts. It is the things like this that I ruminate about.  Maybe not what I ruminate the most about, but it does bother me! And I bet other people wrestle with similar concepts.

My mom has had a best friend for just about 30 years. Its been a very awesome and interesting journey, and I say that only as the observer along for the ride. I think most people  want a friend like Sue for more than half your life.   In the course of 30 years, the friend we will call “Sue” was our neighbor, not once, but twice!    That’s right. In two different neighborhoods. In the first neighborhood,  Sue lived across the street at the end of the block. If you squinted, you could see each others houses.   I would believe my mom and Sue were fast friends because they had kids the same age.  Sue has a daughter  about two  years older than me, I am one month older than Sue’s  son, (uh, we’re the same age, same grade in school—same class in 5th grade!); and she would have a daughter with a new relationship in 1987.

That youngest daughter is who this post is going to focus on, But after some down –memory-lane backstory.  Prepare to go back in time to the 1980’s.

Sue had a husband named Dan. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember him at all. All I remember are the stories  about Dan. Also,  thanks to “throwback Thursdays” on social media.   If it’s not obvious yet, Dan passed away as a very young man. More on that in a moment.

 

The circumstances surrounding Dan’s death are cloudy at best for me. Mostly because I was no more than five years old.  But that part is verified, because there is a photo of me opening a birthday gift at our house, with Sue’s kids looking on.  I remember a comment that was made so very long ago.  “That was JUST after IT happened”.

You’ll notice that,I don’t know if it was my specific parenting, or this baby-boomer generation but WE WILL NOT DEFINE ANY TERMS.  JUST BE AS VAGUE AS POSSIBLE.

I am not convinced it wasn’t a suicide, but my mother was aghast when I even suggested that.

How it came be is the big mystery. From what I’ve been told  Dan had a known medical condition.  Kind of like narcolepsy, but maybe it wasn’t.  One night, Dan came home late.  Whether it was a night of working late, or a night out with the guys– I don’t know. Probably around midnight.  Dan pulls into he garage of their home. He has an “episode” perhaps, and falls asleep in the car.  But the car is still running.  AND, he closed the garage amidst all of it.

I tend to think “passed out drunk, but closed the garage first” but that’s just me.  Tragic no matter what the circumstance.

Sue found him early the next morning.  I think they both were no more than 30 years old. Two children left behind, 6 and 4.

That’s how Sue and my mom became close. Sue started spending lots of time, as she would say, “on your couch in your family room”.  The miraculous part for me is that Dan must have had quite the life insurance policy, because Sue didn’t ever work until sometime in the mid 90s.  Dan died in the mid 80s!  So she essentially was a stay-at-home mom, even though her husband had died.  Someday I will need to ask her more about that situation, because that blows my mind. As the s

I had a father that traveled for a living.  From the time I was born, til the time I left home. The pattern was he would leave on Sunday, and return Thursday night.  That’ another post for another time. But as the story goes, Sue says when my dad would finally get home, we would flash a look like, “You Again? ”   I kind of get it.  Find something else to do.  But that’s all they did. Kids had constant playmates, and mom’s sat and drank Tab and watched Oprah.

Just imagine being 30 and widowed?  I am sure the loneliness feels like it will kill you.

So my mom and Pam became what we call, “The Single Mom’s Club”. This played out in a memory that I we always laugh about when we talk with Sue.  There was a diner/chain restaurant in town (that doesn’t exist anymore, sadly, but just a Denny’s type place) that had Kids Eat Free on Tuesday nights.  So, Mom, Sue, and another single mom that was a friend of Sue’s packed up all the kids, got a huge booth, and they COPED.  Kids ran around, hit each other with balloon animals, and the mom’s just talked.  I am sure there was complaining. There was definitely laughter.  But it was a tradition, and I remember it fondly.  Our families were each other’s tribe.   They were there for the good and the bad. Now that I am an adult, I understand that it is not easy to raise multiple kids without someone to “take a shift” every now and then.

I am happy that Sue is still “in my life” via social media, and I try to visit her when I go back to my hometown. I feel privileged that she can say. “I’ve known you forever”.

Sue, being barely 30, of course hit the bar and dating scene after Dan’s death. Sometimes she brought my mom with her when a babysitter was retained.   Sue met her new husband and they married around 1986.

Sue and *Bill had a daughter together the next year.  We’ll call her LEAH.  And Leah, I have a  bone to pick with today.

Leah is now.. what, 28 years old? Something like that.  Well into adulthood.  I only remember Leah like as a pre-schooler.  I left home relatively young. So I remember her not much older than elementary age. Leah has had a bit of a tragic story herself.  Leah met a guy, and they fell in “looove”. And wouldn’t you know it, Leah gets pregnant like 30 seconds later.  A few months before the baby is born, Leah and the baby’s father get married.

All is well, right?  Nope.

Now you want to talk about sketchy details.. I think this set are sketchy because no one really wants to talk about this story.  It’s quick to be swept under the rug..   But I guess from the very SECOND Leah married this guy, he SNAPPED.   My interpretation.   The word that was described to me was “controlling”.   But controlling moved in the next breath to “No Contact Orders”. I don’t recall ever hearing about any physical violence, or anything that would be OBVIOUSLY dangerous, but at some point a judge agreed.

But things must have progressed rapidly, because soon after, he had no visitation and no contact with the baby either. He has a court order for child support, but no visitation or contact.  He is the baby’s father by check and last name only.

So Leah obvoiously moved home. With a newborn. It makes sense. She needed a safe place to shelter and to raise a newborn. In the meantime, Sue and Bill both love their grandson. They love all the hands-on.

But I would think— and here comes my RUMINATING— that there would be some rough plan in place. A rough timeline.  Stay for a year or two. Get on your feet.  She had just been accepted to a 4 year university when she got pregnant. She told me she was moving to the dorms. When I heard she was pregnant, my thought was, “Well,I guess moving away to school is out!”

Okay. Here we go.  Leah is now 28, and her son is going into 2nd grade. He’s 8 years old.  Leah, still living in her childhood home, a 2 blocks from my own childhood home.

“So who cares Sarah? Whats the problem?!”  JUST WAIT.

Leah is a bartender so she works until 2 or 3 am. That means that Sue and Bill put her son to bed EVERY night. I tried to stop by and visit with Sue when I was in town last spring.  She said only had a 2 hour window. She had to drop her grandson off at afternoon-half-day-kindergarten; she had to run an errand, and she had to be back to pick the boy up in like 2 hours.  (W.

 

But here’s what’s really been bugging me. Obviousy, Bill, Sue,and Leah have some tension.  Sue told me that “If it wasn’t for [child], Leah would be gone.”  She said that when Leah is home  on a rare night, she will ask her mother, “When was the last time he had a bath?”  Sue takes offense at this. As if she is eluding to the fact her mother is neglecting her grandchild.

Sue rightly tells her, “Look, if you think he needs bathing, then give him a bath.”

I agree.  DUH!

I guess there was also an incident where one night Leah went out on a date with a “new” boyfriend.  Her parents were not opposed to babysitting so she could go out. Of course, my thought is I am sure they have hopes that she will find another stable and lasting relationship.   They appear supportive.

This particular night though, the child was throwing up. Unexpectedly. As kids tend to do.  Sue texts Leah:

“He is throwing up. I need you to come home.”

Reasonable, right?   Leah texted back, that she was on her way, and would be home soon.

Sue said two hours later, still no Leah. So, she texts her again, “I really need you to come home and help me with this”.

Well.  The response? “You fucking bitch!  Don’t you know I am out on a date?  I said I am on my way as soon as I can”. 

This is where I fainted.

This is one issue where my mother and I are in agreement. “She’d be out of my house”. 

I can’t even believe that. Which is why I am writing about it.

In my experience, I was told in the EIGHTH GRADE, very vaguely, because obviously we can’t have frank conversations…  about sex.    But it was not, “One part goes into another part, and thats how a baby is made”.  SCHOOL teaches that. (and the playground).  We pay people to talk about that!

My conversation consisted of, “I Don’t Want You Doing It.  But IF YOU DO, and SOMETHING HAPPENS (happens being the wild-card word, I guess?  Fill in the blank??)  Then HAVE A PLAN TO DEAL WITH IT .  ”   The End. Very informative.

Proclamation at the end: “I’ve had MY Kids!”

There would be NO babies living in our home.  At any age.  Visit:  Yes.  Reside:  HELL NO.

“Sarah, I am lost. Where in heaven are you going with this story, it started out with something about’ ‘social media’ and “our best side’.  Wrap it up.  Jimmy Fallon is almost on… ” 

Just this last week, I pulled up some social media where Sue was sharing photos.  Leah was in Oregon; mind you about 1,800 miles or so from her home with her new boyfriend.  Sue was tickled to share all the nice photos of lush, green Oregon and all the hikes Leah was taking.

Well, I couldn’t resist. COMMENT!  “Are you babysitting, Grandma?”

“Yes,I am.”

Okay, so I AM NOT saying that a single mom shouldn’t have time to herself, or take a girls trip, or a trip away with a significant other.  Women are more than Mothers, and they have other sides to their lives to nourish.

But “you fucking bitch?”  and she stays home and takes care of your kid full-time while you’re off on vacation? I don’t know if that’s OWED to you.

I do think Leah needs to grow up already. I understand if you can’t afford an apartment. Although bartenders make pretty good tips!  GET A ROOMMATE OR TWO OR THREE. Do you know how many years I lived in relative boarding houses because I couldn’t afford a place of my own?  Here’s a clue: I was 31 when I got my OWN place!  Give your parents some peace.

 

That’s this :”unconditional love ” thing that Sue REALLY seems to get.  Maybe my mom… not so much.  Because go back to her “sex talk” with me:   What that’s really saying is, “I will only love you, if you obey what I say.”  To this day, if I would ask her, “hey, what if I had gotten pregnant at 15… what would you have done?”  Without hesitation, she said, “You would have been sent away.  To the ‘Unwed Mothers Home”, (DOESNT EXIST) , Foster Care, You would not have been in my home.”

So after all this, HOW ARE YOUR MOTHER AND SUE THE BEST OF FRIENDS??   My mom is like the head-cheerleader of Retirement Life.  or as I refer to it, “Second adolescence.”

My answer:  Who the hell knows!  They are VERY different in how it comes to child rearing.  Mom mom’s opinion is that Sue “has a need to be needed”.  She has shared with me that “Sue’s mother was schizophrenic, and was hospitalized for most of her youth (think the 60s  era of  long-term, months of hospitalization). She is used to taking care of everyone.” 

While Sue was our neighbor in two different neighborhoods (only separated from 1988-1992 .Then Sue and Bill bought a home in our neighborhood, again!) The women are now separated by more than 1,000 miles.  They have a set appointment phone-date every Monday. They talk about soap-operas, TV shows and movies, politics,and everything in between.  Mom says that they RARELY talk about our kids.  She said that “occasionally something will come up where we will talk about you guys, but we don’t call to talk about kids. We talk about fun things.  But I have told Sue when she complains about Leah, that “I just never would tolerate what you do”

And that’s adorable.  I wish I had a phone date  once a week, with ANYONE!  Hashtag jealous.  And they really are, the BEST of Friends. It’s a pleasure to have been a part of,and to even watch them interact on Facebook.  They have a sisterhood.

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Filed under Authenticity, random, rants, Relationships

Just Write–First Edition

This is my attempt at contribution to the awesome idea of Just Write . With the way things are with me, this very well will be the only post.  But I love the rules.: The fact that THERE ARE NONE. Because that’s exactly where I am at with my blogging. If you were to look in my archives you would notice that my blogging is often well researched, thought out, my arguments backed up as best as I can.  But I am just not there a this point in my life. I am desperate to get the fleeting thoughts in my head out. Outside of myself. And so this experience is exactly what I need. I don’t want to censor myself, check my spelling, give backstory and context etc.  I just want to get my thoughts out of myself. My own thoughts that belong to me, no matter how trivial.  So here we go.

I went to a meeting on “Mentoring” last week. I went thinking that I really really  want to be mentored in some way. As hard as it is to admit, I have many needs. Not even just needs “right now”, I just have needs. I’ve spent hours contemplating what I would like to grow and improve, and in some ways fix.  And how could a mentor pour into, or speak into that?  Then I walk in the door, and I say. “I am not sure if I need mentoring or if I should be doing it”.  And I really feel that way. I’ve had some out of this world mentoring in my life in the past. I am much of who I am today thanks to people that have poured into me. But it’s been many years since I’ve had any real mentoring. I am in a very different place now, and I am filled with questions. I could think of a million things that I could be taught, that I could learn by becoming an”apprentice” of someone else. I am desperate for someone to ask me “How is it going?”  It’s so funny that with dozens of social media outlets out there, people are “Checking in” everywhere.  But when’s the last time you asked someone, “Hey, how’s that thing going that you were talking about? Have you made any progress? Is that getting any better?” Why are people only superficially engaged these days?”  I would love to be able to say to someone sincerely and with a mix of vulnerability and confidence, “I don’t know what I am doing here. Can you guide the way?”

interestingly enough,I it’s been about 4 days since the meeting, and my hunger to both give and receive is gone. Just going to the meeting satiated something with wanting to be mentored. If I have to be honest, I am afraid of being rejected. Of someone telling me “You have more needs than anyone here could match”. I am afraid that I can’t narrow down one goal that I would like to tackle the most.

However I also need to be pouring into other people too. I really believe I have at least something to give. I can pour-in too.

I am falling asleep “justwrite” ‘ ing this. My job is on a mission to kill me these days.  I will have worked 13 days in a row with no day off coming up. But my blogging thoughts never flow during the wakeful hours.  I even drank a Diet Coke. It has no effect.

I desperately need a vacation. Maybe someone can mentor me to not allow work to swallow up my life. Making me tired, bitter, cranky, no fun, and feeling like I’m just surviving my life.

I want to write more the next time I am awake and coherent.

 

I love love love the welcoming to JustWrite.

 

 

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Filed under blogging, Life, Relationships

What I Want You To Know: Incest Left Me Abandoned

On a popular blog I frequent, the conversation often turns to orphaned and abandoned children. What I want people to know is I consider myself both orphaned and abandoned. This is not to minimize those that have been abandoned or are truly orphaned by tragedy. But it is true that incest took away the only family I ever knew. While many survivors are left with a “non-offending parent” or other relative to care for them, every relative from my own mother, to my grandparents, to my aunts and uncles chose to turn away and not believe me. While my biological mother was not my abuser, she accused me of “stealing her man” and ruining her family. She cut me out of her life, unless I would recant my story and say it never happened. I wish people understood more that I can’t just “reconcile” with my biological parents. It’s not safe physically or psychologically for me to do so. Not only was I victimized before I became a legal adult, but when I tried to “bury the hatchet”and “put it behind me” I was attacked again at 22 years old. Incest took away my family. Now as a 30 year old, I wish people knew that I feel rootless in my life.I feel like I have no “soft place to fall” as people say when they think of “family”and “home”.

Holidays are some of the worst. Despite the many people I know and interact with, most knowing my situation, I have almost never gotten an invitation to a holiday. On some level I even understand that. Nobody really wants an outsider at their table. Family is intimate. And there’ that whole appropriate boundaries thing. This is one reason I’ve chosen a career that forces me to work on holidays, so I can keep busy and try not to think about it. It is hard for me to admit that at my age that I desperately want a family. I miss being told “I love you”, or getting a regular hug. That phone call at the end of a long hard day of “how was your day?” Looking forward to going “home” for a college break or holiday. I desperately want that place to belong.To know that someone is waiting for me somewhere.

As I look to the future of starting my own family, I grieve that I will not have grandparents for my children. But I also want them to have a sense of family too. I want my child(ren) to have aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents. Sometimes I fantasize about who will play “adopted family” roles. However, will those people agree to fill that role? In dating relationships, I fear that the issue of “family” and my past will come up. Why I moved to one of the biggest cities in the US as a teenager, where I knew not a soul is already a complicated conversation. “How did you just wind up here?”” they ask. Forget about the “When do I meet your parents?” question. I expect my wedding looking very different from the traditional big family ceremony that they have in the movies.

Family is who you choose it to be. At least I believe this. I feel like people are still much too hyper-focused on needing to be related by blood and legal relationships.I know that my experiences have shaped who I am. Everyone that knows me understands I have an open door policy if we have a relationship. If you need food, I will feed you. If you are about to be homeless, as long as I have a roof over my head, I will be sure you are not on the streets. I think of it as treating others as I’ve hoped to be treated. To me, it is what Jesus would do.

People of faith need to understand that “forgiveness” is not the band-aid or the clean slate to start over. Recently I was told, “It’s never too late to try again” in regard to a relationship with my mother. I have learned to believe that God does not want to see me be hurt. This is sometimes a daily affirmation that I have to say in the mirror Stuart Smalley style. I can love and honor her better at a distance then standing before her. Forgiveness is accepting that in her current state of brokenness, she cannot love, believe, protect me like she should have. It’s not that she acting maliciously, she is simply not capable with her heart and soul in the state that it has been. I am not the enemy.

What I want you to know is when people say, “I don’t have any family” perhaps think of how hard it is for them to say that. What deep pain led to that? There might be fear that you might assume they are perfectly happy being a “lone ranger”, or judge them in some way. Instead, say, “I understand. Is there perhaps anything I can do for you?” I do not want anyone feeling sorry for me. My circumstances have made me the strong, brave woman who I am But I do want you to know that you can help ease the pain.

That a person can be 30 years old and still want to be part of a family.

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Filed under Authenticity, Family, Holidays, Relationships, Therapy

Snapped.

As if I wasn’t dealing with enough right now….Oh no. No, No! Certainly not.  Here’s this morning in a nutshell:

 

 I officially snapped last night: after another party next door with girls screaming on the balcony 20 ft away “I AM GETTING A LAP DANCE!”
 I told my roommate I was taking her phone, and filing a noise report with the police.   They asked if I would be willing to sign a statement. Because they “may” be able to get them to just “quiet down”, but if they choose not to, nothing else can be done. I said I absolutely would sign.  Also, I said there is a good likelihood that this is fueled by lots of drinking, (perhaps underage) and I can’t barely open my patio door for cool air without getting a room-full of weed-smoke all the time. Perhaps they should check into that.  
They came out, I talked to them. Explained how this is on ongoing, several-night a week problem, etc. They said “Are you sure it’s not 107 (next to “great, awesome neighbors” –who they complain about) because they are out for complaints on them all the time.  Roommate was up with me, and supported me in talking to the police, and tried to get apartment Management Security on the line as well but failed. (probably too busy out towing cars!!)  
They said I can file an “incident” report—which I did.. which goes into the database. Or I can file a “prosecution” report. But they agreed with me that that would really be the “last resort.”  I told them I wanted a incident report for 2 reasons:
1). in case of any “retaliation”—I have a paper trail with a incident number and an officer name
2). I will be bringing that into Management at my apartment Complex after work today. I want to make them aware of the ongoing problem over there. They’ve put memo’s in everybody’s door in the past indicating they want to know about this, so I am making them aware. 
The officers walked next door. Explained the neighbors are complaining, and if the partying continues on a regular basis late into the night (particularly OUTDOORS–which is my issue) We are considering prosecuting (even though we really aren’t.)
They did explain what we already knew, that being that there is a major community college directly across the street from here, we get a lot of the party’ers.  I said I fully understand and am aware of that, however, not EVERYONE is a college student that lives here. There are plenty of children out riding bikes/skateboards after school into the evening (ironically, often screaming as well… but that is neither here nor there!) I’ve seen mom’s/dad’s loading kids into car-seats.  We pay plenty of money to live here. A decent night of sleep should not be a catch-as-catch can.
As just that quickly, all fell silent. Imagine that…. 
By the way, As I feel I had to explain to my roommate several times last night to soothe my own guilt for calling police (probably a deep-seated therapy issue to be addressed) I am really NOT A hard-ass bitch.  I don’t like “snitching ” on people and causing drama. I am really QUITE diplomatic, and don’t like to stir the pot.   But I can”t deal with this anymore. Roommate even said it’s starting to effect her during her workday of having so little sleep.  
The end…
off to work.. 
more later. 
Hopefully my tires and windows are in tact on my vehicle.. crossing my fingers!  

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Filed under Current-Events, Life, rants, Relationships, Stress

This Apartment May be Harmful to Your Attitude.

Could my apartment be depressing to me? Or is it just the situation that I am in?  I swear to you, I can be fine all day long—-perfect acting as required within my industry and line of work. Someone even commented today… “You are SO cheerful with the Guests!!” Yeah. So I hear.  I wonder who that person is?

But seriously, I come home and perhaps just the look of this cluttered living room, perhaps the hot-pink and red college-dorm looking couch I am sitting on…. I come home at night… and I instantly want to be sound asleep. Or someplace else.

Lately, the second I walk in the door I am unhappy.

I have to be honest. I think part of what bothers me is that my roommate comes home each and every night. Plops right on the couch, and doesn’t move from there until she goes to bed. We’ve lived together just over four months now, and I can fairly assess that it never, ever crosses her mind to clean a bathroom, wipe a sink, run the dishwasher unless I specifically ask her to do any of these things. Absolutely nothing. We have a potential roommate coming any second… and instead of attempting to make this place look halfway presentable.. maybe run the vacuum… or clean the clutter (which is ALL hers) off the coffee table… she just tells the potential..

“The place is a mess! hee hee!”

Oh yeah… the messier the better!  Instead of $865 for that room… let me give you a thounsand dollars to live in the place with the refridgerator that doesn’t close unless you lift UP on the handle first, electrical outlets that don’t work, screen doors that are off track, and a linoleum floor that even after 4 consecutive BLEACH washes.. still is not clean.

People are being refreshingly honest with me, saying, “Sarah, honestly.. someone with $865 to spend on a room is not gonna pick your place with stained dirty carpets, dirty floors (depiste my desperate attempts to clean them, and a fridge that is hanging on it’s last hinge.

Frankly.. it’s just her plain lack of motivation in general. Other than her full time job, she is home on the couch. At any time of the day.

We had the beginnings of a discussion yesterday about why it is she has never gotten a driver’s license and learned to drive at close to thirty years old.

Granted, I didn’t start the conversation. She had come home dissapointed from her own church after having a meeting with the youth director. For more than a month she had been talking about returning to this “home church”  and doing ministry with high-school girls. This is her absolute passion. Her undergraduate degree was even in this very vocation. Hence the job she has now…. but that’s another story.

She was processing with me how this youth leader had a very pointed meeting with her, focusing on her apparent “unreadiness” to have a small group of high-school girls.  And what do I know? I am just going with what she told me.  Apparently a high-school girl in her last group reported back that she promoted a certain lifestyle that is clearly unbiblical, but my roommate alluded to it being okay.

I don’t really believe that happened, and the girl was confused, but whatever….

But she also confronted her on the lack of driving issue.  She said that other youth staff had commented to the Director that she makes them feel guilty for not giving her rides home at night  and to other events.

This I doubt as well, as I live with her and she has never guilted me for not taking her anywhere. In fact, there was one time when she was needing to collect one of numerous checks she is owed by people, and she didn’t want to ask me to take her.  WELL, GET IN THE CAR AND GET US THAT MONEY!  She obeyed.:)

So, we began a discussion about her lack of driving at her very more than young-adult age.

“I have to tell you, it is different and rather odd that you show no motivation to even want to learn to drive”

“I’ve driven before!! I’ve had four permits in the past!” She said defensively.

Not offended, I said, “Okay. So, when you’ve driven, you’ve always had someone else—a licensed driver in the car to supervise you.”  (Translation—this is not “driving”).

“Yeah, and I hated it. I hated every minute of it.”

Look. It doesn’t matter what I think of anybody else thinks… obviously she shouldn’t be denied a volunteer youth leader position if she is gifted and qualified to do it due to the fact that she doesn’t hold a Motor Vehicle License.

But I did tell her that I see how much she misses out on. I’ve seen her pout when all her friends are having a bonfire down at the beach, but she can’t go because there is not a bus route that goes down to the beach and back here again.  Part of the reason she has a job that is so below her educational level and skill level is because she literally works five minutes away. She has to always be employed along a bus route.

I realize many do this, but to me I think it just adds to the “apathy” and minimal motivation characterization. If I don’t cook and share with her (and of course I always do.. who wants to cook for one?)  The only things she eats these days are take out and fast food.

This is relevant and the point I am trying to make with the food is that during last nights discussion in repsonse to the Youth Director’s question of

Why don’t you just get a car???”

Her response (at least to me) was that there would be no point in her purchasing a car and learning to drive. Why?  Because then she would have to afford gas.  And car insurance!  THE INSANITY!

Well, frankly, if you know me… I had a heyday with that response.  WHAT DOES EVERYBODY ELSE DO!?  YOU AFFORD IT!!!  I said,  ”

I wouldn’t get to work if I didn’t have car insurance and gas in my car. I couldn’t have the job I have.”  And maybe that’s simply because I refuse to sit on a bus twice a day for a whole hour each way to get to work…. but JS.

And my last point—Thats, right.. .she has never purchased gas or insurance, let alone paid for oil changes, maitenance, or repairs.  Where is that chunk of unallocated money??

Oh, and here’s a hint, “IVE SEEN HER PAYSTUB. SHE MAY HAVE A LOW-CLASS MEANINGLESS JOB  JUST AS I DO, BUT SHE STILL IS BRINGING HOME MORE MONEY THAN ME!  And she wants to say she wouldn’t afford a tank of gas a week?  I don’t think so!!

Perhaps if she stopped eating out at roughly 30-40 dollars per week, maybe she would have that money for gas.  Going to the grocery store helps. I have stopped eating out if it’s not for a social/speicial occassion.  AND I AM SAVING MONEY!   I am completely blessed to be entirely in the BLACK THIS MONTH! GOD IS GOOD!

Finally, she ended the conversation by thinking of her own solution of the not driving problem.

“I just need to move to a place where a car is not needed..”

i say, “You mean like San Francisco, or New York?”

“Yes!! Thats it!” she said.

WHAT SHE IS FAILING TO REALIZE THOUGH IS THAT DO YOU THINK THE HOUSING IS EXPENSIVE HERE?  Try $2500 a month for apartment rentals in most areas of San Francisco!  Oh, that REALLY sounds like a good plan!  But hey… you don’t need a car, to buy gas, and car insurance!   You sure beat them!

I’m out and spent…

The bottom line here folks.. is why do I always end up living with people that have no housekeeping skills, or even understand what mutual responsibility and respect of a home are???  Do I magnetize these people or what?!   JS!!

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Crossbreed between “What’s Happening” and a 1980’s Big Mac Ad..

Is what you get when you go scanning the “Digital Music” 1980’s channel at 4:00AM.. I just had a major 1980’s flashback.

These do happen to me with some frequency.But every single moment they happen, I immediately want to dash to the phone and call Amy. After all, she was my god and idol as a little girl. I wanted to be her. Even down to the only seven-year old on the block carrying a purse and wearing magenta lipstick. Okay.. I’ll even embarrass both of us by saying I even walked her to the bus-stop in my pajamas when she was in the 8th grade… just in case I was to dare miss something. Sorry sis. I know there are mountains of things you still haven’t forgiven me for.

And by the time I turned 13..I had mostly gotten my wish of becoming her. Had you known me then, I guess I can say that if you pray for something hard enough, God eventually lets you have it.

Anyway.. I always want to rush to the phone and call my sister. This is because she is a human archive and vault of every pop, R&B song to ever come out of the decade known as the 1980’s. True.. she’s not a total historian. Our family mercilessly taunted her that she once thought as an 11th grader that Reagan was still in office. (Ths was in 1991). She never saw much need for politics, news, or current events. IF you polled her today, she might be able to recognize the name “Obama” but probably doesn’t know his Republican competitor. She probably also couldn’t find Darfur even on the correct continent.

But if ever need her to identify a pop-band or R&B group from the 1980’s… I’ll be damn if she isn’t my woman! Definitely my “phone-a-friend” lined up back in the days of Who Wants to Be A Millionaire”. There is typically never a song she doesn’t remember, or can’t spontaneously come up with the lyrics and a finger-snapping rhythm. It always makes me smile.

Accompanied with every 1980’s flashback I ever have is a scanning view of the interior of the home I grew up in until age seven. The home I was born into. The one with the shag brown carpeting in the living room, the orange shag carpeting up in “the den”, the puke green shag carpeting in my bedroom coupled with the green “munchkin” wallpaper on the walls. That was the ugliest room in history. Even in kindergarten when I finally got my wish of putting up the “pastel hearts” border on the ceiling… it still didn’t help much. The room was pathetic. I always thought my parents hoped I was a boy. In actuality.. I was born 3 months ahead of schedule. They hardly had a baby-room ready when I made completely unexpected appearance. To say that my bedroom wasn’t a rush and a :”throw-together” wasn’t really a lie. The laundry room that we added on and remodeled. the finished basement that my dad had built himself.. complete with wet bar and a gigantic pool table. I am not sure if an actual game of “pool” every got played on that table. I remember sitting on it and playing on top of it alot though. The tiny play-room in the back where I was forced by my sister to play the role of endless tortured “student” while she lorded over me as the “teacher”. When I got smarter by about age six, I began to protest that I did not want to be the student, but instead be the “school nurse”,

Finally, in exasperation.. she yelled at me.. “YOU CAN”T BE THE NURSE!! YOU ARE THE ONLY STUDENT!!!..”

Our mom happened to be present for this exasperated moment. It would be a memorable one, and we would laugh about it for years and years to come.

Funny how character and futures turn out: I have a love and a future in health-care.. and 25 years later.. my sister is a certified teacher with her own classroom of special-ed elementary students. I also have a hard time letting anyone boss me around even today!

We moved out of that house in March 1988. I was three-quarters thru the 1st grade. You would think when your life only spanned 7 short years, I wouldn’t have so many memories of that house, but they are sewn in my soul.

In short, this is a song that until fifteen minutes ago, I don’t think I have heard this song since 1986 at the age of five years old. Pulled waaaaaaaay out of the recesses of my memory. But isn’t it funny that music can do that to you? It can be 20 years since you’ve heard a tune, but it can come back to you in milliseconds.

Here is the song, wonderfully preserved forever on youtube

I love you sister. Even though I can’t even really say I am any part of your life, I do love you. You have made me so much of who I am today.

***Isn’t this video shot on the same set as later NBC television Sitcom227″? with Marla Gibbs and Jackee Harry??”

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Filed under Authenticity, Family, Life, Music, Photos, Relationships, Remember-When.....

My sister may be ceritfiably insane.

Don’t take this as me not having joy or anything…. but…..

From her blog:

“No your not seeing things! Team Askew’s roster is expanding by one more! We feel so blessed to have our prayers answered by this precious little one. The month of March just got a little more crazy for our family seeing that our due date is March 6th (which happens to be the day before Drew’s Birthday and 2 weeks before Abby’s!) Please join us in prayer for a healthy and safe pregnancy. Our children are so excited for a new baby sister or brother! We will keep you updated as things progress!”

Um, okay. I guess I am happy and feel blessed to have another child in my life… but uh….. yeah.. STUNNED would be the dominant feeling right now! Wow… um…. FIVE CHILDREN. One income, non-working mother. Mother with no college degree if she WANTED to work……

I grappled in the summer of 2006 with whether to move away from my home with them to Eugene, Oregon, a city I had frankly never ever been. Stability, family… small town living, graduate school, and CHEAP LIVING would have been some of the perks. But I had anxiety. It also would mean ISOLATION, and nothing but The Askew Family Circus; and likely a lot of live-in nannying; all the while trying to pursue a Master’s degree. Which btw.. I’d like to point out I would HAVE by now had I gone that route, in theory….

But I had anxiety. Then, they told me that they changed their minds about sharing rooms, and I would have to move out before Kate turned six months old. That made me even more anxious.

Anyway, I stayed home, in our home city. THANK GOD. There ain’t no room for me there anyway! Five? FIVE?!?!!

.

(No, the older boy is not a adoptee or a foreign exchange student–just cousin Cody visiting from LA with Grandpa Mike and Grammy Ginger).

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Filed under Askews, Family, Kids, Life, Moving, PhotoBlogging, Relationships, School, WTF-files