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Hate Mail. Heh.

September 26, 2009

I’ve had hate mail before.

I’ve never published it though because typically it’s directed to single mothers. I can take it but I don’t want to hurt your feelings so they never see the light of day.

But today’s piece of hate mail – courtesy of Michelle M. (who can be reached at michy949@gmail.com) – is targeted directly at me, and me alone – so, WHOOPPEEE!, I can publish it.

Subject line: I heard about your website and now my thoughts, as a woman you are a disgrace to the gender of women in this country.

Let me tell you the things that you are:

1. You are weak. Okay.

2. a mother whose child will grow up embarrassed by the things they have so willingly (for money) put on the internet about his life. He is so young yet he will soon come to despise the fact that you have placed his life all over the internet for all to read. (Now, because of you, he can never even try to love his father). If I were in this for money I would have thrown in the towel after the first year without a dime of profit. I write here and share my story here because if I can help one – just one single mom – avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made in the past than I’ll sleep easier at night. And if I can inspire one person to enjoy every moment and just be… then, again, mission accomplished.And if Blake ever wants me to stop writing about him, I will and there will be no questions asked. But by then he’ll have his entire life on Facebook anyway so it won’t really matter an this blog will probably be in a “look how they used to use the internet” museum.

3. VENGEFUL. Against who?

4. a weak women. Hmmmm… okay. Would you like to meet me in that alley over there? I could give you a grammar/spelling lesson too 😉

5. a weak mother. Gotcha.

6. someone who sounds retarded on every video you take of yourself and your son. (ie: living room date and video for ford fiesta)…they are sub-par and you sound illiterate, lost and stupid. Your son picks his nose: not funny but actually disgusting. You obviously have not taught him manners but only contribute to a rebellious attitude. You are rebellious. So is your son. I think it’s funny that you think a kid picking his nose is disgusting. Your children (if you have any) must be loads of fun. Rebels? Yep, I’ve been trying to talk to Blake about that. He’s just been so rebellious lately with the whole nose picking thing. Maybe it’s because I let him drive my car the other day and let him smoke a cigarette. And you should see my tattoo, it’s like an inch high. So rebellious. In fact, one day he and I are going to lead a revolution. I hope that lastsentence gave you a heart attack.

7. a “proud woman” who only perpetuates disgrace and hardships towards women. As a feminist, I see you only as contributing to the weak factors of women in this world. I think you should look up the definition of perpetuate and then read my blog because that just doesn’t make sense at all, but whatever… you must enjoy that crack you’re smoking.

8. selfish. (you make money on this website but you only create stories of hardship, loss and pain for the gender of women. Please see #2. If I’m selfish for anything it’s that I monopolize my readers’ time with my dribble.

9. egotistical. (for some reason) That one hurt.

10. STUPID and once again A DISGRACE TOWARDS WOMEN. That one really hurt. Now you’re starting to piss ME off.

and I add a bonus:

11. A STEREOTYPICAL WOMEN WHO HAS *OBVIOUSLY* BEEN HURT (and cannot get over it nor grow past it). LEARN AND MOVE AND ON AND BECOME A ROLE MODEL FOR WOMEN IN THIS COUNTRY….NOT A VICTIM!!!! I can’t recall ever calling myself a victim and if I have, please show me an example. If I’m a victim it’s to my own poor judgment in men. I blame myself for my decision in choosing my ex-husband but I would do it all over again to be where I am today, with a three-year-old sidekick who makes my heart leap every time I see him.

And I add my own personal bonus — You should really find something better to do with your time… like blogging! That would be fun!!

Just Don’t Call Me Fat.

September 26, 2009

Did I ever tell you the one about when I was on probation for assault?

I know. Your mouth is agape right now and you’re thinking, Grace, assault? It just doesn’t go together. Grace keeps her cool, especially under pressure. Who could’ve pissed her off to the point of assault?

But, if you’ve been a long time reader you’re going, “Yep! I knew she had a criminal record.”

Only one person on this planet could drive me to assault and then get assaulted and then tattle on me – my baby daddy. Yep, the one that flops his dick against the door frame. You’d think if he can handle doing that to himself there’d be nothing I could do to harm him.

Ex lives in Oklahoma (there’s a little hint about why I hate Oklahoma). He’s the President of The White Trash, Oklahoma Division. He lives on 80 acres with his brother and his wife, with their 4 children, and his parents. Ex lived in a trailer on the land with New Wife for years. Every car they owned was bought at an auction. And every car had red interior. And most had no headliner. And most had bondo as a body color. The mom actually handmade a windchime from a coat hanger and old cans of corn – CRAFTY!

He spent 18 months not contacting me or my son and not paying child support. In fact, he wasn’t even on the radar. Then shows up with New Wife, a lawyer, and a hard intent to see his kid.

After several times in front of a judge he finally was awarded visitation. So, ding-dong goes my doorbell, and there he stands with his wife standing behind him with a video camera. Which pissed me off immediately. Because What. The. Fuck. Right?

I step out onto the front porch and close the front door. Tell him that I wanted the camera removed. This is when he starts flailing about like a fish out of water, yelling, “This is public access! This is public access!” And I’m all like, “Dude. Chill out. My front porch is so the opposite of public access.” This is when his head starts spinning and smoke literally starts pouring out of his ears like Elmer Fudd. I try calmly to instruct his wife to get her ass back in the car and I’ll let my son out when he’s not making such a spectacle of himself.

And when you tell someone with smoke coming out of their ears to stop making a spectacle of themselves, well, it doesn’t go over well. In fact, it made this little, short man come toe to toe with me. Literally. His front shoe was touching my shoe and he got about a quarter inch away from my nose and informed me I was nothing but a whore.

Which, on a sidenote I would like to debate because I’m the furthest thing from a whore, and he should know this because he was flat broke and I never asked him to pay me for sex.

But you can’t reason with someone that is that wound up.

So, with his hot breath blowing my bangs backwards I said, jovially, “Would you like for me to open the door so you can bang your dick against my door frame as your war cry?” Then I snorted and giggled.

This is when he stuck his finger in my face and almost poked my eye out. He said nothing audible. It sounded something like I would imagine a heart attack would sound like.

And then he called me fat!

And the gloves were off. Something from the depths of my inner being. Something from the very tips of my toenails created this large, fitful wad of spit to fly out of my mouth and spatter all over his face! At the same time my brain was saying to my mouth, “What the fuck did you do that for? Now RUN!” And, I walked quickly back into the house. As he turned to his wife, now sitting in the car with the camera and yells, “You got the zoom on that?” And I immediately wished I had a copy. Because how cool would that be to put on Youtube today!!

Then the cops show up. He presses charges for assault. And I was on probation. I had to stand before a judge and promise to not spit on anyone for the next 90 days. And I kinda figured I could agree to that since I had spent my entire life never spitting on anyone before.

After about 6 months of visiting B and paying child support he drifted off the radar again. I was in Belize with my family and my cell phone rang. It was his now EX wife on the other end. She informed me that he had buried himself in the house and was in the midst of a shootout with the local police. And I was all like, “Did you spit on him?” And she was all, “No! He just went crazy!” And I was all, “Bitch, he was crazy before!” And she was all, “What should I do?” And I was, “He’s not my problem! And I’m on vaca!”

And I haven’t spit on anyone since.

Hedrid, the Carpool Nazi

September 26, 2009

I have another personality that only breaks through when I am forced to sit in carpool lane. I am a carpool Nazi, named Hedrid. Don’t ask. I wish your children dead. I wish you to disappear into thin air so that I may move immediately to the front of the line. But mostly, I just wish you’d stay IN YOUR FUCKING CARS! Just sit there and wait for your child to enter your vehicle, then depart.

Why is this so impossible for some people?

It makes me wonder how these same individuals function in the world around them. The rules state clearly STAY IN YOUR FUCKING CAR IN CARPOOL LANE. By getting out of your car you are establishing what exactly? Did you not rebel as a child and this is your big chance? Do you know me personally and have a vendetta? At the grocery store when you see “15 Items or Less” do you disregard that, too? Want to know what I think – I think you’re just a douche. Or one of those hopeless Helicopter Moms that doesn’t believe your precious can actually put themselves in a car without your assistance. And you probably still wipe their ass. And that all equals douche in my book.

I knew I was behind Mr. Impossible on Thursday in carpool lane. I knew he was going to get out of the car as soon as he got up to the front. It was obvious he was a carpool lane virgin. Something must have been awry with his wife today. As he stepped out of the car, opened the passenger doors (both back ones), he then walked up to the front door of the school to retrieve multiple children. You could see the carpool teachers cringe at the sight of him. Out walked his eldest child, at least 8 years old – WITH A FUCKING BLANKET. Oh, and just to really make me need Advil – SHE WAS SUCKING ON ONE END OF IT! It took all my willpower to keep from flooring it and running over her and her ignorant enabler. That’s it! People who get out of their cars in carpool lane are nothing but a bunch of enablers!

Since I’m not afraid of a little assault charge and all, I have been known to roll my window down and call people stupid. There was this one time, this chick was PARKED in the carpool lane, so I drove around her. But I wasn’t quite out of her way. I didn’t know what she was doing. Her car was PARKED and vacant. For all I knew she had gone into the school and died and her car would be police evidence and not be moved for days! So I went around her. And out she came, banged on my passenger window (which my sister happened to be sitting beside). I rolled the window down, and I swear to you she stuck half her body into my car and started violently pointing her finger and swearing at me and I think she placed a spell on me or some such shit. So I pressed the roll up button on my car and watched her boobs get more and more squished as the window pressed up on her body – and she’s all yelling, “What the hell? You’re rolling your window up on my body! My body is in here, lady!! AAAAARRRRRRKKKKKK!”

So I stopped the window and asked her if she had learned her lesson about leaning into people’s cars. Then, you know in all my brilliance and creative brain material, I came up with this, “Oh. And you’re the one that’s stupid!” Because that’s how I roll. And by then it was time for me to scoot up 4 more inches in carpool lane.

And that’s all folks, true story.

Da Boy.

September 25, 2009

Earlier today, I was walking past the new skate park that is currently under construction with Blake. The kid claims he wants to be a “skater dude”. I just tell him, “Cool man, but, you know, you ARE only THREE.”

On top of the skate park excitement, he was in absolute and complete awe of the bulldozers and forklifts, cement whatnots, (and whatnot). Now I FINALLY get what people say when they talk about a boy being, well, a BOY. He watched the dirt getting pushed around, dirt being picked up, dumped out, and all that other manly-testosterone-hai on your chest stuff and screetched with delight (and I won’t mention the fact that he was literally grabbing his pelvic regions while screetching)… Mommy just doesn’t get it, this boy stuff. After a half hour I had to threaten his life and peel him away from the orange construction fence and out of view from the industrial equipment because he just couldn’t get enough.

This mothering of a boy thing… I’m truly still learning.

xo,

G.

What Fairytales Don’t Tell You

September 25, 2009

I feel like I have to complete a thought. A little while ago I posted about happily-ever-afters and what they can and should mean to all of us single folk. It was a post full of thoughts for a personal revolution. But, much like anything in life, there are two sides to every story. So today I’d like to post about the flip side of redesigning my own personal happily ever after.

It wasn’t until after my divorce that my vision of the future changed. Up until then I still assumed there was someone out there for me and I too could ride off into the sunset with him. But when things fall apart so hard, you need something to hold onto. And so I began to think of ways to make a satisfying ending to my story alone.

That’s a positive thing. Taking control of one’s own destiny and happiness. Spitting on fate and making a life you can believe in. Taking control. It’s empowering and good and I stand behind it.
But it’s also tiring. Because for each new dream I have to make and build, an old one is buried underneath it. Each time I make the effort to revise my vision of the future, I first have to dig a grave for the old thoughts of what might be.

Many of you will find this hard to imagine, but I had those dreams of a future with someone else again. I spent my nights imagining the life we’d have and the things we’d do. I tried to picture if we’d have children or not, and if we did what they’d look like and what we’d name them. I mulled over tentative vacation plans. I even considered what kind of engagement ring I’d like if I were to get one again.

And now I have to dig a grave for that life that was becoming so clear in my mind (even though I couldn’t decide between princess cut or marquise). I have to find a way to let it go.

And maybe I do deserve to be happy. Maybe someday I will be. But I’m afraid that journey is going to have to be on my own. So I will box up the pretty dreams of blonde babies and European vacations. I will add the sounds of the river and pretty diamond rings. I will lay in fun getaways and sun lit strolls by the lake. I will wrap it in the security of having someone hold me every night and tell me how loved I am. It will all be in good company. And I will seal it with the knowledge that I did this thing and made it what it now is. Then I will close that box and bury it deep, hopefully where I can’t pry it open again. Hopefully under the foundations of something new someday.

One of my favorite lines from a song is in Semisonic’s Closing Time: “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” And this is what we don’t often tell people about making new dreams. In order to make way for something new, you have to let go of something else. And sometimes, the beginning you let go of takes a piece of you with it.

Before I shut that dream box, I will add a piece of my heart to it. Another piece that no one else may ever have. It belongs to the river, and the sun, and the vacations, and the babies, and the rings, and that love.

Inside My Mind

September 25, 2009

For the first time since I’ve really known him, I am insecure with CK. I feel off balance. I am questioning the things I thought were fundamental. I’m crying. I want to grab onto him and have him comfort me, and yet that is the very last thing I need to be doing right now.
Before the Facebook bitch, before CK knew about the debacle with Big, before when we were (sort of) just the two of us, CK said all he wanted was to be with me. He said being with me was better than being with anyone else. He said he’d spend every night with me if he could. He said he wished I would see him more. He said he would come and watch me do housework just to be near me. I felt wanted and loved. And in turn, I fell for him. For me, that was the largest part of his charm. Of course there were other things. Similar interests. How well he treats me. But above them all was the way he clearly wanted me. He wanted to spend every night together and the only reason we didn’t was because I needed more space. He would do anything to lure me to his place more often. He wanted to move in together.

Then we broke up. Damage was done to both of us. I know that changes things. But despite it all we still loved each other, and we found each other again. And now we are here, just the two of us. There is no girl he flirts with when I’m not looking. There is no guy I sleep with when he’s not looking. There are no secrets. There is only us. And I have finally let go. I have finally let myself want to be with him as much as he wanted to be with me. I have opened myself up completely and laid myself bare. He has all of me whenever he wants it.

In my mind, this meant we’d spend the tons of time together he always wanted. It meant we could be what he always asked for and thought of. And yes, it meant we could move in together when logistics allowed. I have been mentally prepping for the move. I have been spending tons of time with him. I have been hoping and believing and allowing him into every corner of my life and heart.

But it has all changed. The story isn’t the same anymore. He’d rather be out with friends than curled up with me. He doesn’t want to spend every night with me. I’m crowding him and jamming myself into his life in places he doesn’t necessarily want me. He no longer dreams of sharing a living space with me. It’s almost like the age old truth about men loving the chase. I was more interesting when I wasn’t giving him everything. Now that I am, his needs have all shifted beneath me. The playing field is entirely different and I’m playing the wrong game.
I need to back off. I need to close up. I need to pull back. Because I feel like he liked it better when I was unavailable. He wanted more and gave me more then. And I’m not talking about dinners out or gifts that come in boxes or cost money. I’m talking about him. He offered more of himself when I was offering less. And I can’t help but think I need to offer less again. I need to be more distant. I need to pull back.

When I was somewhat closed off from him, I was protected and safe. And yes, the way he wanted me made me fall for him. But he never had all of me. It’s like that made him work harder to get it. And I don’t want him to feel like he has to work to be with me. But the bottom line is that now I feel rejected. I feel like I offered what he had always asked for and it’s nothing he wants. I don’t know how else to describe it so I’ll say it again. I feel rejected.

In my mind, I was beginning to firmly believe that we could move in together when my lease is up. Today I finally decided we will most likely not do that. That it is no longer what he sees when he closes his eyes. That our future is no longer a dream of his, only of mine. And this makes me remember why I guarded my heart so closely. Because every time I let go, this happens. Every time. And the dream of a man wanting this much of me… well, it’s exactly that. A dream.

I love him. I love him madly. I am so far in I don’t know where the exit door is anymore. And I haven’t looked for it in a long time. I don’t want out, and I don’t want to play games. And this rejection, however small it is compared to the beast in my mind, it is huge to me. It reminds me that although men say they don’t want the game-playing, so many really do. Because when I let go, when I relax, this is always the end result.

He knows how I feel, it’s not a surprise. For the record, he also knows about this blog and that I still write. The agreement is that I write nothing I wouldn’t (and don’t) talk to him about. At some point or another I have said all of these things to him. I have looked him in the eye and told him I felt more loved when he thought he had to beat Big. I may not have strung these thoughts into one conversation for him, but I have said it all. I don’t know if he hears or not. I don’t know that that even really matters. All I know is that I have to find a way to pull back. I have to find a way to slam shut some of the doors I struggled to open for him. I shouldn’t have laid myself out like that. I should have been more careful.

I’m scared for us. Opening up and closing down are both very hard for me. It cost me so much to let go. And it will cost me that much more to pull back. We need to be a weekend only kind of couple again. Those are the only times he enjoys with me. I need to be a part-time girlfriend. Or so it feels to me. I need to hope that will make him want more of me again.

He knows I’m upset about something now. It was too much for me to tell him all of this in one go, so I shrugged. He told me over and over that he loves me and he isn’t leaving me. And in my mind, all I know for sure is that is what they always say right before they go.

…and a smile!

September 25, 2009

Over the summer, I inadvertently introduced Lil B to a phrase that is required to be known, properly used and applied often in conversation. Sometimes, however, opportunities for growth present themselves and it becomes imperative for a parent to seize these moments. You know, all in the name of social development.

And so it was that we were spending the last few, precious moments wrestling and tickling and having really important conversations about boogers and booties one Wednesday evening before his dad came to pick him up. Call it symbiosis or just lovely happenchance, but somehow, over the giggles and cringing, we looked at each other and said, at the very same time, “Hey! Stinky pants!”

Let me pause here to underline the fact that our summer discussions really did include topics that included how blood clots work, whether pets and people occupy the same heaven, the merits of meditation and (one of our favorites), why high-fructose corn syrup is a tool of the devil. OK, back to the whole stinky pants thing.

Of course, I did what I imagine any Gen X-fearing parent would do in this situation. Without any hesitation, I blurted out a little too loudly, “JINX! Buy me a Coke!”

And then I realized that a) my son had no idea what I just screamed toward his face, only inches away from my own, 2) he is not that sure what a Coke even is, and c) I had completely silenced a conversation about body fluids and smells…with a 4 year old. The confluence of minor miracles was almost too much for me to take.

Fortunately, Lil B is used to me saying crazy shit. He’s also used to asking 5,000 questions about the minute details and lexicography of said crazy shit. Finally, he’s pretty brillant at co-opting the crazy shit into his own preschooler patois. It’s kind of like how some kids find a tube of lipstick and use it to affix glue to faded construction paper.

In this moment, shook his head and said something else he made his own a long time ago.

“What the — ?!”

“Jinx! Buy me a Coke,” I said quieter and more meter. Then, I explained what the phrase meant. Or tried to, at least, in a way he’d understand. Eventually, I just ended up telling him it was something silly to say, or cool, or maybe even a little crazy.

He nodded, let the wheels turn for a few seconds and then went back to the business at hand.
That seemed to be it, for a week or so, anyway. Then, in a conversation about day camp or Michael Jackson or some-such, we said said something simultaneously.

“JINKERS!,” Lil B yelled out a little too loudly. With a huge grin that revealed his adorably gapped teeth, he went on, “Buy me a…ummm….what was that thing again, Mommy?”

“Coke,” I said just over a giggle. “A Coke.”

His eyes wrinkled up in confusion.

“Like a Diet Coke,” I explained. “Like Grandma’s favorite drink.”

He breezed past it.

“Well, I do not want a Coke. I am not allowed to drink Diet Coke. AND…it’s spicyyyyy.”

I tried to tell him it was just a phrase, but he wouldn’t have it. He didn’t need my nonsensical explanations for this nonsensical saying with no clear ramifications or rewards. He just needed to make it his own.

“Mommy! Say it again!” he demanded. He is the king of do-overs. There’s really no way to get around doing it.

I said whatever it was that we previously said at the same time, and just off-tempo, he said it too.

“JINKERS!,” he cried out once again. “Buy me a juice box!”

With a flash of the unevenly spaced teeth, he told me he was very proud of his tweak to the seemingly age-old saying.

“Good one,” I winked, trying not to let my mix approval be overruled by my sarcasm. “Good one, honey.”

In the weeks (months now?) since, Lil B has not stopped delighting in every opportunity to stake his claim on a jinxed sentence, demanding the non-high-fructose corn syrup version of a Capri Sun for his cleverness and timing.

What I love most is that he begins it all with a word of his own, one that sounds more like a decrepit cat’s name than a 70s phrase.

“JINKERS!”, he called out to me just last night when we both heard the doorbell ring and responded, “DADDY’S HERE!”

When the giggles died down, he continued the rest of his own phrase while I held tight to his tiny torso.

“You know what’s so great about that JINKERS! thing, Mommy?”, he asked as I kissed his cheeks and zipped his sweatshirt.

“What, lovey?” I smiled.

“J-J-Jinkers begins with a J!”, he said, full of glee. “J-J-Just like j-j-juice box and…”

“Good one, honey,” I smiled bigger, squeezed tighter.

With that, he was off, grabbing his oversized backpack and running downstairs to wave his light saber at his waiting father.

I followed him down, carrying the bag full of toys he needs to have with him but will not play with in the 24 hours he is away. With the heavy outside door propped open against my leg, I knelt down to hug him one more time.

“Goodnight, I love you,” he rattled off and I whispered in perfect time. We acknowledged it only in a momentary shared smile.

“Jinkers,” I whispered into his hair with one last kiss.

And I hoped — I prayed — that the words never change. That, please God, he never stops saying it that way