Monday, December 27, 2010

Things I won't tolerate

So, I've recently been attacked for deleting comments I don't like. Attacked by someone who hides behind a profile that can't even be accessed. Brilliant.

For the record, "Boy Named Muffin," I do not delete that with which I disagree. I delete that which is hurtful and ugly. Your persistence in insulting me, over the span of literally years now, is not impressive nor welcome. Now you have stooped to lying. It makes you look like a petulant child.

In case I haven't been clear: hurtful and ugly posts will not be tolerated. You will always be deleted here. Your petty attempts to be needlessly argumentative are not welcome. I've lost my patience with it.

You started this issue years ago. It's time to let go and move on. I'm not interested in engaging you in any way.

** UPDATE: Apparently, I don't have to worry about deleting this person's inappropriate and nonsensical comments myself! has automatically identified them as spam, and the posts are going straight to the spam folder. Nicely done,! **

Monday, December 20, 2010

Oh, dammit all!

I started off the day mad as Hell at Ranger. He's lied to me about jobs he's called on. Then, he goes and does something unbelievably kind for me.

Dammit. Dammit all to Hell. Why can't he just pick one or the other and stay there? Then, I can either be mad or not, and get on with whatever the emotion is.

As I mentioned, I've explained about Ranger and I, and our history, to Jacob. Last night, Jacob says, "I can be patient. I don't mind bidding for your heart."

Wow.  Really?.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I have a dilemma

To make a long story short, I have a divided heart. Here's the long story.

I've been with Ranger for two and a half years now. We've had really good times and really bad times. Some of the best and worst of my life. On the up-side, he loves me like no one else ever has. He loves me in ways that I never thought possible. I'd believed that's how love should be, but experience taught me that it just might not exist. It was a figment of my very active imagination and should be confined to the fiction I like to write.

Then, I met Ranger. He had the same concept, and the same problem. So we let each other love and be loved as we thought it should be. And the fantasy came true. That would be bliss.  If only the fantasy weren't partly still a fantasy....

As you know, dear Diary, there's been a down-side, too. He's lost five jobs since I've known him. Granted, two of those have not been his fault. Three have. He's been searching for jobs constantly, but now the search has changed. He doesn't go anywhere in person anymore. He doesn't call unless I prompt him. He searches the same online job sites every other day, submits the same generic resume again and again.

He got a job for a couple of weeks, in October. It wasn't his fault that he lost that one. Technically, he hasn't lost it. They just stopped putting people on the schedule because their business is tanking. But the big point is that he got that one by having face time with the manager. She recognized us as regular customers, so when she had an opening, she asked him about it. The online job searches produce NOTHING. Phone calls and face time do. So, what's he doing? The online boards. Only.

He is paying rent by having a work contract with his landlady. Rent on a tiny 6' x 8' trailer (which is powered by an extension cord from the house) in exchange for working so many hours on the property. He has a small trickling of money from his rock business, but it's tiny and irregular. I help cover expenses, like groceries and storage. We share a storage building, which is mostly my stuff so I don't mind paying that rent. And he only eats one meal a day (two on a good day).

So, yeah, I'm kind of enabling the insufficient job hunt. I'm realizing that. All because I can't let him be homeless and starving. I've been thinking a lot about this for a couple of months because the burden of it (in many ways) is starting to get to me. He's become very sensitive to any suggestion that he do something different; he takes it all very personally and gets seriously depressed over it. That makes talking about things really difficult.

Of course, the fact that he's now a convicted felon doesn't help anything. That's a HUGE stumbling block to him getting a job. It will effect every job he could possibly have.

He also needs to do something about his child support situation, which is really bad and unfair to him. After finally getting a copy of the records his ex filed with the courts, he found several blatant lies in the statement about his income sources and amounts. I've given him leads on men's advocacy groups that would help with the legal side, but he's done nothing.

The persistent dragging of his feet leads me to believe that the plans we've spoken of are nothing more than words now.  He swears it means more than anything to him, but when push comes to shove....  You can see why I'm done believing in that.

I also have the problem of doubt. I constantly wonder about his ability to be honest and faithful. I still have questions.

It's been over a year since his fling with that roommate. Ever since that, I've had that awful "waiting for the other shoe to drop" feeling all the time. That feeling that there's something terrible hidden from view. We've had a couple of arguments about little things that look suspicious to me. It's enough to keep me wondering: is there nothing to hide or has he just gotten better at hiding it?

I think my big hang-up with this is knowing that he's never been completely honest with me about it. I've given him a couple of opportunities to fess up without repercussions, just so I know that we have a clean slate. But no...he hasn't taken them. There's just too many unexplained loose ends with what happened at the park in Utah and with the roommate.

Okay, not unexplained. Just lacking an explanation that actually makes sense. He's given me explanations, but they just don't fit. And hindsight has led me to wonder about another situation, which might have been another fling. But there's no way I'll ever know for sure.

Our lives are unbelievably entwined. How can I detach from that? His life would fold, but is that my responsibility?

Lord, I hate thinking and feeling like this. If he'd just pull his act together. It's getting old and burdensome.

Conversations with Ranger are strangely silent lately. I don't know where his thoughts are. I've seen him like that once before, and then I found out where his thoughts (and other parts) wandered. When he does talk, much of it is suggestive or even vulgar in nature.  His words make me feel so rotten that I stopped our intimacy weeks ago.  It just feels wrong.

So, I find myself back to my original problem, where I was before Ranger and I met. I need a partner. I need someone to share our triumphs and tribulations, and the general burdens of life. I need someone to help me carry the load, and I can help carry his.

I've had this with Ranger, and it saddens me to the bone to see it evaporate.

At this point in time, I feel more burdens being loaded onto my shoulders, and I'm at my limit.

Ranger is aware of my frustration. It scares him a little, that there's a possibility I'll lose patience. Apparently, it doesn't scare him enough to light a fire under him, though. He's growing content with the status quo, regardless.

In the meantime, Jacob enters the picture. In many ways, Jacob does not follow the pattern of the men I've been attracted to. Pierced, tattooed (the only one that shows is this little symbol in the middle of his forehead), 3 inches shorter than me, and 13 years my junior.

Yep, 13. There's that number again.

And I am attracted, for many reasons.

He's highly intelligent, reads and writes the same genres that I do, has the same devotion to Shakespeare, has his priorities in order, committed to raising his daughters right, hard-working at a steady (long-term) job, and is well-respected by his coworkers and peers.

And now says that looking out for my happiness is becoming one of his priorities. He and I have been chatting casually for a few weeks, mostly about single parenthood. He needed some hope that somewhere out there was a woman who would realize that his children have to come first, that he can't throw them overboard just to indulge sexual needs. He's finding that most people don't "get" this idea, just as I have found. To hear me say I understood that and his frustration over people who expected less...well, that was the beginning of our commiserating.

Have I dated him on the sly? No. Have I even so much as held his hand in sympathy? No. We just talk about our commonalities and our troubles. Yes, including Ranger's ups and downs. He worries over how my stress effects me. And lately, he longs to spend more time with me, to learn about me and not just my stresses.

And I've grown fond of him. Am I in love with him? Not yet. Ranger is still in my heart, to some degree. But there is certainly room.

Right now, I wish for that moment when you look back on things and it all makes sense. I'm not sure what's happening, if it's temporary, or where it'll end up. I need one of those proverbial signs, I guess. But when does that ever really happen?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why Son can't handle lime anymore

Yep, he's a college man now. On the last day that he could turn in a housing application, he decided he wanted to live in the dorms. This was the first glimmer of excitement about anything that we'd seen in a long time, so we hopped on it. Nevermind that it's ungodly expensive.... We're still scraping on that one. But he was excited about something.

So, we moved him into the dorm. It's a nice dorm. New building. They have this "pod" concept now, where several bedrooms open to a common living room and share two bathrooms. Not bad. I wish I'd had that when I was in the dorm.

He has seven roommates: four football players, two basketball players...and one Theater Arts major who is a big fan of "Glee."

In my head, I'm hearing the song, "One of these things is not like the others! One of these things just doesn't belong...." Poor kid. Whoever placed him in that pod should be dunked in hot oil and forced to watch Miley Cyrus videos.

As you might expect, that first week of class, Son's calls home became less frequent. It's painful for Mommy, but he's a big boy of nearly-nineteen (at that point) and should be more independent.

Then, the first Friday night happened.

I got home from a date with Ranger at about 11:30 PM. Exhausted. Climbed into bed. An hour later, my mother comes upstairs and wakes me. And Daughter, who was sleeping in my room because her end of the hallway was "creepy" with her brother's room empty.

"Blogget, wake up! We just got a call from Mrs. Summers from church. Her daughter Rachel and Son are in the hospital. They were fund drunk on campus, and Rachel is barely breathing."

You can imagine what this did to me.

Adrenaline kicked in, and I rushed to the bathroom to find some clothes. All of her words were seeping into my sleep-riddled brain.

"Wait, what the hell was he doing with Rachel Summers?" Rachel is a 15-year-old friend of Daughter's. They're pals from church and school.

"I don't know. Her mom said Rachel was with her friend Maggy. They can't find Maggy, though, and Son and Rachel aren't coherent enough to tell them anything."

Daughter sat up. "Maggy? Maggy H.?"

We stopped. This was the name of Son's ex-girlfriend's little sister. The good girlfriend.

"They're best friends," Daughter said. "It has to be her."

"Yes, it's her," my mother said. She hadn't wanted to worry Daughter about her other friend, too. "Weird thing is, Mrs. Summers was calling us to find out where Maggy lives and what her phone number is. If they're best friends, wouldn't she know that?"

"Do you have her number? Or her sister's?" I asked Daughter. "We should try that." She set on doing this.

My dad drove me to the hospital. We sat in stunned silence. He'd talked to our Bishop, who was also at the hospital. We were getting little bits of information. The two of them had been found outside the dorm. She was passed out and he was incoherent. The police were called, and they issued Minor In Possession (or "MIP," I learned. I don't know this stuff) tickets. An ambulance was called.

My dad was furious. Of course, he's forgetting all of the drunken stories about himself as a teenager. But none of those included ambulances or 15-year-old girls.

Mrs. Summers intercepted me in the waiting room, before I could get to the admitting counter. She's practically yelling at me about "Where's Maggy? How do we reach her parents? She's out there somewhere!" She told me that what she knew was that Rachel, Maggy, and Son were supposed to meet up with Maggy's sister later, but went to this huge party on campus while they were waiting. And they drank. A lot.

I see my dad being taken back to see Son. I have to go with him. I excused myself and headed to the counter.

"One visitor at a time," they said.

"You don't understand," I said. "If I'm not with that man, he'll kill that boy."

By the time I got back there, choice words had been said already. I could tell. Son was in a devastated state. My dad had told him Rachel might die.

"Is she really that bad?" he asked me, as I sat beside him.

I nodded. "Could be. We'll see."

He looked pitiful. Too tall for the bed. Barefooted. Hospital gown over his jeans. An IV. He was still slurring, even though he'd vomited everything in his stomach. He couldn't remember a lot of details. Just flashes of things.

I asked about Maggy. He looked very confused.

"She wasn't with us," he said. "I'd have remembered that. I'm sure we didn't see her tonight."

Soon, we heard that Rachel was awake and doing better. Her waking words to her mother were, "Where's Maggy?"

Her mother stormed into Son's room and started hollering. First, she wanted to know why her daughter's clothes were covered in dirt. Then, she turned to Maggy.

"Where is she?" she demanded, like he'd done something to hide her. "She was with Rachel when they left the house tonight. What happened to her?"

Son squinted as he strained to remember. "No, Ma'am. I'm sure she wasn't there."

"Rachel said you were all waiting for her sister to get done with rehearsal to go do something," she hollered. "So where is she?"

Son literally jumped in surprise. "Waiting for her sister? I don't want to see her sister! And I don't think I'd want to hang out with Maggy."

"I SAW HER WITH RACHEL!" she yelled. My dad escorted her out of the room.

My phone rang. It was my mother.

"We got ahold of Maggy's sister. She's asleep in her room. She's been home all night."

So, Rachel's mother saw her at their house, eh? And her daughter is still asking where Maggy is, through her stupor, even though she knows she lied about being with her?

Wow. That's kinda twisted. Rachel's mother didn't come back to Son's room again. Rachel was going to be fine, but they were keeping her overnight for observation. The nurse came to check on Son.

"How are we feeling?" she said.

"Not so good," he answered. He squinted at her and furrowed his brow. "I remember you."

She laughed. "I bet you do. Well, let's see if we can get you out of here."

Son turned to me. "I'm not going to forget her." He was not happy about it, either. Apparently, when they brought him in, they wanted him to urinate. He couldn't. They said he had 5 minutes to produce something, or they were going in. He couldn't, so they did. She was the one handling the catheter.

We took Son home. Apparently, the missing shoes were somewhere on campus. "I remember mud," he said.

At this point, I have to say that Rachel is known to be a very wild child, and her mother has very persistent blinders on. My daughter is her friend, but is a little bit of a Pollyanna about hoping Rachel will straighten out one day. Until then, she tries to be there for her, but never, ever goes anywhere with her.

As son went to bed, I snagged his cell phone. I read all of his text messages. The boy never uses the phone to actually talk, so the texts are telling. I got a better idea of the real story. Also, Rachel's things were still in Son's car, including her cell. Which had all of the texts from that night deleted from it. Hmmm.... Someone knew how to cover her tracks.

That, along with Son's recollections and the campus incident report gave me a very good picture of what happened. Now, I have to admit that I didn't believe Son's account unless it was corroborated by something else. So, here's what I've been able to put together:

Rachel knew of a big party going on that night, at a house where she and her friends go to do shots after school with the 20-something resident. She was fighting with her boyfriend and asked Son to take her to the party instead. He'd given her a shoulder to cry on, and he had a car. A little while later, she said the party was canceled, but she still wanted to "hang out."

She'd told her mother she was spending the night with Maggy and arranged for Son to pick her up at the end of the street. Son talked to a friend in the girls' dorm and arranged for Rachel to stay there that night. Rachel seemed to have other ideas: her bag contained a sexy camisole and a thong.

A friend of Son's offered to get them some alcohol. Lime vodka. A gallon-size bottle. After Son picked up Rachel, they went to the friend's and got the vodka. Rachel paid for it.

They sat in Son's car in the dorm parking lot, with the bottle and one plastic cup, taking turns at generous shots. In one hour's time, they consumed half of the bottle. They started to feel sick, so Son decided it was time to take Rachel to his friend's room in the girls' dorm.

Note that - Son's big party night lasted one hour.

Son had a thought at that moment that the alcohol could not be found in his car. He loves his car, and more importantly, my father loves his car. It's something they share, and that means a lot to Son. He didn't want to put the car at risk. He'd stash the bottle in his room, then take her to his friend's.

As they stumbled to his dorm, they got stuck in the mud beside the building and lost their shoes. Some guys spotted them vomiting there and came to help. The RA (Residence Assistant) spotted the guys helping her walk to the grassy front of the dorm, and saw Son headed to his room with the bottle.

The RA approached and asked her name, to which she said, "Fuck me," then vomited some more. Son reappeared, and the RA asked about the bottle. Son led him to it, and the guy dumped it out. The police arrived about then. Son wasn't concerned with this, though, because he was vomiting again.

She started to convulse. They called an ambulance. Son remembers falling off the stretcher. Son was coherent enough to give them information on himself and Rachel. That's when they realized she was only 15 years old.

It was about 10:00 PM. At the hospital, her parents were called. Then, they called the Bishop. Apparently, Son's "contact in case of an emergency" list was ignored. Mrs. Summers called my dad at 12:30 AM to find out if he knew Maggy's parents' names and phone number. THAT is how I learned my son was in the ER. The campus didn't call. The hospital didn't call. The Bishop didn't call. My son was left to sit by himself for nearly three hours. To say I'm pissed about that is an understatement.

The next day, he was repentant. He was sick as a dog and very ashamed of himself. He actually came up with his own punishment for this, which was more severe than what I was going to do. He also knew he'd have to go before the Student Conduct Board and have sanctions from the school, and a court date for the MIP.

My mother took Rachel's things to her parents the following day. Her mother was horrible to my mother. Rachel's story is that Son showed up with the liquor and forced her to drink it.

I don't even know where to start with all the things wrong with that story, but her mother isn't hearing of it, anyhow. Her mother said to mine, "I'm getting the transcripts of her text messages to prove it."

Well, I called the carrier. Those transcripts don't exist. Since Rachel deleted the messages, nothing can be retrieved. All we have is what's on my son's phone, and it doesn't paint a pretty picture of Rachel.

Her mother insists otherwise, so my mother asked to see the transcripts when she gets them. We've never heard from her.

Rachel's story has been perpetuated by her mother to everyone we know in common. Rachel even had the gall to pull my daughter aside and tell her she needed to know "the real story." My daughter is pretty disturbed by this, because there's no way Rachel doesn't know that Daughter already knows the real story. Beginning with the lie about Maggy.

Many people we thought cared about our family have now turned their backs, in judgment of Son based on Rachel's story. He messed up, yes. Did he do all she says? No.

I'll have him take the responsibility for what's his fault, but nothing more. The whole experience has been disappointing, in many ways.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Bad, bad, bad Blogget

Go ahead. Flog me. I'm a bad, bad, bad Blogget....

But don't think I haven't thought about you in my absence! I often have and wondered what you all would have to say about what's going on in my life. And I need to get back to reading about yours, too.

I had a few things I was going to blog about in detail, but it became too exhausting. Suffice it to say, I'm tired.

My sister and her kids moved to California. I couldn't be happier. I miss my nephew, mostly, but at the moment, I have no desire to spend any time or energy on my sister. What she did to my life and my relationship with my mother while she was here was nothing short of selfish and mean. My heart still hurts for what I've lost.

Son graduated from high school just fine. I asked him to pick a place he'd like to visit as a graduation gift, so off we went to Vegas. Did he want to see the lights? The casinos? The girls? No. He wanted to see cars. Lots of classic cars. So, we went to the auto museum, and I listened to him chatter happily about all things automobile through 125,000 square feet of classic cars.

We also saw Cirque du Soleil, the Bellagio's fountain show, the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay, and the shop from "Pawn Stars." We ate at "Vegas's Best Buffet," where I promptly got food poisoning. What the heck is it with me and Vegas? I get ill every time! And I don't even party!

One very funny moment: as we got to Vegas that first day, we got stuck in traffic. Yeah, I managed to have us driving into Vegas at 5:00. I'm brilliant, I know. So, I'm staring ahead at the cars inching along ahead, and something comes into view.


Seriously. I nudged Son. "Do you see that?" I pointed.

He squinted. "What's Yoda doing on a billboard?"

As we inched closer, the billboard revealed itself a bit at a time. Until I saw these four wondrous words:


When? The last night we were supposed to be in Vegas.

"Hurry, Mom!" said Son. I can't begin to describe how elated I was to see his enthusiasm for something he knew I would like.

We got to the hotel finally, where the clerk made the uber-creepy comment, "We have you for two beds. Would you prefer one?" Raised eyebrow at me and Son. Oogy man. No. He's my son.

Pause for creepy-shiver.

We rushed to the room. Son whipped out my laptop and started searching for tickets. Yes! Two tickets, on the aisle, close enough to see Anthony Daniels's stage makeup. See? I took this with my phone:

The summer was rough. Son broke up with the good girlfriend. Or rather, she broke up with him. He came to the painful realization that it was mostly because he can be a supreme jerk. He'd say, in tears, "Why did I do that to her? She's such a nice person, and I wasn't very nice."

He spun into a very dark depression. He didn't care if he lived or died. He talked to me for hours, which completely annoyed my mother because she wanted him to talk to her. Get a grip. The thing is, I couldn't be there all day. Neither could my folks. And we did have cause to worry, as I could see him hurting himself.

So, we did two things. First, we went to the doctor. This was the worst of his depressions, but certainly not the first. She prescribed some medication, which eventually helped, but would take time to do so. Second, every day Ranger would get on a bus and come to the stop closest to my house. I'd pick him up, he'd take me to work, and he'd spend the day with Son. Sometimes, all they did was watch TV in silence. Sometimes, he'd convince him to go someplace, and they'd end up bumping along a dirt road to go check out the canyonlands, or some such. And they talked. Just a little and often superficially, but it kept Son moving forward. And Ranger won my mother's undying gratitude for that. Well, she says so, and I hope she means it.

The story of how Son's college career got kicked off will wait for another blog. Suffice it to say...I'm tired.

Daughter continues to be nothing short of brilliant. Stellar. She astounds me daily. We met up with an old friend in Denver, in July. Our friend watched my daughter as she took pictures along the 16th Street Mall one night. Daughter was in rare form, feeling sassy and confident from the top of her fedora to the tip of her newly-acquired 2-inch heels.

"I can't believe she's so grown up," my friend said. She has known daughter since she was a toddler. "I wish I'd had that confidence at her age. Just look at how she carries herself!"

And it's true. I've never seen a more self-confident teenager. She told me a few weeks ago that she'd been thinking about her college career. She loves her art, but knows it won't make much money. So, she wants to go into graphic design and do her art as a hobby. Can we please go visit colleges during spring break?


She's since learned that the local college has a great graphic design program. She sent an email to the professor in charge of it, introduced herself, and made an appointment to go talk to her. She spent two hours with this professor, who later stopped me on campus to tell me how blown away she was by my child. (insert big grin here!) "She's only 15?" she asked. Yep. She is.

Ranger...well, that's another blog, too. We've had ups and downs. More ups than downs, though. We took a few days in October to get away. A little vacation, and it was beyond delightful. Just what we needed at the time. I'll blog more detail on that, too. The week ended differently than we'd planned, but it was still good.

The trouble I'm having with Ranger is the burden of him not working. He had a job for a few weeks, but it didn't pan out. Again. Through no fault of his, I'll admit, but I think he's getting to comfortable with only searching online job boards. The way he got that one job was through having face time with the manager. It never would have happened with just online job boards. But I don't want to feel like he's doing things just because I'm pushing him, you know?

Oh, and his ex has been a nightmare. I'll just say this: It takes a particular brand of woman to try to hurt a man through his children.

So, there you have it. In a nutshell, certainly, but it's the quick run-down. I'll write on those promised blogs as quickly as possible.

Dear Diary, it's good to be back.