Saturday, November 19, 2011

Imitation is NOT a Form of Flattery!

Since this is the place where Ethel and I vent- I have posted before about my mom and my sister. I lament about how my mom continually disappoints me and falls short of the mom I need and how my sister is exactly like her!

My sister is eight years younger than I, and yet she has spent her entire life doing EXACTLY what I do. We are different people with different strengths and she always chose to pursue mine. She participated in the same extracurricular activities in school and outside of school. When I started scrapbooking, she started scrapbooking. I have always loved taking photos and had gotten pretty good at taking them with my little point and shoot. I moved up to a nice camera with manual settings- a Canon Rebel XTi. It is one of the cheaper SLR cameras, but still a great little camera. A few months later, she bought a Nikon D60. When I had my first child, 17 months later, she had her first child. I waited four years to have another child and when I had my second, 19 months later, she had her second child.

I graduated college with a liberal arts degree. I was studying elementary education and have all of my classes for this degree minus the student teaching semester. During my last semester, I had a Reading Methods class where we had lecture one day of the week and observation in a local elementary school the other day of the week. During my observation, I observed that all the kids did was boring worksheets preparing them for the state standardized test. I asked the teacher about it and she said it was in the curriculum- that they must prepare for the test. It was very important- jobs depended on it. I hated this notion and decided I didn't want to teach and graduated at the end of that semester with a liberal arts degree. I never thought I would leave the state. And yet, I married a man in the military and ended up leaving the state- and wish I had certified to teach so I could teach elsewhere. Our first assignment as a married couple was overseas and I got a job substituting at the Department of Defense school overseas. I LOVED it and remember why I wanted to teach. I decided as soon as we were stateside, I would certify and everything would be fine. Our next assignment, was stateside but in a state where the only way I could teach was to go back to school for an entire 4 year program again. I did not have the money for that(expensive state) and got a clerical job at a law firm until we left the state. Unfortunately, we never left the state- we are still here! I told you all of this to tell you that my sister got a degree in something called "Family and Consumer Science". I have no idea what that is, but she said she wanted to be a counselor. So, imagine my surprise when she called to tell me she got an elementary school teaching job!

My mother- aside from being absolutely non-supportive- stalks me on Facebook. She comments and "likes" EVERY. SINGLE. THING. I say, post or do. She even goes on others' pages- friends of mine she is not friends with and comments on their stuff if I have commented on it. She appears to be so supportive on Facebook always posting these happy little remarks and "love ya" all over the place. Which is like a slap in the face to me, because it isn't true. While I have no doubt, I get my creative side from her- she made and decorated awesome cakes while I was growing up, she make my Halloween costumes and she sewed clothing for me. But, I always got the impression that it was not so much about doing something for me, as it was for praise and attention from others for what she had done.

I have always loved to write- since I was a child. I started a blog both as a way to get my thoughts out of my head and for the entertainment of others. I used to type "update emails" to family and friends and include funny little anecdotes about things the kids had done and they kept telling me I should start a blog because they were hilarious. So, I did. And I LOVE having a blog. It is kinda MY thing. I like having my own thing outside of them. I like being different, weird, whatever you want to call it and I like having my own identity. I don't want to be like someone else and resent when I am compared to others. Last year, sometime, I wrote a poem or two on my blog. And with a few weeks, my mother wrote a poem and posted it as a note to her Facebook page. But I still had my blog- my own personal thing that was ME.

Until today- when I logged on to Facebook first thing this morning and was hit in the face with the notice in the newsfeed that my mother has started a blog and written her first post. Imitation is NOT a form of flattery. Not at all. It is so incredibly frustrating to me- had I not been sitting in the middle of my son's soccer game, I would have lost my mind. I wanted to scream and kick things. Instead, I think I muttered, "sonofabitch" under my breath and my husband looked at me with his raised eyebrow. I said, "My mother started a blog." He laughed and said, "Of course she did." Jackass.

So, yeah... my mother started a blog. And she follows MY blog, so there is nowhere I can even vent about this except her... in my (and Ethel's) own little corner of the blogosphere. I try to keep all references between the two blogs separate because I want to keep this one anonymous- I NEED to keep this one anonymous so I can vent. So, I must ask you- if you don't already know our identities and happen to figure it out at any time- please keep it to yourself and don't post on our other blogs, or Facebook pages.

My mother is watching.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

POP! ....Goes the Cherry

What is this world coming to!?!

Lately, I've been hearing tale after tale about how some young lady that a friend/relative knows who is having a baby. And more often than not, the girl is in high school or their early 20's, and marriage isn't even a consideration in the equation.

I also had a conversation with a friend last week who was troubled about the fact that her daughter (in her mid 30's) had been diagnosed with HPV. The diagnosis was upsetting to her, but she was overwhelmed with disappointment that BOTH of her adult children continue to have complications from unprotected sex and STD's.

The final straw came on Sunday when one of my distant cousins posted a picture of, yet another, new grandchild. A new baby is a magical, wonderful celebration for every family, but NOT ONE of my cousin's kids have ever been married! Her kids are still single AND HAVING BABIES!!! WTF?!? To be clear...I am ALL for "taking care of your responsibility", but I'm also from the camp of "each child deserves to have a family". And by "family", I mean a mom and a dad who live under the same roof, share the same last name, and occasionally go to a sporting event together.

SO! After mulling over all these accounts of new babies, STD's, and family chaos, I did what I always do....I talked to my oldest son. He's in high school, and we talk A LOT about morals, standards, drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, and choices. It's not always comfortable to talk to your child about anal sex or masturbation, but it's out there, and frankly, I want to be the one to answer his questions and find out where his head is at on different topics.

So the "talk" began. We talked about the ramifications of making the choice to have unprotected sex. We talked about STD's. We talked about a woman who has herpes from when she was younger, and how horrified she was all through her pregnancy that she (or her husband) might have an outbreak. We talked about a kid (not much older than Barnes), who got his girlfriend pregnant and had to drop out of school his junior year to work as a mechanic to support the baby, and he doesn't even speak to the mother of their baby anymore. We talked about REAL. LIFE. SHIT.

As we were finishing up the conversation, I asked him if he and his GF had ever gotten close to having sex and he said, "No"....but there was something to the way he said it. There was a look on his face that I get a glimpse of when I ask, "Who ate the BLASTED COOKIE DOUGH AGAIN?!" I took a deeeeeeeep cleansing breath.........and I told him that nothing that he told me could make me love him any less. To which he replied, "Yes, I have had sex."

I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. We talked AT LENGTH about this little disclosure, and we're STILL talking about it. At least he trusts me enough to tell me the harsh truth, right?

Could someone pass the Prozac, please?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just Because I'm Out of Town

Far, far away, in the land of "big sky" the Mertz family has been enjoying a nice little vacation. A time to get away from their normal routine and pressures of daily life. An adventure meant to excite the senses, see new places, and recharge their internal batteries. But alas, the aggravations and frustrations of things back home still somehow have managed to weasel their way back and disrupt the relaxation. Actually, it was two phone calls about fifteen minutes apart.

First phone call:

My friend's son has been watching our dog for us, and he goes over to check on Maestro three times a day. Since we live in the epicenter of Hell's Half Acre in the summertime, Maestro cannot be left outside for fear of heat stroke or other heat related negatives. So the friend has been faithfully setting his alarm clock and tending to the dog just as we had asked. He has also been advised that Maestro is STRONG and should not be taken on a walk and we generally don't let him play with other dogs.

(Enter my dumbass next door neighbor with her 95lb black lab PUPPY)

Neighbor Boy has been asked by Dumbass if she can bring the lab over to play with Maestro the next time that he goes over to our house. Not only that, but she tells Neighbor Boy that "we let Lab and Maestro play together all the time"...........UMM, NO!!! We hardly ever let the two dogs play together because the Lab is still only a year old, she's ENORMOUS, and she has a tendency to pounce, scratch, and play rough. I don't feel comfortable with the way she plays, knowing that Maestro might not think that her way of playing is actually a fight.

Dumbass DID take her dog over to play, and thankfully both dogs just had a fun little romp in our backyard without incident. This WILL be addressed with Dumbass when we get back home from vacation though. She was out of line to ask our dog sitter to do something that WE don't typically do.

Second phone call: (15 min later)

My father in law has called to ask Fred if he can get into our house through the garage. After Fred confirms that there is access through the garage, his father lets him know that we have DISTANT family in from out of town and he has offered the use of OUR HOUSE overnight.....and then has the BALLS to ask, "Is that okay?"


We flew out early in the morning, several days ago. And although we picked the house up and tidied up, we didn't clean as if someone were going to be coming and STAYING in our house WHILE WE WERE GONE!! All of the sheets hadn't been changed, the floors probably need to be mopped, the upstairs (kid's) bathroom was probably not even fit to walk into, and a million other things ran through my head that weren't left "house guest ready". Not to mention, the uneasy feeling of someone staying in MY PERSONAL SPACE, sleeping in our bed, showering in my bathroom, and using my shit without me being there!! I am PISSED!

So anyway, we've had Dumbass push her ill behaving puppy on my dog sitter forh an unapproved doggy play date. Then my gracious father-in-law, being the ever accommodating host, offered our house to extended family and called us as an after-thought just to make sure it was okay.

I'm still angry.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sitting and Stewing

My mother drives me crazy.

This morning the dog woke me up unusually early.  I tossed and turned in bed as long as I could before finally dragging myself out of bed.  I released the hound, and then made my way to the front of the house to see if her car was still parked outside or not.  It wasn't.

Late last week my mother called, saying that she was going to be coming through Smalltown on Tues & Weds.  She ended up spending Tuesday with my sister, and all day yesterday with us.  The day was busy and there was some juggling that we had to do in the afternoon, but the day was extremely enjoyable and it was great to spend time with my mother.

As we got closer to dinner lastnight, my mother decided that staying an extra day and trying to catch up with my brother would be a good idea.  So she called him - left messages - and finally was able to catch up with him and make plans to see him today for lunch.  Since Fred and Barnes already had golf plans for today, Mother invited the younger two and I to go along with her to see my brother.  It was A PLAN.

My brother lives near the water, so even though they LOVE to see him anyway, it's doubly exciting when we get to go to his house because they get to splash around and go a little nuts.  They were SO excited that they got their bathing suits ready (even though I told them that it's too cold to play in the water), picked out their clothes, and were abuzz with excitement about our detour from the uneventfulness that otherwise awaited them.  I think that I may have even been a scoatch more excited than they were, because now we were going to fill the day with something outside of our immediate geographical location that would be fun.


After we sent the kids to bed, my mother started to second guess and rethink the plans for today.  Her rental car is due back tonight at 7:00pm, but she hadn't confirmed (or considered) what the fees would be if she decided to hang on to the car for an additional day.  Here's a list...because I like lists.

  • Brother is a contractor and has limited flexibility - getting together for lunch is a big deal for him.
  • Her paperwork said $47 for an additional day, but the hotline told her that it would be $100.  So she was getting cold feet by the minute..."what if the paperwork doesn't include all of the fees and it really will be an additional $100"
  • MY KIDS ARE IN BED, DREAMING OF WATER!!...and seeing their uncle.
  • I had tickets to see a concert with my husband tonight, and I don't know if that's ON or OFF now.
  • What will I pull out of my hat (to do with the kids) if Mother changes everything and we DON'T go to see my bro?
  • If she cancels on my brother after making these plans I am going to be PISSED.
  • Being spontaneous and making day plans actually sounded pretty exciting and adventurous.  There's not a whole lot of adventure in my life, okay?!
  • My kids will be disappointed.

My mother left EARLY this morning. 

She's apparently thrown caution (and our plans) to the wind, and is probably on her way to try and have breakfast with my brother.

And I am just sitting here stewing.


Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm NOT Your Bitch....Or Am I?

This morning I was catching up on current events via Facebook when I got a message.  The messages back and forth when like this:

Friend:  Betty's 40th birthday is right around the corner.  We need to do something!
Me:  What ideas do you have in mind?
Friend:  I don't know.  Maybe dinner, Girls Night Out, or mani/pedis & lunch.  But with everyone's schedules I just don't know what would work.
Me:  Well, what do you suggest.
***long pause with no response***  (I guess if you wait long enough that's also considered an answer?)
Me:  I'll send out an email and see what everyone else thinks.
Friend:  K.  Her family probably has dinner plans, but she didn't say anything for sure.  Let me know!

Here is where my complaint lies...  If "Friend" has the epiphany that we should do something fabulous for "Betty's" birthday, and the date is quickly approaching..."Friend" should put on her big girl panties and ORGANIZE the fucking thing!!!  Further, if she's going to send ME a message and throw it out there, it seems prudent that she should also have some thought or a few ideas in mind for what we could do.  I;m just thinking out loud though.

The fly in the ointment....  Ever since we moved into our current neighborhood, I have spearheaded parties, holiday gatherings, baby showers, meals for neighbors when there was a death in the family, and even formed a book club.  This is all great and good, but there are some shit heads that take this social happiness to mean that I might want to do it ALL.  But, alas, I do not.  I do not want you to email me and drop comments like, "Do you think we should do a Christmas party for the street again this year?" or "Is there anything in the works for a baby shower?  You know Darla's baby is due in two months."

NO. No.  NONONONONONONO!!  I reserve the right to punk out if I want to.

In this particular case, I will end up biting the bullet and put something together for "Betty".  She is one of my besties, and she deserves to be celebrated and adored on her birthday.  I don't like feeling like someone's trick pony, but I DO want Betty to have a nice birthday.....a fact that "Friend" is apparently keenly aware of.  Thus the message.

As for "Friend"...she's on my shit list.



Thursday, February 24, 2011

WARNING: Emotional, raw and probably controversial

For a good fourteen years now, I've been struggling with faith and religion.  I have a great bit of knowledge on various Christian religions as well as non-Christian ones.  It fascinates me.  For that same amount of time, I have been struggling with what I believe as opposed to what I have always been told I believe.  A few years ago, I finally came to terms with exactly what I believe and where that fits in the grand scheme of things.  You see, I've discovered my own personal beliefs are more Jewish in nature than Christian despite being raised in a very conservative Christian area of the country.  I believe in God, whatever His name may be, but I do not believe Jesus was the Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament.  I believe Jesus walked the earth and was a living man, not God incarnate.  I also respect others who believe otherwise as I think we all have our own paths to God.

However, I also struggle with that glimmering question that I believe everyone- wether you will admit it or not- has at some point in their lives.  You know the one.  What if there really is no God?  Nothing.  I am familiar with God, I am comforted by God and I cling to the idea and existence of him as something I cannot even comprehend.  I cling to it because it comforts me.  No one wants to think that when we die there is nothing else.  We all want to believe that there is more and we will not cease to exist.

I also have days, like today, where I am forced to ask myself a bunch of questions.  Like- Why do I sometimes feel like God hates me?  or Perhaps He doesn't hate me and I'm being a bit of a drama queen, but it still feels that He doesn't even know I am here.   This is how I am feeling right now.  I am so tired of visiting this dark place.  I am so tired of my heart aching over and over again.

I do not live anywhere near my extended family.  I am a fairly independent person and for the most part, do my own thing by myself and don't ask for help.  But, there are times that I desperately need help and support from my family and I cannot get it.  Something seems to always come in the way.  I seem to always be waiting for a certain member of my family to step up and be the person I want her to be.  The child in me feels that I deserve this.  Other people around me get help when they need it.  All they have to do is ask, but it is always so difficult for me to get what I need.  What I need to the core of my very soul and I can't seem to get it.  So, what is God's beef with me?

That whole, "God will never give you more than you can handle" thing is bullshit.  Because I have had more than I can handle for a long time now with no relief in sight.  I am not living right now.  I am merely surviving and going through the motions in order to keep myself and my family alive an accountable.  I know this is all abstract, so let me give you a few examples of what I am talking about and end it with the event that has brought me here today, staring at a very blurry monitor through tears, heartbroken, angry and frustrated once again.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I needed my mother.  She couldn't come see me, and I begged like a shameless child.  She didn't have the money.  So, I paid for her plane ticket and then there was drama surrounding it.  First, she wasn't sure what she was going to do with her animals, she couldn't find anyone to watch them and then once she actually got here, she immediately wanted to turn around and go back because my sister called with loads of drama back home and mom felt she needed to be there.  This was when I was just 6 months pregnant.  I had wanted her to come for the birth of my first child.  Don't most moms help their kids with these things?  She didn't want to impose on our moment as a family and so decided not to come until the baby was around 2 weeks old and even then, she only stayed a few days.  That baby turned out to be a very difficult and colicky baby and I needed some help and yet I did not get it.  It was so bad, that my husband drove us all home when the baby was 2 months old and we stayed for two months hoping to get some help and possibly tools to deal with this cranky baby from all the family and their wisdom.  Everyone had their own lives and work going on and it ended up that I had the same problem I had here, but in another state, at someone else's house, still with no help or relief.  It failed miserably.

When I was pregnant with my second child, she was breech and a c-section was scheduled.  My previous birth had been vaginal and I did not know what to expect.  I was terrified because some people I talked to said it was no big deal and other said they had a hard recovery.  This led me to believe that each recovery is different and there was just no way to know, but that I was going to have to prepare for the worst.  And so, I begged my mom to come because with a new baby, recovery, a small child and the fact that my husband was going to have to go back to work immediately, I would need help.  Again, it was a whole ordeal.  She wasn't sure she had the money, then she couldn't find someone to check on her dog and it came down to the last minute where I had no idea if she would be here or not until only a few weeks prior.

Fast forward to the present.  My husband is gone- for a long time.  I have hit burnout and I need help.  My mom suggested from the beginning that she come visit us for a week at the halfway point to break up the monotony and give me some help.  I have been looking forward to this visit for weeks.  I have been looking forward to the kids focusing their attention and neediness on someone else for a few days so I can have a break.  I NEED A BREAK!  Same drama- different year- because of money problems, she didn't buy her ticket until last week (for next week).  Once she bought them, I was relieved, knowing help was coming.  Now, she is sick.  Really sick.  My sister just called to tell me she has been taken to the hospital.  And I know it isn't her fault.  And I realize I am being selfish for worrying about myself here, but dammit!  Why can't I get a fucking break?  And that is what makes me wonder if there are some supernatural forces working against me.  Do I have bad Karma?  Am I a bad person?  Does God hate me?  What?  What did I do?  Why do I deserve this?  And these are my questions.  And I am sure they will always be my questions.  And I know that a disappointing mother will be my burden to bear and I should quit relying on her.  I should suck it up and just be independent and do everything on my own.

But dammit, everybody needs a shoulder to cry on once in awhile.  And everybody needs help sometimes too.  It's just that everybody doesn't get it.

**Comments closed- this was something I needed to get out and I don't need any drama and/or debate**

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

When I Have a Stroke, You Will Know Why.

I have this friend that is a very good friend most of the time. But a good 45% of the time, she drives me freaking nuts. She has a good heart and is always there for me and so I feel guilty that I get so pissed off at her and then come on anonymous blogs to rant. Perhaps I'm a bad person. But, damnit she frustrates the hell out of me!

First I want to say that her husband accuses her of over-planning all the time. This is one of the main sources of their arguments and fights. He thinks she tries to plan his life down to the minute and she thinks he says he wants to take it easy, but really is just lazy and leaves things to the last minute or doesn't do anything at all until she gets on him about it. I can see both sides of this. He is the anti-planner. He wants to just wake up late and decide how the mood strikes him and then maybe lazily drag out of bed and get dressed and by the time he decides to go somewhere, it is 3pm and too late to go enjoy an entire day as a family. I am usually on her side in these arguments. That is what good girlfriends do... always take your side. But today, there came a moment when I had to bite my tongue to keep from shouting, " THIS... THIS RIGHT HERE IS WHAT YOUR HUSBAND IS TALKING ABOUT! I AM NOT EVEN MARRIED TO OR OBLIGATED TO YOU IN ANY WAY AND YOU ARE DOING IT TO ME!!"

Let's back up.

We go to Weight Watchers together every Friday morning after I drop Daughter off at preschool. I pick my friend up and we go weigh in, stay for the meeting and then go to lunch afterwards. I told her yesterday that if she wanted to stay for the meeting this week, she would have to drive herself, because I was just going to weigh in and then was coming straight home because I had things to do and Friday afternoon was Daughter's Valentine Party at school. She said coming straight home was fine and I thought that was the end of it.

Until she called me today. Here is the conversation:

FRIEND: When you say you are coming straight home after weighing in on Friday, you aren't going to eat or anything?
ME: No, I'm weighing in and coming home.
FRIEND: What time is Daughter's party?
ME: 2:15
FRIEND: Our meeting is at 10, you need 3 and a half hours to get home and get ready to go?
ME: No, I have to run some errands too.
FRIEND: But, I need to go to [a store that is near the meeting] to exchange something.
ME: Then you will have to drive.
FRIEND: What errand do you have?
ME: I have to go by the post office because I promised to mail a care package to Ricky last week, but with both kids getting sick, I just haven't had the time. I also need to go to the grocery store. I am out of practically everything.
FRIEND: If those things are so important, why are you not going to do them tomorrow instead of Friday?
ME: Because I promised to take [other friend] out to lunch for her birthday tomorrow.
FRIEND: You can't run to the grocery store after you drop daughter off at preschool. You would be there by 9:10 and could get everything done then.
ME: No, because, like I said, I am out of almost everything and need to shop a lot.
FRIEND: Well, what do you need to buy that takes you three hours to shop and get home and put it away?
ME:(starting to get really frustrated) I don't HAVE three hours! I would just have about an hour to shop, get home, put things away and be back at [friend]'s house by 10:30. We have reservations at 11.
FRIEND: WHO eats lunch at 11?
ME: Ummm.... we do? Besides, it's HER birthday, I think she can choose what time she wants to eat! And we wanted to have time to eat, have a glass of wine and perhaps dessert and not have to rush home.
FRIEND: Why aren't you having reservations at noon and you have plenty of time to eat and get back to pick up Daughter by 3:30?
ME: Because [friend] wants a peaceful lunch for her birthday and therefore is dropping her baby off at hourly care. Hourly care only goes until 2pm and we don't want to be rushing back!
FRIEND: Oh... well, that makes sense then. Okay.. I'll drive Friday.

HOLY GOD-THAT FELT LIKE THE INQUISITION!!! I was exhausted by the end of that conversation. And pissed off. Why the hell should it matter what I am doing, at what time and how I am managing my time. I shouldn't have to be accountable like that to someone. Why couldn't, "I have errands to run" have been sufficient enough of an answer?

And I realized then EXACTLY what her husband was talking about when he gets all pissed about her planning things.