Eight years ago today

Eight years ago today

It was 8 years ago today, I know because Facebook memories told me so, that I took my kid, and the girl who I had spent the previous 7 years as her “other mother” (a name given to me by her own amazing mother) to a music festival 3 hours away. It was Friday during the first week of school, and I picked them both up as soon as it was over and we took off to a town 3 hours away so my kid could see the band he wanted to see the most, Finger Eleven. I was the meanest mom in the world for not letting him skip the 3rd day of school so he could make sure he saw all of his favorite band, but that was quickly forgotten as soon as we arrived at the festival, and again when we went back for the second day.

Not that it had anything to do with the music festival, but that was also probably the last year that my kid didn’t actually hate me. I don’t mean the “You won’t let me play with my friend, you’re making me do homework, I can’t have McDonald’s for dinner for the 4th time this week,” I hate you either. The kind of I hate you that I was getting thrown at me was the “It’s your fault I don’t have a dad at home, or someone who wants to be my dad, because nobody can stand to be around you, you never do anything for me, I’m practically raising myself because you’re always at work, it’s your fault I am not doing well in school, we never do anything fun,” kind of hate. You know, the mean, spiteful kind of hate. The punching holes in my walls, breaking everything in the house, underage smoking and drinking, kind of hate. It’s the kind of hate that has left me crying in the shower on more occasions that I will ever admit, wondering where I went so horribly wrong as a parent.

This weekend, I had the chance to talk to another friend of mine, and was completely blown away when I heard that they were having similar problems with their oldest. I listened for 3 hours as this person told me about all of the problems and trials they were having with one of their children, even though the family background couldn’t possibly be more of a polar opposite to the family background at my house. This child was raised in a 2 parent, affluent household, with FAR more conveniences than my kid had, and with the added benefit of one parent working, and the other at home, able to be there for the children at any given time of any given day. This family shouldn’t be having the same problems with their kid as I am with mine. It just doesn’t make sense…at all, right?!

Towards the end of this 3 hour conversation, I realized that we had so much more in common than I ever thought we could. Both of us felt like we had failed at some point as a parent, and couldn’t for the life of us figure out where we went wrong. Both of us saw our value as a person tied directly to how these humans we had raised turned out as adults, and as the conversation wrapped up, we realized we had BOTH come to the conclusion (her through professional counselling and me through boozy conversations with my best friends) that we both gave our children all of the tools we possibly could to be decent humans. They were loved. They had all of their necessities taken care of. They each had plenty of opportunities for the fun extras. They were safe. They had seen first hand how they SHOULD treat other people for their entire lives. How they chose to use these tools was not a reflection on how they were raised, rather it was a reflection of who they were choosing to be, no matter how heartbreaking it was as a parent to watch them turn in to little assholes who didn’t care about anyone but themselves.

So be kind to people you meet; you never know who’s raising teenagers, and in the stolen words of one of the coolest people I’ve met this year, “Hug your people y’all.” (Seriously though, those people raising teenagers who are being assholes for no apparent reason definitely need your hugs.)

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Heart shaped rocks

Heart shaped rocks

Hey! Wait! I’ve got a new complaint.

Ok, I don’t really have a new complaint, but I’ve had that Nirvana song stuck in my head for the better part of the last 24 hours now. And yes, I know the song is Heart Shaped Box, not heart shaped rocks, but I found a bunch of heart shaped rocks yesterday, and that’s where my 90% song lyrics and movie quotes brain went with it. Let’s back up just a little bit though, and get to why this is even something I’m bothering to get my blog therapy on with.

Sometimes I feel as if Urban Dictionary hit the nail on the head when they described the tiny little town that I live in like this:  “A little hell hole of a city in Utah where 98% of the population are close minded hicks or Mormons. The weather ranges between freaking hot to freaking cold. There’s a point system to how many prairie dogs you can hit on the way to Colorado. The school system is run by the not German Nazis. The shittiest city on earth to attend high school in. A black meaningless void of which you’ll never escape once you’ve set foot in it. A geographic anomaly in which everything is approximately 3 and half hours away.” In all fairness though, everything is approximately 3 hours away, and 2 1/2 if law enforcement and wildlife cooperate.

Living in this little geographic anomaly tends to make things particularly difficult for the girl who prefers anonymity and generally only dates in those areas 3 hours away. It’s nice, because then nobody knows your business (including the guys, who don’t realize you’re not really worth the trouble…), but here’s the catch 22: sometimes this shit actually works out, and then that 3 hours is a huge pain in the ass. Case in point: I was kind of, sort of dating this really awesome guy a couple of years ago. Then life got in the way and the 3 hour commute was a bit much for either one of us. Ok…full disclosure: we were totally cockblocked by Mother Nature one winter when the relentless witch decided that mountain passes were going to be impassable without 4WD every single weekend he didn’t have his kids. Anyway, he started dating someone else without the 3 hour commute, and I went back to business as normal in the geographic anomaly where my social/dating life is a giant black hole. We stayed friends though, because we’re adults who can handle shit like that.

Skipping forward a couple of years, this guy and I are still great friends. He gets me, I get him, and he has this uncanny ability to contact me when I’m having THE worst day. It’s the best really; if I had it all to do over again, I’d get friend-zoned by him again without even thinking twice about it. Come to think about it, I’d happily get friend-zoned again by literally everyone Tinder has made me cross paths with. But back to the story. Life has been a GIANT douche to this friend of mine lately, and when I talk to him about it(OK, text, because there are like 12 ways of contacting me on my phone, and none of them require me actually using it as a phone…..but also because I can text while at work), I like to throw in the not so subtle message of #MoveToVernal. We both realize this is a scorched Earth option. It’s 3 hours away from his kids, although, I also joke about befriending his ex-wife and then convincing her to move here, so then his kids will be here too. Realistically though, none of that is going to happen. It didn’t stop the talks about this #MoveToVernal option from getting just a little bit serious over the past little while though, and I hate how much I liked the thought of that.

So what’s to hate about the thought of one of your closest friends moving to the same town you live in? Well….there wasn’t any problem with it, until I saw a picture of him with his kids this weekend. They were all so incredibly happy. He is seriously THE best dad, and my first thought upon seeing that picture was “there is absolutely no way he can be 3 hours away from them,” and I felt like a giant asshole for even suggesting it. My next thought was “What in the hell is this crushing feeling in my soul?” That was coupled with the reality that it was feelings. Gross right? I walked right in to the damn things.

Yesterday, my BFF and keeper of my secrets invited me to go to the lake with her and some of her friends. I needed some sun, water, and friends in my life, so of course I went. At one point we decided to jump off the boat and wander around on the beach. We were walking on some wet sand, when all of the sudden we sunk almost up to our knees in the wet, muddy sand. While the kids were laughing about it, it was poetic justice for me really. That damn muddy sand was a whole hell of a lot like those feelings I had fallen right in to for a minute. I was just walking along the beach of life, and then *bam* stepped right in to feelings.

We pulled ourselves out of the mud pretty easily and washed off in the lake, then continued on along the beach looking for cool stuff. One of the girls we were with found some sweet sunglasses, and I found a plethora of freaking heart shaped rocks. I skipped right over the first few of them, but then I had an idea. I kept 4 of the heart shaped rocks and took them with me on the swim back to the boat. Only 3 of them survived; the black one that I joked was a replica of mine broke in 2 pieces in my hand as I swam back to the boat. Turns out it was a little more fragile than it looked. (Mother f wording symbolism there!) As for the other heart shaped rocks, I waited until we were in the deepest part of the lake and threw them overboard, because hearts represent feelings, and feelings are overrated, and just a little bit lame.

 

It’s my anniversary yo

It’s my anniversary yo

Today I’m celebrating the longest relationship I’ve ever been in. You’re confused aren’t you? You probably should be. I’m not married, and my longest relationship lasted WAY longer than it should have, but still had a 7 year expiration date. I guess technically, I’ve been in a “relationship” with the day job for over 18 years at this point, but I don’t really like that, so I’m not counting it. I’m talking about my relationship with Lil’ Red.

Ten years ago, on 8/8/08, I was on my way to Salt Lake City to attend a wedding. On my way out, I received a phone call from a salesman at my favorite car dealership. He said the car I had been in love with since the mock-up of it as a concept car had been released 2 years prior was just pulled off the truck in the color I wanted. Did I still want the car? Like there was even a question. Of course I wanted the car, but I also wasn’t going to be that asshole who blew off the wedding to buy my midlife crisis car. $500 paid over the phone was enough to hold it until the wedding was over, and make me the envy of every University of Utah professor that also wanted my midlife crisis car, the 2008 Honda Accord Coupe EX-L with the V6 engine in San Marino Red, school colors at the U. Sorry boys, that 28-year-old beat you to the car you wanted….

Lil’ Red and I have had quite the relationship over the past decade. She’s been my therapist through countless miles of fast driving, mountain curves, fast driving on mountain curves, and loud music. She inspired the paint color for 3 different classic car remodels in 2008 alone. She’s the reason a complete stranger followed me for over a year before he asked if he could drive her and then ended up buying her ugly brown step-sister after I refused multiple offers to sell her. (Really though….Tiger Eye Pearl was not the best Honda paint color). She’s been the fancy ride that has been to Homecoming and Prom more times than I ever did (not like that was a hard number to beat!) with the cousins who begged to drive her to impress their dates. She’s taken the kid and I on several nice long road trips. She’s been on the road from Vernal to Salt Lake so often she could probably do it without me, so take that Tesla self driving cars. She survived teaching the 16-year-old how to drive, although, I’m sure she was pretty grateful that I never let him take her himself. She’s happy to oblige when tiny humans ask me to fly balloons out of the sun roof, or go faster because it’s fun, and she was even happier when teenage boys in Challengers tried to race her and lost miserably….three lights in a row.

She’s getting up there in age though, kind of like her owner. I mean…she’s still awesome AF, and appears to have it all together, but she’s a total Monet. Once you get up close, you start seeing all of the imperfections. I suppose she takes after her owner a bit on that one. I’m not looking forward to the day Lil’ Red has to retire, because she can’t really be replaced. (Seriously, they quit making that car in 2017, there was no deeper meaning there.)

So yeah, it’s probably the only 10 year anniversary I’ll ever celebrate. As for the couple from the 8/8/08 wedding, I texted them this morning, like I do every year, telling them Happy Anniversary, and was thanked with the response “You always remember. Thank you!” I never have the heart to tell her that I remember her anniversary, because it’s also the same day I bought Lil’ Red, but I don’t think it would matter. 8/8/08 was a great day for both of us, and while I’m sure she’ll be celebrating with the modern 10 year anniversary gift of diamonds, I may have to go with the traditional gift, crack open an aluminum can of some sort of cold beverage, and celebrate the day I bought the only car I’ve kept for longer than 3 or 4 years. Or maybe I’ll use it as an excuse to go buy myself those diamond earrings I’ve been looking at, because Treat. Yo. Self. (Someone’s got to do it right?)

Confessions

Confessions

These are my confessions, just when I thought I said all I can say…. Just kidding…I’m not Usher, and I have no chick on the side that’s got one on the way, but I do have some random confessions from the past few weeks nonetheless.

  • A couple of weeks ago, I had THE best weekend at a music festival with one of my favorite humans. Coming back to the reality where I don’t get to hang out with this guy every day, live in a hotel, eat pho, go to kick ass concerts, and other unmentionables was mother f-wording brutal. My mental health took one hell of a hit when I had to return to being an adult.
  • After a week of adulting bullshit, I hit a local bar with one of my very oldest friends. She wanted to go, I didn’t want to be around people that I know, but I shut that anxiety ridden portion up with a quick shot of tequila.
  • This weekend was the first time in my entire life that I didn’t have to pay for any of my drinks at a bar, and not just because my friends were paying this time. Total strangers paid for most of my drinks. I had to turn drinks down because I was the one driving. So, this is what it’s like for pretty girls. Not a bad feeling. I’m glad I could be an imposter for the night…although I could have lived without the “I just did a shot with the chick from X94” declaration…
  • One such stranger decided to hang out with us all night. I’m 100% unsure on the etiquette surrounding someone who drops $5 on a vodka soda for you because he’s trying to get in your friend’s pants, so we just chilled with the dude and some other random people until last call.
  • I felt ZERO shame when I wouldn’t let vodka soda dude physically drag me out on the dance floor, listened to his comments about how surprisingly strong I was, and then left him in the dust when the DJ dropped the Cupid Shuffle. C’mon….it’s like the Macarena…one doesn’t just stand around when that’s playing. You get your ass to the dance floor.
  • Met some guys from Texas….momentairly broke their hearts when I asked how they manage to live in Utah without Whataburger. Made up for it by offering to make fun of their enemies on the air.
  • Refrained from laughing when vodka soda guy tried to get me to drink more so he could take my friend and me home. Yeah….sorry friend. My liver is a champion, and 4 drinks over 4 hours isn’t leaving me stranded in a bar. Did you notice how I kept funneling your drinks to my BFF? It was my night to be the responsible one, even if those goosebumps were proof that my body betrayed me when you decided you were going to grab my ass and pull my hair.
  • Decided I felt a little too old and had an equally old friend play Jr. High with me. Good news…the boy I had her talk to for me is single. Bad news….in this stupid backwards state, “Do you want to grab a drink with me” apparently means “I love you and we should get married tonight,” and not the “hey, we should just get a drink and catch up” that it means in the rest of the civilized world, so yeah….that probably won’t go anywhere, but it was fun to be 14 years old again for a minute.
  • Met (OK….matched on Tinder, whatever) a ridiculously cool guy and had some pretty amazing conversations with him for about 4 days. The guy challenged me mentally. That’s a difficult task. He also knew the damn difference between your and you’re, which is apparently a lost art. He told me he hated me for where I live, so that’s where that went. (Don’t get pissed at him….It’s a valid concern!)
  • A freaking meme I saw on Facebook made me realize I tripped in to some feelings. That hit me like a ton of damn bricks. I’m still not sure how I feel about that. I keep trying to brush them off, but they’re like glitter and they get freaking everywhere. Wanna know what it said? Here it is: “I have to be honest with you. I think about you a lot. All the time actually. In the morning, at night, in the middle of the day. It’s you. It’s just always you.” Shit…. Also, it’s not about the recent Tinder guy. Yeah, I know I live in Utah, but unlike the vast majority of the state, I am perfectly capable of having coffee with a guy without thinking that means we’re now in a committed relationship.
  • The kid is back home. I have no idea how long it will last, but I just about lost my shit when I told him to take the trash out and he told me “I worked 13 hours today, and I don’t need your attitude.” Um….excuse me, but last I checked, this was my house, and for the record, I worked 16 hours, so take the effing trash out and pick your pants up off the kitchen floor. (One of us may die, and my life insurance policy is worth more, so if I come up missing, y’all know what happened. Joke’s on him though; he’s not listed as the beneficiary!)
  • Did you notice the kid told me he worked 13 hours? Yeah….one of my friends took pity on him again. I hope he doesn’t mess this one up. I’m running out of local friends; especially ones that might take pity on the lost soul that is my kid…
  • I managed to make it 10 days without washing my hair. I didn’t need dry shampoo at all. I only washed it on Sunday morning because I smelled like the bar. I still am not certain whether it was the shitty mental health, or the 16 hour days at work that made the task so daunting. I’m also 100% unclear whether I should be impressed that I didn’t need to wash the green mess for that long, or if should be a little concerned that I was OK waiting that long to wash it…
Build your ideal partner

Build your ideal partner

Memes other people post provide me with endless entertainment on social media. Yesterday’s most memorable: Ladies, you have $5 to build your ideal man. Here are the options.

  1. Good looking $3
  2. Funny $1
  3. Smart $1
  4. Great in bed $2
  5. Faithful $3
  6. Wealthy $3
  7. No kids $1
  8. Tall $1
  9. Great body $2
  10. Romantic $2

People’s responses in the comments were cracking me up. (For the record, almost all of them were liars who said 10 and 5 were all they needed.) My response: It’s a good thing I manage money better than your average girl, because 1-5 are non-negotiable. This response garnered plenty of laughing reactions as well as a message telling me once again that I’m too picky and will never find someone who fits my impossible standards.

Laugh at me all you want; it’s part of my profession after all, but don’t tell me I’m too picky. Can I “build” something I’ll settle for within the limits of the game? Sure, but the game didn’t ask what I’ll settle for; I was asked to build my ideal partner. So in life, as in internet memes, I’ll continue to not play by the rules, or settle just because “it’s time for you to settle down with a nice boy…or girl if that’s what you’re in to.” Life is too short to settle just because everyone thinks you should, and options 1-5 truly are non-negotiable.

You’re like the white Olivia Pope

You’re like the white Olivia Pope

To say I follow politics would be an understatement. I’m completely immersed in and fascinated by politics. I always have been. I hate party politics though. I take the “I side with”  quiz in its entirety, expanding and weighing importance on each question, at least once a year, and definitely during election years, so I can remove the partisan bullshit and just focus on the actual issues. The results are always rather eye-opening, and often end with me realizing I have a fairly different opinion politically than a good portion of my friends and acquaintances.

This political difference isn’t a new thing for me. In 1988, my 3rd grade teacher (Mrs. Moon) held a mock election so we could get in on the fun. I remember her telling us that usually whoever wins in our class election is who wins in our state voting. I remember thinking that was so cool. Of course looking back on it now, I realize “Duh! We are 8 and 9 years old, so our opinion is going to be the same as our voting parent/guardian’s opinion, so obviously the class election and state election will be similar.” While all of my classmates were voting for Bush/Quayle, I was one of few who chose Dukakis/Bensten, not because I had any strong opinions about either candidate, and certainly not because my parents liked Dukakis; I grew up in a Republican household. Why not Bush/Quayle with the rest of the class then? Well, because the week before, while riding my bike to school, some quail ran out of a bush and across the road in front of me, and I didn’t like it, so voting Bush/Quayle wasn’t going to happen. And not that it matters, but that’s where my refusal to “go with the norm” started.

The other day, I was having a political discussion with someone. Our opinions were vastly differing, but it was an actual discussion, not the name calling toddler style garbage that is prevalent in most partisan political discussions. Then the conversation ended like this:
Them: You’re like the white Olivia Pope.
Me: Thank you.
Them: That wasn’t a compliment.
Me: There is no world where that isn’t a compliment.
Them: Well it wasn’t.
Me: Ok.
Them: I mean, you’re like Command Olivia, not OPA Olivia.
Me: STILL not an insult.
Them: Whatever. I don’t even like Scandal.
Me: Yet you know there’s a difference between Command Olivia Pope and OPA Olivia Pope?
Them: Whatever. It just wasn’t a compliment.
Me: Ok, well if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go home, have a glass of wine, and start binge watching all 7 seasons of Scandal again.

To quote the writers that created the powerful gladiator herself, “I am many things, stupid is not one of them,” so I will never not be anything less than 100% ok with someone telling me I remind them of Olivia Pope, because Olivia Pope is a total bad ass.

 

 

On asking for what you want

On asking for what you want

I’ve seen no less than 20 of my friends, and friends of friends post a variation of this meme in the last 3 days alone on Facebook and Instagram. For the most part, I love you all, but really?! Do we have to go there with the passive aggressive “what all girls want” post? Here it is…

15 things every girl wants from her guy but won’t ask for

  1. Good morning and Good night texts
  2. Pictures taken together
  3. Surprises, especially little ones
  4. Visiting and bringing her favorite food
  5. A hoodie with his scent on it
  6. Really long hugs
  7. Slow dances
  8. Sincere compliments
  9. Sing her favorite song, even if it’s out of tune
  10. Make her feel special
  11. Real, deep conversations
  12. Nonsense, but funny conversations too
  13. His “gentlemanliness”
  14. Comfort and patience when she’s in tears
  15. Telling her how much you love her.

Did I miss the part where as women, we aren’t allowed to just come out and ask for what we want in a relationship? I mean, every single one of the people I have seen share this lately are in a long-term relationship. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. So….what’s with the passive aggressive posting? Why not just tell your guy whatever the hell it is you need to be happy in your relationship?

Newsflash….guys aren’t mind readers, and they aren’t going to pick up on your “subtle” Facebook post. If you want his hoodie, steal it from him, and give it back when it doesn’t smell like him anymore, but if you really want the rest of that stuff, you may just need to communicate it. And while you’re at it, maybe ask him what he wants too and reciprocate. But while we’re on that…maybe ALL girls don’t want their guy to slow dance and take pictures. Some of us don’t want you ruining our favorite song by singing it out of tune, and would be perfectly happy if you just pull our hair, touch our butt (among other things), and eat tacos with us. But then, what do I really know about relationships? I’m the eternally single one, and y’all are married or spoken for…so maybe the passive aggressive thing is really what works these days…