Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Accountability - Updated

One of my better qualities, one that I've had for a surprisingly long time, is that I will always own my part of the blame and will always hold myself accountable. If I fuck up, I own it, I'll apologize (and mean it), and will do my best to make sure it doesn't happen again. This goes for work, friendships, and relationships. This is a good thing because it means I don't think I'm perfect or that things just happen to me and the world and the people in it are just unfair assholes. I can be, and have always been, very objective. I told my mother when I was about 18 years old, after she'd kicked me out of the house, that I knew she'd never done anything to intentionally hurt me, that she was a human being outside of just being my mom, and that I knew children didn't come with playbooks.

But that objectivity is a double edged sword with me. I can get angry at someone and people can hurt me but I can never, it seems, just be hurt or angry. Nope, I have to make it clear that I understand my part in whatever happened so that they understand I'm not trying to make it out like I'm a total victim. I essentially apologize whilst explaining why the person has hurt me. Last night is a good example.

I've mentioned before how the Bat would volunteer my time and services to drive his kid here or to do x y or z. I finally told him that it was totally disrespectful and told him not to do it again. He told me I could have just said "no" and I said "you could have just asked." Because it's never "can you take Monkey and her friend" or "after you guys get your nails done, can you drop them off at such and such a place?" It's "the girls are ready to go get their nails done and then you're going to drop them off at their school function." So we talked about it and he stopped doing that to me. Until last night when he said "Monkey and I are going to McKinney to look at a truck." I said "OK, have fun, good luck, drive safe." He came back a moment later and said "actually, you should go with us in case we buy the truck so you can drive my car back."

I didn't want to go. I had a bad day, I don't like doing a lot of driving after work (and this would entail a lot of driving) and I don't like driving other peoples' cars. But I went, because I'm an idiot and I think "it isn't fair to Monkey and they are most likely going to buy this truck and just go." But it wasn't fair to me so why don't I put myself first? Isn't that what we are supposed to do? Take care of ourselves so that we are happy and can take care of others? They have friends and family here in Texas. They have friends and family in McKinney. There were a number of people the Bat could have called but I never want to bother anyone or cause trouble so I just suck it up and do it.

The ride to McKinney sucked because it was rush hour. I was angry the entire time, angry at him and myself for being a doormat. We had plenty of time before the appointment so we stopped at a friend's house. That was awkward because I was so upset but didn't want to show it so I just focused on my friend and had a decent time. Then to the truck owner's home we go. Then a test drive that involved going to the Bat's parents' house so they could check it out. Dad wanted to take it for a spin so more waiting. Finally we get back and the Bat buys the truck and I get his keys and directions for how to get home because I don't have my phone. He gave me the wrong directions so, although I didn't get lost, I did go the wrong way for quite some time.

I got home, threw his keys at him, and yelled "it's a RIGHT on Eldorado". I was crying and had been for the entire trip. My only bright spot was that at my last red light I'd changed all his radio presets to NPR.

I did try telling him why I was upset (it wasn't just the bad directions and he says it was due to construction) but he just said "I'm sorry, I don't know what else you want me to say" in a tone that wasn't quite yelling but angry enough. So I let it go. We made it up and I apologized for throwing his keys (but not for changing his stations because that is just funny to me) and that was that.

But because I do not want to have any resentment, I emailed him this morning to explain why I was upset. That he'd once again volunteered my time and services and that it was even worse because he knows I hate driving after work and that I am really uncomfortable driving other peoples' cars (though I'm fine with his at this point, given all the driving I did yesterday). But I couldn't just say "here is why I'm upset" because I know his response, like every other person on this planet's response, would be "you could have just said no." I allowed myself to be treated like a doormat but I figured the least I could do was ask him not to put me in that situation again. I'm happy to help and participate and do my bit, but I felt like I was put into a position where if I said no, I would be fucking it up for everyone else. And for some reason, I actually care. I care about not fucking it up for everyone else.

But I also know that for the Bat, it is him and Monkey and that is that. That's fine. I know where I am in his life and I'm fine with that. But I refuse to live a life where I'm exist for what I can do for other people. He wouldn't have cared if he fucked it up for everyone else if he'd said no. He didn't even help me move. He took PTO for the Friday when my mother was here and was supposed to help me by going to the Arboretum or some other attraction, but instead blew us off to go look at trucks. He didn't care about how that affected anyone else. So why do I? On the one hand, I don't want to lose that part of me entirely because I think it's good to have empathy and compassion and to want to cause the least amount of trouble as possible. On the other, I don't want to be a doormat.

So my new goal for this year (way late with the resolutions), is to find a balance. Hopefully it won't be too hard to find. I will continue to be my sweet, obliging, helpful self, but one who can say "no" when needed and not feel like a brat about it.

Oh my god, my mother was right! I'm a people pleaser. As Tits said when I told her, now I know so I just need to figure out what to do about it. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Why am I so Embarrassing? And Exhausted in Advance?

For the first time in my life, I was pulled over by police officer. I cannot tell you how embarrassed I was, not because I was pulled over but because of how long it took me to realize I was being pulled over. I had turned into my neighborhood, saw a pickup truck trying to turn off my street, and so pulled to the right in order to make room. Only then did I notice the cop car behind me with the flashing lights. He either never put on his siren or I was so engrossed in Fresh Air that I didn't notice. But his lights were flashing and for how long I don't know? So, I realize he's pulling me over and I roll down my window and proceed to pull a bunch of crap out of my glove box. He knocks on my window or just says "do you live around here?" scaring the shit out of me even though of course he is going to come up to my car!  I'm assuming that is why he must have been behind me for awhile because why else would he ask me if I lived around there? So I pointed and said yes and he asked me for my proof of insurance and my license, which I gave to him, and he told me that I had a brake light out.

No big deal right? Yeah, except I start to spazz out like a freaking maniac. "Oh my goodness! A brake light?! And here I've been driving MY MOTHER around for FIVE DAYS?" Meanwhile, the officer is confused as I get out of my car (because apparently I needed to see it) and he gets in to hit my breaks and I'm clutching my pearls and muttering "oh dear! Oh my god!" He goes and runs my license and comes back as I try to force my registration on him ("No, that's OK, it's right there on your windshield") and tells me "It's not a big deal " to which I respond "it IS a big deal! Thank you so much!"

Poor fucker probably couldn't get away from me fast enough, telling me to just get it fixed soon.

This was embarrassing but funny so I put it on Facebook, naturally. My mom calls me awhile later to ask if I was OK or if I was rattled. I was embarrassed but fine; however, I was also at a part in the book I was reading in which a husband had just died so I was also bawling. I explained it to my mother and was just hanging up when the Bat came home and found me, face red from crying and on the phone with my mother. Great. So once I hung up with her I went and found him and said "I was READING! I got to a sad part in my book and THAT is why I was crying!" Because apparently it was very important that he know I wasn't falling apart because I'd gotten pulled over.

Such an embarrassing individual.

Anywho, remember when we were talking about my dance card being full? Yeah, I need a new one, which I will keep blank. Two weeks ago we went camping and then my lovely mother came out for five days. This weekend I am going to Lake Palestine and I have three girl dates set up for next week, plus going to try and rustle up some tail for Guitar Hero next Friday. I'm exhausted in advance. Don't get me wrong, camping was a blast and I had a great time with my mom. I'm sure I'll enjoy this weekend and I look forward to just chilling and hanging out with girlfriends. But it's just so much people. How do social butterflies do it? Is it that they aren't comfortable just being alone or with their families/significant others? Are they just naturally under-stimulated? I'm not saying that I always want to be on my own. No, when the Bat and Monkey went to San Antonio, I missed them and felt like an old specter rattling around the house. I like having them home or, if Monkey goes out, having the Bat home with me to chill and watch television with and have provoke me (which is one of his favorite things to do). But that is where he and I differ.

As soon as the weekend approaches, if we do not already have plans, the Bat is on the phone inviting people to come over or seeing what's going on. "So and so and so and so are coming for dinner" he'll tell me. Or "we're going out with so and so and his girlfriend tomorrow". Or, "so and so might drop by later with a couple of people." And I just look at him, from my slouched position on the couch because I'm wiped out, and think "why?" He once said "well what am I supposed to do, just sit around alone? I do enough of that during the week." And I do get it. One of the things that drove me crazy when I was married to J was that we never. went. anywhere. But my GOD is the Bat social! And his tolerance for people is astounding. The more the merrier ought to be his motto because he is perfectly comfortable around a whole mess of people, whether he knows them or not, whilst I get anxiety attacks because eeep! crowds! and I don't know anyone! It doesn't help that the Bat sucks at introducing me to people, leaving me to stand around awkwardly before I - equally as awkwardly - thrust my hand out and introduce myself. That doesn't really bother me because I find it funny, but it's hard when there are a lot of people around. Fortunately, that doesn't happen too often.

One happy thing about Mr. Socialite is that one of his friends seems to be a bit like me. I told her about how I'm exhausted with this whole "three weeks in a row of weekend plans" and she told me that she knew just what I meant and that she'd nixed plans to go out of town this weekend because she and her husband and kid had just gotten back from going to Austen. And she completely understood my whole "why does dude feel like he has to push me to make friends like I'm a little kid" thing as well. So she's my friend and I'm going to hang out with her next week.And I think she'll be totally accepting of my socially awkward weirdness.

And then, at the end of the week, the Bat can make whatever plans he wants but I'm going to just chill the fuck out Saturday night and pretend the world outside the Bat Cave does not exist. Because there really, truly, is a limit to how much people time I can suffer through. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mother Board

Ugh. You know how I suck at blogging? Especially when I've done something interesting or fun or whatever normal people are awesome at blogging about? Yeah, it's going to be one of those.

My mother arrived on April 17th, having caught a very early flight (her time) that deprived her of her morning coffee. In grand style, I met her at the airport, then high tailed it back to my car (parked a convenient five minutes away), drove around the parking lot once because I couldn't figure out how to exit it, and then drove around the entire airport because I missed my turn for her terminal. Having finally found the old lady, I picked her up, threw her in my car, and then took her to my office where I dragged her around, introducing her to a whole bunch of people she will never see again.

35 miles later, she got her morning coffee. It was roughly 2PM Texas time.

Her visit was good but it isn't like we did anything amazingly remarkable and I don't take pictures so I can't do a nice glossy spread to do the visit justice. There was good food and good people, laughter and horrible stories (because all the stories in my family seem to be horrible), too much alcohol, and not enough outside time. On Friday my mother and I sat outside as she watched me create another tower garden. She enjoyed watching me drill the holes and plant the dirt and drill everything into a plank of wood. In the evening we were supposed to go, the Bat, mama, Guitar Hero, and me to Weekenders, a bar, so that the Bat could maybe help GH find himself a girl. But the Bat had gotten ill and was throwing up after a day spent truck shopping. He recovered enough to join us (along with Monkey and one of her friends) at a bar and grill across the street, but he wasn't up to being jostled at a bar. GH understood and we are going to try again in a couple of weeks.

On Saturday I planted a new garden in a small area of the front yard, all while mama sat in a camping chair and supervised. Before taking Monkey for a quick driving lesson, the Bat served as Under Supervisor. When I was done, mama and I just sat out front reading and, when the Bat got back, he and Monkey pulled out chairs as well and we just sat and talked and sun bathed. Eventually, Monkey was picked up by her aunt and uncle to help get Easter ready for her cousins, and Paul Bunyon, the baby cousin, the Bat, mama, and I went to Salt Grass for dinner. Again, good food, good people, laughter, and the like.

Sunday, being Easter, was easy. We got up and went to the Bat's folks' house where we stuffed ourselves, watched Frozen (the refrain of the day was "but the sky's awake, so I'm awake"), and pretty much just chilled out. The Bat and I took what was going to be a mosey but turned into quite the walk. Why did it take that turn? Because his four year old nephew, T, joined us and wanted to keep going keep going keep going. Of course, on the way back, he wanted us to please carry him (which we did not do). It was nice and the weather was fine for a long walk but I ended up being pretty exhausted. The food and booze didn't help either. But mama, the Bat, and I ended up staying up late, telling stories and looking at pictures on facebook, the Bat drinking a bit too much, and me being the first to call it quits because I was so tired.

Tuesday, today, is the first day I haven't had even a mild hang over. That says a lot about my mother's influence although she'd kill me if I told her that.

I took her to Cracker Barrel for breakfast yesterday, before taking her to the airport. It was sad saying goodbye but it had been a good trip and I think we were both ready for a break. Visiting and visitors wear me out and I really need to decompress. Fortunately for me, I ended up having quite the enjoyable activity waiting for me back at home as I found that my mother had forgotten to log out of facebook on my iPad before she left. Here are a few of the statuses that she ostensibly posted whilst in the air.

  • "Sometimes I just like to sit around and smell my own farts."
  • "Yo, where can I get some whacky tobaccy at? Hit me up playas! #YOLO"
  • (on a friend's wall) "I put human teeth in each of your kids' bedrooms. I pulled them out of homeless people." 
  • "Man, got the shits real bad. Hope none of the other passengers need to use the bathroom because I DESTROYED it. #YOLO"
  • "I could kill for some Mad Dog 20/20 right now. Bitches need to their swerve on. #YOLO"
A couple of her FB friends are also friends with me but not all of them. So I ended up getting a call her from her saying "Simply, I just got off the plane and I'm headed to get my luggage and I get this voice mail from my friend FRIEND, you know her, and she says that someone has hacked into my Facebook and that they are saying all these horrible things. How do I delete that? FRIEND said I should call them because people were responding and..." and I was all "Mom! Calm down. It was me. I'll delete them when you've gotten home and read them all."

The next thing I heard from her was "what's wrong with you?" So, sadly, I had to delete everything, even AFTER I posted something like "For those of you who are concerned, MOM's Facebook was not hacked. Her daughter (me) has been posting these things. And it has been HILARIOUS". The friend who'd called my mom all frantic apparently found it hysterical when she realized what was going on. But it was a jerk ass thing of me to do so, in order to make it up to her, I finally friended her.

I think that makes us even, don't you?  

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Now for Something Lighter

I'm not actually as late to this party as it may seem, I just haven't talked about it. Then again, I'm not sure how many people (who actually read this here blog) would know about it anyway. So let's talk about American Blogger shall we?

Have you seen the trailer for this cinematic gem? No? Well, here you go! The director/movie maker guy is married to a thin, white, attractive mommy blogger. This movie is supposedly a documentary about bloggers across the country because homeboy decided he wanted to learn more about the blogging, instagramming, twittering being done and document it to show "how cool it is to have an area on the internet that is all yours." I know, sounds like a really profound and moving premise for a documentary right? People all over this country care so hard about bloggers and they are frothing at the mouth to see how awesome it really is to be a blogger who actually makes money from said blog (for the record, I make zero point zero zero dollars from this stupid blog because I don't have sponsors because no one reads it).

Yeah, no one gives a shit. But OK, fine, make this movie and maybe it will be interesting. Even jaded old might be interested and surprised by seeing all the different kind of bloggers out there in this country. But have you watched the trailer yet? Because no, that isn't what this film is about. This film is about some guy who restored a wind stream in order to go around the country and meet all his wife's friends, who are also thin, attractive, mostly white, and well to do mommy bloggers. This is a film about mommy bloggers. Homogeneous mommy bloggers who say things like "if we don't share it, why do we bother experiencing it?" I'm not making that up, as you know if you have watched the trailer (seriously, watch that shit).

The one good thing about this film is the overwhelmingly negative reception from pretty much anyone who has watched said trailer. Twitter exploded when it was released and there are all sorts of articles on web-based magazines about how ridiculous this shit is. A common refrain is "I'm an American Blogger and this doesn't represent me at all." To which the director guy replied something along the lines of "uhm, that isn't what the title means. It's called American Blogger because I traveled the country and interviewed bloggers." I don't think you need to have an English major or know ALL the words or anything to understand what a ridiculous response that was. Really? You called your film American Blogger because you traveled to/through 40 states? Bullshit. I mean, dude, make an effort, will you?

Another fun part of this has been the way critics all seem to mention the wind stream. I mean, in my opinion, the fact that this is just a circle jerk and one involving privileged, white mommies who like to take pictures of pretty things and whore out their kids on the internet to get sponsors and money is enough. But people really seem to feel the need to mention the wind stream and so now I feel like it, too, is a character and an important part of the documentary. I'm willing to bet it has the most character in the whole thing.

So do yourself a favor if you are bored and have time to kill. Google American Blogger after you've watched the trailer, and sit back and enjoy some good criticism. It reminds me of how good it felt to read negative Amazon reviews of those horrible fifty shades books.

You're welcome.

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Slut" and Facebook

You know what I'm fucking tired of? Posts and memes (whatever they are, sorry, so old, so fat, so out of it) and pictures talking about girls being sluts. The one that pushed me over the edge was one of the pictures of Will Ferrell in a smoking jacket talking about how Ms. Pac Man is the biggest slut because she swallowed balls till she died. Or biggest prostitute, whatev. You know who her predecessor was? Pac Man himself.

We live in the 21st century for christ's sake. Why are we still doing this? Memes about "shout out to the girl who got drunk and doesn't know she's pregnant yet!" How about "shout out to the boy who got drunk and doesn't know he's going to be a daddy yet!"?????

We are supposed to be a more understanding society here in the good U.S. of A. and yet we still treat young women - or any women for that matter - as though they are to feel shamed and blamed for every fucking thing that has to do with sex. Well guess the fuck what, it takes two to make sex happen. And we are supposed to be at some higher functioning level where we have stopped demonizing women for having a healthy libido whilst also doing the whole "boys will be boys" bull shit for when men/boys sex it up here there and everywhere.

And I feel like I'm in the minority of people who are not giant, feminist, activists. Yes, I am a feminist, but I don't feel like I should have to, in this day in age, point this out to people. Hell, Monkey taught me and the Bat a new word for "hoe" (thot) and I wanted to scream. Girls are allowed to enjoy sex. Girls and women are allowed to have as much sex as the like (hopefully protected). Why are we still treated like such shit when our gender counterparts are not? It's fucking bull shit.

Yes, girls, young ones, post racy pictures on line that make me cringe, that make me want to fold a blanket around them and explain "oh honey, this is going to last forever and don't you want to be remembered for more?" But they do it for boys/men. And boys/men are not at all shy about sending chicks their dick picks.

It's just that we still have this archaic double standard about sex and bodies and I am just fucking sick of it. Stop demonizing women. It is enough that as soon as a child is weened from the breast, breasts are considered harmful to a child. Yet a man can walk around shirtless or pee outside in front of his kid and not be censured in any way.

So fuck you. Fuck any and all of you who think women/girls are whores for having sex and that boys/men are studs or heroes or whatever. Get the fuck with the current century and act right, please. It's despicable.  

First World Problems

I got em. Today is Monday so I am back in my cubicle, getting ready to put together a test case workbook for a report we'll probably end up scrapping. On Friday it was hard to sit here and stare at the clock, willing it to hurry up so I could go to the doctor and then CAMPING! But there is no CAMPING! at the end of this work day. There is only chores and slowly building panic as my mother will be here soon. I'm not going to do a total clean out like I did last month, but I do want to at least get the room ready for her (so vacuum up the cat litter and mess) and make sure it isn't a total hell pit.

But I also don't want to do any of that because camping is so much more fun. There was fishing and swimming and canoe rides (well, I was in a canoe for about 5 minutes), and sitting around drinking and laughing. There were fires and camp food (smores with strawberries... if you haven't tried them, do so immediately) and laying about lazily. I didn't shower the entire time but instead followed the Bat's philosophy that we spent time in the lake and so we were clean enough (note: that philosophy flies out the window when you get home and you smell yourself, away from the camp fire, for the first time). I admit that the beds in the house are more comfortable than the air mattress in the tent, but still... CAMPING!

There were so many people, too, which made it especially fun. The Bat, Monkey, her friend Squirrel, three other couples, three dogs, two more teenagers, and the Bat's youngest brother's kids (ages 4 and 2). As I've said before, I get pretty peopled out but camping is such a chill activity that one can simply sit in a camping chair and stare in the fire without participating in the conversation if that is one's desire. And these people were all just fun and friendly and so it wasn't nerve wracking at all.

But now, here I am. We got back around 1 pm or so yesterday. Monkey was wiped out and took a shower and then a very long nap. I unloaded most of the car and cleaned the kitchen and did laundry, trying to shock my system into understanding that CAMPING! was over and real life was back. But the transition was a rough one. I didn't want to sit inside and watch television. I wanted to go swimming in the lake. I didn't want to make hamburgers for dinner. I wanted to sit in front of a fire and overcook a hot dog. I didn't even want to take a shower but eventually I was so grossed out by myself that I not only took a shower but also a bath, filled with Dr. Teal's Epsom salts because I'm old and out of shape and as fun as swimming in the lake and hiking up the hill to get to the bathrooms are, they also cause some aches and pains.

I don't know if I'm just tired but I feel truly mournful that it's over. Camping is the best and I'm so glad I've finally started doing it. Gold star for the Bat who is the one who introduced me to this wonderful, wonderful world. I just wish he'd trained me on handling the let down when it's over. Then again, Spring has only just begun so I'm sure we have many trips ahead of us.

OK, cubicle, back to it.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Dance Card is Full Damn it!

I'm Not About To Go Eat Worms
Have I mentioned that the Bat has been trying to engineer my life a bit lately? He's decided that I need to make girlfriends that are local so that I can have girls' nights and things like that. Tomorrow a colleague of mine will be joining us at the house for lunch, along with her husband and kids. The Bat's suggestion. We ended up talking about it Wednesday, how I understand he wants me to be happy but that he needs to ease up on the "make friends" lark. He reverts to dad mode every so often and I get it, but it's really uncomfortable when someone keeps nagging you about having friends. I can't help but feel like a loser or something and wonder if that is how people see me.

But I'm not lonely and I do have friends, they just don't live in Texas. What's more, I've never had a ton of friends and the good ones I've kept in touch with for years. Besides, it is hard as fuck to make friends as an adult and it takes time. I even told the Bat that if this was about not having alone time in the house, I'd be happy to go out some evenings on my own to leave him to it. That's when he said that sometimes the dad in him comes out and he just wants me to be happy and have someone to talk to. That's an interesting part of the Bat's personality; he sincerely does not understand that other people have different ways of living and doing things. Because I don't bring friends home or go out on my own with friends, he seems to have assumed that my life was lacking. In reality, between work and his plans, I get enough socialization that I don't think I have the energy for my own friends yet.

He's a funny guy, is our Bat. And an incredibly sweet and caring one when you consider his intentions.

Speaking of Plans
My social calendar is pretty booked right now and it's crazy. As I said, my work girlfriend and her family are coming to lunch tomorrow. In the evening the Bat and I will go out and celebrate the birthday of a woman who works at the sushi bar we frequent. I'm hoping after all that activity that Sunday will be a day of lazy resting and sleeping in.

Next weekend the Bat, Monkey, Squirrel and I are going camping at Daingerfield, the spot we previously visited last October. We may have the company of two of the Bat's friends or it might just be us four. Either way, it should be fun so long as we have nice weather.

The following Thursday, my mother will arrive for a long weekend visit. She gets in on Thursday morning and leaves Monday afternoon so she'll be here for Easter. The Bat's cousin will also be in town, so my mother will be meeting quite a few member's of the Bat clan when we head to McKinney for holiday lunch or dinner or whatev.

Then, the next weekend, I believe, the Bat hopes to take me, Monkey, and his parents to Lake Palestine for another weekend of camping, this time possibly in a cabin.

That's a lot of activity for this girl. I remember my mother once lamenting the fact that I would be alone on weekends and holidays after my divorce and my telling her that by the time the weekends rolled around, I didn't want to deal with people at all. That was back when I was in Ohio and working in my previous capacity which included a LOT of phone time. I also had a briefer commute so when I got home on Friday afternoons, I just wanted to decompress. These days I don't talk as much in my work and I have an hour long commute so I can unwind and decompress on my way home. But I still don't necessarily want to fill all my free hours with people. Sometimes I just want to be by myself and sometimes I just want to spend time with my boyfriend.

And I'm perfectly happy with that.