Gratitude Whether I Like It or Not

So I’m still a little grumpy but I’m definitely in a better place than I was yesterday. 

In spite of my carb withdrawal yesterday and a pretty crappy work day, the evening turned out much better.  #2 son sang a beautiful solo in his spring concert and made me cry. #3 son hit a home run with two on in his baseball game. #1 son actually attended his brother’s concert and had a good time.  Thus proving, unequivocally, that God only gives you as much as you can handle.

So, to keep today from getting ugly, I decided that it was time for a gratitude post.

Today (and everyday) I am grateful for…

  • My sobriety.
  • My children.  I’m so proud of the humans they are.  All of them make me happy every day I breathe.
  • My faith…I pray everyday to do God’s will and that the Holy Spirit fills me and helps me cope with life on life’s terms.  I’m sure God comes through every day – I just don’t always shut up and listen long enough to hear Him.  I’ll keep practicing though.
  • My husband – who supports and loves me no matter how crazy I get or how many names I call him in my head.  He gets me.
  • That I’m through the physical part of the detox (I think).  Now all that’s left is the emotional addiction which I know is worse.  I also know I’m stronger than any candy bar any day.
  • My friends who are dear and precious and I don’t know what or who I would be without them.  I only know that I do not want to try.
  • A home that I like more and more every day.  I’m not all the way in love but maybe, if I keep working at it, I will be some day.  I do know how lucky and priviledged I am to have it and I never take it for granted.
  • Pandora Radio – love, love, love to be able to choose my music based on my mood.  This week has been P!nk Radio – I’m sure you can figure out why.  Last week it was hymns…I’m a complicated woman.
  • Clean sheets and freshly vacuumed floors. 
  • Pink roses – I haven’t had any in a while.  I need to remedy that today.
  • Choral concerts, Senior League baseball games, school plays, proms, college issues, computer programs, and children who kiss and hug and express love freely, unconditionally and without reservation – all of which tell me that we’ve done a good job.
  • A heart that is, after all the bullshit I’ve put it through, capable of bursting with love and pride just because it’s a new day and the sun is shining or because someone smiled at me or because I got a hug.  Please Lord never let me lose that.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Namaste

You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy. ~ Buddha

Grumpy

The literature doesn’t lie – It’s day 4 and I’m grumpy, short tempered and irritable.  The cravings last night damn near did me in…sigh…

And I’m really pissed off at normies.  You know who you are – you normal people who understand the concept of M.O.D.E.R.A.T.I.O.N.  I don’t have a frickin’ clue what that word means or how to employ it in my life and that just pisses me off.  (I’m going to curse a lot in this post so considered yourself warned.)

I guess this is sort of a pity pot post except that I don’t really feel sorry for myself…I’m more angry…Isn’t that part of the grieving process?  I believe that when you have major life changes, you need to spend some time grieving what has passed.

For example, on one of our moves I had to leave my church.  It was a 200 year old, small Catholic Church.  We were part of that community and my kids went to school there.  I loved that church.  It was my church for 20 years.  When we moved and I couldn’t replicate it, I grieved it’s loss.  I still miss it but I’ve learned to let that go…or maybe not – I haven’t really been to church since.

When we moved to our current home I grieved for awhile about the “dream home” we left.  Some think I’m still grieving the house but really, I just miss the Bay and my back yard.

When I quit drinking and smoking I spent some time grieving those old friends as well.  I knew they were bad for me and that I had to let them go but let’s face it, no one does those things because they do not feel good.  We do them because they take us to a place of comfort – at least in the beginning.  And then we spend the rest of our addiction chasing that first high.  That first feeling of AHHHH.  I’ll admit that even up until I quit, that first drag of a cigarette in the morning was the best (if I could get past hacking up a lung) and that first sip of cold Chardonnay and the feeling as the warmth spread through my body was nirvana.  But I don’t know how to stop, so what was pleasurable soon became unbearable and ugly and just wrong.

Same with sugar.  If you like sugar (some people don’t – I think they are actually aliens disguised as humans and one day Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones will show up and vanquish them) then you know that feeling of bliss when you take that first bite of cheesecake, or ice cream or oreo or whatever.  That first bite has no guilt, adds very few calories and it totally doable because…dun, dun, duuuuun…it’s only one bite.  It’s the 25th oreo, the second piece of cheesecake, or the third scoop of ice cream that makes you feel like shit.  And it’s doing that ALL THE TIME that makes you an addict.

My dearest friend is a normie.  She pisses me off too…mostly when we’re out together.  She only smokes when she drinks.  She buys a pack of cigarettes, smokes while we’re drinking (not as much anymore because of the laws but you get the idea) and then she walks away at the end of the night and leaves whatever is left of the pack at the bar or just tosses it in the nearest trash can!  Who does that?  Oh…and I haven’t seen her drunk in probably 25 years!  She drinks, she just doesn’t get drunk.  WTF? I think Will and Tommy Lee will be knocking on her door one day too…I’m going to miss her.

Last night as we got into bed I told my husband, “You know…you people have no fucking idea what I’m going through here.  You have no idea how hard this is and how angry it makes me that I was born this way, or let myself get this way, or triggered whatever the hell I triggered.  You all walk around here like everything is hunky-dorey, when, in reality I’m in hell!  This is the third goddamn (little g) time I’ve had to go through this and I am OVER IT!” 

Note:  They are actually tip-toeing around me right now and being VERY kind to me (except for the bowl of Hershey Nuggets on the counter…really?  Can we please throw them out!); but I was angry and he was the only person in the house with whom I was comfortable cursing like a sailor. 

He said the only thing he could say, “I wish I could make this better for you.”  Normally that level of sweetness and kindness would bring tears to my eyes…last night?  Not so much.  I replied, “Yeah…I wish you could too…asshole (okay…I left that part off but I was thinking it – sorry honey).

Sigh…

Here’s the good news.  Just like the cigarettes and the alcohol I am not going to pick up now that I’ve made up my mind.  And as I said last night to anyone who was listening – and let’s face it, EVERYONE was listening because I was YELLING – “If I can get through this detox I will never again let myself get back in this condition.”  I can’t say I’ll never eat carbs or sugar again because the body needs glucose and sugar is in EVERY FUCKING THING ON THE PLANET but I will keep a very close eye on my carbs and my triglycerides and my cholesterol and my glucose levels BECAUSE I NEVER IN MY LIFE WANT TO DO ANOTHER DETOX AS LONG AS I LIVE!

That which does not kill us makes us stronger. ~Friedrich Nietzsche

What…ever…

Bearing Crosses

I have an extremely addictive personality – that is my cross to bear in life.

I am constantly struck by just how addictive my personality is and at what lengths I have to go to get “well”.  I remember back in the late 70’s and early 80’s when cocaine was the drug of choice (before crack made it cost effective) and people were always trying to get me to do some blow.  I never did.  And when asked I would always say, “If that stuff is as good as everyone says it is then I need to stay the hell away from it.  I have the kind of personality that would mortgage the house to get more if I needed it.”  Followed immediately by, “Get me another drink would ya?”

If I knew waaaaay back then that my personality was that addictive, you think I would have had the sense not to drink, or eat too much, or spend too much money either.  After all, I got it from both sides.  My dad chose alcohol but my mom chose diet pills (amphetamines in the 60’s), spending money, having affairs, and gambling to quell her demons.  I mean really?  When I look at it like that, it’s a wonder I didn’t turn out like my sister! (((shudder)))

Anyway, now I’m trying to shake the carb monkey and it’s got me thinking…what the hell am I going to do now? 

When I quit smoking I turned to alcohol and shopping.

When I quit drinking I turned to sugar and shopping.

When I quit shopping I hung on to sugar even harder.

Ummmm…when I quit sugar???

I not gonna lie…it’s got me a little freaked out.  I guess I shouldn’t think about it right now when I’m in the middle of detox, but isn’t that when the urge to reach for something else is the strongest and also when you really need to figure out which way you are going to turn for help. 

When I quit drinking I was fortunate (blessed) not to have to do a medical detox or rehab.  I didn’t even set foot in an AA room until 2 years later.  I just quit.  Some may call it stubbornness, some may call it pride.  I call it stupidity and ignorance.

If I had really reached out for some help during that time, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be where I am right now in this battle against sugar and carbohydrates.  I missed a very essential part of the recovery process which is how to cope without your drug of choice and where to turn and what to do when you are faced with yourself and your lingering demons.

Now don’t get me wrong, I did extensive reading and research when I quit.  I joined two online AA groups which were fantastic.  I had my husband who acts as my part time shrink.  I did a lot of soul searching.  I did a lot of healing.

But I still leaned heavily on carbs and sugar to get me through and I didn’t think twice about it.  I mean, isn’t that the stereotype?  A bunch of recovering alcoholics drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and eating sweets?  I thought that was what I was supposed to do.

Now here I am trying to kick yet another habit.  This one is easier in some ways and harder in others.  It’s easier because…well…right now I can’t think of any reason it’s easier but check back next week…I’m sure one exits.  It’s harder because sugar is EVERYWHERE!!!!  Normies eat it all the time!  Normies do this really cool thing called…MODERATION.  I do not.  Moderation is not in my vocabulary – again…that’s my cross.

So now I’ll figure out how to manage my life without this substance and I’ll do my damndest not to replace it with anything else that’s bad for me.  I’ll exercise.  I’ll meditate.  I’ll practice yoga.  I’ll love.  And if I’m lucky I’ll get addicted to one of those and I’ll get better.

Here’s the real deal though…and I mean this.  Everyone has their cross to bear.  Some have physical issues like MS or Cerebral Palsy or Down’s Syndrome (which is probably called something more politically correct now but I don’t know what that is) and that is their cross.

Some people’s crosses are mental like severe, untreated depression which, from my own experience, is a special kind of hell that I hope no one has to ever experience.  Some are bipolar, schizophrenic, or narcissistic. 

Some have been through things so horrific that they will never fully heal.

Some are battling cancer – some are winning (Yay Ellie) – some are not.

Some have lost a child – there are no other words necessary.

If an addictive personality is my only cross to bear in life then I think I’m getting off pretty damn lucky.  I thank the good Lord everyday for giving me that particular cross because, with help, I can bear it for as long as He wants me to and I will do so with a smile, a positive attitude and as much joy as I can muster on any given day. 

Because no matter what, I am loved and He is always with me.

Namaste my friends.

If you pass through raging waters in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amid the burning flames, you shall not be harmed.
If you stand before the pow’r of hell and death is at your side, know that
I am with you through it all.

Be not afraid.
I go before you always.
Come follow me, and
I will give you rest.

From the Hymn “Be Not Afraid” by John Michael Talbot

Breaking Up With Sugar

Sorry to miss a post yesterday.  I got to work and found out all my access had been terminated.  Someone forgot to renew my contract and they shut everything down.  It’s still shut down but I’ve managed a work around so that I can at least do SOMETHING today besides get frustrated with technology.

This is day two on Atkins for me as I try to leave a relationship that has become toxic.  I chose Atkins as my recovery method after reading a book called “The Sugar Addict’s Total Recovery Program” by Kathleen DesMaisons.  In it she describes the difference between someone who likes sugar and someone who’s addicted to it.  She outlines “sugar sensitivity” and how common it is in alcoholics.  Apparently the same brain receptors that create the addiction to alcohol, create the addiction to sugar. 

When you read a book like this and take the questionnaire (they always have one), and you check all the answers “yes”, and you find yourself saying “OMG!  She’s describing me!” – you know you’re on to something.

It all started because I haven’t been able to make the weight I gained during the final phases of my active alcoholism go away, and I couldn’t figure out why.  No amount of exercise, low calorie, low fat diets would make it work.  Even Weight Watchers didn’t work.  Nor did Jenny Craig or Nutrisystem or any other of the hundreds of books I’ve read and diets I’ve been on in the last few years.  Because they all have one thing in common – they are low calorie and low fat but relatively high in carbs. 

Everytime I started one of these “lifestyle changes” I knew it wasn’t going to work.  I knew because my subconscious had filed away how I felt when I didn’t eat so many carbs.  When refined sugar was not a part of my diet.  When white bread was a treat at dinner and not a staple.  It knew how much energy I had.  How my joints didn’t ache.  How well I slept.  How clear my thoughts and memory were.  My subconscious knew…but I just DID. NOT. WANT. TO. GO. THERE. 

As I’ve said before, I gave up cigarettes and alcohol and now sugar?  Really?

Yes really.  Especially when I can’t get my tryglycerides to drop to an acceptable level without medication.  My cholesterol ain’t lookin’ too good either.  I am a smart woman – but I can also reside in the land of denial and be very happy for a very long time.

Until I’m not…

Until I pass a mirror and see my mother instead of me and all that comes to mind is how she aged and how she died and how I do not want to die like that.

My mom fought her weight her entire life.  She was a large woman (big boned and tall), but the extra weight she carried around was all about her eating habits which were awful.  She also smoked.  She really didn’t drink which I guess was a blessing. She never exercised a day in her life with the exception of an aerobics class she took in the 80’s to compete with me…but that’s another post entirely.

As a result, she didn’t age well at all.  She ended up pre-diabetic due to her eating habits and then later having 2/3’s of her pancreas removed due to a large benign tumor that had grown there.  This put her into full diabetes and she could never accept that she had to take insulin.  She denied she was diabetic like it was an STD and never monitored her sugar levels or administered her insulin appropriately. 

Not too many years after the surgery, she went into congestive heart failure and had bypass surgery.

She lived until she was 76 but they were not good years.  She had a pacemaker/defibrillator for her heart. She was beginning to lose her eyesight due to the diabetes mis-management.  She was in pain.  She couldn’t walk well and couldn’t control most of her bodily functions.  She wore adult diapers.  She was miserable and she made us miserable and when I think of her all I feel is sadness.  I think that’s all she felt as well.

I do not want to live or die like that.  More importantly, I do not want to do that to my children.

I already hate looking in the mirror or seeing myself in pictures and videos because all I see is her.  I look more like her than I would like.  The weight doesn’t help.  Originally that had to do with the kind of person she was which made her unattractive to me; but now it has more to do with the fact that I don’t want to age like her and die miserable and sad.

THAT’s why this is day two of Atkins.  THAT’s why I will persevere and be a bitch while I detox from anything white.  THAT’s why I will suffer the headaches, dizziness, shakiness, foggy brain and restlessness that comes with detox (sound familiar anyone?).  THAT’s why I will find a way (if this isn’t it) to get this weight off and get back to my healthy, gym rat roots.  And THAT’s why I am breaking up with sugar.

Because I looked in the mirror and saw my mother and it scared the living shit out of me.

On Gay Marriage

They rationalized slavery by quoting the Bible.
They rationalized not allowing women to vote or own property by quoting the Bible.
They rationalized segregation by quoting the Bible.
What do they all  have in common?
The devil can quote scripture for his own ends.  I can remain conservative and Christian and NOT have hate and injustice in my heart.
They will know we are Christian by our love…not our hate.


Reprinted with permission of my friend who wrote this and posted it on her FaceBook page.  She lives in NC.  She is straight, Christian and conservative and I love her.

Resentments



This has nothing to do with the post except that it makes me happy.

So I was discussing yesterday’s post with the hubs, and I came to understand some stuff that turned out to be such a relief to me that I had to post it here…today…for me…and anyone else who cares to read it.

According to AA, our resentments are what can send us into our addiction and keep us there.  In addition, those same resentments can also send us back even when we think we’re “cured” (which we all know we will never be).  In order to avoid that, the 12 Steps help us to uncover those resentments, address them, make amends where necessary, and let them go.

What a wonderful organization and how fortunate the world is that they exist and have helped so many.  I used to carry a lot of resentment about AA itself.  Baggage gained in my past with my family and how they interacted with AA left me feeling that they were all a bunch of judgemental whiners who allowed the sickest among them to come and go as they please and continue to drink and drug at their leisure.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

And, in the spirit of the 12 Steps, it took me overcoming my resentment and attending meetings to really understand what the organization was all about.  I don’t believe I have ever felt more accepted and less shameful than when I was in those rooms.  What a blessing to the Universe.

Just because I overcame that resentment doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with the tenets and philosophies AND the Steps, because I do and, up until last evening, I didn’t have a clue why.

Here’s the thing.  I really don’t carry resentment in my heart with one exception which I will get to in a minute.  I never have and hopefully never will.  I kept listening to people tell their stories and thinking, “What is WRONG with me?  How deeply is this stuff buried if I can’t access it and deal with it?”  It took my 4th Step for me to really realize that I just had nothing to give.  Other people had pages and pages of resentments to get through and I had only a couple.  Mainly my immediate family with a special focus on my sister.  But as I read over those I realized they weren’t resentments per say, they were just angry thoughts that I pulled from my memory in order to get something on the page.  Don’t get me wrong – it was cathartic – it just didn’t feel like it was what the Big Book intended it to be. 

So I carried around this feeling of failure and not fitting in (sound familiar) because I couldn’t even get AA right (because some of those folks can make you feel awful if you don’t buy in 100% to all of it – most don’t – but the ones that do…).

As I sat down to write about my dad yesterday, I realized that I really don’t have any resentment to him OR my mom (who screwed me up WAY worse than my dad).  They did the best they could with what they had.  They loved in the best way they knew how.  I was fortunate that nothing they ever did was malicious or evil – it was just who they were.  How can I be resentful of that?  Yeah – it screwed me up and I’ve spent a lot of time undoing what they did, but it is what it is.  I refuse to spend the rest of my life agonizing and rehashing the same old shit.  It’s a waste of precious time.

After all, the statute of limitations on parental crime runs out when you are about 25.

I did carry a lot of resentment for my sister and what she did to her kids.  There really is a psychosis involved there and a special kind of evil that exists in that woman.  But whenever I felt angry or upset about something she’d done, I would rant and rave and get rid of it – even if I and God were the only ones listening.  I would have died a long time ago if I had let that sit in my head and in my heart and roll around and own me.  I just can’t, never could, and won’t live that way.

In fact, I’ve always reacted to being wronged that way.  First, and this is the root problem, I blame myself and try to figure out my role in the situation.  Then, I try and understand where the person is coming from and why they would have wronged me.  Then I rant and rave or cry and pout or lock myself in my closet AND GET OVER IT.  It may take a minute or it may take a year but I do move on. 

Maybe it’s how I survived the looney bin in which I grew up…who the hell knows.

The only real resentment I carry in my heart is the one that says I never was and never will be good enough.  That’s the one that drives my addictive behaviour and all the other reasons I’m a hot mess.  It doesn’t matter how or why it got there.  It doesn’t matter who is responsible because I’m all grown up now and WAY past 25.  It just matters that it IS and that I fix it – which is what I’m doing now that I’m sober and aware.

So now I am vastly relieved that I did not “fail” AA nor did it “fail” me.  For now it’s just not a good fit.  Who knows what will happen later?  I may return and I may not.  I know I will not drink.  I know I will continue to do as I’ve always done and choose to fill my heart with love and compassion rather than resentment and anger.  I know I will reach out and help and love because it’s who I am and I’ve begun to embrace that part of me as good.

What a relief to finally give voice to what’s been going on in my head for so long.  What a relief to finally understand why I’m not choosing not to attend AA meetings right now.  What a relief to admit that I was and am still loved.

What a relief to know that I don’t have to dig up a bunch of crap that is long buried in order to stay sober!  I can just…well…not drink!

Reflections on Fatherhood

My friend’s father-in-law passed away yesterday afternoon.  It wasn’t sudden – he’d been sick for awhile – but it’s still a shock to the system and still hard.  I was glad we were at work when she got the news because she’s one of those people that’s strong for everyone else and is left with no one to hold her.  So I held her – it’s what I do. 

But this morning it has me thinking about my own father and what he meant to me and what his death was like for me.

As you know, my dad was an alcoholic.  Everyone thought that he became one because of his eye disease and the fact that he lost his eyesight at a fairly young age.  But the fact was he always drank in an alcoholic way and was the son of an alcoholic and so, since the disease is a progressive one, he would have turned out the same (maybe worse) had he remained sighted.

The role I assumed in our dysfuctional, messed up home was that of caretaker and peacemaker.  So when my mother and sister would leave and go stay somewhere else because of his drinking, I would always stay home to be sure that…what…I don’t know.  I guess be sure he didn’t die – who knows?  That’s a subject for an ACOA meeting one day.

But as messed up as my father was, I know he loved me.  I wondered for a long time because no matter how much I begged him to quit drinking he wouldn’t.  So I figured either he didn’t love me or I wasn’t good enough to love. (And since my mother had no capacity to love anyone but herself, the latter is what ended up stuck in my head.)  I mean, how could you hurt your children and destroy your family if you really loved them?

God really has a sense of humor doesn’t He?

After I recognized that my drinking was out of control, I began to realize that quitting was way more difficult than I ever thought it was and, most importantly, my inability to quit had nothing to do with how much I loved my children.  It made me start to understand my father a little more and to open that door on the part of my heart that I had shut down.  To believe that, in fact, he did love me…in his way.  And really, that’s enough for me.

He was sober the last 13 years of his life and I cherish that time I had with him.  We were always close but we became much closer during that time.  We didn’t really do anything differently, it was just wonderful to be with him and share the same space when he wasn’t drunk.  It felt almost…normal.

And then, 16 years ago, he had a massive stroke and died suddenly.  They rushed him to the hospital and hooked him up to all these machines…the ones we had to later unplug and let him go.  Did you know when you do that your loved one doesn’t pass right away?  It takes the body a little while to catch up to the brain so they linger for awhile.  In my case it was about 8 hours.  I cherish those 8 hours.  They were some of the worst of my life but I was honored to be standing next to his bed when he took his last breath.  Honored that is was me and not my mother or sister (no matter how petty that sounds) that was standing there.  Honored that it was the one who understood him the most.

The pain of that moment still lingers.  The gut punch to my stomach and the subsequent draining of all the joy from my life for awhile.  The realization that there was no more time.  That 13 years was all I was going to get.  That I was alone with the crazies.  That I couldn’t say, “I love you daddy,” and have him reply “Ditto.”

But now at least there is the knowledge that there was love – no matter how dysfunctional – and that of all the crazies in the looney bin that was my family, he and I were loonies together.

And that will have to be enough.

Restless, Irritable and Discontent

I don’t know what it is about me but I can go from perfectly fine to restless, irritable and discontent in no time at all.  Especially when coming off a weekend like I’ve just had full of lots of excitement and busyness.

Mood swings?  Maybe, I’ve been known to swing a mood or two.

Depression?  Duh – but I’m heavily medicated.

Childhood Trauma?  Double duh.

Alcoholic?  Ding, ding, ding!  Yes, we have a winner!

I used to think it was always one of the first three things that would send me into this particular place where I’ve found myself this morning, but now I’ve come to believe it’s just the whole alcoholic thing.

I mean, isn’t that what got me drinking in the first place?  And if we’re not careful, isn’t that what can drive us all back to drinking?  That feeling of being bored and wanting to make myself feel better.  That almost adolescent desire to just throw caution to the wind and do something crazy just so I can fool myself into thinking I’m something I’m not or to feel something I don’t?  That feeling that I have to do something.   

And then, when I figure out that I can’t figure it out – I start blaming.

I blame my weight, my job, my skin, my childhood, my marriage (but not my children…never, EVER my children), my financial situation, the government, the Church, aging, my boss, my friends, my lack of a graduate degree…blah, blah, blah.

Then I do something

I go on a diet, join a gym, beef up my resume and repost it on a bunch of job sites, buy a self help book, plan a date night or weekend, stress about the money, rage at the government, go on a shopping spree and buy lots of new potions and lotions for my aging skin and body, enroll in graduate school…(of course before sobriety I used to do all these things AND drink…so I am making some progress).

And what do you think happens each time I do one or all of these things?  Yep – you guessed it!  I quit.  Give it up.  Walk away.  And why, do you ask?  Well because it wasn’t what I really needed or wanted.  It was just a quick fix.  A way to assuage the feelings and maybe make myself feel better.  But it never works.

I used to think of myself as a failure when these things didn’t work.  Old Boxing Bitch would jump in the ring and we’d go a few rounds – usually with me stepping out of the ring bruised, battered and beaten.  But now I know the truth, I’m just a recovering alcoholic still exhibiting alcoholic tendencies.  A 51 year old woman trying to find herself after a lifetime of swimming really hard, against the current, and getting nowhere.

It’s time for me to roll over and float and let the current take me downstream for a change.  Even if it means hitting some rapids or going over a huge waterfall, at least it will be letting go and living on life’s terms and in the direction God intended for my life to flow – not the direction I think my life should flow.  Then maybe I won’t be fighting just to breathe and stay alive and I won’t be so dang tired.  Maybe I’ll just breathe and be alive and live.

And maybe I’ll be a little less restless, irritable and discontent. 

Now – would someone like to tell me how the hell to get that done?

What a Weekend

My dining room all dressed up!

The Pre-Prom Evening in Paris dinner was AMAZING!!!!  I was so proud of my boys and their friends.  They are such good kids.

My girlfriend, husband and I had such a good time planning and delivering on this dinner.  I wanted them to feel like they had gone out to dinner and not like they missed something because they went to someone’s house for dinner.  I especially didn’t want to embarrass my boys or let #3’s girlfriend down since it was her idea.  I think we did just fine.

We served a “french” meal with french cheese and canapes as an appetizer, salad, steak and french fries and french style green beans almandine, french bread, and petit fors for dessert.  We didn’t serve the salad as the last course since I thought it would freak them out too much.  We had sparkling grape juice (red and white) and I served water like you would in a restaurant (from my mother-in-law’s Waterford water pitcher).  I also downloaded Parisian Bistro music on my phone and played that all evening.  Plus I had a Rat Pack mix playing in my office in the event anyone wanted to dance.

I broke out all the china and silverware.  Dinner plate, bread plate, appetizer plate, salad bowl, dessert plate, 2 forks, three spoons, two knives, wine glasses, champagne flutes, water glasses and we plated in the kitchen and served them.  I even reviewed the menu like a waiter would.  It was so FUN!  And I was so proud that my boys could, graciously and sweetly, show those who didn’t know which fork, knife or bread plate to use.  (I’ve only been training them since they were little about that stuff. We used to have “formal” dinners about once a month so they could learn.)

One of the kids said that my mom must have been great to have made me such a good mom.  I just smiled sweetly and said thank you.  Fact is – I didn’t even go to my prom and my mother would never have made time to do any of that stuff unless she was sure we were going to all stand up and applaud for her when it was over.  PLUS I never would have brought anyone home to my low income home and my drunk father, crazy sister and self-absorbed mother.  In addition, we couldn’t have afforded all the stuff that went along with this dinner and I would have had to pay for it from my cashier’s salary from K-Mart from which I was already helping to support said family AND save for a wedding.  No…this never would have happened to me.

I’ve been making up this mom stuff as I go along since the day my step-daughter came home to live with us. 

Thank God my husband grew up in an Ozzie and Harriet house so he could guide me.  He not only went to his prom, he took someone no one else had asked because they were friends and he knew she wouldn’t have gone otherwise (this from the boy who was voted best looking in his senior class and could have gone with anyone).  My children are so blessed to have him for their father.

After everyone left for the dance, my local BFF and I went out and got tatted up!  She’d been wanting this tat for awhile and was going to get it on her wrist.  We had also been wanting to get tattoos together.  So I said I wanted the same thing on my ankle.  She decided she wanted her’s on her ankle too and viola!  Next thing we knew we were $80 poorer and inked!  (My best friend at home reads my blog and I can see her rolling her eyes at this and shaking her head.  Love you L!)

The boys were home by 2 (their curfew) and the hubs and I fell into bed.  Of course about an hour later #2 son woke us because one of his friends was at an after prom party and things were getting out of hand and she wanted to go home.  So my husband got up and they went and got her and delivered her home safe and sound.

Why did she call #2 son do you ask?

Wait for the irony….

Her parents had been drinking too much and couldn’t come to get her.

Yep…three years ago that would have been me.  I’d like to think that I would have been sober since they were out till 2 but the reality is that I would have started drinking while doing dinner and would have thought I was so chic doing it!  By 2 I would have been shit faced. (Of course the hubs would have been sober but that’s not the point.  Would I have stayed sober if the hubs weren’t around?  I shudder to think of that…)

So that was God’s way of saying, “You did good tonight kid but don’t forget where you came from.”

Yes sir Lord…and thank you.

Junior Prom

Tomorrow is my twins’ Junior Prom.  They are as excited as boys get about prom which is to say…not at all.  They’re going because the girls are going and they get to wear a tux – which for them is a very big deal.  Other than that, it’s just a dance.

For the girls, of course, it’s a very different situation all together.  The girls are very excited and have in their mind a very romantic view of what the evening will bring.  I have tried to clue them in on the fact that the girls will be very disappointed if they don’t know the script.

“What script?” #2 son asks.

“The one they have in their head.  It’s very specific and if you don’t get it right they will likely pout and cry for at least part of the evening and you may even ruin the whole prom experience for them.”

“OMG!  How do I get a copy of this script?  When I ask her what she wants, she tells me that if I loved her I would know.  It makes me nuts!  How the heck do I know what’s in her head?”  #3 son looks at me beseachingly.

“Ah…my son…I am about to impart upon you the wisdom of the ages.  At 17 you may not be old enough to appreciate the significance of it but since you have this whole prom thing coming up…I’m going to share it with you anyway.”

Crickets.

“Well – mom – come on!  What is it?”

“You will never know what’s in her head.  You are not a mind reader.  Unless she gets to a point where she understands how a man’s brain works she will always have unreasonable expectations of you.”

“Just shoot me now mom…please.” #2 son says…#3 just drops his head into his hands.

“No my sons.  As your mother, it is my job to make you good boyfriends and eventually good husbands.  I take my role very seriously as you know.  Therefore I will give you some insight into a woman’s mind.  Hang on my children…this may get ugly.”

1.  She wants you to be BLOWN away by her attire.  Even if the dress is the ugliest thing you have ever laid eyes on, I want you to physically be moved when you see her for the first time.  Take a step back…look at her appraisingly and smile.  Then look closely and comment on the smallest details on the dress.  Compliment her hair, her makeup, her nails and her shoes. (Not all at once – spread the compliments over the evening.)  At least once during the evening, tell her you’ve never seen anything more beautiful in your life.  Tell her – word for word…write this down you guys…”You are so beautiful you take my breath away.”

“Oh come on mom…really?  Is this all really necessary?  It’s just a dress.”  #3 son says.

“Yeah…and it’s just a dance for God’s sake!” #2 son chimes in.

I pause and sigh…”Do you want to have a good time or not?  Trust me here – if you don’t know your script you will be miserable for most of the evening.”

“Um…Okay…I guess.”

2.  Sometime during the evening, preferably during a slow dance…don’t give me that look – you will have to dance with her…during a slow dance, whisper in her ear how lovely she looks and how glad you are that you came to the dance with her.”

“But mom, she ALWAYS looks beautiful to me. She could be wearing sweats with no makeup and she looks beautiful.  Why do you all make such a fuss about everything?”

It’s my turn to roll my eyes.

“Gentlemen, I am sharing secrets of which most teenage boys have no idea.  Have some respect for the wisdom of the ages.  Just shut up and listen…oh…you may also want to take some notes.”

It’s their turn to roll their eyes.

3.  Understand that this evening means a lot to her.  It’s something she will remember all her life second only to her senior prom and her wedding.  She may even remember this one more because it’s her first real formal.  Hold her hand.  Keep your arm around her.  Comment on little things.  PAY ATTENTION TO HER.  Do not run off with your guy friends.  You may not do any male bonding this evening.  This entire night is about her…am I making myself clear?

“Mom – how do you know all this?” #3 son asks.

“Um…well…I used to be a girl you doofus.”

“Does this magic of which you speak have a name.” asks #2.

“Yes my son…it does.  It is known as…romance.”