Wednesday, July 22, 2009

WTF Wednesday

I am just plain beat up this week.

Had a blow-out with the soon-to-be-ex on Monday night. My brother - who lives many states away - has lost his job. The area he lives in has terrible unemployment rates (about 15%). There are no jobs to be had. I invited him to stay with us and to try and get a job up here so that he can get back on his feet. Basically, the soon-to-be-ex is an a**hole (that's why he is a soon-to-be-ex), and was giving me a hard time about having my brother stay with us. It's all a control thing - the gist of it was that if only we weren't having these marital troubles, and going through a divorce, well, then, it would be just fine if he came up and stayed with us. (Hidden meaning - drop the divorce stuff and then your brother can stay). Not. So that was my Monday night. Of course, the kids heard everything.

Now Tuesday. Has to get better right? I can't have two shitty days in a row, can I??

Background: I have a house that I've had on the market for nearly a year now. It has been one nightmare after another. It finally looks like we are going to be able to close the deal next Tuesday (which will pay for Crabby's tuition).

When the house was winterized last October, the company that provided that "service" didn't actually winterize it. They admitted fault. They came out and fixed all the radiators, but never pressurized the boiler and water lines, and thus it was discovered that *every* pipe in the house had burst. Long story short - got a new buyer; got their deposit money; contacted a plumber to make the repairs prior to this buyer's home inspection. I told the plumbing company that the bank (as it is a short sale) has only allocated $X for the plumbing repairs. They have also allocated $Y for electrical repairs, and $Z for re-insulating, patching the walls & ceilings and painting.

Electrical repairs went fine. Got the invoice for exactly $Y.
Got the bill for the plumbing repair yesterday. It was for $X PLUS $517.

These repairs HAD to be made, otherwise the buyers wouldn't buy the house. And I need that stinkin' commission. All of it. Not my cut MINUS that $517. But, that $517 has to come from somewhere.

So....I am at the house this week painting the walls and ceilings with Kilz, and then with ceiling paint (so that the $517 for the plumber can come out of the $Z). Following me so far????

I worked my day job all day, and headed out to this house around 4pm. Soon-to-be-ex calls me when I'm driving out there, and wants to know if I'll be home for dinner. I told him that I was hoping I'd be done by 8pm, and that I'd eat leftovers when I get home. Didn't finish up for the night until 9pm, and went out for ONE drink, and then home. Had eaten one measly Celeste pizza all day. Go to the fridge (I know he cooked dinner), and NOTHING. No plate; no leftovers; no dinner. Nice. He had cooked *just* enough for him and the kids.

It's okay. I can deal. I decide to have a glass of wine for my supper, and sit down to catch "Saving Grace" (I LOVE that show). Crabby joins me in the living room. Just chit-chatting; she wanted to know where I had been, what I had been doing. I explain to her about all of the above ......

And she says to me, "You're just taking this on because you WANT to. You're doing this because you don't want to be HERE."


Absolutely, honey. I SO want to be painting some effing garage at nine o'clock at night after I've worked a full day already. And knowing that I have at least two more nights of work just like tonight. And Crabby, by the way, I'm doing this for your tuition. In case you forgot.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Backyard adventures

I just finished working a full, full day at work. And then I come home to begin doing all my real estate work - countless telephone calls, emails, appointments, etc. I actually got caught up on what I had to get done - doesn't happen often. I was sitting on my deck, enjoying a glass of wine, and the sun. The sun! My God - we've had rain every day for over a month. It was actually quite warm, but I was lazy. I kept looking at the pool. It was all sparkly and blue - and clean! I grabbed the thermometer out of the pool - it had actually warmed up to 78 degrees. Couldn't be more perfect.

I took a glance around my yard, and to the house on either side of me. I have a relatively private backyard - tons of trees. One house definitely can't see me - there is a fence between us. The house on the other side had been vacant for years, but now has a family living in it (a family that unfortunately likes to visit with me often). Anyways, it seemed that they were all still at work. I was too lazy to run upstairs and try and find a swimsuit in the mess of my closet. I figured, "What the hell; panties and a bra are just like a bathing suit." So, I shed my capri's and jumped in.

Oh, it was soooo refreshing. It is amazing how that water cools you off, and relaxes you instantly. I floated around for a while, just enjoying the sun on my face, and birds chirping.

And then I started to hear some noises. Coming from next door. They were home. And they were outside in their yard. Crap. Not a problem, I thought. I can get out of the pool quickly and scoot into the house.

Um. Except the ladder hadn't been put in the pool yet. Oh yeah. That was *fun*.

Riding in cars with "boys"

I did go for that ride that I mentioned in my last post - but not on the motorcycle.

I've been chatting with Paul off and on via Facebook, and on the phone. I hesitate to even write about it, as it feels very personal.

It is such an odd feeling that I get when I see his number come up on my cell phone. I feel like the 17 year old girl that I was when I first knew him - I get all tongue-tied and shy. That is not a comfortable feeling; I have worked very hard to get beyond that girl that I once was, and I am not thrilled with myself for so easily falling back into it.

Don't get me wrong - I thoroughly enjoy our conversations. I laugh; I cry; we reminisce. It is absolutely wonderful, and I look forward to talking to him again. I hope that once we run out filling each in on what has happened to us in the past 25+ years, that we can still continue talking to each other. I enjoy having him back in my life, and I am happy to count him as a friend. But, I just want it to be more of the grown-up version of me, instead of that 17 year old girl.

He called me last night. I had just gotten home after two disastrous real estate showings. He asked if I was home, and if I'd like to go for a ride. He had to go pick up his son (about two miles from my house), and thought I'd like to come for a ride. Yes - I would! It was a bit awkward leaving the house; I didn't want him to come in. The situation between me and my husband is very uncomfortable, and I don't like exposing anyone to that. I *heard* him pull in the driveway, and I booted it out of the house. Just gave a yell out to all that I was going for a ride and would be home shortly.

I'm terrible with cars - I just know it was a lovely older Mustang convertible (and loud!). We took a short ride around my area, and then he brought me to pick up his son. When he invited me for the ride, he had said that his son was at a friends house. Um, no. Son was at grandparents house (his first wife's parents). I don't think I would have gone if I had known that, and maybe that is why he didn't tell me. At any rate, it all turned out fine. His in-laws are fantastic, down-to-earth, wonderful people. And his son is absolutely adorable.

I was gone all of maybe 20, 30 minutes at most. But it was wonderful. I haven't just gone out to ride in a car with a "boy" since I was a teenager. I *always* have a destination; an errand; an appointment; something. I never just go for a ride. And it was incredibly relaxing. A perfect summer night, top down on the car, good conversation and music, and wind blowing through my hair. Maybe that 17 year old in me still has something to teach me.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Full circle

I honestly believe that there are no coincidences; things happen because they are meant to happen. Good or bad. We just don't know the reason for them.

This whole Facebook phenomenon - crazy, but really interesting. Shortly after I posted about Kevin, I happened (purely by chance) to get in touch with his twin brother, Paul. It wasn't like Paul had read my blog or anything like that - I keep this completely anonymous. We just happened to "meet" again on Facebook. Funny, but sad, thing is - he sent me a message on FB about our teacher, Mr. Dwyer. He had just passed away. It was in Dick's class that I had met Kevin, and started dating him. And I had forgotten that Paul was in that same class. Funny how your memory works. I did not remember that. We shot a couple of messages back and forth over the next couple of weeks. And out of anyone from high school, Paul was the one person that I wanted to make contact with. We were friends back then; we even double-dated to a prom after Kevin and I had broken up. I liked him; he liked me. But it just would have been too weird.

Anyways. Paul called me on my cell the night before my birthday. It was around 8:30 on a Tuesday night, and no, I wasn't at home - I was at Crapplebee's. He came to meet me there.

(But damn, do you think the guy could have given me a little more notice? I mean, really. It had been only 27 years since I've seen him. And I would have liked to at least been wearing some cute jeans, done my hair, had make-up on, lose 20 pounds, etc. But, no. I don't have that kind of luck. No - I only get to see people after I've worked two jobs in a day and am completely exhausted. But on the plus side - no pun intended - that extra 20 lbs. are what have given me boobs. Finally. And yes, they were noticed. :) ).

Anyways, I wouldn't have changed anything. What a trip. We talked, and talked, and talked some more. Life, death, love, Kevin, our kids, our lives. We talked about the past, and the present. It was only for two hours, but it was a lifetime. I learned a lot - mostly about myself.

Kevin had been the one in my life without "closure" - whatever the fuck that really means. I had wondered at times - "what if?". What if I had sought him out way back when, instead of being so shy? What if I had slept with him? Should I have? I ask these questions because I am questioning the choices I have made in my life. Did I make the right choices at the time? Should I have married who I did? I know now that my martial partner is not the right choice for me, but did I know that then? And did I ignore my gut? What else have I screwed up?? What else should I have done different??

After Paul and I talked, I realized that my "gut" was on target even way back then. I had forgotten. Time tends to do that to you. Turns out that Kevin liked to fuck anyone in a skirt. And I was NOT one of his conquests. Phew. That's not to say that he wasn't all that I said he was - he was. And in my memories he will always be the way I remember him. But, I think I need to trust myself more. Even at 17, my gut was on the mark. And it probably still is today at 45.

Full circle. Every person I mentioned in that post, I have made contact with over the past month, in one way or another. How strange is that? And how wonderful.

And Paul has invited me to go for a ride on his Harley this summer. I haven't decided whether or not to go. My daughter ("Crabby") would be mortified (might just be worth it for that reason alone!); my bf will be jealous (he already said that that sounds like a date). I think that I will need to trust my gut. And whatever decision I make, it will be mine.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Ghosts?? Introduce yourselves, please!

I was 12 years old. You know - that totally awkward age - knobby knees, no boobs, and trying so hard to be cool. I read in some magazine how to read palms. It was shortly after that, that my cousin, Beth, came to visit. She was the oldest of all the cousins, and was so *cool*. She was a psychiatric nurse, and had incredible stories. It was an EVENT when she would come up to visit. I was so enthralled with her. This was the 70's, and she was the stereotype of a 21 year old in the 70's.

I remember her last visit at our house; at least I think I do. I remember her laughing with my parents - they thought she was pretty cool too. And she felt the same about them. And she never laughed at my attempts to be cool myself. I remember bringing her breakfast in bed. I remember reading her palm. And her listening to me so seriously. And I felt bad - like I had done something terribly wrong. Her lifeline was so short. What did I know at 12 years old? No one had died yet in my family. I didn't know anyone that had died. Maybe death was a myth after all. I told her that her lifeline ended at 22. I remember her laughing. And I felt better. She wasn't laughing at me; she was laughing at death. She must be right; I must be wrong. What the fuck did I know about life and death?

It was only a month (two, three??) after that visit that our telephone rang in the middle of the night. I woke at the first ring, and I already knew. Before my parents had even stopped the ringing of the phone. Before they had even said even one word into the receiver. I already knew. Beth was dead. And it was my fault; I had already predicted it. She had just turned 22.
Killed by a drunk driver. She was on her way home from work at the hospital. It was Mother's Day.

And that was both the beginning and an end for me.

I don't look at anyone's palms. I don't predict their futures. I know that you may be thinking - that was a coincidence. I don't think it was. There have been many other unexplainable things that have happened a lot like that, and I'm only going to touch upon a few.

When my grandfather died - I knew it before the phone rang. I was 13 then. I remember my father answering the phone - it wasn't late at all, and my mother coming into my bedroom to see if I was alright. She didn't even know yet, but I did. I couldn't stop shaking.

I didn't tell my parents about either of those events. But, I can tell you, it scared the shit out of me.

When my mother was dying - I didn't see it coming. Didn't predict that one at all. But - the phone rang - a night or two after she died - before the wake and funeral. I told my dad the next morning about the man that I had spoken to that night about mom, her death, and the arrangements. He told me that that was impossible. That man had died over 20 years earlier. I had never met him; never heard his name before. But that is who I spoke to on the phone that night.

When I bought the home I am in now - a house that was my dream house - I remember feeling as if everyone I loved that had passed was shoving me aside to get inside to see it (right before we closed on it, I had to come in and get the water meter reading) - I was alone. It was an incredible feeling - not scary - a feeling of absolute LOVE. That family that I have loved, and that were gone, were actually still there - still there WITH me.

I do believe that people you have loved, that have passed, are able to come to you in your dreams. It is probably the easiest way for them to reach you. Your mind is willing to let them in. I have had my parents "visit" me many times in this manner, and it has usually been a comfort to me. (not so much when my mother visited me and wanted to know why I had given away all of her clothes. that was hard. or when I dream that she is really alive, hadn't died all those years ago, but is dying again. those dreams SUCK).

Anyways. Here is the thing. Whenever I am "visited", I always know who the visitor is. I just know. I can't explain it - their presence explains who they are. However, this week, I had a "visit", and I didn't know who it was. And that was kind of scary.

You know when you are just falling off to sleep? You are kind of asleep, but kind of awake? That limbo time. That is where I was. And someone was rubbing my head. It was so nice. I remember even moaning in thanks for a good head rub. And then I came immediately to my senses. HELLO - there is NO ONE in my bed that would be doing that!!! WTF??? I woke COMPLETELY up. Disoriented. Looking around. Nope - all is the way it is. Estranged husband on other side of bed (I told you before it was complicated) - back turned to me. No dogs up in bed with me. I lie back down. I must have been dreaming. I close my eyes. Start to settle back down. And then I feel someone sit down at the foot of the bed.

I sit bolt upright. No one there. Repeat this entire episode about 5 times. Obviously - not the best night for sleep. And it has been bothering me for days now.

So. To all you ghosts out there - please, at least introduce yourselves. If you think that you are on familiar enough grounds to rub my head, at least tell me who the fuck you are. It is only polite.