Moving Process

I'm in the process of moving.

Not far. Going through everything I own. It kind of makes me reflective.

Long story short. A little over 3 years ago I quit a long angry marriage. I couldn't take it anymore. A little over 2 years ago I quit an even longer job working in criminal law. I couldn't take it anymore. Then I took off 8 months of living responsibly and went through my savings. I couldn't afford it anymore. About a year and a half ago I began picking up the debris of my life.

I had pretty good reasons for the things I did. At the time, those actions were my best choices. My marriage was Hell and my then preteen (and autistic) son was constantly being threatened with violence. My job with the lawyers was overwork and underpay, not to mention the stress level with all the changes going on in the lives of my youngest son and myself. We needed the time I took off and I needed to change jobs. I just couldn't deal with the guilt involved when you help people who hurt other people. Living with relatives at first, then moving back to the ghetto (where I was mostly raised) has reminded me that I don't want that kind of life.

When my oldest two were very young, I worked hard to get out of this area and to eventually make sure my kids would never have to deal with that kind of abject poverty again. For the most part I was successful.

I'm successful again. I'm moving out of the ghetto. Not quite to Park Avenue but close. It was good for my youngest son to get a taste of this life I think. He was born to me when I was already 30 and on my way. He thought money grew on trees and lived a charmed life really. I spoiled him because we both almost died the day he was born and I was grateful to have him. Besides he really is a sweet kid and its hard to deny him anything.

So the forced denial gave him some character and a reason to be the best he can be so he doesn't have to come back again. Meeting people from different walks of life other than just the upper middle class life we were living before has taught him the value of humanity and to look for cause when people behave badly. He's learned to forgive human foibles. My older kids learned that by 5 and 8 years old.

I did take a different sort of job, not as prestigious as my prior job. People don't look at me at awe when I name the building I work for like they did when I named the lawyers I worked for. I am expendable here.

The lawyers still call me for help, I gave up the job not two men who have always treated me with the love of indulgent older brothers and the respect of trusted colleagues. The pay and benefits at this job are better though. The responsibility is about equal, but I have people who share it. I still have to deal with people I am not proud to associate with on occasion. Those snobby born-with-a-silver-spoon types who have no clue that they actually contribute to the making of the murderers, rapist and thieves I hated working for. Mostly its business class people, like me. The Heart of America.

I have varied work responsibilities and enjoy what I do. I still bring it home once in a while but I don't wake up in the middle of the night from it.

I'll miss the rawness of this area, its kind of addictive when it isn't dangerous. There are many who live here only because of a lack of opportunity and money. I made friends early on who helped to pull me up to where they were. I didn't earn every break I had. I have been blessed.

Most of the neighbors I am leaving are salt of the Earth. They make do with what they have and they work harder in an hour than I do all day.

I don't belong here though. I still forget to lock my door sometimes. I'm not as tough as I once was. My child will never be.

I'm throwing a lot out and giving stuff away. I feel like a snob in a way because I hate living this way and can't wait to get out of it. I can't wait to have nice things again. Maybe not as nice as they were when I lived in Stepford... but nicer than what I have now.

 I'm moving up... moving out... In the right direction again.

I'm not going to forget the miles I had to walk to get here though.


A simpler time

I go on and on about my complexities. It's not bragging, its whining.

I would have been better born in a much earlier time.

I have morals. I hate all the pressure on women today. I hate what we are turning men into. I hate that kids are running the world.

I, believe it or not, get sick of technology. I'm scared to leave my door unlocked.Yet--- I'm always wired. I have a cell phone I need to keep on my person at all times. Its not just for my children. Its for everyone. Even my privacy is haunted with the specter of being needed immediately. Employers today may not say so, but in truth, we are *on call* 24-7. Family and friends used to drop in on each other for coffee. Now we just speak through headsets at each other and make empty promises to *get together soon*. My best friend and I were doing that yesterday. We live about 5 miles apart and we haven't seen each other for a year! (I do intend to remedy that). When we were kids and teens we couldn't see each other enough. Our phone calls were *I'll be over in 10 minutes*. I need to take ten minutes to hassle her in person one day soon.

I've been working hard on simplifying my life.

I've almost quit driving. I live downtown where I work, so that wasn't too bad. I've lowered my housekeeping standards so I can spend that time talking with my neighbors. I have quit working at a high stress job major time job for a different position that allows me a little less responsibility and time flexibility. I've ditched a lot of possessions. I've learned to love paper plates and sandwiches over 3 course meals.

Life is too short. I know this because I know why I feel this way. My cousin and one of my best friends taught me this.

My cousin died at 46, the same age I am now. My other best friend died when she was 37. Neither one was expected to die. I think my cousin just exhausted herself. She took care of everyone. When she got sick it was one thing after another, brain aneurysms, cancers....everything. One day she and I were tipping back the *slippery nipples* talking about our hyper lives and laughing like we enjoyed it. A year later she was dead. That was Susie.

Sharon D. was much the same. She was one of those working soccer moms. President of the PTA. Involved in Church and community more than anyone I've ever known. She did it all. I wanted to be like her. Practically idolized the woman except that in order to deal with it all she got into the uppers/downers habit. One morning she got up and fell down. Her young children found her in a heap next to the bed. The girl who taught me how to dance and helped me run-away from home wasn't here anymore.

I think for a while I was trying to live for them. Trying to be like them. Lately I think that if I don't simplify my life I am going to be exactly like them. Its not worth living a modern life if its killing us off.

Truth is I'm nothing like them.

I somehow fell into a career-girl mold without really trying.

I don't believe in equal rights.

                   I believe men and women are different, not equal.

To me its like apples and oranges...together we make a Hell of a fruit salad, but we are very different and offer very different virtues to life.

We can't be equal because we cannot be compared to each other in a consistent fashion.

I want to live my Grandma's life. She's still kickin' by the way, witty and smart. Nearly 100. She lived naturally. That's the word. NATURAL. She fits into her world. I want to fit into mine. She loved one man until he died. Well actually she still loves him. She never considered it subservient to do things for him, she realized all he did for her. It didn't make her feel dependent to allow him to open a door. He was bigger, it was just common courtesy. She worked and kept the home fires burning. He worked more and kept the outer world (yards, cars and social events) in line. THEY WORKED.

                     That's the ticket. Whatever works.

                                                I don't want to have it all anymore.

                                                                      I just want what works.


Looking for Trouble

Yep I'm actually looking. I have itchy feet and a restless spirit sometimes. It's like I've been good too long. Responsibility is something I take seriously. Seriously. I have children. I have a job. I pay bills. I grew up. Still, where some people have an inner child..... I have an inner juvenile delinquent.


Where have all the *GUYS* gone? (this is a link!)

Seriously. Click on that link.

Remember when real men didn't eat quiche or wear pink?

Maybe I am just one of those women who really appreciate a good whisker burn, I don't know.

I just like cavemen.

I think its funny when they burp. I laugh at fart jokes. I think Jim Belushi is the bomb!

When I run across a *real* guy I don't hold his testosterone against him. I'm much more likely to want to hold it against me. I think I get high off the stuff.

I don't want a wussy boy who wears make-up and admires my shoes.

I want wolf whistles from some messy-headed manly man with a beer in one hand while he holds my door open with the other all the while looking me up and down and asking "What's for dinner baby" like I am the one woman who can take care of ALL his hungers.

I don't want him to be prettier than me.

The guy I am going to fall for is the type who will come out in the pouring rain to get the groceries because he doesn't want me to get wet. He couldn't care less what it does to his doc martens. He probably won't even own a pair. He might even come out in the rain barefoot (maybe even making that gorgeous Tim Allen's barking noise). I'm sure his jeans will be worn at the knees and butt, his t-shirt will probably have some off color remark written across his chest.

His smile will be warm and welcoming though.

He'll be happy to see me. Glad that I am his even if I act like such a girl sometimes.

He will wonder how the car is running but grow bored when I start rattling on too much about the usual BS gossip at work. He'll distract me with lecherous gropes and whisper sweet and naughty nothings against my ear. I'll have to remind him that kids are about because he won't even notice and if he does, he probably won't care.

He definitely will not be clean shaven at 5 in the evening wearing manpris, mandals and carrying a murse!

Girly men are for amazons. I want a caveman.....all man all the time.......


home is where the heart is

I don't want to leave my hometown. Its a small city (though it has a big-city crime rate) where I know a lot of people and have a lot of ties. The truth is I will probably never live anywhere else. I did try it once (for 6 long long years), didn't like it much at all.

I moved to a small town 20 miles away (no crime rate to speak of). I was bored silly. Very lonely. I called it Stepford. I didn't quite fit in with the way too conventional robots there. I tried for a while, when that didn't work I sort of rubbed their noses in my outrageousness. They liked me less for that.

Some of what I love about the city is the cultural opportunities. We have several theatres, museums and festivals. I love the people usually. My job allows me to meet people from all over the world. No jobs like that in Stepford.

I love the wildness and rawness too. So many different races and classes using the same sidewalks. I could watch people interact for days on end. Its loud with sirens ringing and machines humming and the air is full of the smell of car exhaust and factories but there are also the songs of musicians playing on the street and the rich odors of ethnic cuisine, sometimes numerous different countries represented in a one block stretch. 

We can only see the stars on a clear night but we can see the city lights in the worst of storms. Its home. Its all I really know. I miss it when I am gone.


Middle Aged and Single

I don't feel my age. I don't act my age. But there's no getting around the fact that I am my age with all the *baggage* that goes with it. Late 40's.

How did that happen?

When I was young I figured that by this time in my life, when I was (::::shudder::::) old, I would be bouncing grandchildren on my knee,

Paw and me would be planning to retire soon, someplace warm but not Florida, I never did want to be like everyone else. I, of course, would be writing novels for a living and Paw would be a certain rock star, now retired because Gawd knows I wouldn't like dealing with his groupies.

It hasn't worked out that way. I sit here divorced, no hope for a grandchild because my children are adamant about waiting until there lives are very stable. Paw (Bruce Springsteen) married some hot red head and me....I do (:::::shudder::::) math and various other administrative tasks for a living. At least I never had to deal with the groupies.

Right now all I want is the simple life.

To  be part of a  working couple that actually share lives. Its not to be had.

Young single men approach me all the time. Too young. They want an instructor I think. Those who can't teach....but me, I want to do so I send the children home to Mommy. Men my age or older are usually divorced and because after 40 something years they can now handle a dollar or two, they chase after the PYT's who happily spend their money. Usually they are the daughters of the women who wouldn't give these same men the time of day when they were 20.

Its ironic.


The Empty Nest

My 15 year old son, Walter, is making holes in the nest I've built around him.

I've brought three people into this world with the sole intent of letting them go. I've been trying to hang on to this one a while though. Its not working. Doing my job well means that in the end, my job is downsized and eventually dissolved.

I look at him and I long for the 8-year old boy who would look at me in sheer adoration instead of judgment. I miss the 4-year old who would literally jump into my arms and cover my face with kisses. What happened to the 12 year old who brought all his confusions and mysteries in life to me for explanation and coping skills? There is this man hanging out at my house now.

He needs to shave.

"Because I'm the Mom" is not an acceptable response anymore. He asks deeper questions and questions my decisions and whether or not I am misusing my authority, even while he remains respectful of it. This young man is making me question myself and my motivations. I am not always pleased with my findings.

I have been doing the *Mom* thing for so long that I do it by rote. He makes me think and moralize myself like a couple other people once did.

Walter reminds me of another young man who once lived here and idolized me. That young man moved away and runs his own life now. He doesn't really need me, only my love now. I had great feelings of pride and relief the first time I went through this. I had done my job, fulfilled my purpose. It was no longer my personal responsibility or financial responsibility to take care of him 24/7. He could do it on his own because I taught him well. Richard was always a good boy and now he is a good man.

Walter questions me much like his sister once did. I do love those questions even when I am annoyed by them. Profoundness of thought. Thinking outside the box. I taught her that. It was and is one of the most passionate relationships of my life. Mother/Daughter. So alike and so different. To see my own face, like a conscience, arguing everything I thought was true and winning as often as not was to say the least, unnerving. Cecelia came into the world and left my home in the most original ways possible. I felt pride and relief with her as well. She was so powerful and still so feminine. I taught her well. I also felt a certain loneliness. I began to talk to myself a lot then, but it was in her voice. 

My two oldest kids were like night and day, in personality, in looks.

Walter is some weird combination of the two of them. As long as I've had him around I could relive parts of life with them pretty easy. My nest felt a lot larger after the oldest two grew up but never as empty as it is beginning to feel these days.

I find that when I look for men to date that children or grandchildren are a big plus. I don't want motherhood to end. I want to keep my finger in the pie.

Its not that I don't appreciate and enjoy my newly found freedom. I do. I love not having to hire a babysitter every time I need to leave by myself. I love not having to worry every time I lam not the one in charge of them. Its nice not to have to do the constant reminding..."Did you remember to use the bathroom and wash your hands before we leave?" "For the 30th time today pick up those damned toys before I break my neck!" "Be good and Mama will bring you a surprise when she gets home". Those days are over. Now my only reminder is for Walter to make sure his phone is charged on the off chance that he might need me and the more likely scenario that he needs more money or food. "Remember what I taught you baby....make me proud" I never say that. I hope it every time he goes through the door as the time gets closer and closer to the time he will walk away and mean it. All those lessons have become very important.

I can't babysit a near-man. He has to remember my voice in his head.

Lord I hope this one takes his time.

Strong Boys become Stronger Men

I'm not a fan of a soft man. That's right. I don't want to see the feminine side of him anymore than he would particularly like to see my masculine side. In fact the surest way to bring out that tough girl from the hood in me is to show me his inner wuss. The more emasculated he is...the more I am liable to emasculate him further. I have no respect for a man who isn't as tough as me. I have no attraction to one who isn't far tougher. I'm raising my boys so that some other like-minded woman will bless the day I was born. I worked pretty hard on my boys as a single mom. I wanted to make sure they did not (and do not) become mama's boys. They don't take any BS from me. Not that they would ever be disrespectful, they love me. I can't push them around though, nor will they allow me to *baby* them. My oldest never put me above the woman in his life and my youngest never will either. Neither will their women ever eradicate me from their heart and concern. They are just men about it. I want a man at least as manly as the men I raised. My boys don't cry when they feel pain. It would have to be excruciating. They bear their scars like badges of honor. So proud of their own toughness as well they should be. For examples, my oldest son smashed his hand up hitting a brick wall over a girl when he was only 15. He didn't cry about it....he felt that he was stupid acting (he was right) and was more ticked off at himself than anything else and my younger son cut a major artery in his wrist when he was only 8, he didn't cry either just went calmly to his sister knowing she would know what to do. They did shed a few tears when my father died, when 9-11 happened, and tears of joy when their sister survived Hurricane Katrina. They are not heartless. They just don't cry over every little injury nor over spilled milk. Even my daughter and I are like that. In our heartbreaks, my children and I may cry, but we don't do it in front of the one who broke our heart nor do we wallow in it. No cry babies here....the boys are tougher than my daughter and I, but not by much. We are strong. A passionate emotion may bring a passionate reaction...but we recover our control pretty quickly. My boys show tenderness and gentleness. Its never a weakness though. They are sentimental and never forget holidays and birthdays. They are gentlemen like cowboys were, not like suits are. A little rough around the edges including a sharp point here and there, but always willing to help when needed. A woman can steal their heart but never their pride. They are born and raised alpha-males. They don't take orders but are usually the one who give the directives. Calm in an emergency. The boys are steadfast and loyal with their friends and family. Born responsible and other than the occasional bouts of laziness....they work as hard as they play. Both of them had paying jobs by the time they were 14. Their bosses LOVED them and praised the way I've raised them. They play hard too. Skateboarding was the sport of choice for all of my kids, my oldest son (and daughter) were on the wrestling teams (my youngest really should do it too), my oldest has gone skydiving and they all are game for whatever sport or activity is going on in a crowd. They enjoy basketball, backyard football and volleyball. My baby has bowled a 280 (at age 11) and didn't think it was a big deal, even when he won against kids 5 and 6 years older than he in the tournament. You would think all that testosterone would make them aggressive and violent wouldn't you. Truthfully, they have gotten into fights. They win usually. They also try to avoid it usually, with my oldest being more successful than my youngest. My youngest tends to restrain rather than harm, unless it is the unusual situation where the kid who is fighting with him is equal in size/strength. Neither of them like fighting though. Its stupid and a waste when people all should be more accepting. Unfortunately due to communication problems related to the autism, they've been targeted. My oldest is now a 27 year old man and those days are thankfully long behind youngest has a few years to go yet as a Freshman in High School. I am so grateful that he has his older brother for an example of what a real man is. Do I sound prideful of them? I am but no more than I am for my daughter, but that has been and will no doubt be another posting. Incidentally....she met her real man, a friend of her brothers, at age 12 and married him at 20. Now nearly 3 years into it, barely an argument....As strong as my daughter is, she appreciates a strong MANLY man to lean on. He makes her more of a woman because he is more man than most. What I would give to be as lucky as my daughter! Every time I start a new relationship I'm hopeful....maybe this time. Word to potentials.....Look at my sons....Look at my son-in-law.....If you know that you will never be as manly as them....Don't waste our time.... But if you are....Then make me feel like a woman baby! I've been waiting on you....