Oh boy!

A couple of weeks ago, my best friend Cindy told me that she is going to be a grandma!

Oh boy! (Or girl!).

And so it begins…My first friend to become a grandma.

My daughter’s best friend is going to be a mom.

And so it begins…Her first friend who is going to be a mother.

And so it begins.

And so it begins…

That’s life!

 

Wanted, a few good friends…

Do you ever wish there was an online ‘dating’ site to find friends?  
My wanted ad would go something like this: Looking for a married woman in her upper 30’s to lower 40’s with at least two fairly well behaved children. Must be athletic and adventurous. Must like long walks on the beach. Must not have a fear of water. Must be a thinker who likes deep conversation/debate yet not too serious. Must have a sense of humor. Please no one that drinks, brags, or talks too much. Must be honest with a good personality and morals. Must be a runner, send picture of running shoes or medals.

That is what my ad would be like.

I have been having some problems finding a few good friends. The fish that have been in the sea lately have been rather disappointing.

Yesterday I went out with my friends for my birthday, or should I say that I went out with my friend and her husband. I invited 4 couples. 

The first couple I am not even sure why I am friends with. We have been friends for a decade now. I keep them at arms length. I might even want to break things off. A few weeks ago, someone I know asked me why I was friends with her. She has a tendency to get drunk, be verbally abusive towards her husband, and cheat. I wouldn’t want my husband to hang out with a guy version of her. I had a hard time answering why we were friends. Honestly, I don’t even like her that much. She has gotten in trouble with friends for hitting on their husbands. Believe it or not, she does have a few redeeming qualities. She is fine when she is sober, which isn’t very often. Maybe we should break up?

The second couple I asked were friends for over ten years as well. At one time, I thought we were best friends. We even planned to go on vacation together a couple years ago. I think that is the point where our friendship started falling apart. They asked us on vacation, then ended up canceling out before we really started planning. They decided to remodel their house instead and could no longer afford to go. After that I think they felt ackward around us. Then her mom got cancer. With her mom, four kids, and work she didn’t have any extra time. 

They were on vacation over my daughter’s grad party. They were flying back the day of and said they might stop by which they never did. While they were on vacation, they received a call at 5 AM. The message stated that there was a family emergency and to call the hospital upon receipt. (I can worry about that now because stuff like that really happens). Her mom had a massive heart attack. She keeps saying that we will get together sometime, but sometime never seems to come. Our friendship is falling apart. 

Then there is Lisa. I planned on running a 5k to celebrate my birthday, followed by sailing to the beach, and an evening of dancing at a local festival. 

Lisa stayed out drinking all night the evening before. When she got to my house in the morning, she said that she didn’t sleep and was probably still drunk. At bar time they were so drunk that they ended up walking back to her house. Everyone walked except for her friend and another friend’s boyfriend. It took them a half an hour to walk to her house and another hour after that for the two friends in the van to arrive. The driver claimed that he got lost. Meanwhile the passenger was unconscious in the back seat. It took them 40 minutes to wake her up. It wasn’t the first time she drank that much. Then the girlfriend accused her boyfriend (in the van with another woman) of cheating which ended in a breakup. Honestly, that is not the kind of excitement I want in my life! 

Lisa ended up running the race with me, then cancelled out of the rest of my birthday celebration. I am so disappointed. Maybe I should ax all of these people out of my life for good. Just stop responding to their invitations. Even if we have been friends forever doesn’t mean we always have to be.

The last couple was Cindy and Ted. Cindy is not a runner, but after the race they made us a huge breakfast. Then they spent the afternoon with Paul and I sailing to the beach. We had a great time swimming, sailing, and chatting. They said that they would do whatever I wanted for my birthday. We never did make it out to the festival. The weather was hot and stormy. To be frank, I was tired anyway. They are great friends, the kind that are hard to come by.

It is harder to find friends when you are a couple. The guys have to hit it off along with the girls. It doesn’t work if I end up getting along with the husband better than the wife. Or if I like the wife, but the husbands don’t mesh. Or if I like the wife, but dislike the guy she is with. There are so many dynamics.  

I tried to brush off my disappointment with Lisa. I considered her to be a best friend. Now she is nothing more than an acquaintance to me. Cindy moved up and took her place. 

Do you rank your friends like I do? 

We have tried to make friends with other couples. 

We invited another couple to supper but they cancelled out when the food was on the table because they ended up getting a better invitation. You’re out!

Or the people that we invited over that never reciprocated. One sided friendships suck. You’re out!!

Or the other couple we thought could be friends that kept cancelling out last minute. We rescheduled multiple times to have them cancel over and over again for no good reason. You’re out!

None of those friendships ended up going anywhere. 

It is really hard to find good friends. 

But how do you find new ones that are of high quality? 

Maybe I should take out a wanted ad.

Wanted, a few good friends….

Birthday blues

Tomorrow is my birthday.

What do I want? Something that can’t be bought in a store.

I want a day of peace and tranquility. Just one day that is problem free. I want an escape from my normal routine.

Every day is the same. I start a couple loads of laundry before heading off to work. I deal with problems at work. Then I deal with problems at home. Sometimes simultaneously. After I make supper, clean the kitchen, and fold laundry I finally get to go to bed. I wake up and do it all over again the next day. Although I enjoy working and keeping busy, sometimes adulting can be monotonous and the responsibility burdensome.

I have to work tomorrow. After work, the kids want to do something with me. All I want from them is peace. I don’t want to hear any fighting. Even when we play games, they constantly tease each other by calling names or saying that their siblings suck. They say that it is all in jest, but I don’t find it very funny.

Paul has play practice on my birthday. I should’ve known to lower my expectations when he got the lead part in the summer play. He doesn’t have time for me anymore. I was hoping that he would go up north with me last weekend. When we got together with theater friends last week, he spontaneously offered to take them sailing this past weekend. So he did that instead. Then he asked me to crew for his race last night, but I was replaced by his theater friends. I was okay with that because I only wanted to be a sub. However, he has been sailing with a much younger single woman (not alone) from the theater that thinks he’s hot. I guess I would care more if she was attractive. I was hoping to sail with Paul for almost a week for our anniversary, but we cut it back to a weekend for play practice. I am getting really sick of it already.

I feel left out. I didn’t know all of the inside jokes. I am just an introvert who wants to feel included, but doesn’t want to go. I feel like no one cares about me. The kids really don’t need me much anymore. Sometimes I don’t really care about me either. I almost got hit by a car this morning while I was out riding my bike. The lady almost went through a stop sign. She slammed on her brakes last minute when she saw me. I didn’t get angry like I usually do. I didn’t really care. Hey, I’m still here!

Although my best friend Lisa moved home almost two months ago, we have only seen each other twice. I don’t feel like running with her. I would rather be alone.

When I was a kid, my mom made a very big deal out of my birthday. It was the one day of the year that my life wasn’t all about my autistic brother. I think because of that I have high expectations of how that day should go. Every year it seems harder and harder to get excited. My birthday always signifies the middle of summer. It is going by so quickly this year. I don’t want summer to end and I don’t want to get any older!

Tomorrow I will be 21 (doubled). Gulp! Ready or not, here I come.

Best friends fur ever 

   

 I have known many dog owners that sigh in relief after the 4th of July firework festivities are over. My brother Luke’s Boston Terrier is so terrified of fireworks that they have to medicate her to calm her down. Maybe she should be called a Boston Terrified. It probably didn’t help that their kids were afraid too when they were little. 

I have had a couple of pet emergencies over the 4th but they had nothing to do with fireworks. In fact, my dog loves fireworks. He gets excited and barks while we cheer. I can tell he likes it because he wags his tail and smiles.  

 
My cat and dog are best friends. I catch them snuggling together, grooming each other, and being playful even now in their old age. Heck, they get along better than my kids!

Our first problem on the 4th happened after we went up north for a couple of weekends. We took the dog with us and left our cat at home alone. How can I put this delicately?? Our cat started urinating blood one 4th. I took him into the animal ER. We ended up finding out that he had separation anxiety. He couldn’t handle being home alone, especially when we took his best friend with us. He would cry pitifully after we returned home, sometimes in the middle of the night. Now we try to find a pet sitter so they can be together when we are gone. Or if the dog comes with, I turn the radio on.

 

Look how sad and pitiful they look when we leave!

A few years after the first ER trip on the 4th of July, we had another problem. The extended family was up north with us at the cabin for fireworks. Our dog ended up getting into ant poison. He tore up an ant house like he hadn’t eaten in years. I was so angry. Normally in stressful situations I shut down, but this time I totally freaked out. I screamed, hollered, and cried. I accused my parents of trying to kill my dog by leaving poison out that he could get into.

I didn’t know what to do. We were several hours away from the animal ER. Not to mention that it was in the middle of the night on a holiday. This was back in the day before I could get on my phone and Google answers. I just didn’t know if it would be harmful or not. But my dog lived without even a symptom. Maybe it was because the ant traps expired in1982. Or maybe I should just disregard warning labels. It certainly didn’t do much for the ant problem either. 

One thing I know for sure. My pets sure seem to love their life with us. They love each other. I didn’t know if it would be like that. When we first got our dog as a puppy, we had another cat that was 15 years old. She could not stand our dog. The age separation was too great. Then one day my neighbor called. She asked if we had a white cat because if so she found it floating in her swimming pool. We were very sad. There were rumors being spread that it was self inflicted.

After almost a year past, we decided to take our chances and get another cat. This cat was a year older than our dog. After a short period of dislike, they became best friends. Now they are inseparable. 

Best friends fur ever!

My friends…

Sometimes I wonder, I sit and think. 

I have 3 close friends. None of them know that I have this blog. You probably know more about me then they do. Isn’t that funny? 

I am a private person, although it probably doesn’t seem that way to you.

Sometimes I wonder if they stumbled across my blog, would they like me?

Would they like the real me? 

The grass is greener here

This past week I heard some great news. Of course, it was preceded by a brief bit of bad news.

Almost a year ago, my best friend Lisa moved to Florida with her family. In the couple of months before she moved, she completely withdrew from her friends. I think she was trying to prepare herself for the separation. Or maybe it was just that she was going to school full-time and has 3 kids at home. Her husband was transferred to Florida for his job which ended up falling through. They ended up renting a house in Florida while making payments for a house here that they were having a hard time selling.

Lisa contacted us last week to tell us that they finally sold their house. We were happy for them that they didn’t have to make double payments, but were disappointed because it seemed like they were cutting their ties for good. Lisa also said that she wouldn’t be able to come back next month to run the marathon with me either. What a bummer!

Then something completely unexpected happened. Lisa told me that they decided to move back home in the beginning of June. I guess the grass is not greener in Florida after all! LOL

Life was pretty dreary without Lisa here last summer. All I did was train for the marathon. She was always the one that would get the girls together to go out. She liked to have girls nights at her house that included cooking, movies, camp fires, and games. We would have theme nights making sushi or Italian dishes. She was a very good cook. Now I will look forward to getting together with her.

She was also my running partner. My mom is happy that she is moving back because she said she worries about me running on the back roads by myself.  Lisa always motivates me to be a better runner. C’mon, we can run faster. We can run further. Don’t slow down. Don’t give up. Lisa also has just as many demons to outrun as I do. We can relate to each other on a deeper level because we have lived successfully through hard times. I told her about getting a new bike and she is already talking about doing a 50 mile bike ride. We will probably do our first tri side by side. It will be great to have her in my life again.  I was afraid I was going to have to let her go.

The travel diaries, Omaha

The story of how we ended up in Omaha one year during Thanksgiving winds around a rocky path. Before Paul and I met, he was best friends with Dwayne. Dwayne was a man that looked like what you would picture Jesus to look like. He had rugged good looks with shoulder length brown hair that glowed a perfect shade of brownish red in the sun. He was a smart man who loved to discuss philosophy, theology, and psychology. He was fun loving, liked to joke and play cards. But Dwayne had one major personality flaw that inevitably led him down a path of destruction unaware. Dwayne would do anything for a dare.  One night while camping with friends someone dared him to dive off a dock near the campgrounds. Dwayne accepted the dare and dove into water that was only a couple of inches deep. Instead of costing him his life, it left him paralyzed from his neck down.

Before his accident, Dwayne had married his high school sweetheart too young. They had two children and divorced. When Dwayne had his accident, he was with Tammy. I met Dwayne a couple of years after the accident while he was with Tammy. Now Tammy was an evil person. But you know how it goes when your best friend dates someone you don’t like, you tolerate that person. Plus there was never a dull moment with Tammy around.

Tammy had some major character flaws herself. First, Tammy liked to steal things. Once when we went out to eat for Dwayne’s birthday, Tammy went around to every table and took the fake flower displays. She shoved a stack of fake roses into her purse. When it was time to leave, the manager told Tammy she needed to give the flowers back which caused her to make quite the scene. Nothing unusual for her. 

Second, Tammy liked to cheat. Tammy had two sons, one that she had with her ex husband and the other with Dwayne after the accident. Ok, there was absolutely no way that Dwayne could have fathered a child as a quadriplegic, but he was listed as the father on the birth certificate. One year at Christmas time the true story came out about her other son as well. Tammy and her ex were fighting on the phone while we were there. She told her ex that the boy that he thought was his for the past 10 years wasn’t his son, wished him a merry Christmas, and hung up on him. Tammy was just being Tammy. Tammy eventually got together with Dwayne’s caregiver and moved into the apartment next door. Her bedroom and Dwayne’s bedroom shared the same wall. He could hear them at night. Then she tried to keep his “son” from him. Tammy was not a nice person.  

Parenting was very challenging for Dwayne as well due to his handicap. One time when he was still with Tammy, Dwayne and their baby accidently got locked in the van. It was twenty below outside and they were locked inside the van without heat. This happened over the weekend. Tammy was desperate to find someone to unlock the doors. Dwayne sat inside helplessly watching. It could have gotten dangerous really fast. Dwayne also had issues parenting his two older children. His little girl loved to sit on his lap but he could never hug her back. He couldn’t drive them anywhere or do anything. It was at this point that I saw Paul play the part of dad. He took Dwayne’s son Dan fishing, a hobby that he used to share with Dwayne before the accident. We took the kids to the zoo and had them stay with us sometimes. When I first started dating Paul, it was attractive to see him being a positive role model for the kids. He still was caring towards his best friend even after his friend made some terrible mistakes in life. He also had no problems treating his friend like a regular person, going out with him even if it meant emptying his bag or feeding him. He was not squeamish, nor did he complain. His compassion was touching.

Dwayne was the best man in our wedding. A couple years later, Paul was the best man in his wedding. His new wife had some major flaws, like having an absolute filthy house and allowing her children to run wild. But I have to give her credit for marrying a man that she would never have a physical relationship with and had to care for. Six weeks after he was married in his church, Dwayne was buried there. He had a heart attack and died in his 30’s. He will be gone for 15 years this year. What an avoidable tradegy that affected so many lives.

Fast forward time a bit more, Dan grew up and asked Paul to stand up in his wedding in Omaha. He wanted Paul to be there to represent his father. We flew into Omaha for the wedding over Thanksgiving. Dan’s in-laws welcomed us like we were family. We ate Thanksgiving meal there and played a lot of games. They seemed to have a very close knit family. His wife’s father was dealing with cancer. He showed us pictures of himself, a big guy at 300 lbs before cancer. He lost 200 lbs and was skin and bones. At this point, I want to tell you that everyone lived happily ever after. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned. Dan and his wife moved across the country. He was in the military and was deployed overseas. During this time, Dan’s father-in-law passed away. Dan’s wife moved back home and the marriage fell apart almost a year later. But while we were in Omaha, everything was pleasant.

While we were in Omaha, we met up with one of my best friends from college. She took us to the Omaha zoo. It was hands down the best zoo that I have ever been to. It had an open concept. You didn’t get the impression that the animals were unhappy in their cages. The aquarium was my favorite display as it submerged the viewer in a tunnel surrounded above and at all sides with beautiful water creatures. Great job in your design Omaha zoo. I just wish the marriage turned out as well.

Mud bath

I am happy to say that I checked riding in the back of a pickup truck naked and plastered in mud off my bucket list at a young age. Times with Jody were always an adventure even when her dad wasn’t taking us to the bar or we were trying to fight off teen boys.

Jody’s dad was a farmer, so that in itself was always an adventure. I remember walking around the barn during milking time. Looking at the bull raging in his pen was always exciting. One day while we were riding around the field in Jody’s go cart, she told me that the bull got loose. We sped around getting stuck in the mud, trying to get away from the bull that never showed.

Sometimes Jody’s dad would take us on his tractor. I remember sitting on the back of the hay wagon getting caked with alfalfa. That night I sneezed while my grandma plucked all of the alfalfa out of my hair. It was a big tangled up mess.

But the best story was when I went with Jody to the gravel pit. Her dad bought the property and was building a house. It was a warm day and one of the pits looked like a hot tub of mud. So we took off our clothes, except our underwear, and jumped in the mud. We were neck deep in our hot tub of mud when Jody’s dad found us. We had to sit on some lumber and hold onto the bar on the back of his truck to get home. What a sight we were. Two preteen girls, naked and covered with mud, sitting up in the back of the truck for the world to see. That was one fun day until Jody’s grandma hosed us down in the milk house.

The incident at the public library

Once, for a very short time in my life, I was a compulsive hand washer. It started after a frightening incident in the library parking lot that happened when I was 13 with my grade school best friend, Jody.

I met Jody in kindergarten. When I was really young my parents had me stay with Jody for a week when they took my brother Matt to the hospital. At the time, Jody’s parents were going through a divorce. I remember sitting on the steps with Jody at age 6 listening to her parents fight. Things may have been thrown, I don’t recall for sure. Just a lot of noise, a lot of yelling. I had my grandparents pick me up before the week was through.

I don’t know why Jody’s mom didn’t like her dad anymore. He was a fun guy. He loved to laugh and would buy us soda at the bar. One night the roads were way too icy to take Jody and I to dance class, so we went to the bar instead. He told me not to tell my mom as she would probably worry. I also went up north with Jody, her dad, and his girlfriend for the weekend. He had to stop halfway there because he was tired and needed a drink at the bar. Lots of quarters for soda that night. I think we may have even put some songs in the jukebox. When Jody turned 10 she had her birthday party at you guessed it, the bar! Jody was a lot of fun too.

When my mom told me that I could bring a friend with me to the library that night, I chose Jody. Once a month, my mom attended a support group for mothers of the disabled at the library. Most of the time the meetings ended after the library closed which is what happened that night. It was a warm summer night, so we waited for my mom in the car. We were talking when 3 older boys showed up at the car on bikes. They saw us and tried to get in the car. We locked the doors, but it was hot. We had to roll the windows down a little as the heat was stifling. The boys tried to pry their fingers in through the crack in the windows. They banged on the glass. That kept trying the car handles over and over, rattling on them, trying to get in. They taunted us, put their penises against the glass, and held condoms against the windows. I found the incident very frightening. 

It was after this happened that I washed my hands over and over. I washed them until they were cracked and bleeding. For months I refused to touch the car handles that those boys touched to try to attack us. Everything they touched felt unclean to me. I wouldn’t touch those handles even if it meant that I had to sit in the middle of the back seat. So I washed and washed until the memory and terror of that night faded. At least I had control over something. 

 

 

A stranger weekend

Well I can check sleeping with strangers in a hotel room off my bucket list. Seriously though, I am not sure flippant things count as checking something off my bucket list. Do they? Or do they have to be long drawn out meticulously orchestrated premeditated plans like running a marathon? I certainly find that a lot more enjoyable! Or do I? I mean really, it was a hell of a lot of work. But I don’t enjoy the spontaneous checking things off my bucket list that I just added 5 minutes ago. Maybe these things need to be on separate lists. Maybe I am too structured. Are there rules? Hmmm. 

About the sleeping with strangers….. As some of you know, my best friend Lisa moved to Florida this past summer. She is probably sitting on the beach in the sun right now…ok, I have to stop thinking this way or my sanity will not be intact for winter. Anyway, after Lisa left Cindy came in and took her place. Cindy invited me to a girl’s weekend away with her two childhood friends that I didn’t know. We shopped, went out to eat, and got a massage. It was nice even though throwing an introvert in with complete strangers who know each other well can be a little awkward. I mean, I couldn’t share any juicy gossip. But I am quick with the jokes and love to make everyone laugh. 

Unlike Lisa, Cindy is not a runner. Gasp! Shocking, I know. She said she wants to put a 0.0 sticker on the back of her car just to spite me. She said opposites attract. She is crazy, fun, and carefree. I am excited to see what adventures we will share next.