Friday, December 17, 2010


                My son calls me Mama or Mum. He calls my Mom Mamama. His Uncle Douglas is Dougie- sometimes. His Grandfather is Dada. I read someplace that every child, regardless of whether their father is in their life or not, goes through a phase where they ask for “Dada.” Intellectually, it makes perfect sense that he would call my Dad Dada because all he ever hears him referred to is “Dad.” Emotionally, however, it kills me just a little bit. I want my son to have positive male role models in his life- that’s one big reason why we moved here. I just don’t want his to refer to that role model as “Dad.” But it’s not like I could ever tell him that his biological father is a deadbeat, that he was cast aside for some childish pipedream.

I discussed with my mother what I would tell Elijah when he is old enough to realize that other children go home to two parents but he only goes home to one, or some of his friends may see a parent on the weekends but his Dad might come around every couple of years (don’t hold your breath for even that sort of regularity). How can you be truthful without speaking poorly of the other person or making a child feel bad? You can’t tell a six year old “Your Dad was asked to choose between you and music and he chose music” or “Well, he was given the chance to see you ever week but he decided against it because he needed time to himself.” I settled on, “Your Dad loves you very much but he can’t be a Dad so we came to family that also loves you very much.”

I never had any illusions about the difficulties of being a single Mom. It’s a tough thing to do on your own. If it weren’t, we’d not revere the “Mommy + Daddy + Child = Family” equation so much. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me or my son, either, because the divorce was the absolute best thing that could have happened to Elijah and me. Nonetheless, I find myself wondering how I’m going to manage the two of us living on our own, going to school, working full time, and being the best Mom I can be. It would be so much easier to have someone share in the responsibilities of raising my son. But this isn’t about what is easy; it’s about what’s right. It’s always been about what’s right and what’s best and that has lead to some horribly difficult decisions. So, I made the choices, prayed for the best, and live with the results.

Because of that, I get to watch my son grow up in this loving environment. I get to watch his interact with people who, a year ago, were never sure when they would see him again. Of course this was done at the expense of others’ abilities to see Elijah regularly but, unless I somehow figured out how to move everyone to the same region, something was going to give and I had the ability to choose what it would be.

That, I think, is why it is so frustrating to hear the self pitying caterwauling of Elijah’s father. “Oh, I miss my boy so much!” “Oh, I wish I could hug him!” “Oh, I feel like such a bad Dad because I can’t do anything for my boy!” Well, he could start by making the attempt. It’s so far above and beyond the child support he doesn’t pay. It’s about sending a letter or a picture on occasion so Elijah will have something to look back on later on. It’s about doing little things to have a positive effect on Elijah’s life. But if he doesn’t send letters or pictures or child support or inquire about his son’s well being unless it’s saddled onto some other conversation, he really don’t have a right to say he wishes he could do more. I honestly wish that he would either step up and show the interest he says he has or just drop off the face of the planet so we can move on. This “I’m a deadbeat dad in every sense of the word but feel sorry for me” bullshit has got to stop.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Second Nature

                Today, one of my favorite cupcakes tipped over. When I tried to pick it up, the cupcake broke in two. So, instead of wasting it, I declared it my free cupcake of the day and set it on a shelf next to the plastic baggies, aprons, and whatnot. I’d munch on it occasionally throughout the day since I have this habit of not stopping for a bathroom break, much less an actual lunch break. I didn’t think much of it until the guy that drops off the towels stopped by and, for some reason or another, one of my coworkers felt she needed to be with this guy as he dropped off the towels and picked up the week’s laundry. She went into the area where my cupcake was and starts going on about this cupcake. I’m not really sure why she even thought it was worth a comment but, nonetheless, there she was prattling on about a cupcake “next to the cleaning supplies.” Well, I certainly don’t think food I’m consuming ought to be next to food I’m preparing and, technically, my cupcake was above the cleaning supplies so this line of comments is completely beyond me and, frankly, a waste of my time. So, I playfully told her to shut up- no anger or annoyance or venom. Just a playful little “shut up.” I guess, in retrospect, I could I have told her to politely refrain from her harping or just ignored her going on and on once again on how she thinks the place ought to be run. But, no, I chose a slightly self-depreciating tone and said “shut up” more akin to what you’d say if you were caught by one of your friends doing something you knew was stupid.

She threatened to hit me.

Can I get a “What the fuck??” from the audience????

 I can’t remember the exact term whether it was punching or knocking me out but it was something to the effect that if I told her to shut up again, she would kick my ass. Okay. Let’s pause for a second here, people, and take a look at this:

Saying shut up is not the most polite thing in the world, I’ll admit, but the tone goes a long way towards how it needs to be taken. If I barked “shut up” at a judge, I’d expect a night in jail. If I yelled it at a drunken biker chick, I’d expect a bar fight. But I jokingly said it to a person who doesn’t tend to listen to anything unless it comes with a deal of groveling and ass-kiss. I didn’t mean it as a sign of disrespect; it was more of “okay, I’ve heard enough.”

So I called her on it. I asked her if she really thought it was appropriate to respond to a joke with a threat of physical violence, because, you know, to me that’s a much greater transgression, especially while on the clock. Oh, that’s just part of her nature. Well, “shut up” is just part of my speech pattern.
She went up front to help the laundry guy with something and when she came back she was friendly but I’m still pissed. Really, I should have told the boss. I should have spat a profanity-laced spray of all the bile and venom that rose inside me when she threatened me while clobbering her with the rolling pin to show her exactly why we don’t threaten people but, honestly, I need the job. Instead, I’ll just imagine getting all cave girl on her ass, take a deep breath, and move on.

Inhale. Pause. Exhale. And moving on…

In much happier news, I got the official, notarized copies of the parenting plan and custody orders from the county clerk the other day. Thankfully, everything is in order exactly as I left it. I thought I’d blogged about getting the divorce papers that had the box that said we didn’t have children checked but it seems I didn’t so here’s a little background:

My divorce hearing was on November 19th. In an act of foolishness, I didn’t ask anyone to go on my behalf so I spent the week leading up to it wringing my hands and wondering exactly how I could swing going back just for the hearing. I have a voucher for $300 on Delta but I’m saving that for my birthday trip to Chicago and I wasn’t too keen on cancelling that. As it was, the ex reported that the deed was done and nothing happened to give me any worry. He would immediately get the papers in the mail to save me from having to get copies from the clerk. Two weeks after the fact, I finally get the papers in the mail and the box that says we don’t have kids is marked. So, obviously, I freak out. What does this mean? Is this a typo? Did Paul do something stupid and foolish? Where do I go from here?

I figured I should call the county clerk to see what they say. The first thing I need to do is get copies of the case paperwork to try to figure out what’s happened. They told me how to look up my case online. Of course, their website isn’t compatible with Google Chrome so every time I punch in my number, I get an error message. My tension is running pretty high at this point so my Dad, bless him, offers to take over. After an hour of going back and forth between the pages I pulled up on Google and the ones he pulled up on Explorer, Dad was able to order notarized copies of the important parts of the case file. Like I said, they arrived this week and everything is in order which leads to my next project: collecting the overdue child support. I think I’ll wait until after the holidays for that one. It just seems rude to start that now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Change of Pace

I just got done ranting about stupid people but I decided to keep that little gem for myself. Instead, I decided that I'd post some of my favorite pictures. I'm getting back into photography (it comes and goes in waves) so I thought I'd share some pictures. If you've been to my Facebook or Deviant Art pages, these aren't new. If you've not been to my Deviant Art page, here's a link:

I absolutely adore photography. Everyone else in my immediate family either draws or paints but my preferred tool is the camera. I took a distance learning course once but it's not the same as learning with an instructor and other students. At some point, I'd like to take an actual class or two. In the meantime, here are some of the pictures that I love the most:

This is a portrait of one of the many artists my husband played with. He's in front of The Manium- a downtown Olympia club owned by a Satanic dentist (I kid you not) that never opened because it failed to meet so many codes.

I don't generally shoot weddings. In fact, I pretty much hate shooting them. Nevertheless, I always bring my camera and fire away. Not having the pressure of being a hired gun always makes it so much more enjoyable. This is one I caught at my friend Brian's wedding. He used to come to work pining over this girl named Autumn. Long story short, his persistence paid off.

I met my friend Robyn at a mutual friend's house one day. In addition to being so much more, she was also an amateur model. I've shot her three times and this is one of my favorites.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tell Me How I Feel

                It has come to my attention that nothing will send me into a blind fury faster than attempting to blow sunshine up my ass and/or saying “I know what you’re going through” when you don’t know enough about me to even remotely assume that.
                If you have gone through a divorce, moved across the country to a place you despise from a place you love, felt completely alone even in your own family’s house, worried incessantly about the safety of your child, drowned in debt, lost a job you love and had to pick up a job that only paid 66% of your former pay and didn’t teach you nearly what you hoped it would, spent weekends normally reserved for polite conversation with friends attempting some sort of fragile truce with your father (who has just dealt with prostate cancer) that has you biting your tongue and feeling like shit because of some of the things he does and says, and had to deal with recurrent feelings of failure all at the same time while still trying to come across as a sweet person and loving mother when all you want to do is hop on the next plane West and disappear, then maybe we can talk. Maybe, I’ll open up to you and we can have a good old fashion therapy session. In the meantime, shut the fuck up, realize I’m doing the best I can, and know that I’m already savagely beating myself up over the mistakes I’ve made and I don’t need you adding to it.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Work At Last

                For the first time all week, Elijah woke up crying this morning at about 2:15. Of course, since I have to be up at 5, I can’t get back to sleep. I guess I’ll tell you about life, instead.
                Our store is finally open. Yay! After more delays than I know I liked, we opened up our doors this past Thursday with our grand opening yesterday. I’ve been working since Tuesday. The first two days were just getting everything for the store and organizing it which involved a lot of driving around and spending copious amounts of my boss’s money. We have almost everything we need and have been cranking out tons of cupcakes. We had a lot more people in the store on Thursday rather than Friday because we were giving away free cupcakes. In retrospect, maybe it would have been better to give away the free cupcakes during the grand opening. That’s something I’ll file away for later use.
                So far, I like the crew. They are a good bunch of women that are very eager to learn. Within a week or so, I think we’ll have everything really down pat. I think it’s funny how many of them have culinary training from prestigious schools. At first it was a little daunting but I’m beginning to realize how pointless that degree can be. These people are thousands of dollars in debt in hopes of having careers in the food industry and here I am with no formal training and right along beside them- except without the debt and the stories of working in other places that were too high stress. I’m sure there are tons of people out there that have landed higher on the ladder than us but I’m not looking to open a fancy five-star restaurant at any point in the future so maybe I’ll just get my business schooling out of the way and call it good. And then I’ll take over the world.
                There is one person that’s grated my nerves this week. I’m not sure exactly why she acts the way she does- maybe nerves, maybe insecurities, or maybe she’s just a damn bitch. Whatever the reason, there have been a few times I would have liked to make some pissy retort to the crap that comes out of her mouth but that wouldn’t get me anywhere. I need to focus on doing my job; not the extreme desire to bitch slap her when she thinks that her shit doesn’t stink (because, oh my god, it does). Oh well. I’m sure not everyone likes me. The best I can do is try to maintain a friendly, professional(ish) work environment and realize that some people like to play nice and others just need to be found face down in a pool of their own bitchiness.
                On the home front, it’s been tough to leave Elijah but I’m thankful for the break and happy to finally be earning money again. He seems to be doing just fine hanging out here with my folks and, luckily, I get home in time for us to have a few hours together before we go to sleep. I’m fairly certain that he doesn’t ever stop talking unless he’s sleeping or eating anymore. We’re getting more words and a lot of babble that follows the flow of our speech patterns if not necessarily the words just yet. And, of course, he’s really into mimicking right now. Whether it’s Mom leaning against the kitchen counter or Dad raising his hands over his head and growling like a monster, Elijah likes to copy us.
                I got the divorce papers yesterday and I can’t tell if they’ve been tampered with or it’s a typo but the box that says we don’t have kids was checked so I have certified copies coming straight from the county clerk’s office to straighten all of this out. Dad’s fairly certain that if the certified copies show the same mistake, we should be able to fix it fairly quickly. I knew there was a reason I should have gone to the court hearing. It’s a shame it was 3000 miles away.