Those are the recent words of Ricky Martin. This is about as shocking to me as when Ellen Degeneres came out. C'mon people. Maybe that's insensitive because I am not gay (yet) and I don't know what it's like to be discriminated against because of my sexual orientation. But ah...sometimes it's just sooo obvious. Do you suppose Ricky saw Adam Lambert still gettin' all the female fan love even though he's about as flamin' as they come and went "waddaminut, I can be cool and gay too!" Or maybe it's like he claims. He says his twin boys have inspired him to be real. Well, whatever. My hat goes off to you Ricky. To all of you that are out and proud. And for those still in the closet..put on some clothes and step on out!
I don't live or function much during normal hours when most people would, therefore I almost ALWAYS get to avoid rush hour. (Yay me!). So the other day when I was on my way up nort' to celebrate with my sister and I got on 35W going north, I was a tad surprised to see the congestion that was already starting on the tar at 3pm. Granted there is a gaggle of construction going on at the "crosstown" which makes people freak a little more, slow a lot more and even swerve some. As I started approaching the bottleneck where its two main arteries come together, my heart began to pound. I started to sweat. My hands got clammy, my vision blury. Then it hit me. This was the very place it happened; the traumatic event a few years ago as I was stuck in this very spot during stop and go traffic.
I didn't know at the time what was going on. I could only see out of my peripheral vision that the old beat up Cutless next to me was keeping the same pace as I. So I sped up a little. The Olds followed suit. Sped up more, the jalopy did the same. Since traffic was fairly thick it wasn't like I could just step on the gas and go, so I just tried to ignore the bastard. Then I noticed something even more strange. He had a gazillion feet in front of him allowing him to advance far in front of me and yet he was choosing not to. It was, at this point, confirmed in my mind's eye that I had an unusual situation going on next door. And so I turned to look. I'll forever regret that decision.
My vehicle sits up higher than most. My boyfriend calls it a hermaphodite or a "cruck" cause it doesn't know if it's a truck or car. I call it a crossover, cause that's what they are called. The Cutless rode lower to the road, lower than the normal Oldsmobile for whatever reason. Bald tires? A dead body in the trunk? Who knows, but I could see right into the lap of this man's luxury. And so it was, he was chokin' the chicken. Rubbin' one off! All while driving and staring at me! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? Now the anxiety turned to rage. My face got flushed, my breathing got shallow and I felt my heart jump out of my chest to slap that asshole! I felt so violated! ROAD RAPED! Then, after the brief viewing of the up and down motion of his clutched knuckles, I looked him in the eye. I can't tell you how creepy the creep was, but it stopped me in my tracks. Literally. I didn't care that there were miles of vehicles behind me. I was NOT moving forward so as to be this preditor's daily flavor any longer. I don't recall exactly because I blacked out after that, but I think he stopped for a minute as well, and then laid on the gas and sped off, possibly a result of an orgasmic jetstream.
Okay, I didn't exactly black out. I'm not one hundred percent prude afterall. I was just so mortified and fascinated at the same time. I told EVERYONE about it. I had to. I just had no clue something as such could happen. Ignorance, I figure. Well, to my elated surprise, I found out through telling my story that I am not alone! There were several others who had been beaten off to under the same exact circumstances. "Oh ya, that happened to me about 10 years ago" or "I remember when I was in highschool and some guy..." WHAT? You mean to tell me that this is like a rites of passage and it was just now happening to me? Just like that I became offended. Hurt. I felt like a loser. Ugly. Pitiful. No one on the road wanted me. I can't believe it had happened to so many of my friends years ago and now, in my thirties I was finally "hand picked" in traffic to lose my rush hour viginity. UGH. Disgusting.
I really hope when the city is done tearing up that part of the freeway, that pukes DNA goes with it. I don't want to remember that every time I'm on that stretch. I still get the chills when that merge slows up. It's post traumatic stress at its best. Flippin' Jack Off. At least get a different car. Maybe a Volkswagen next time with a bumber sticker alert that reads "Fuckin' Spewin'" or maybe you should just "Schlang up and drive". Or get a Semi so there is no chance in hell that you'll be outed. Or is that.. was that.. the entire motive? Honestly, I no longer care to guess.
I'm wide awake tonight yet very tired, exhausted. I'm tired of my self-centered man. Selfish? No. Just self-centered. Is one worse than the other? Really? We go over hurdles more than we sail through the course without hitting any cones. We have our "quarterly discussions" on how to make our shit work better together and for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks we are on track and happy and then soon it falls apart again. So easily. I wish it went together as smoothly as it falls apart. But it doesn't. He talks, I cry and we agree to try to meet those needs of the other. It's more of the same every time. And it gets progressively more exhausting. I pull away and put the wall back up built with more resentment each time I lay down another brick. In fact, since I couldn't sleep tonight I decided to retreat to the garage to mix more concrete.
Last night I called him from work saying we need a date, or something to help us reconnect because I don't feel the connection right now and when I feel that way my whole life sucks. He agreed and claims he's been trying to communicate but I never want to. That's not true. It's usually bad timing. I'm a baby. I'm a cryer. Our therapist once pointed out that all my emotions come out with crying cause that is what I know. I'm basically a flat-lined person until I cry. So when he tries to start a discussion about US right before I have to pick up the daughter from daycare, or before I have to leave for work I have to decline so as not to show up all puddled. (Case in point: he just came out to the garage where I am to see if everything is alright. It's after midnight and I really don't want to solve anything right now cause I'm really pissed, it's late and it would take us into the early morning if we started in right now.)
You would think it would be easy to meet your partner's needs. It ain't so eeee-say. His needs are all about sex. He needs sex to feel connected. I need the connection to want to have sex. See where this is a problem? SEX SEX SEX. I assume it's an issue the world over. Men want it a lot. Women want it a little, if that much. My cards are stacked against me. I'm not even here three nights out of the week. On weekends we go to bed often two hours apart from one another and since I get up with the toddler on weekends I don't want to wake up to lose an additional hour for sex. I don't wake up horny. He did nothing all day/week/month to make me horny, yet I'm the one with the problem. For the last few months he's been fishing every weekend so I can't really get horny that way since I'm left at home with a sassy little girl while he drinks beer, catches fish and sleeps in. Horny starts with my head. Horny does not happen by me seeing your bare chest..not anymore. Maybe in the beginning, but that stuff fades. Horny happens when I ovulate. That's the nature of the women, especially one that wants to have another baby. But I'm told I can't have another baby until our sex life meets his standards. But what about my needs? I just want to be thought of. I want affection. I don't want to be groped while leaning over the kitchen sink pealing carrots. That's not affection, that's annoying because I'm cooking and if I drop my pants in the kitchen the meal might get ruined.
I read once that a man thinks about sex every 30 seconds. That's way off. It's on the second, every second of the day unless he's working which he isn't right now. How did this all come about tonight you wonder? Me out in the garage blogging about it? I was awake in bed and heard him come in but he never came to bed. I know what this means. He's sleeping in the basement bedroom because he knows I have my monthly and sex isn't an option. How fucking rude is that? How fucked up is that, the poor sex starved baby. If he had erectile dysfunction would I ostracize him to make a statement? And it's not like we don't have sex. It might only be twice a week instead of his twice daily wishes, but if you take into consideration that I only share a bed with him 4 nights a week IF he doesn't go fishing or hunting for the weekend, I'd say that's pretty good. He says he doesn't want pity sex. Than don't take it. Or do something..ANYTHING to make me horny. There are sooo many little things a man could do to make that happen.
Offer to pick up the kid from daycare so I can sleep an extra hour instead of the usual 5 hours I get. You're not working! You pick her up! LET ME SLEEP.
Ask me questions about my day. Ask about my night out with my sister. Ask about work. Ask about my plans for the weekend. Ask me to FUCKING DO SOMETHING with you. Take me out. Get a babysitter. Dust the furniture. Again, you aren't working. Show interest in me. I know you have little interest and that makes horny so far away for me.
So I get up and go downstairs and inquire why he's sleeping in the basement. "I just felt like sleeping here". Bullshit. So what did I do? I crawled back in bed and grabbed my vibratin' boy and had my own little taste of horny. So there. Your loss.
I leave for Arizona in just over a week. I'm looking forward to it like you wudntevenfuckingbelieve. The man is bored, depressed and flat out lazy lately and the kid, well she's driving me up the wall! The persistence of a two year old is like no other, save for maybe a crack whore. I have taken away her snacks, yet she finds multiple other things to zone in on and beg me for. Here's an example of our exchange when she comes home from daycare today.
Can I have a tic tac peeeees? No. No tic tac honey. (Voice gets a tad louder) I wanna TIC TAC! No. I said no. No tic tac. I WANNA TIC TAC! NO! (Louder yet) I WAANNNNA TIC TAAAAC!!! (Now I'm loud) NOOOO! At this point her arm swings back to gear up for the hit and luckily she makes the decision to hit the couch rather than me...this time. I WANNA TIC TAC! *slap couch*
Normally at this point I would scoop her up abruptly, so as to mean business, and put her in her corner. It works every time. It changes her focus, even if it is just a teeny time out in the rule book of time outs. However, because of a stupid pair of old Steve Madden shoes with the chunky, early to mid 90s heel, I can barely walk today. I did not want to get off the couch to train my toddler.
I was told I "rolled" my ankle. I didn't trip, or fall I just rolled. And this morning after a night of partying with my sister on her 40th birthday, I woke up with not a headache, but an ankle..ahem...cankle ache. Ouch. And ewwwwwe. It's swollen and purple and ugly. It's about ten times the normal size, right on the ball of the ankle. I can't remember ever having an ankle issue. In fact the only other time I can recall swelling is when I was pregnant and my feet swelled up to look like a duck-billed platypus, but there was no pain to escort that puff.
Now today I'm pissed. I'm mad because this likely means no elliptical training, no Wii Fit Plus for awhile. A connection in the emergency room said I need to stay off of it and elevate it when possible. She said sprains can be just as bad as fractures because people assume they can keep on keepin' on when really they should stay off the foot if possible and baby the hell out of it for a speedier recovery. How da heck am I supposed to lose more weight if I can't work out? I was just getting addicted. The one addiction I fought all my life was finally wrapping itself around me and now I gotsta push it back, say no and keep it at arms length? I guess I might have to. I need this foot to heal so it can travel around Arizona. I don't wanna be climbing those streets in Jerome on a bad ankle.
Curse you Steve Madden. Can't you make roll-proof shoes? Or maybe you do by now and I don't know it because I just don't shop much. Maybe you invented some whilst in prison. Maybe you started thinking about how you could better the lives of your shoe wearin' drunkards. Could you do that SM? It's too late for me, but you could save someone else!
I don't feel very inspired to write tonight, so in fear of writing crap I'm just gonna take this time to thank the makers of the ultrasound gel I use. I have been "on the gel" for about nine and a half years if you count school. For at least five of those years I've complained about not being able to see the wet goop because I work in a dimly lit room. I tend to use about four to six ounces on one patient alone and when I'm done, believe you me, they want to be DRY as DRY can be. It's astounding how many people care about a little cold slime left behind on a piece of clothing or under their bra. I know it feels icky. And I'm sorry and I tried to get it all off but don't you have other shit to bitch about? Like the fact that you are in the emergency room AGAIN because you ovulated and it hurt. Or the fact that you might have a blood clot in your leg and that gel on your briefs ain't gonna matter once they start pokin' and proddin' and not letting you sleep during your 3 day heparin stay. A recent elderly woman asked that I please be careful not to get the stuff on her new undies. I try to reassure patients by explaining that it's made mostly of water- it doesn't stain and it will dry. Or I just joke it off by saying "ya, I sure wish they'd make this stuff glow in the dark..ha ha ha..." then I throw a towel at them so they can help out since it is in fact easier to feel the gooey muck than to see it.
Well guess what? Praise the lord jesus christ allelujah (lights shining down from heaven and all) cause the gel is now a sort of day-glo aqua blue color! Or teal. Doesn't matter, cause I can see it. I feel kinda bad, actually, because I now see just how much I really do use on one patient and it drips into places I didn't even venture to go. And that's another thing! They made it thicker so that it doesn't take off running down someones flank area and seep into the part of their shirt that I forgot to conceal with a towel. It is a viscous utopia! I'm ecstatic. Euphoric! YAY ME! YAY GOO! It's a happy marriage at last. Ah yes, it's the little things. Thank you.
In exactly two weeks I will be off to sunny (cross fingers here) Arizona to join my mother and other great company for seven days of lazy! Sooo excited, for the most part. As previously mentioned, I have been dieting in preparation for this vaycay and it's going rather well. What I haven't prepared for this trip is my southern region, my "twain" if you will. Today I started thinking that with all that is growing going on inferior to my umbilicas, I should probably start the bikini prep now so that one: there will be less maintenance once poolside and two: starting now would leave ample room for any incident such as ingrown hairs, razor bumps or accidental snipping of the labia minora. What? you ask? Well it's your lucky, ahem...unlucky day cause I'm in the mood to tell a good story, even if means looking back at a very painful and traumatizing memory.
Toward the end of my pregnancy I decided to do very minimal trimming of my Don King due mostly in part of visibility issues. Accessibility was somewhat limited unless I contorted my full-term body into compromising positions. But I didn't want to alarm my OB doctor either. I know, he has seen it all but not on me, not yet. I had stayed trimmed up out of respect for him. I already had anxiety about the possibility of having a bowel movement during the delivery and if that was gonna happen I didn't want the turd(s) to get lost in a nest of all things hairy. This meant very careful and precise riddance of even the fuzz that happily hangs its ugly head on your...yes...taint.
After the baby came I stayed out of that area, this time out of respect for that area. I had stitches, afterall. So I soaked and I soaked but I let the tarantula thrive. Until, that is, my six week follow up appointment. Now, I don't know if breastfeeding had anything to do with it, but that shit grew and spread like a sod farm since I'd last paid any attention to it. It was obvious to me that I would be needing Edward Scissorshands. Not a problem. I'll just grab my trusty (somewhat rusty) little scissors for the occasion, and invite a brand new shaver blade to the party as well! And we're off.
Something I otta mention is that the hot water in our upstairs shower runs out quickly, especially in times of shaving ones legs, pits and muffy so I went directly to my Kramer and started to clip clip clip away at the thicket below. I went in like a dozer clearing the brush for a manicured landscape. It was going rather well, but I was starting to get a little worried about losing my heat so I sped things up and got a little sloppy. A lot sloppy. And then this. As I pulled the hair out and away from my hood, I took one quick snip at the gathered tuft and then did this.
Actually I don't remember hearing sound come from my mouth, just a really loud silent scream. And then this.
You know when you cut yourself shaving, how the blood in water, for some reason, looks like three times more than it actually is? Well, this was that times ten. I imagine even Janet Leigh would have been grossed out and only Carrie could remotely relate. Red was running down my inside thigh and Pink was pooling in the tub and spinning down the drain like a Paint'N'Swirl art machine. I immediately expelled the scissors from my possession and transfered my injured privates to the toilet. It was here, out of the water, that the pain set in. It felt like a burn or paper cut, only with a tad more intesity and throbbing. I didn't really know what to do with the vascular area, so I took some toilet paper and held pressure. I was not expecting what I saw next. I gently took off the soiled tissue and inspected the delicate inner lip. To my horror, I had lacerated it enough to expose the fat. Not good. Not right. Not know what to do. I decided my 6 week follow up could wait so I canceled that appointment. I mean really. How would I explain this to the doc who did a much better job on my episiotomy. I decided in the end to ride it out to see what would happen and then this.
It started to heal together UNEVENLY!
Moist areas tend to heal quickly, such as in the mouth. Well this unplanned incision started to fuse back together GODSPEED, and I don't get God most of the time. At this point I felt disfigured. I was disfigured. Pulverized by my decision to approach a tender task full throddle. I botched my crotch. Is this something I could live with? Would I need cosmetic surgery? Certainly I couldn't go under the knife for something so minor-a. Or could I?
Well, fast forward a few very sore episodes of wiping and several days of cumbersome clothes rubbing and the funny little lip actually healed quite nicely and not all jagged like it initially appeared it would. I went to my six week follow up a week late and I guarantee that even with the voluminous, luminous light shining down on the injured flap, my doc didn't notice a thing.
Since that episode two years ago, I have been very shell shocked and slack on my upkeep. I have been avoiding any extensive decor tactics down yonder. I might run a quick shave along side each bikini junction, but those scissors have yet to show up at another shaving gala. Apparently, fear is a factor, but now is the time to face it. Clean up my act. Give Lady Gaga a new do and hopefully avoid a don't. Wish me luck.
Click click freeze wait click scroll freeze wait wait scroll wait back click freeze wait click freeze wait ctrl alt delete wait wait freeze end task freeze wait wait wait wait wait wait not responding wait wait wait click click click curse curse curse push hold power off.
I have multiple computers at work that I could use. All of them suck. I tend to gravitate to the corner computer cuz that's the one with all my bookmarks. It's so fucking frustrating! The monitor is on a pedestal that resembles the neck of a fathead and I have actually been compelled to stimulate a not so PC strangulation. I've said this before and I will say it ten times over "it's good that I work alone."
I can't recall whether or not I mentioned before that I'm an ultrasound tech and I'm too lazy to refer back to my prior lengthy posts to find out, but that is my bread and butter. I've put in seven point five years as of about now and I must say it is definitely more interesting than I had originally thought it would be. Going in I assumed it was all about babies. Happy Mommies and scared Daddies watching an image of their love child being created from gel on a belly to black and white pixels on a screen. He'd be holding her hand and they'd gaze into one anothers eyes searching for that tear of glory and joy that would gestate into a genetic compilation of his eyes, her smile and Grandpa Springer's nose. Hearts would be floating above their heads. Birds would chirp chirp in the background somewhere and I would get to say "He has a really strong heartbeat". Then Ken and Barbie would take deep breaths in unison and slowly exhale in a cavalier manner.
I've experienced that twice maybe, sans the birds chirping. Ya...no..my experiences with pregnancy ultrasounds are much more homely. If there is a baby daddy (and I'm not one to judge, remember) he is usally texting or playing games on his phone looking up once at the screen to inquire if I can tell the gender yet. The most common ultrasound I do is for the early pregnancy, say around six weeks so and if I can see it at all, likely it's the size of a sesame seed and NO I can't yet tell you if it's the baby boy that you can finally, proudly wear. More times than not there is a friend along who stands in for the BD or SO (significant other). This usually represents an ambiguous situation in which the BM doesn't know who the BD is or maybe the BD doesn't believe he is the responsible party or maybe he just wasn't available for this particular emergency of cramping or spotting because he was out flaunting his meat. Nonetheless, an ultrasound is completed. Often times with normal, healthy results. Then the question I too often anticipate sheepishly emerges. "So, can you tell me when I got pregnant?" And guess what? I can! Well, roughly and within a four day window provided my measurements are truly as accurate as they can be. I grab my LMP calculator wheel thingy and do my magic and deliver the estimated date of conception. "Are you sure?" Now that's not a fair question really. Cause no, I'm not sure at all. You are the one that had sex, afterall, not me. If you want to sleep with 2 of 3 different men in a 4 day time frame of ovuation then you figure it out. I can just provide the window. "But I can't be because I had a period last month". This is called an implantation bleed. It likely was not a real period. Thus the entertainment begins and sometimes the questions persist.
How far along before I can get a DNA test? What is the cutoff for having an abortion? Is it possible I'm really not as far along as I'm measuring?
I remember this one time in particular where a white girl wheeled up to my office where I was doing her paperwork, all distraught over the spread in which the magic wheel claimed she conceived. She wanted an exact date and I can't do that. Ovulation starts around day fourteen and can last 4-5 days or more depending on ones cycle. And since I nor the wheel was there to experience your mittelshmerz (abdominal pain occurring between the menstrual periods and usually considered to be associated with ovulation) or your clear, jelly-like discharge also associated with ovulation, I can't help you anymore. I'm sorry. You'll probably have to wait and get a DNA test after the baby is born. "OH NO, I'll know once the baby comes out!" she says. That's when I turn my head, bite my lip and cry silently.
I have even had the suspected baby Daddies follow me out of the room and basically corner me to ask when conception was. It always throws the men off. I will tell them they are 6 weeks and immediatly the man's own mental magic wheel starts turning. " Uh uh that's not right. We didn't have sex then..we'd broken up". Then before I can explain how the dating system works, claws come out and voices shout and that's when I turn my head, bite my lip and cry silently. Yes, I said you were six weeks but that counts the two weeks from the day you first got your period. That means conception was around four weeks ago. Confetti falls from the sky and I'm now the hero! I love my job.
Sometimes, albeit rare, I get to tell couples the gender because they are far enough along and can't wait to find out. I have to confess I get anxious about having to tell them it's a girl. Not because I don't trust my scanning, but because men get livid! Not always, but most of the time. And the BM gets upset as well because she knows the SO wants a boy, regardless if he has three somewhere already, he wants her boy now. It's insane. I've watched them walk out during the exam. I've heard them argue in foreign languages, some of which I understood because I know the words for boy and girl. I've seen expressions I don't care to remember. Having had a baby girl I know that Daddies end up adoring their little ladies and I want to give them words of encouragement but don't. I might tilt my head to the side and soften my eyes and smile as though to say "it's gonna be okay" but that's as far as I go. Usually because I'm pissed as all hell and want to shoot the semen spreading megalomaniac. Recently I had a girl come in alone, wreaking of that marijuana stuff, just wanting to know her baby was okay because she was being abused by the father. They fight all the time, she informs me. It wears me out this time. I don't always want to know. So I turn my head and bite my lip and cry silently.
This is so much harder than I thought, this NO DRINKING thing. I keep slipping. I keep guilting myself. I am eating 1200 calories daily which does leave room for about two glasses of wine a day if I wish. But I can't and don't drink Tuesday through Thursday so technically I could drink those 6 glasses in one night, right? I figured out there are 85 calories in 3.5 ounces of wine. With twenty-four ounces in a bottle that is 582 calories. OY. Now I'm flat out obsessing over what I can drink the MOST of with the least caloric spanking. Beer; 12 ounce can of my choice has 155 calories so that's out. Brandy with water and lemon? 85 calories per ounce! Who puts one shot in their drink? Not me! My mom taught me better than that! Then I had an ingenious idea. Drink the wine, but with diet spritzer and lemon. Well, last night I forgot to buy the soda water at the liquor store and the local convenient store dudn't even carry it. Wha?
So straight up red wine it was. And so yummy it is! I love the shit so much that if you were gonna make me choose between my wine and my daughter I'd choose my daughter of course, but only because people would chastise me for choosing the glorious taste of tannins. Granted, it's not the same as drinking beer in the warm sun or by a warm bonfire since it is a warming beverage. But I'm willin' to compromise if it's gonna keep me from gettin' fatter.
So there I am, outside enjoying the first really nice day of March, so gallantly sipping on my little glass of red blend. I sip and I have a smoke and I sense guilt sitting on the steps behind me but I'm able to ignore the beast, for now. Afterall, I haven't lost the fight yet. My gloves are still on and I'm probably gonna have one more small glass of wine before the day is over.
Eventually the wine gets set aside for playtime with the kid and guilt fades away. We go for a walk. Well, she runs and I walk briskly behind her trying to keep a finger on her hoodie so she doesn't get too far ahead of me. The neighbors start to gather, save for one that is stricken with the flu. Bikes are cycling about and skidding here and there in the alley trying to make tire marks. Remember that? I used to do that. I didn't wear a helmet back then though. They were so like, not cool.
The kid starts to get absolutely insanely crazy about not getting her way so we retreat into the house to eat dinner and get ready for bed. She falls asleep on the couch watching E.T. Her daddy puts her to bed. I look at the clock and OH EM GEE it's only six o'clock? I go back outside to reunite with my meager serving of vino and discover a petite winged insect had decided to assault my scant drink. After several failed attempts at a rescue, I involuntarily toss the wine in the grass. Mournfully, I go back inside to refuel. These wasted ounces prove very important later in the evening.
This glass (my second poured but only my first consumed in it's entirety) goes down quickly. Not only does guilt reappear, but I can feel the bastards breath on my left shoulder but don't have the breadth of mind to care..yet. I pour more. I keep it teeny, around three ounces. I drink it and have more smokes. My baby daddy starts a fire in our rusty patina of a pit and I pull up a chair and kick back. I'm pretty sure at this point that I'm sitting on guilt but I don't care. I have come up with rather insightful and sensible justifications as to why I deserve this wine, even if it is more than I'd planned on having. Here are a few examples:
*It's the first really nice day since winter and I just need to get this out of my system.
*I didn't eat the pineapple that came with lunch so that must add up to a spare 100 calories.
*OH, and I rarely drink my 2 glasses of milk that is included in my daily dietary caloric intake. Another 160.
*I didn't drink saturday night and only had one dinky cocktail sunday night.
*The kid crashed so early, surely that's a sign that it's MY night.
They were lame justifications, yes? Simultaneously entertaining nonetheless. On the contrary, Guilt did not appreciate the humor but by now I'm thinking that fucker can kiss my fat dieting ass! I fight guilt on a daily basis and usually win, or at least come out enough ahead so that the menace has no desire to come to bed with me. And that's what eventually happened here. The asshole retreated. Saw that I was done with. I was drinking beyond my allowed intake. I poured another and another and another until the bottle was empty. I had even recorked a couple of times thinking that would deter me but it didn't and why would it? I'm not to be trusted, afterall. I'm a veteran of drinking. I know what I'm capable of. Sobriety was something that went in unison with pregnancy, but nothing else....ever.
And I wasn't done, or at least I didn't feel I was. New neighbors had just shown up to partake in our natural heat and I didn't want to miss anything. It wasn't even nine o'clock yet, was it? Then a light went on! An epiphany. A revelation. I didn't actually drink the whole bottle. I unwillingly discarded my first puny glass of wine due to the invasion of a sesame seed sized critter. What would be so wrong with opening another bottle and having just one more teeny glass of beauty? So I did. But the cork stopped there.
I was done. Ready for my feather tick. I checked a few messages and brushed my teeth and retainer and entered the bedroom door only to discover GUILT! Guilt was in my room. That never happens! WTF WTF WTF do I do now? OMG and I'm not LOL. The prick won't leave either, so I crawl in bed and close my eyes and try to tune satan out. All I can do now is wait for my man to come to bed to kick guilt's ass. It would be like a "two-fer" for him since guilt is probably there for dual reasons. I haven't been such a good "puter outer" lately and maybe if I give in tonight guilt will go running. Afterall, a bottle of wine does make me HO-nay. HO hum.
Two and half years ago I walked into the hospital to have my pregnancy induced. I weighed 182 pounds. When I found out I was preggers I weighed 159 which may sound like a lot, but I'm five nine and that actually looks alright on my frame. Clothes fit nicely. There was no back fat or muffin top. My belly- my weakest link- has always been quite gelatinous. In highschool a male classmate poked me in the abdomen at a kegger and slurred something about my jelly belly. Then in college a boyfriend referred to it as a pussy pouch. Not to my face of course. He let one of his roommates deliver that award. Oh the joys of not being perfect. Anyway, what I'm trying to get at is that I barely put on any weight during pregnancy and actually all of the weight I did gain ended up in the biohazard container along with the placenta.
Fast forward two and half years. WTF? Where did all this crap come from? It's hangin' off to the left and saggin' to my right and it's attached to me. And my mid section! I kid you not people are looking at me like they wanna ask me if I'm pregnant again. I have had indirect questions like, "so when are you going to have another?". I'd put money that if I responded with "four weeks" they would not act surprised. I now weigh just a couple pounds less than the day of my induction. I did alright the first year. Somehow I managed to keep the weight off for over a year without watching what I ate and doing just light exercise, like stroller walks and such. But then I kinda wasn't really watching what I ate. And even more damming was that I wasn't watching what I drank.
It's a staple at our house. If you are outside, you are drinking beer. If you are in the garage, you drink beer. If you are in the neighbors driveway, you drink beer. By the bonfire, beer. Gardening? Ah heck..grab a beer. Badminton anyone? Beer breaks a plenty! I was probably consuming 4800 calories during my four days off from work when all four allowed for it. I wasn't getting hammered or smashed or any of that. It was just a lot of nonchalant beer drinking through out the day. Having once been arrested for DUI (see my intro post) the only place I felt safe drinking was at home and drinking we did. Then there was the grilling out. Granted, it was all healthy stuff. (sidebar: I did read that my chances of having breast cancer are 10% greater because of our frequent use of charcoal). And then there was take-out. Not so healthy stuff. We didn't really eat out much anymore because of the kid and all, but we'd pick up some Thai food, or some yummy authentic Mexican food. Then there were the potato chips. I love love love potato chips. The saltier the better, which is odd since I don't like to add salt to my food. Sometimes a day of beer drinking would lead to a big bowl of plain potato chips dipped in ketchup! YUMMY! And then I'd go straight to bed. What a wasted drunken snack that turned out to be. My man would often comment how fast I ate. That habit started after the kid was born. She was a tad fussy after a coupla weeks old and I had to eat fast or not at all. I'd be shoveling food in my mouth while rocking her bouncy seat with my foot in hopes I'd get it all in while still hot. I spent too much of her "non fussy" time cookin' the shit and now just as I was about to enjoy the meal she'd wake up pissed. Have I mentioned portion size? I'm not and never have been much of a snacker other than my drunken chip fests so when I did have a meal I made it count. It wasn't that I didn't know better, I just couldn't stop. I love food and if it's in abundance on my plate I will finish it.
When you look down at your belly and you have rolls beneath your breasts that you never had before, or cottage cheese sitting front and center with your belly button, it's time to do something about it. It ain't goin' away by itself. I got so disgusted with myself that I could barely stand to look at my naked body in the mirror. I'd turn sideways and have to pick my jaw up off the floor after seeing the thickness I'd become. I had never been this big without being pregnant. I remember thinking several pounds ago that I still wasn't as big as I've been. Well now I was bigger. I was puffy too. I was spiraling fast with only a few pieces of clothing left to hide behind and even those didn't fit comfortably. To make matters worse all I could think about was my upcoming trip to Arizona and whether or not I'd have to bring my maternity bathing suit. What effect would that have on my psyche? It was time. I'd hit an all time caloric and gluttonous rock bottom.
Enter Seattle Sutton Healthy Eating. SSHE for short.
A very good friend of mine was doing a promo and had lost 20 pounds on this portion controlled, freshly prepared three meal a day diet in two months. Granted she had more to lose from the start, but impressive nonetheless. It's not cheap. In fact she got three months free. I wasn't sure if I could part with that amount of money on a diet of all things, when I should be able to discipline myself to cook and count calories at home. And like my hair removal homework, I was a tad intimidated by the sum of money it would all add up to in the end. Then I discovered that through work I could receive ten dollars off of the first week and save five a week from then on out. It wasn't that much of a discount, but now for some reason I felt like I had found it at a garage sale. Sign me up Scotty!
A little over one week in and I've lost 6 pounds. I feel better already. I'm not bloated. I'm not puffy. Between going on a diet and off of effexor I'm actually pooping nearly every other day which is a huge accomplishment for me. I've had a few glasses of wine but not much and absolutely no beer. The food is just okay. A couple of times I've been pleasantly surprised, like the quesadillas, and the spinach quiche and squash. I've become very protective over my food, the little amount there is. My daughter is like a dog when it comes to eating and she's constantly trying to steal food off my plate. I growl loudly now. The other night I was trying to stab my cooked honey glazed carrots with a plastic fork and two of them jumped on the floor. That was very sad. Had I not been at work at the hospital I probably would have picked them up and brushed them off but I have rules about hospital floors. When certain things, like tapioca or apple crisp (without the crisp) come in these little plastic cups I make sure to lick those containers clean. Often times my side dishes become a topping for the main course. For example, yesterdays garden burger came with a side of beans that ended up on my burger since it didn't come with cheese or even lettuce. I've also discovered some new combinations like with todays salsa chicken sandwich. They gave me way more salsa for that sandwich than necessary and since I couldn't have any tortilla chips, I sliced up the supplied apple and used it to scoop up the leftover salsa on my plate. It really wasn't that bad. Instead of applesauce I was eating applesalse.
I'm trying to change several aspects of my life, one of them is to regain custody of my mind and body. The first step was to remove the IUD I've had in place for over two years. I recently had my first real menses since the "knock up" and it felt reeeeally good. Never thought I'd say that about my time of month. As far as birth control goes, it did what it was meant to do but for over two years I have had a rainbow of discharge, a buffet if you will, every fucking day. Talk about feeling not-so-fresh. One day it was pink, the next it was yellowish. Then a tint of green would enter the picture followed by some brown or red and whiter than white. A Monet of sorts. Now, as a woman you are told that these colors mean something like, infection? Yeast? Bacteria? Every time I thought I was diseased I checked out clean with the doc. "The string tends to irritate the cervix of some women". Mine was flat out irate. Gone were the days of going commando. Gone were the days of going down. So, the foreign object is now out of my invaded uterus and other than the mild latex irritation I've had to once again embrace, I couldn't be happier.
IUD out. Check.
The next thing on my list was to begin weaning myself off of the anti-depressant Effexor XR. The XR stands for extended release? Anyone that has ever been on this drug, or one in the same family knows that if you go more than twenty four hours sans pill poppin' your brain begins to pop. For those of you who aren't familiar, allow me to try to give you the best description.
Wow, this is harder than I thought. I can't think of a similarity. Ummmm. "They" call them brain zaps. Everything will be completely normal and all of the sudden you look to your left then straight ahead again and it's as though the earth couldn't keep up with your vision. Your peripheral vision wobbles, so to speak, and is about a millisecond behind the shift of your eyesight. It's almost like an instant replay in your head? I'd be driving down the freeway and glance at a billboard than back to the road in front of me and for a second that visual pattern I had just created would coming swinging back. It's very odd. You also get a brain flush feeling. When you take effexor daily, you only get a hint of this if you forget to take it and the meds "half life" expires. Weaning, on the other hand is hell. You get only small breaks between these zaps/shifts/flushes because you are decreasing your dose slowly which shortens the half life of the dose you take and it's a dangerously aggressive cycle of staying on top of those horrible sensations with taking as little dose as possible at a time so that eventually you are barely taking any effexor to make it all go away. Keep in mind, the medical world..the Brain docs..claim that these meds are not addictive or habit forming? There should be no withdrawal. Look up effexor on Wikipedia and you'll read this "Venlafaxine hydrochloride is in the phenethylamine class of modern chemicals, which includes amphetamine, methylendioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and methamphetamine". Pardon me? Meth? HUH? And it apparently is a sister to Tramadol, which is a pain pill often used by Veterinarians. Hmph. No withdrawals eh?
Weaning is not for the weak. I imagine it sends most people over the edge and right back on the shit. Weaning causes depression and anxiety. The drop you feel when you cut the dose down, even gradually, is horrific. I've done it before, when I first found out I was pregnant. It didn't seem as difficult, probably because I was in Mazatlan and was so emotional anyway from all the other nonsense going on in my life (see my intro post) that I didn't realize the craziness the weaning was causing. After about a month or more of weening, I think I'm finally effexor free. I'm still getting the pops or zaps but it's very mild and I can ride it out now. I no longer have this ravenous pull to take a nibble off of a pill so that I can make the withdrawals go away. It makes me wonder about that Wilson-Philips girl that just got out of rehab for anxiety. Was she there to withdrawal? Maybe she couldn't handle it and needed to be put in a coma until the drug was entirely gone from her neurons. If that's the case, I'm jealous. Cause it sucks.
I had a revelation a few months back. I was getting all prettied up to go out and realized that the upkeep on my facial hair had gone by the wayside. One of the many groomings neglected post partum. I didn't have time to wax, nor did I want the redness so without even hesitating I grabbed my disposable and with a few short strokes my stache was history-for now. I had no more than washed the razor off and placed it back on its perch in the shower when the burn set in followed by shame. THE SHAME burned worse than the burn itself. What had I just done? Did I really just shave my mustache? The thicker than fuzz that I had kept fairly tidy over the years since developing the manly trait had just eloped onto a blade meant for legs and I wanted to cry hard. I called one of my bestest friends ever with whom I share the hair bond (she's half Chilean) and spilled to her what I had just done and the despair I now far from reveled in. She laughed. I sulked. Then like she so often does, she found the pot of gold at the end of my bic. "Think of it as a prep for laser hair removal because that is something you have to do before getting it done." Aha! Perfect! Now all's I gotta do is commit to that laser. I looked into it and was immediately intimidated by the cost of a smooth upper lip. And as my lip continued to suffer razor burn, I put my hair free hopes on the back burner.
Until now. Uncle Sam was good to me this year. A plus for being unwed with child. I did a little research and found a couple of places to consult. Both places molested me with calls and emails but one called Permanent Choice appeared to impress so I set up a consult. It was located in Apple Valley, a good 20 minutes from my house so I left with plenty of time to spare. I had semi-prepped for this consult by not tweezing or waxing for a couple of weeks and a lovely upper lip it was not. As I pulled up to the economony stricken new development with multiple FOR RENT and OFFICE SPACE AVAIL signs in painted neon, I questioned my decision for a second. Then I heard my mom telling me not to judge a book by its cover, or something like that so I went in and climbed up and entered through. A very sociable woman with just okay skin greeted me and brought me directly back to the laser room to sing me her unwanted hair song and I started to dance. Let's do this. Right here, right now. I signed a paper or two (wrongly dated..oops) and relaxed as the mag mirror hovered over my face. My god, what she must see with that thing. Is that why she has not so great skin? Because she has access to a mirror that magnifies every little pore and blemish and hair and yuck to be seen? Moving forward I was shaved once again. Now I was glad I had experience a shave prior to this because had I not I might have cried right there on the chair in front of this nice laser lady. The probe zapped and the hair was stanky. If you've ever lit your bangs on fire trying to light a cig on a stovetop you know the smell. It was quick and painless, save for the anticipation of the little zaps and smells.
In six weeks I will return for another treatment. I have some stubbles right now that should fall out or "brush off" which is just the follicle dying and the hair being forced out or something. I can't tweeze or wax or tan. I'm going to AZ in April and the latter might be difficult but SPF 30 will be my friend, at least on my face. I have to say I'm very glad I finally went to battle with the follicular fillers that menace my upper lip. I'm looking forward to not worrying every time the sun is shining on my face and someone is looking at me. No longer will I wonder if my man can feel the regrowth after waxing. Of course, he'd rather I focus on other hairy areas, but hey, I can cover those.
When I got home I checked the messages on the home phone, one of which was from the other laser place I had considered. A nice lady on the wire said something along the lines of "please call us back immediately regarding a contest you entered online". Go figure. I got "burned" for grabbing the razor too quickly once again.
I figure I should get a person or two up ta speed on the turn of events that took place in my life somewhere after the age of thirty, when things got interesting. Prior to that milestone my life was rather normal, if not somewhat boring. I'd gone to school a few times and ended up with a good career. I owned my very own place and was no longer moving annually, which was very relieving to my annual movers. I had several somewhat successful relationships behind me, some more meaningful than others. My friends rocked. Other than the 'rents deeee-vorce, my family was stable. It was all lovely. I even shared my life with a 7 year old ferret named Jimmy, whom I acquired after a ferret-sitting gig turned permanent. This ferret would later prove my fate after a friend of mine set me up with a contractor that was hangin' up hammer time for happy hour at her residence each night to socialize with her husband and other contractors. One evening around 5pm I too joined this happy hour with Pabst and company to check out my possible suitor which eventually led to this conversation:
Him: "Did you say you live in a condo in South Minnepolis?"
Me: "Ya, by lake Nokomis".
Him: "I just renovated some laundry rooms in some condo's by lake Nokomis".
Me: "Those must have been my laundry rooms cause those are the only condo's over there and we just had ours updated".
Him: "Ya, one day I found someone's ferret in the laundry rooms"
Me interrupting "You found my ferret?!"
And the rest was history. How could I not go out with the man who rescued Jimmy? The man I now referred to as The Ferret Boy. Jimmy got out one day as I stood with the door propped giving the UPS man my sig for a new coffee pot. I didn't know he got out. Jimmy was old and slept 23 hours or more a day and it wasn't abnormal for me to not see him since I worked evenings overnight. However, two days later when I noticed he wasn't eating his rice cakes or seedless cukes, I panicked. I called a good friend of mine to come over asap to help me turn my place upside down to find my dead Jimmy. I was certain that woud be the end results. And we exhausted every search possibility in my 650 square feet (or less depending on what appraisal you look at) and came up empty. My friend then suggested maybe there was a sign in the entry way. I hadn't seen one but I'd check. Turns out someone had found Jimmy and "stored" him in the second floor laundry room storage closet. We jolted airborne to that storage closet only to find another scavenger-hunt-type letter informing us and instructing us on how to find and retrieve Jimmy. So we called the number listed and left a message. Soon after I got a call back and within minutes Jimmy was back in my arms thanks to a lovely woman in my building who had a soft spot for adventurous rodents.
The story on the other end wasn't as pleasant. Apparently when Jimmy waddled sideways into the laundry room some of the nosey residents thought he should be killed, but The Ferret Boy knew this was someone's pet and saved Jimmy. We continued to date and fall in love with giddiness and hormones and a lot of drinking. Mostly we would stay up til around three am in his kitchen drinking, smoking cigs and listening to his eclectic music collection. I told him that in the beginning I called him Ferret Boy and he confessed the same, having called me the Ferret Girl. Hearts afloat above thy heads.
For nearly two years things went great. We had a few conflicts, nothing big. We spent weekends fishing on water, sleeping on land, then fishing on ice and sleeping on the ice. We saw a few shows of his choice. We had bonfires in his backyard. We grilled a lot and drank more and had conversations about life and his sordid past and my...stuff. But there was this one thing. He was a career bachelor. He didn't want marriage or children. Once again, I was with that type of man. The type I always fell for. WHY-eee? Yet I stuck with him. I guess I was calling his bluff. Maybe I could change his mind. Well I didn't and he only got more distant as my desire increased with age. I was getting old, afterall.
In September of '06 I made a dumb decision to get adult braces. Apparently my overbite was wearing away at my top teeth..etc.etc.etc. I was told in highschool I should have braces but my parents were already in the poor house from my other two siblings having them and since my teeth weren't visibly messed up they saw no reason. I opted in on the "back to school special" and the very same month my man sat me down to dump me. It wasn't really out of nowhere. Things were not so great anymore. Sex was feeling desperate by this point and he was treating me like an outsider. Gone was the giddy. Time to Giddy UP. It felt almost like a divorce but I'm not one to sulk. I've always handled gettin' kicked to the curb fairly well and this was no different. Easy really. You just go on. You move forward. You discuss it with friends and family and shed tears and those who are your best friends rip him to shreds and tell you how much better off you are without him. For over a month I refrained from trying to contact my ex man so that I could remain sane, unscathed and to be quite honest with you...I had a little fun being single again. Isn't that how us women move forward? By revisiting our past and seducing the present? How else would we rebound and gain back our confidence after being told we aren't the one. Anyway, at 33 years old I had a little bit-o experience in the rebound department and wasn't gonna change that this time around. C'mon. I was hot! HAHA. Oh, and just for the record and to clear any speculation, although I had fun I didn't have that much fun.
That was most of October. I can't remember exactly but I know it had been a month or more since the breakup. It was still slightly warm out because I remember getting the call from my ex man who was sitting outside by a bonfire when he spoke the words "Do you know why we broke up?" Silence. "Because I don't." Silence. I'm sure I must have said something. But in that moment I knew what was going to happen. I had moved on. I didn't crawl back or beg or booty and he missed me. We got together. It was weird. We talked. It was careful. We had sex. It was sad. I was soooo confused now. Anyone that knows me might say I hate not knowing and I hate surprises. I hated this.
We didn't exactly fall back into place. It wasn't even gonna happen fo sho. I think this is what made me even wilder in not really my rebounding, but my partying. At the end of November I was home for Thanksgiving and although I was a self-proclaimed master drunk driver (okay, my friends thought I was too) I got pulled over after slamming several Vodka Red Bull's and not using the turning lane. I was so smashed I handed the policeman my credit card. I surrendered. I remember thinking FINALLY you got me. It's about time. The streets will be safer now. The cop was very green behind the knees and immediately gave me a breath test which should have come after the field sobriety test but who was I to correct him at this point. I blew a .22. I remember thinking it matched my birthdate! Then two more squads pulled up and insisted I now take the field sobriety test. "I am obviously drunk" I slurred. I refused repeatedly until they agreed to just get my ass off the street and into the cell. At the station I blew a .26 because of the way the stomache thing works, ya know? Come to think of it maybe it was the other way around. Who cares. I was smashed and still surprisingly together. Over the coarse of the night I spoke with a friend who was a local attorney. I cried and cried. I gave pee in front of a really cranky female cop who kept yelling at me to hurry up and pee already. Once in my cell I tried relentlessly to dim the place a tad so I could sleep it all off but you can't. There are no corners so the blanket would not hang on this obnoxious flourescent light that took up one wall of my cell. Eventually I laid on the floor with my feet up on the concrete bench..happy to be by myself no doubt..and fell asleep with a blanket draped over my face. I had chewed a hole in the blanket with my teeth, breaking my braces but allowing my nose to get fresh air, and I fell asleep thanking GOD I did not injure or kill anyone in my drinking and driving career.
I'd rather not focus on this event in my life but I must say it was way overdue and taught me the greatest lesson thus far. I got out of jail the following day and went home to hug my mom and apologize up and down and around and around. We bawled. She was glad I was okay. I was glad no one was hurt but was sorry for hurting and disappointing her. My car had been impounded on a weekend when the lot was closed so I couldn't get back to Minneapolis for a couple of days. By now my ferret had been dead awhile (he died from pancreatic pseudocysts) and I had acquired a cat that I figured would starve if I couldn't get home to feed her. I called my ex man to tell him what happened. He'd been there. He empathized and offered to help however he could. I just wanted it all behind me. The last couple of months 'n all.
Our friendly talks and encounters became more frequent as I went down the probate path for DUI punishment. I waited for paperwork. Waited for my license to be revoked. Waited for a court date. Then waited for my period. And waited. I was never late. Never. I knew we'd been careless one evening when I thought my cycle allowed for it. But I still didn't think..you know. Prego? No. Can't be. I felt like I was getting my period soon. We went ice fishing that weekend and I kept going to shore with tampon in hand convinced I'd see that tinge of blood on the wipe. Nope. I gave it a few more days and when finally I had that feeling, I made the dreaded call to Ferret Boy.
Me: we need to talk.
Me: come over?
Not much was said really. I giggled nervously. More nervous for him really, being he was the career bachelor-never a father-guy. He went to Walgreens and bought of all things a GENERIC brand home prego test. You got two in a pack for a lot cheaper. Oh...here we go. I was positive. It was positive. I don't remember if I cried. I think I was still in disbelief. I remember giggling and wondering and worrying and hoping he wouldn't hate me. He did. I'm sure of it. He validated his concern about abortion; I didn't think I could do that. He'd done it twice before. You what? He what? All of the sudden I felt it was his fault. You didn't learn by now? How? Why? And this never came up in two years of sitting in your kitchen talking about life. Twice? Really? Again...here we go. Then he got kinda mean. Sharp. Said I'd have to move in with him because he wouldn't feel right with him having a big house and all, to let me live in my little 630 square feet (according to one appraisal) with baby. Okay. But I don't have to. You can go. You don't have to be here for any of it. Go. Do you want me to go? No, but I don't want you to have to stay. And so on. He told me I have him by the balls. I was not flattered. I was a good catch. An awesome chick and a damn fine score. He scored me and now he knocked up his third victim but this victim isn't gonna fall victim to him or his. I was self sufficient and I could do this. The last thing I wanted was a miserable partner that felt his balls were in my vice grip. No way no how.
Fast forward a rollercoaster of emotions. Could I have it? Should I give it away? What if it's my only chance to be a mother? My family was sooo excited for me and that's how it should be, but it was misery. This is NOT how it was supposed to happen. I made it this far. I was now 34 and up until the last few months I had a good, clean record. And now I have a "baby daddy". I'm an ultrasound tech by trade and see several "baby mommas" and never did I think I'd be one. Catholic guilt, perhaps? Values? Morals? Dreams? Barbie had higher hopes for me. Ferret boy didn't get much nicer through the entire pregancy. He would say hurtfull things that I tried to stowe away in the "temporary insanity" box. Comments were made about stretch marks and weight gain. He'd say he needed more girl friends to hang out with. His life, as he knew it was over. What life? I wondered. Drinking and partying and staying up late. Being self employeed and not having to kick ass cause you aren't resposible for anything but a Beagle. (RIP Bailey Beagle) Man up Ferret Boy! Your Dick played with my Jane.
We spent most of my pregnancy remodling our places. Mine needed freshening up so I could rent it out and his needed a lot of love in the kitchen and so we kicked holy ass to make it work. I didn't have a license and althoug my baby daddy helped a lot in getting me to and fro work, he was less helpful in getting me from my place to his and back. He figured I needed the exercise and biking from my house to his in ninety degree heat would keep me from gettin' fat. So would carrying fifty pound bags of concrete. As would chipping and digging up cement blocks from the old garage foundation. And standing on the countertops to paint the kitchen walls. I did not have one of those pampered pregnancies. I think once I asked for a blizzard from the DQ. I didn't get it. He was an ass through and though. I was being punished. Everyone assured me he'd change once he met the little Ferret girl. And he did. I moved in a month before she was born and was induced October 11th. She was precious. Still, I couldn't help but feel I had to be less happy than I was. Afterall, she was here by accident. I didn't get to experience the joy of getting the furniture and clothes and although I had a couple of babyshowers they were somewhat bittersweet. I'm sure I gloated more when my man wasn't around. Then he came around. He was in love. Still is. She's awesome. We struggle as a couple with the ebb and the tide but we are makin' it. I don't doubt we'll make it. I hope so anyway.