Write on…

It’s been a long year. In fact…it’s been a long decade.

I finished planting my garden earlier than ever last year. My corn was a huge success for the first time! The pumpkin patch of my dreams, was a reality. Through morning and afternoon baby naps, I managed to get it planted and weeded. It was actually beautiful… but sobering. I CAN grow an acre of vegetables and bottle enough to feed an army, but I don’t NEED to. I’ve given up on the fantasy of my children loving to garden, and I remember clearly how much I hated it as a child. I’m determined to cut back this year so that it’s a blessing, not a burden.

I figured it may be relaxing to write again, if only for myself. I get the nicest emails from people, asking me why I don’t write anymore. I’m not sure how to answer that?

I’m a different person than I used to be. Growing up, and more importantly fucking up; changes you. I guess you could say that I finally learned from my mistakes. As a result of my relationship failing, finding myself as a single mother with a teenager AND a newborn and a side of heartache… I grew up. I’m slowly finding my footing again, while carefully choosing each step with the knowledge that the wrong one can have lasting consequences.

I’m a little sad to see my tiny one grow so fast and I miss her infancy when I see newborns. She lights the whole world up with her constant smile, hilarious laughter and baby chatter. I don’t know how we ever lived without the joy and love she brings to everyone and everywhere. She’s nothing short of magical. I’m that annoying friend on Facebook who shamelessly inundates everyone with baby pictures and videos.

The teenager is absolutely frustratingly normal. Most days I’m the stupidest person in the world and live purely to thwart her plans for part of the day, and her best friend the other half. I am proud of the young lady I know that she is, and hopeful she’ll escape our small town after graduation to pursue her dreams. I’m grateful for the friendship I have with her dad and step-mother.

All in all, and in every aspect; life has calmed down. The custody war has long ended and my relationship with my baby girl’s dad is peaceful and friendly. He’s dating an old friend and has moved back to Colorado to live with her. He calls regularly and I hang pictures of him around the house so she sees his face. She’s just begun to say Daddy. I’m grateful she will grow up surrounded with love, not hostility. I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be raising a baby alone, but I treasure every single second and appreciate that he does everything he can do from thousands of miles away.

We’ve learned to coexist, sleep, love and make the most of every moment in the last year. We’ve weathered financial devastation, laughed through a lot of creative pasta and rice dishes and have found a new-found peace in being carnivorous vegetarians. We all love a good steak but we can afford veggies, and I grew enough to feed us all winter.

Life has changed and it isn’t what I thought it would be, but it is absolutely joyous and full of everything simple and sweet that I treasure most.

The last vestiges of babyhood have been hard to pack away. A long-outgrown bassinet stands in the corner of my room, because I love it too much to part with it. Baby shoes, pacifiers and miniature socks clutter the top of my dresser. It’s a strange mix, no matter where you look. My black work apron, a few pens, a wine key and wilted gardenia still hooked by the bobby pin that held it in my hair all night. A school progress report for Little Red, lipgloss and an antique jar of buttons. My latest knitting pattern, some industrial foot cream for my mangled server feet and a stack of bills. As always, my crafts create a happy clutter that reminds me to take time to create. My vices are all healthy, and I am definitely guilty of being a little boring these days. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’m only growing three varieties of tomatoes this year. I did away with my whimsical round garden and have practical, straight rows. I wouldn’t say I’m disenchanted… more so that I’ve gotten an epic reality check. I don’t want to be bitter and jaded, but my fairy-tales turn into nightmares when I least expect them to and my heart is not a good judge of character. Consequently… I have taken myself out of the pool, entirely, and permanently.

Never. Another. Boyfriend. I have two cats… and I’d be delighted to adopt a dozen more.

IMG_7334Being boring is awesome. ♥

Confession

I don’t have the answers.

Nor do I know all the questions or always ace the test. I get so many emails from women asking me to help them or tell them what they already know. I know just as little as all of you. I’ve just failed, publicly. I just admit when I’m wrong. I highly recommend trying it.

I don’t know everything.

In fact I know very little but do my best to fake it convincingly. Making a list of priorities helps, but I still get lost along the way when I’m not paying attention.

I fail regularly.

I make a huge effort to avoid the situation entirely, but I’ve been known to make the wrong choice, more times than I can count. (please don’t help) I accept it all because it’s brought to me to where I am today- staring my fairytale in the face. When you strive to be better, good things just happen. When I valued myself more, I ended up chin deep in love and appreciated down to my unattractive toes. When I took the sale sign off that I’d been wearing around my neck, I woke up in the middle of the best dream I’ve ever had, only to realize it was my life. I’m quite imperfect, and I’m loved for my imperfections. For all I’ve ranted and raved the past two years about what we all deserved and how badly I’d chosen… I never dreamed a man could be THIS good.

I don’t feel like an adult yet.

I still call my mom for help. I still wonder when I’ll have all the answers, like she does. She laughed the other day and said “Honey… I love you. What someone else thinks of you is none of your business.  Do you need eggs? Cucumbers? Flowers?” I’m still an asshole kid. I love hearing her messages but I’m a slacker about getting back to her. Sometimes her messages are just a comforting reminder that she loves me. As a mother I know she’s waiting for me to call back. I still don’t. Clearly, I’m still a child.

I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life.

I feel bad for saying so, but I feel like I’ve really grown up and learned to swim in the happy details that feed me as a person, and not those that feed my insecurities. I’ve learned that alone doesn’t have to mean lonely and being in love with the right man makes you feel like a damn fool for ever discounting the woman he loves. I feel like I owe him an apology for every idiot I ever let take his place. He worries about my temperature, my smile and my soul. He makes me a nicer person and he qualifies me as the happiest women on earth… or at least puts me in running for the crown.  and I could only be happier if I had a crown on. Just sayin.

I love a man deeper than I ever knew possible.

He plans days designed around forcing me to play. He doesn’t let me politely decline to participate. He smiles a smile that sends shock waves through me and he makes me want to be nicer. He kisses me and I picture cloth diapers hanging on the line. It’s as biblical as I can get without making anyone uncomfortable. It’s a love that compels me to define it while I can’t even begin to throw every adjective I have at it. I love him more than I thought was possible and he safeguards the blessing. When I tell him I’m the luckiest girl, I’m not schmoozing him. I’m stating fact.

 

I really didn’t think nice men actually existed.

For all I rambled on and on about “real” men and ranted at the clearly pathetic examples… I had lost faith. I honestly thought they were all the same. Then I met my Superman… and ladies PLEASE… know he exists. My boyfriend is the greatest man I’ve ever known. He helps strangers in the grocery store parking lot. He plays with babies. He really is… super.

I have a huge ego… and my acre vegetable garden is testament to that fact.

In a week? I’ll be swimming in veg. My zucchini patch is just starting to produce. My 300 tomato plants are ripening, simultaneously. My 12 plum trees are just days away. I have knee high basil and 200′ of sweet corn setting ears. I have 15 heads of cabbage I have no idea what to do with. I have zinnias and sunflowers everywhere, and a million buds just beginning to open. I’m humbled by all of it… but damn if I don’t get carried away when it comes to planting this garden.

I love gas station food.

Especially the corn dogs, though I LOOOOVE those awfully unhealthy ham and cheese pocket thingies equally as much. I blame my hippie organic upbringing. I do my best to avoid it and this morning I was reminded of why I should. I bought a corn dog… and it was some sort of chili fan destruction of an already perfect food. I took a bite and it tasted like weird hot-dog laced chili and cornbread. Yuck. But yeah… I ate it anyway. A corndog is a corndog.

I survive on energy drinks.

I feel guilty buying them too- because I used to nag my son about drinking them. I humbly retract my preconceived notions regarding my Rockstar/Monster addiction. They get shit done.

I used to garden with music… now I garden in silence, because my thoughts are deafening.

I snack on peas, weed for hours and work out the worlds problems, in my head. I swear I got more done, faster, with martinis and Top 40, but whatever.

I’m bitter.

I’ve seen the worst of what mankind has to offer. I’ve been the victim of a sociopathic married liar and lived to tell the tale. I remain threatened by him and I’m bitter when I consider how stupid I”ve been and how reckless with my safety. I was destined to be special to someone amazing… how could I have been so stupid or held standards so low? I regret my mistakes.

I love the summer months where I spend little to nothing at the grocery store.

Toilet paper, pasta and pet food…. those are the grocery trips that dreams are made of. For all the friends I have that tell me I’m crazy… I laugh at them having to buy potatoes at the grocery store. I use it as my chance to get caught up on the bills I’m behind on.

I’m jealous.

I never wanted a wedding again until I met him. I never wanted to make an absolutely public statement about my undying love for someone, ever before. So when I see pictures of his first marriage… I go green, and not in a good way. I have my jealous moments and I fail best at those times.

I feel safe for the first time in my life.

I don’t worry about locking the windows and doors when he’s here. I love the smell of summertime at night but I’m a crazily overprotective single mother too. I realized it the other night when I was making my third round of window & door checks. He would protect us with his life, and I sleep easily beside him.

I’m a horrible bitch at times and you will rue the day if you fuck with me.

I’m a nasty little insect when inspired. I openly admit and apologize for it. I forever try harder to be nicer. I don’t always succeed.

I’m an amazing friend

I remember your birthday, and I’ve done this pre-Facebook, for the record. I will fight right beside you, give you my last dollar and take your kids any time you need…but if you cross me I will remember every secret you ever told me, in detail… and I will use them against you if you should make the mistake of doing the same. Trust me- that’s a lose-lose situation. I only like the coolest women, and I have amazing friends. I love them all dearly and I treasure each moment spent laughing with my favorite ladies. Most of my enemies are anonymous.

I’m an even worse enemy.

I recently had an anonymous hater contact my sweet Superman’s brother to flirt with him, then warn him about me. Mmmm… push me and you’ll only see how strong I am. I am ridiculously protective and will make quick work of anyone who would go anywhere near my loved ones. Oh Lindsey Falcon, or whatever your fake name is now- perhaps you should have tried pretending to be a nurse and not a Hooters employee. <eyeroll> Two points for blocking me so I can’t link you to the blog you fear enough that you’re willing to put on your Shady Whore panties.  If I meet you- you should be prepared because…. hell hath NO fury like mine- and I will eviscerate you. Clearly you’re stupid so let me define that for you in English.

Eviscerate: e·vis·cer·ate

verb /iˈvisəˌrāt/
eviscerated, past participle; eviscerated, past tense; eviscerates, 3rd person singular present; eviscerating, present participle

  • Disembowel (a person or animal)
    • – the goat had been skinned and neatly eviscerated
  • Deprive (something) of its essential content
    • – myriad little concessions that would eviscerate the project
  • Remove the contents of (a body organ)

Get your shovel out and keep digging because I need more fertilizer this time of year. My tomatoes are hungry.

I’m human… and trying. I don’t always win and I sometimes cry about it when I lose.
I confess, to you- my brothers and sisters… that I have failed . In my thoughts and in my words. In what I have done and in what I have failed to do.
…..But I always keep trying….

Like there was any doubt…

It was bound to happen sooner or later… and finally, thank heavens… I’m at a place where I can hate him out loud.

You’re welcome…. pour yourself a drink first- some of this isn’t going to be easy to read.

Oh Thomas.

Perhaps you should buy the domain name… ya know… since you like to mimic other people.

I put my judgement aside for my heart, something I don’t regret because I know eventually it will result in my happily ever after. I bought new panties and flew across the globe with nothing but faith in my pockets. I lost a lot in this disaster, but I’ll never let you steal the hope you encouraged me to have. <eyeroll>

I let you know my flight was an hour late. You said you couldn’t wait to see me…. and I land… and ??? Bad form, dude… seriously. Even my 25 year old boy toy was always on time. Perhaps that’s a side effect of dating an older man? You need your beauty sleep? Clearly you’ve missed a lot of it.

I have dated disasters, rich boys, poor boys, hot boys, weirdos… hoarders and faithful gentleman. Nothing holds a candle to my four days with you, and that’s saying something. FYI… that’s not a compliment. Fucking you made me miss the Vagina Hoarder.

For all your criticisms and demands for perfection, you fall very short. You don’t qualify for a six foot anything, blonde or otherwise- and I’d love the number of one girl you’ve dated in her twenties. Oh and your wife’s number too so I can warn her you’re having unprotected sex.

The funniest detail that only a select few know? lol… I went to lunch with my girlfriends a month before I left to see you, and got tipsy on Cuervo Gold margaritas, and asked if you were married. It was a tipsy hunch, and they’re usually right. You FLIPPED out, and told me if I didn’t send you the headers from the email that told me you were, you’d never speak to me again. I was simply curious, looking for a little reassurance- and didn’t see your overreaction coming. I opened up my blog and sent you the headers from some “Penis Enlargement” spam comment that had come in… thinking that’d be the end of it. You emailed me and told me “SHE” was a fat brunette that lived near your ex. The mythical Cylie… if she even exists. It was the first very real, very red, flag. You brought her up while we were together and I changed the subject. I did my best to help you keep your red flags in your very full closet, but even I can’t hide THAT many women.

I should have known. I should have guessed… and it’s on me for being delusional. You wrote about me and exploited every single weakness I have in a few hundred words. You’re the original snake oil salesman, and you continue to manipulate me with my poor tattered heart. Fuck you. Fuck your bullshit words, fuck your lies and fuck your old ass attempts to be more than you are. You are as tragic as I am gullible.

I may be 20 pounds overweight, but Sugar you’re a con-artist and I can go on a diet.

I quit smoking for you, ya asshole. That was the longest four days of my life, especially given the stress level of babysitting an old man who acts like a spoiled frat boy with a few drinks. Honey, learn to handle your liquor or find yourself an AA meeting. ASAP.

Your racist bullshit views made me choke back the vomit they required. You wont waste another moment in my life, but you’ll serve as an example, forever.

Thou shalt not sell out for a ticket to paradise when you’re sick of the snow.

Thou shalt not date someone 15 years older than you’re used to, unless he rises to the occasion and is worth the sacrifice…. <cough>… keep talking about Anna Faris’s abs… it’s as close as you’ll ever get to them.

Your big daddy plan? To cut off your baby girl when she turns 18 because all she loves you for is the check you put in the mail? That’s just pathetic. You’re an idiot for not giving a shit and she’s a smart girl for knowing what you’re good for. PS… I have her Facebook page bookmarked- just in case you ever think twice about fucking with me. Tip of the iceberg, my dear… and you’re a fool for not paying attention to what happens to boys who shake the hive. There aren’t bees tattooed on me by accident, and you know what a nasty little insect I can be when inspired.

It’s sort of sad to have to tell a man what he falls so short in, but then I sort of appoint myself to do so when it’s necessary.

It’s incredibly bad form to walk in front of a woman. Seriously. I can hear my grandfather rolling over in his grave. Your whole fixation on Mormon girls is not going to ever play out because you are so not good enough for us. We’re raised to believe we’re women, ladies…and absolutely the greatest treasure, worth protecting and guarding. In all of Doucheville, you’re the first douche to walk with your back to me while other men smiled appreciatively. Oish.

Watching the people around us laugh at you and roll their eyes at me was the real moment that resonates. Watching you hit on a woman willing to buy her way out of your reach was priceless. I’m reminded <yet again> of my favorite quote.

Regardless of desire, life hands you who you are.

I don’t care how much money you make. I don’t care what you do for a living. I don’t care about you. I went with an open heart and the best of intentions and came home in a wheel chair. Suffice it to say, if you ever come to Idaho, you’d be really lucky to leave in the same condition.

Juggling bloggers, recycling words and capitalizing on the suffering of the women who are open enough to share it… aren’t you a prize. Does it make you feel better about your sad little life to create a fantasy for someone to fall prey to? I think so.

You made one fatal mistake. You ignored one detail that was staring you in the face the whole time you were calculating how to manipulate me.

I’m deadly when underestimated. There aren’t skeletons in my closet, there’s a case of body bags…. and when you fuck with me, you fuck with the whole trailer park. We may not be millionaires, but baby we’re real- and all the money in the world can’t buy you legitimacy. Notice who didn’t have to delete their blog…

Obsessive showers, cologne I didn’t like and watching people do a double take when they saw me sitting with you… yeah… no thanks. I don’t mind being a trophy… but only if I’m dating a thoroughbred.

The cost of shipping your shit back express mail? $60.

The drug test to determine whether you drugged me or left me vulnerable while you hit on other women on our LAST night together? $120

$300 for a weekend in Puerto Rico in February? Priceless.

I hope your wife wonders where you went and with whom. I hope she figures it out and I hope she kicks you out of the “compound” SHE owns. Google is a powerful creature, Liarpants2. Yeah… you get a pants name but yours is recycled, just like your words. You’re Nathan, part 2.

Realistically…It’ll be a cold day before I fuck Mr. Smithers for sunshine again…. and PS… I faked it.

xoxo J

Puerto Rico…part 1

The reality is never as pretty as the fantasy… unfortunately.

A year ago, while whining about the current douche bag to cross my path, some amazing comment on my blog comes chiming in. Some stranger that has silver coated syllables is reading my journal? Weird. I’m immediately intrigued and click over to read his blog. Golden words. Nothing short of verbal porn, with a side of Shark… and we all know I have a certain weakness for that sort of thing.

He’s even bald. Be still my heart. He lives in paradise. He’s so exactly what and who I want, I could have ordered him for myself. He sends me an email… and it’s even more intoxicating.

But I was involved with someone close enough to touch… so I didn’t pay much attention.

And he kept on reappearing. He wasn’t intimidated by my disinterest. I blogged about him a few times. They were all true and I really thought he was the most amazing man I’d ever read about.

The man I was in love with at the time, said it out loud for the first time.

♥- I like this T guy… and I think he gets you. How outrageous would that be? I think you should talk to him.

It hurt to hear at the time, but it planted a seed….

I emailed him back eventually… and things heated up quickly. He woke me up every morning with the best app I ever downloaded, with sweet words and just…. intoxicating male perfection.

His text messages were so good my best friends begged me to give him their numbers. His emails were orgasm-worthy. Good enough I never deleted one.

I asked him to guest blog for me because I wanted to see what he’d write. It blew my mind, and the minds of many.

He started talking about the ultimate roll of the dice… a weekend in Puerto Rico together. I told him from the beginning I couldn’t afford it. He told me I could pay for meals for a few days- that was do-able.

He bought me a ticket….

I talked to my sister about it first.

J- So… I think I’m going to go to Puerto Rico and meet him.

P- Have him come here. I want to meet him and that’s a long way from home.

J- Yeah, in paradise… in February. He’ll come here next.

P- I don’t know…

J- I feel it… I love him already. I’m going.

I didn’t really know how to tell people. I requested the time off work and go to the line that said “Reason:” and froze. I wrote Puerto Rico… and walked away feeling naked. To be completely honest… I’m a chicken shit in my life. I don’t do the scary things. I don’t roll dice. I’m a big fan of helmets. I needed to have enough faith in myself to go.

4000 miles for a first date. A first date with a man I’d already fallen in love with. Wondering how this worked, how this was going to go and immediately feeling inadequate listening to him talk about the girls he dates. 6′ blonde girls in their twenties. Awesome. I called my best guy friend and he came over. I stripped down to my panties and told him I was freaking out about getting naked in front of this guy and he laughed at me.

B- You’re beautiful, and I hope he doesn’t see it. I hope you have a nice time, but it really doesn’t matter. We love you- and he’d better take care of you. I don’t want to pick you up from the airport in a bag.

J- Don’t say that.

B- You look great naked, relax…

J- You’re just making me feel better.

B- You look kinda orange but you have big tits, you’ve got this- RELAX! He loves YOU. Even the nasty bitch you can be on your blog. If he’s worried about about your chubby thighs then fuck him, he’s older than you- he should be thanking his lucky stars.

J- He dates six foot blonde girls in their twenties.

B- Yeah me too… come on Jen… don’t lose your head. Don’t jump in head first and DO NOT be clingy. You do that. I’ve seen it. Ugh. Find your confidence and take those panties. Damn.

J- I love you. Thanks.

I packed my suitcase a dozen times. A dozen dresses. A dozen pairs of heels… I broke one side of the buckle a month before I was due to leave. Overcompensating? Yes. If he only knew what I left at home…

I didn’t sleep the night before I left. Sober One Kenobe came over and made me into some sort of blonde bombshell. My sister drove me to the airport in the early twilight hours. I got out of the car and she walked around and looked at me and I started to cry.

J- I can’t believe I’m doing this.

P- Me either… but I’m so proud of you and I’m just… so proud. You’re going for it and you’re going big. I hope it’s everything you ever wanted. I hope it’s amazing. Enjoy every second.

Walking into the airport was overwhelming. Checking in for my first flight was terrifying. Handing my passport to the man in the security line was seriously an out of body experience.

It just kept hitting me. I was seriously flying 4000 miles to meet the man of my dreams. In a little black Ann Taylor dress and my favorite Coach bag… Maggie. My red leather security blanket… and my daughter’s bunny tucked inside. Praying I wasn’t putting my life on the line and I could just dive in head first without checking the depth of the pool… shocker.

I sat between a bunch of beautiful soldiers on my first flight and they were quick to reassure me, and buy me a few drinks…. A cool du-wop band on my second flight and an amazing couple on my last flight. I wanted to brush my teeth more than anything when we landed… but the airport was closed and the bathrooms were locked. We were the last flight of the night.

My phone was flashing the little red “I’m about to die” light at me… and I was facing the scariest moment of my life.

What if I didn’t recognize him? What if he didn’t like me? What if he was disappointed in my short curvy ass…. Damn near hyperventilating…. and a text comes in. A friend of mine… possibly the only one I can talk to about this moment.

I’m looking around and realizing that he’s not here…. or I’m living the moment I fear most and I’m not recognizing him. I decide to play it safe, find an outlet and plug in my phone charger…. and read the text that came in.

F- There yet?

J- Just landed.

F- I’m really happy for you. I hope it’s great.

J- I’m scared to death.

F- Relax. He loves you.

J- He’s not here.

F- What????????????

J- Everyone is gone… I’m not kidding. He’s not here.

F- WTF? Did you call him?

J- He didn’t answer both times.

F- Call him until he does.

J- He was asleep… he’s on his way.

F- I’m worried.

I stopped responding. He was only increasing my level of anxiety. Google said the hotel was 15 minutes away… so I walked outside. The balmy warm heat hit me and I knew I was going to have to open my suitcase to find my perfume. I didn’t know if I’d be able to get it closed though… I couldn’t not… so I pulled the trigger and it sprung open. It took me climbing on it to get it closed again, with darling airport guys walking by laughing and teasing me in Spanish. I found a little tourist stand with two Time magazines and started reading…

An hour later he drove up. He called me just before pulling up.

T- Are you in a black dress?

Gulp.

J- Yep.

and he hung up… and he drove up… and he walked up…

and I kissed him.

Angels didn’t sing.

T- Let’s get out of here.

He threw my suitcase in the back and we got in… and it was silent. Awkward silence because I’m literally sitting next to him for the first time and I am LOST for words. I reach over and put my hand on his thigh and he growled at me.

What have I gotten myself into this time?