Fifty Dollars Can Change Your Life

$50 is how much it cost to get our marriage license 10 years ago. The license that held the legality to all my hopes and dreams. The paper that went along with the promises that we would love each other, support each other and see each other through the hard times. $50 to start the journey of having a home, a family and a bright financial future with someone always by my side. It would cost much more than $50 to get divorce but that is a whole other story.

$50 was the co-pay when I took my daughter to be evaluated by a developmental pediatrician. I knew that she was not progressing as she should and this was the first step to get answers and the help that she needed. When the diagnosis of Autism was given I was not shocked but I was shook. At the time I had no idea how that would shape our lives. The struggles she and I would endure in finding ways for her to cope with sensory issues, social issues, behavioral issues, sleep problems. The triumphs we would celebrate in her learning how to speak in full sentences, being invited to a Birthday party for the first time, moving into a higher level class, eating new foods, and making lasting relationships with family.  It was a $50 well spent but a life changing $50 for sure.

After my divorce, $50 was how much it cost to fill my tank with gas and embark on our adventure moving from the Bay Area which I had called home all my life, to a little suburban town right outside of Sacramento. This town held promises of a better life. A family friendly town with low crime and high spirits. Little did I know at the time that in my new city “family” meant more than just one parent and a child and it would cost a small fortune to even have an apartment on one income. Sometimes I wish I could get that $50 back.  

$50 is the average amount people ask for from me on a semi-regular basis. Grown men who only have to care for themselves (one of which doesn’t even work but has mommy pay all his bills) will come to me, a single mom, and ask for money. Money for them to get cigarettes, money for them to go to a bar etc.  I don’t give them money anymore, instead they get a lecture and the offer that I will take the $50 they need and put it in a fund to save for their early funeral because their lifestyles are so unhealthy! Of course I don’t actually do that because they aren’t worth my $50!

$50 is how short I came up on an application for an apartment for my daughter and I. I make a decent income compared to others in the area, I get a little bit of child support from my daughters paternal grandmother and some additional money for her having Autism. Do we struggle every month? Absolutely. I have to think extra hard and plan where every dollar goes. But we have never gone hungry, and I have never missed or been late with a rent payment. So I applied for this apartment and show all of my income and I am $50 short of making 2.5 times the rent. I offered to go without Starbucks to save $50 a month but the leasing agent didn’t see my humor. I reached out to several city, county and state level council members and not one could offer me any advice. I could go on a political rant here about how other people who are less hard working get more from the Government but I will leave that alone. $50! $50 means they would rather my daughter and I be on the street! $50 means they can tell me that I don’t qualify to live there and give me an attitude that I am not good enough. This is the most frustrating $50 out of them all.

I really never gave much thought to an amount of money under a thousand dollars possibly changing your life. I am now here to tell you that just $50 can make all the difference in the world!

 “There she is, the man stealer” I think as I drive past the location that my love spends all his time at. The other woman. She is quite large but intimate. She offers comfort in ways that I cannot. He has sought comfort there for about the same amount of time that I have known him, yet they are closer than I will ever be to him.  She is the first place he turns to when things get hard, the first place he goes to celebrate a triumph. She is his world.

When he gets off work he heads right to her, staying there until late at night when he goes home either to his bed or mine to claim he loves me. I wouldn’t know, it is hard to feel that love when all he does is sleep next to me. She is the one who knows his secrets, comforts his soul, and provides his entertainment. He never lights up for me like he does around her.

I know that I should let him go, let him be happy there and move on but I keep holding out hope that one day he will see all the damage she has done to him and all he has lost because of her. She is the reason for most of the drama in his life, she is the reason his bank account continues to dwindle. If he had not been with her that Friday night, he never would have gotten his face beaten in by another man who also wanted to spend time with her. The fact that he cannot tear himself away from her has cost him several jobs, living situations and now might even cost him me. It won’t matter. He will replace those things with more of her comfort. After all, I am just a woman who has given him my heart and loyalty. I could never compete with his bar!

What if We Had a Dating Resume?

How awesome would it be if you got to screen a resume of someone before a date? A dating profile is nice but the questions are not always right, I don’t really care what your favorite book is but I do want to know about the failed relationships you had. Lets face it, we are going to get to that at some point anyway to just get to the point. Let me know about all the drama right off the bat. If I were to write a super honest dating resume about my opinion of men, the shit I’ve been through and what a hot mess I am it would look like this. . .

So there we go folks. While this is for entertainment purposes only, drop me a comment anyway and tell me if you think dating resumes are a good idea? Maybe the future of dating?

Men as Wine Varietals

Lets face it, there are a lot of types of men in the dating world ranging from loser to millionaire, frog to prince, hot to not. I started thinking that there are also a lot of wine varietals. Men usually are the reason I drink and I happen to like wine more then I like men but I thought it would be interesting to compare the two so here it goes. . . . Men as wine varietals

Muscat – This one is sweet. He compliments you all the time, brings you flowers, and pays for everything. Sometimes he is sweet to the point it is sickening. No one can have a dessert wine all the time.

White Zinfandel– This one you may had consumed on accident. It is not even a real wine (man). It is cheap, fake, and you don’t even want to admit to your friends that you enjoyed any of the time spent with it. You would NEVER be seen with it in public!

Chardonnay– This is the everyday go to one. You always know what to expect from it, it hits the spot, and you can rely on it to uphold its end of the relationship.

Merlot– This one is smooth and soft. Mellow and easy to get along with. It pairs well with most of your friends and family and just goes with the flow.

Petite Syrah – This one is hot and spicy. It is bold and leaves your tongue tingling. You fall in love with it right away but the spice dies down as you consume more of it and eventually this one will leave you with the biggest headache of them all.

Boxed Wine– This is the cheap ass. The one who wants to go Dutch all the time, who asks you for money, who has no taste.

Cabernet– This is the one you want to hang on to. It is stable and great quality. Deep, with a great ability to age well.  You want to treat this one like gold, lay it down, keep it at the right temperature and keep it for many years to come.

Sparkling–   This one is fancy, bubbling and exciting. It is for special occasions but can be a little too much to handle every day.

So there you have it. My favorite thing to drink, and the thing that makes me drink the most actually have a lot in common. Happy drinking and Happy dating. Cheers!

Why Are We Celebrating You and Not Me?

So this is one of those topics that some people get REALLY mad about. When a single mom gets celebrated on Father’s Day. What’s the big deal? We do twice the work so why can’t we get twice the celebration? I was reminded of this recently when my child’s father actually expected to see her this weekend (we won’t even get into where he located at the moment) even though he never sees her any other time or does anything to benefit her life. I want to know why? Why do you want to take a picture with your daughter once a year? Why do you think that you DESERVE to even be titled a father. Lets recap her life:

Who has gotten up with her in the night since the first day she was born? ME

Who has planned every Birthday and Holiday celebration for her? ME

Who has actually bought her gifts for those special occasions? ME

Who has stayed up at night worrying about her development and diagnosis? ME

Who took the first step to get her evaluated for Autism? ME

Who signed her up for all the right therapies and advocates for her still? ME

Who left an abusive marriage (with you) to protect her tiny soul from seeing and hearing all the hatred and be scarred from it?? ME

Who has full physical and legal custody? ME

Who works full time (shit, who works at all) to support her? ME

Who pays for EVERYTHING that the child needs including clothes, toys, food, etc.? ME

Who makes sure that she has wonderful childhood memories, even when you told me she couldn’t handle it? ME

Who plans, pays for and takes her on vacations? ME

Who is with her 24/7 when she is sick, staying up all night, fighting with her about medications, taking her to Doctors appointments, hospitals etc? ME

Who makes sure she has medical benefits? ME

Who goes to every school function, every IEP meeting, teacher conference, or  first and last day of school? ME

Who deals with the day to day meltdowns and temper tantrums (sometimes even in public)? ME

Who has never laid a hand on her? ME

Who makes every meal, snack and treat? ME

Who reads her stories every night and tucks her in? ME

Who tells her how special she is, how smart and beautiful, and how much she is loved? ME

Who kills the bugs, scares away the lizards, kisses her ouchies? ME

So again, why are we celebrating you? Oh yeah. . .thanks for the sperm and unsolicited opinions on my parenting !

Advice Letter to the Next Guy to Date Me

Oh buddy, are you in for a wild ride.  I am a little bit of a hot mess. I have been damaged by many men before you and I come with baggage. The guys who got to me first got a younger, thinner, care free, but shallow girl who was heavily dependent on everyone around her.  The girl I am today is slightly more insecure, strong as hell, independent, scared to be hurt, and open minded to all types of people and their pasts but with trust issues that you wouldn’t believe. Those issues are not your fault but lets face it you aren’t perfect either and if I have to deal with your issues, you get to deal with mine.  It won’t always be easy, but I would like to think being with me would be worth it. Here are some survival tips:

  1. When it seems like I am a jealous bitch, it is because I care. If I didn’t have a problem sharing you then I wouldn’t make a big deal about other girls flirting all over you or over stepping the boundaries of friendship. Appreciate where it comes from, realize that it is a way of my sharing my love and commitment to you and only you.
  2. When I want to go out with my own girlfriends, give me an extra big kiss and tell me to have a good time.  Do not tell me that I can’t go because then I will run, don’t question me all night or call me every five minutes because then we will fight. Know that us having friends of our own does not make us any less of a couple. Know that at the end of the night, whether I brag about you to them or complain about you, I will come home to you and I will want to be there. Independence is an important part of my new self and you should thank me for not smothering you. I even encourage you to go out with the guys!
  3. When I share a situation I am struggling with and you offer to help but I say no at first. . . offer again. I don’t mean that original “no”. I haven’t had help in years and I am not comfortable directly asking for it and don’t like to feel like a nuisance. However sometimes I can only handle so much and a little help would mean the world to me! Wait a few minutes and ask me again, I will likely take you up on it and be so appreciative of the partnership.
  4. When we are arguing about the same thing and going round and round and you think I am being crazy. PLEASE don’t tell me that! I have had years of verbal abuse and I do not need to be in that situation again. Instead of telling me I am psycho, tell me you understand that I am passionate about this and want to help us find common ground. Instead of telling me that if I don’t let it go we will be over, tell me that you love me and we will get through this but you really need to take a break from talking about it so we can clear our heads.
  5. When I am having insecurities about our relationship and where it stands (because many have ended on me with no warning) Assure me that you are in for the long haul but don’t just do it with your words. Please take a small action or gesture. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, it doesn’t have to cost money but it HAS to be more than “I love you” because those words have been over used, abused and lost meaning to me over the years.

Well that’s about all. I wish you the best. . .. you are gonna need it!

Am I Asking for Too Much?

After each new failed relationship I begin to wonder if I am just asking for too much from men. To me the things I want seem so simple but yet to the men I date they are so unattainable. A basic breakdown of my list is as follows:

  1. Be faithful. Such a simple concept right? If you are with me, you are only with me. The same way I am expected to not be overly flirty, develop feelings for or have sex with someone else. . I expect these things as well. My ex-husband was confused on the rules. I guess when life gets hard he thought it was a pass to get a girlfriend. Not in my book Mr!
  2. Ability to prioritize. . . and prioritize me! The dictionary says prioritize means to “designate or treat (something or someone) as more important than other things.” I do not have to be on the top of the list but can I at least make it on the list?? I gave a lot in my last relationship and was all in, putting him high on my list and I did not fit on his list at all. His list contained things such as the local bar, friends, other girls, the local bar, roommates, previous partners who are no longer around (this was a big one!) and did I mention the local bar? I was probably the very last thing on his mind at any given time. Am I the only one who thinks this is not ok?
  3. Have a good work ethic and be financially responsible. . . I can do it, so why is it so hard for the male population? I don’t need someone who is a CEO or has a college degree. I need someone who gets their ass out of bed every day, even when they don’t want to and goes to work. Who does their job when they are there and gets a stable paycheck every week. Then takes that paycheck and pays all of their bills before they waste the rest of the money. . . . rocket science? Not to me. However, out of all the guys I have met this has been the one they all can’t do.
  4. Acceptance – “recognizing a process or condition without attempting to change it or protest it “. Unlike an asshole I have dated in the past, this will include accepting that my daughter has special needs and is still amazing, that she will always be a priority for me, that my body is not that of a 25 year old playboy model, that my shyness is not something to be ashamed of, or that the way I fold the damn towels does not change their ability to dry you off! (please!). After all I had to accept the fact that he was obnoxious when drunk, had a child who needed nonstop attention and was so old he had to nap everyday!
  5. Be able to have a partnership. This is a big one. I do not want to raise another child so if I am making your meals and cleaning up after you and solving your problems that is fine, but I will then need you to be there for me when I have a problem too and do some of the manly things around the house. On the flip side, I do not want to ask permission to see my friends or spend a dollar, I don’t need any more parental figures. I just need a life partner to work through things together.

So there is my list. Basically I just want a man who goes to work everyday, thinks about me and makes me feel important to him, comes home to me and doesn’t fool around and accepts me the same way I will accept him while working with me to make our life better.  Is that really a fairy tale these days??  

What is in the Bottle (written during my marriage to an alcoholic)

What is in that bottle over there?

To the average eye the bottle on the counter is just wine, vodka, whiskey, whatever the pick of poison is today.

To you, the alcoholic, the shell of a person I married, it is a way to relax and to forget about the stresses you feel.  It is a way to become a happy social person.  A way to like yourself.  It is a way to get some sleep or get out of doing a chore. You see it liquid courage, a party, an escape. All of your happiness is in that bottle. Everything you care about. What you think about from sun up to sun down is all right there in that little bottle.

To me, the spouse of a person addicted, I see it as a bottle of my hopes and dreams being quickly sucked down your esophagus. A bottle full of lies and broken promises. It is filled with conversations that we will have tonight, that you will never remember. It has a few hospital bills in it from when you get so intoxicated that you fall down or need medical attention. It has A LOT of money in it. Money that could have gone towards our child, a home, a vacation, memories that do not involve alcohol. In that bottle I see all the poor decisions you have made. The affairs and nights you didn’t come home. I see the jobs you have lost because an eight hour day is just too long to go without a drink. I see the arguments that got escalated to a violent rage. The holes in the walls, the holes in your relationships, in your life. After dealing with this for years, that bottle could easily fill up with my tears.

I often wonder . . . how can two people see the contents of one bottle so differently? Tomorrow it will be a different bottle, but until you get help, the contents will always remain the same.  

Can I Trade in Men for an Older Model?

I am driving my commute home from work and I start to look at the people in the cars all around me. They are 90% women, also coming home from a hard day’s work.

I am not sure what has happened to our generation and gender roles. Before everyone gets up in arms, I am not talking about equal working rights etc. for men and woman. I am talking about the newer generation of weak and lazy men! Where did y’all come from? Can we return you? Exchange you for some real men? For men like my dad and his generation?

Exhibit A: My ex-husband has not had a job in over 3 years. This is based purely on choice. He prefers to sleep in, watch TV, go to a bar around 2pm and stay there until late at night so he can repeat the same routine the next day. Well doesn’t that sound easy? Isn’t there something else we would all rather do with our time than work? Don’t worry about him though, he still manages to have his own place, brand name clothes and the ability to drink and eat out daily. How does he does this you ask?? MOMMY! She also bails him out of any trouble he gets into and always makes excuses for him. For example, when he came into my home many years after our divorce and stole all of my jewelry and pawned it, she did not hold him accountable and blamed me for pressing charges.

Exhibit B: I have 2 male friends who make significantly less than their wives, which is fine. However, after work they go to the bars and stay there for hours spending the little money they have made instead of going home to their wife and kids. This, leaving their married wife basically living the life of a single mom. Picking up the kids, dinner, homework, baths, playtime, bedtime etc. all after being the breadwinner all day.

Exhibit C: Another ex who can’t hold down a job. He gets one and then gets tired and decides he doesn’t want to go anymore and literally stops going until they fire him. Then he will give a poor me story and expect a woman to take him in, in which we do because. . . well for many reasons I won’t get into.

Meanwhile women are taking a huge leap in the work force. There are more women entrepreneurs than ever. The unemployment rate of men and women has done a flip flop in the past twenty years, and especially the last ten when my shameful generation of men entered the real world.

Yet have we told women to stop taking care of children, to not clean the house, to not make meals, not be a good daughter, sister or friend? Have we told them that they no longer need to be present with their kids or at school events? Did we give them any reduction of their assumed tasks because they have entered the work force in higher numbers out of necessity? NO! We expect women to do it all because little by little, the men are doing less and less.

My dad is from the older generation. He worked 8 hours a day, on his feet no less, and still came home right after work to interact with me, have dinner as a family etc. On weekends he was just as hard working always doing projects around the house or going on getaways with us. No matter what sacrifice he had to make, family was always a priority and we were always taken care of.

So while men are out there thinking about trading their wives and girlfriends in for a newer model, I am left begging for a receipt to return the men who come from my generation and trade in for an older more dependable model.

Why Wine is Better Than Men

  • Wine does not judge me after a long day or offer an opinion, it only comforts me
  • I get to choose how much money I invest into it, it does not beg for more
  • Wine has never sent me an unsolicited nasty picture (OUCH, MY EYES!!!)
  • Wine doesn’t cheat, once I open a bottle it is committed completely to me
  • Wine has a job (to make me happy!) Side note – most men I have dated could not get/keep a job
  • Wine makes me look and feel more beautiful
  • Wine helps me make new friends instead of taking time away from the ones I have
  • Wine lets me go to sleep when I want to, it doesn’t need any special late night attention
  • Wine doesn’t have facial hair, it feels good on my lips every time!
  • I do not have to clean up after wine, it is self contained (unless of course I have too much and spill it – party foul!)
  • Wine smells like heaven on earth, not like butt sweat and gym socks
  • When wine gets older it gets better, not worse