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Archive for November, 2008

So, a recent post of mine touches on my “instinct” about people. I like to think it’s pretty good in my experience with mean, strange, odd, scary, perverted and abusive people.

Last year, nearly every day while walking to school, a dad (I will call him Spooky Man) at the school would drive by after dropping his kid off. No matter what, I couldn’t shake the schedule…and why would I want to?

Well, because nearly every day that we saw him, he would slow down, roll his window down, and look me up and down.

Sometimes he’d whistle slow and low. 

Gross.

I didn’t know who he was but figured it out pretty quickly and just made a greater attempt to a) avoid him at school and b) not look when I saw him drive by.

Now, this went on all year. And over the summer, I met a girl who was renting an apartment off of his house. Come to find out he continued to knock on her door to socialize, at all times of the day and night, talk to her breasts, make comments like “don’t come back from your boyfriend’s house with little babies inside you!” sort of comments.

So initially, those two things kind of disgust me about him.

Valid, right?

So come Fall, it turns out his bully brut son is in Blue’s kindergarten class. 

And at drop off and pick up we all stand by the kindergarten door to watch them go in and wave goodbye and then check them out at the same door at the end of the day. Which means, there is just a handful of us there, hanging out on either end of the school day.

So, I avoid him.

Like the plague.

J works in a place that is near the guy’s house. And when I first met J, he said to me “stay away from that guy, he is bad news.”

And I was like “um, I already knew that!”

Apparently, J had seen and heard things. 

So, I have never spoken to the guy. Ever. Until a few weeks ago when he butted in on a conversation with another dad, the dad actually knew J from the piano bar, so we were talking about all that good stuff. I answered Spooky Man’s question/interruption and then turned back to my conversation with Bob, the friend.

After that, Spooky Man would place himself at my elbow at pick up and drop off at the school. He’d walk way too close to me, so close that I could hear his breathing (and that’s close, considering I am hard of hearing!)

And then he touched me. Would kind of lean in. Ach.

TOTALLY creeped me out.

Come to find out that he’s been harassing moms at the school. Said things about their pants, their cleavage, sexual innuendos, stares, murmurs, whistles. Calling them and leaving creepy voicemails. And no one fuckin’ did anything about it except maybe a few complaints to the principal, who’s response was “this is not a school issue, if you feel you are being violated or threatened or harassed, call 911.”

So, fast forward to last Friday.

J is down here visiting and walks the girls to school with me.

When the kids were about to go in their classes, they were lined up, J says to Spooky Man, “Hey, Spooky Man, can I have a word with you please?” (Spooky Man knows who J is)

So they step aside and (I am mortified because I didn’t know he would ever say something to Spooky Man) they speak softly. And then Spooky Man starts getting all agitated and aggressive and says “Let’s go into the Principal’s office, why don’t we?” And J was like “SURE!”

Apparently, J said to Spooky Man, “Hey, I am going to ask you to leave Movin’ alone. Don’t talk to her and stay out of her space.”

Spooky Man got mad and said “You have no right to tell me that!”

And J said (calmly and quiet), “Listen, I know about your bullshit and we don’t want there to be a problem.”

Spooky Man and J went to talk to the principal. Who told them to take it outside the school. 

They left the principal’s office, J walking straight ahead, not talking to Spooky Man. Spooky Man, at his elbow, yelling at him and complaining, all agitated.

And apparently, the principal added this one to his list of things against Spooky Man and called the cops.

At the end of the day, we went to pick up the girls and Spooky Man was stalking around, getting real close to J (who just stood there and ignored him) and started yelling at us and speaking in a threatening tone.

We went home.

Monday, the cops were there, on the lookout. Apparently, Spooky Man started a rumor that J threatened him and he was going to sue him. And there was this big drama going around that my boyfriend threatened Spooky Man.

Wednesday, the cops were back and one of them came up to me to speak with me and get the story. Although whoever was spreading the rumors, the cops knew the guy was a problem and apparently had many complaints about him, there in the police station.

We had a chat and one of the first things the cop said to me, in a low whisper was, “We know Spooky Man is a nitwit. He’s a total moron.”

What’s funny is that all these people at school with very little information about the whole thing, created this whole drama about threats and creating problems and so forth…well, they all watched the police talk to me and then the cop says, “Here’s let us give you a ride home” (down the street) and I was like “Oh, no…I can walk….” and he opens the door and shoved all their winter gear aside and I get in.

The door closes and both cops start cracking up and they turn around and say, “ooo, imagine what they will all talk about, you getting carted away in a cop car!”

Basically, they were contacting me to be sure there would be no more problems on our end. My response? “There will be no problems on our end unless he talks to me, comes near me or makes me feel unsafe again.”

The cop pulled out his card and said “You call me anytime you are worried about him and I will take care of it.”

I spoke with the cop again today who reassured me that Spooky Man would not come near me or talk to me or J or my kids. He also assured me he put the complaint and issue in a file with the guy’s name and problem.

And then he said, “just another to add to the file.”

The best thing about this, that makes me feel good, is that Spooky Man and a handful of folks who got caught up in the gossip were and are running around with their heads cut off.

I haven’t talked to anyone except the police and the principal. And I’m not going to.

And the situation is taken care of.

And now people are sitting around wondering “oooo, Spooky Man must have really done something to have Movin’s boyfriend speak to him to leave her alone!”

I love keeping everyone guessing. I love that I take no part in the gossip. I handled it wisely with the police. I am reassured by the police that he won’t be getting near me again. And I also feel the guy may have learned his lesson. Let’s hope.

I wonder if he knows the police are watching him.

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My Favorite Things #3

I am overdue with one of these. I have lots of favorite things. Most of these things are old. Not all of them.

1) Birdcage. Oh, but not any old birdcage! This was a wedding gift my mom got when she got married in the 60s. You wind it up and the bird sings a song. My mother hated it and gave it to my grandmother. All four of us grandchildren came along and would play with it when we were kids at my grandparent’s house. My grandmother left it to ME in her will. I’m not sure, maybe I was her favorite. My cousin keeps saying that. I don’t think so…she got the neat writing desk…

 

 

2) Mancala. My dad’s girlfriend gave this to us when we were visiting Los Angeles last year. It keeps my kids busy. It curbs tantrums. It’s good on one one time with my children. I usually lose. Which is good for my kids.

3) Starfish pillow made from vintage bedspreads. I wish I could say I made it. I COULD make it, but I didn’t make it. I spent a fortune on it at a local textile place because I love it so much. She’ll be at a local art show that I am taking part in, in December and can’t wait to see what else she is making this year.

4) I love my Bose docking station for my ipod. I love it. Love it love it love it. Almost as much as my Mac.

5) The Invention of Hugo Cabret. If you haven’t got it, get it. I bought it for Red at the book fair last year and stole it before she could read it and read it myself. So hard to explain but it is mostly illustrations, line drawings, with an amazing story. A billion pages long.

6) My grandmother’s mythology fine silver. I use it every day. My kids like to polish it. I got it because I was likely her favorite…or so my cousin says…heh heh

7) This was my grandfather’s when he was a boy. So it’s old. He was born in 1922 but passed away in 1996. This bowl is hollow and you unscrew the little valve and pour boiling water in it to keep the food in the tray hot. I use it in my office for small things on my desk, like business cards and paperclips and chapstick.

8. Seagull step stool. I painted this and had it for sale and it didn’t sell. So we use it now in our kitchen. So I can get on top of the fridge to get my cake platter…that sort of thing…

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9) People Magazine. Every now and then, you just gotta have it. Admit it. You totally know what I mean.

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10) My mermaid key holder in the kitchen. I bought it for $3.00. I love it. Love it love it love it. What is there not to love about this?p1010417

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I like to think I have an instinct about people, especially after carrying on in relationships that were both physically abusive and controlling. Even if I stayed with someone, it didn’t mean I didn’t recognize the signs…I just didn’t feel I was strong enough to break out of a pattern that I had followed most of my life.

A few times in the last six months or so, I’ve actually turned to a friend or J and said “this person gives me the creeps, something isn’t right.” Or, I’ve seen the way a family interacts and know that something is off.

Whether it is physical or emotional, or just plain strange, I feel it to the core.

It’s weird, it’s like I developed another sense, keenly in tune and paying attention more to those around me. There are people who I feel are being beaten. Others I see purely safe and happy and secure where they are. One I see seems mentally unstable and I avoid like the plague because it feels unsafe for me to interact. 

Out of the blue, an aqcuaintance asked me if I would have coffee with her some morning. I found it strange since we’d basically been waving to each other through the car windows for the last year. But she’s creative and always upbeat and a nice person to have around, so we met a few days later.

I come to find out that she was interested in finding out about my divorce process and how it worked. This included a request for a good attorney’s name.

It also included full disclosure for some reason, on her part, right there smack dab in the middle of our town coffee shop.

First, I come to find she wanted a divorce from her husband.

Then she says he refuses to give her one.

And in the end, she tells me that he has hit her “a few” times and the last time, her 3 year old daughter saw.

And then she had the gall to say to me, “I just don’t want my 10 year old son to see, that would kill him.”

So I took it upon myself to do something I’ve never done before, merely because I have never been in the position to do so. 

I told her that she was hurting the kids by staying in the marriage if he was hitting her, in front of the kid, even worse. I told her that even though it was “just” a three year old who saw, once, she will see it again and again and again, and so will her son. 

I looked her square in the face and said, “LADY, HE WILL KEEP DOING IT, WHETHER YOU THINK IT OR NOT.”

I was so frustrated, hearing her excuses for him and for herself and excuses why to stay with him and what his reasons for hitting her were. It made me angry because it was like I was watching myself in one of my abusive relationships and I saw how weak I was once. 

Oooooh, that sucked.

We parted ways and I haven’t heard from my friend since then. I ran into her today and she said “Oh, Movin’ (insert my name here), I HAVE to update you!”

So, at some point I will get an update.

But I have to say, I’ll continue to be hard on her if she talks to me about it. Especially if she stays. Moreso if he continues to hit her. If she talks to me about it (and it seems she’s avoiding me), I’ll be hard on her.

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Junk Reading

Does everyone have a crazy auntie?

Mine is kind of crazy, but in a sweet, childlike kind of way.

She tends to refill bottled water bottles with tap water and call it “bottled water.” 

Seriously.

Since the beginning of time, she’s been obsessed with Princess Diana.

When she died and the rumor was that the paparrazzi was being blamed by high speed chasing, she vowed to never buy another tabloid again.

Well, all these years later, she has regressed.

Auntie visited from California over the summer and brought with her, a stack of magazines. Now, I am a sucker for magazines, but what I saw when she brought them over to share with me, was an assortment of this:

 

 

Now, I love me a good People magazine every now and then, you know, to keep up with “the news”.

But this stack was INSANE.

Total junk.

And I couldn’t help but laugh my head off about it.

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Change

When my sister and I were around 6 and 8, we’d return home from the beach and want to quickly take a shower. So we’d go get in the shower at the same time. One would get wet, the other would soap and when it was time to “change” we’d yell “CHANGE!!!” and switch places to rinse and then be done.

This ended quickly when we started fighting about the temperature of the water.

Okay, so a few weeks ago I got a comment on my blog and discovered she was a local blogger.

A great writer, talented. I emailed her and asked her to please keep my link private so I can continue to write candidly and to keep the privacy for me and J, since I tend to put everything out there.

(if you live here, you can figure out how local I am and even figure out who I am and who J is).

So, she was super nice and said “sure, I totally understand, I love your blog…” etc etc.

Well, about a week later, I started seeing stats from my town and surrounding towns of people reading my blog. 

I dug further into my stats, which I look at rarely, and saw the referrer was our town’s online forum.

Yes.

Yes it was.

HOW MUCH DOES THAT SUCK?

So, I recognized that it was this same lady on the forum, who I think just wasn’t thinking and didn’t mean anything by it. The discussion online was about local bloggers and blogs that the people liked reading and she posted “I love this blog, I read it every day” and then put the link to my blog on there.

So, ta da.

After seeing that someone local was on my blog last night for about two hours, reading every post I ever posted, well, I made a quick switch.

Thank you WordPress for making it so easy.

It helps that I am sicker than a dog at the moment and have the time to do this.

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New routine

woman_reading

I remember when our bedtime changed from 7:30 to 8:00 pm like it was yesterday. I was about eleven years old. Seriously. That would make my sister, well, almost fourteen.

Little House on the Prairie started being on at 7pm on Wednesdays nights and for a while we were allowed to watch it but had to go to bed halfway through.

This is before the Tivo days, people.

We finally gathered the courage to beg our not-so-flexible mother to let us stay up until 8, at least on Wednesdays.

And our wish was granted.

Red and Blue have had lights out at 7:30 for quite some time now. Blue tends to fall asleep right away but Red has been coming out and wandering the halls, checking to see what I’m up to, finding an excuse to stall.

And then I caught her crouched in the corner of the room, reading her book by a very dim nightlight.

So, a few days later, I bought them each a small reading light for beside their beds.

Bedtime is so much easier. Quieter. Less stalling. We read together out loud for about 45 minutes and then at 7:15, they read to themselves until lights out at 8. 

And then Mama has a bit of silence.

But greatest of all, I know my kids are enjoying what I loved growing up as a kid, and what I still experience, getting in bed at 8 during the season where I’m not working at night (winter) and reading a good book in a mere few days. 

Tonight when I went to turn out their lights after their reading time, Blue said to me, “Mommy, I know how to spell ‘yellow’.” 

And then she spelled it.

And she spelled “P-E-A-C-E”.

You can never have too much reading.

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While we’re sleeping

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Something I admire in some people is their ability to sleep pretty much anywhere. I noted this here about J sleeping on our couch in the middle of the afternoon.

Something else I admire is that when we wake up at 5am on Monday mornings after I’ve been up north to see him for the weekend, he wakes up when I do, puts on his clothes, and is perky and makes jokes and walks me out in the freezing cold and kisses me goodbye.

On Monday, before I got in my car, he called “I watch you drive away out the window!”

And sure enough, he does.

When I pulled out of the driveway in the pitch dark, I had to wait a second to let another car pass.

My cell phone rang and J says “What are the odds of a car passing by you right at that moment at the crack of dawn?”

And we both started cracking up. At five-in-the-fucking-crack-of-dawn-morning.

It’s true, because the whole rest of the country drive to the highway is void of other vehicles other than mine.

On Monday night, I was wiped from a restless sleep (too much chocolate and wine the night before), my early morning drive to Boston to pick up the girls and get them to school by 8:30.  It’s totally worth it, I’m not complaining, but I was wicked tired by the time J and I got on the ichat around 10pm.

We were talking about the day and he was watching the news and then I started to dose off. And he started doing some work on his computer. And then I was asleep.

Half an hour later, I woke up and saw he was still there, working on his laptop. He smiled and said “hey,baby.” I barely remember saying goodnight before signing off and rolling back over to sleep the rest of the night.

The next morning I called him. “Do I look totally stupid when I sleep?”

This reminds me of when he asked me this summer, “do I look stupid if I close my eyes when I’m playing the piano?” It’s true, there are some songs where when he gets into a groove, his eyes close when he jams. And he looks hawt. It definitely didn’t scare me away.

And apparently, how I look when I’m sleeping, is not a deal breaker for him.

Although we are going into our fifth month together, I still get excited about having him next to me in bed. I suspect that will always remain, loving sleeping in the same bed. 

If it’s a three day weekend and the kids are gone, the words actually come out of my mouth “Oh, we have an extra night sleeping next to each other!” And sometimes, on a Sunday morning, as the weekend comes to a close, I remind myself that we have one more night.

We tend to be close sleepers. My history has been that I’ve been pushed away when I drape a leg or get close because I am cold or need comfort. Exhusband got too hot. The Chef didn’t seem to care or like the affection. The clammer was usually too drunk to notice.

But what endears me and what I’ll miss the most when J goes away, aside from the sight of his face and the sound of his voice in the same room, is the feeling of him next to me in bed at night. Being woken up by his movement when he searches, finds and pulls me closer. Or when he moves the covers to be sure I am warm and then settles in, with his legs crossed through mine. 

If I wake up and can’t sleep, I crawl on top of him and he’ll adjust so I can sleep with my head on his chest, our bellies and legs aligned comfortably and he holds me there and we both can sleep.

And then there are the moments when we wake up in the morning and we’re lying side by side and we’re holding hands under the covers and don’t remember how we got there.

 

I woke up on Sunday morning with J at his house and got up out of bed into the cold room. He gave me his robe a few weeks back. I love this robe. It’s big and plush and manly and much warmer than my dainty girlie robes. And I get to take it home. Kind of like the sweatshirt of his that I, um, “stole”…I sleep with it like a Linus blankie.

So, I go downstairs to use the bathroom and he calls out to me from his half sleep, “brush my teeth for me while you’re down there, would you?”

He’s super sensitive about his morning breath, something I am working on getting him to get over. The week before, I made him kiss me, tongue and all, before getting out of bed to brush.

So, I went down to pee and brushed my teeth and then put some toothpaste on my finger and carried it upstairs to bed. 

“Open”, I said.

He opened and I stuck my finger in his mouth.

Nothing prepared me for how quickly he went with the flow and basically ate the toothpaste after swishing it around on his teeth and tongue (yeah, sexy, I know, but I have never laughed so hard) and then he gave a satisfied smile before going back to sleep, pulling me in, my personal space heater, comforter, with rockin’ good breath.

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