"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Living The Vows by @TiffanyNHouston

I got tired of writing about me. So I stopped.

But I still read my regular round of blogs and today I saw this post and knew I had to get over here and share the good word: "Living The Vows."

It's a message very many of us need to hear and certainly one that resonates with me.

Hope the holidays were wonderful for all of you. Take care. -- SingLikeSassy

Monday, December 12, 2011

Gift-Giving Trial and Error

@Onechele's post over on Black 'N Bougie today brought back some marriage memories.

My ex comes from a family of "things" people. They like stuff. Preferably expensive stuff with people's names on it. For them, spending a lot of money on something equals love.

I'm not into that. I want experiences. Or thoughtful gifts. For awhile there the mister had a hard time figuring out what to give me as gifts.

For my birthday the first year we were together, he gave me some diamond earrings -- not my style, but I never said a word and I wore them until last year.

Then later that same year he took me to London, Berlin and Savannah. I think that's when he figured out he didn't have to buy me stuff, I wanted to do things, see things, explore things with him. Experiences.

So that first Christmas we were together he took me to see "The Color Purple" on Broadway, then we had dinner and did the whole NYC at Christmas thing. I had never done that before and I still look at the pics and smile.

Don't get me wrong, over the years he gave me stuff, too -- a camera, my iPhone, a Wii, a flat panel TV, an iPod speaker dock -- but we did a lot of fun stuff together.

"Carmen" with Denyce Graves. Events where I met a lot of the great jazz musicians of the day, such as Christian McBride, Dianne Reeves, Herbie Hancock, Terence Blanchard, Chris Botti, David "Fathead" Newman (Bokeem Woodbine played his character in Ray) and more. "Ragtime" after I mentioned in passing that I had read the book. Go-cart racing. Roller coaster rides. Kayaking.

Don't give me the world, SHOW it to me.

I'm actually torn right now because, as I said a few posts ago, seeing "Don Giovanni" at the Metropolitan Opera House is on my bucketlist and it's something that would be great to do with him because we used to watch the movie Amadeus ALL.the.time.

But, that's not divorced. Is it? Sigh.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Christmastime Is Here!

Another cd that's on constant play during the month of December is "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

I can't actually pick a favorite song from this cd as they are all so great, but here's one song I listen to more than the others:

Friday, December 2, 2011

What The Hell Ginger?!

So this lady comes out and says she has spent 13 years rolling around with Cornbread (I won't say his full name here).

blog post in The Washington Post included this information:
"White has been frequently unemployed, according to news reports, and public records reveal financial difficulties that resulted in several eviction notices."
Thirteen years and my paper so messed up I am getting eviction notices?!!! DA HELL kinda side piece game was this chick playing?

As I have said many many times before, I don't do side chick. Not ever.

BUT if in some strange crazy weird world I fell down, bumped my head and lost all my sense and morals and became a side piece to some married man, BELIEVE ME, I would not be doing that ish without considerable compensation. And as long as I'm laying down, I better not ever never EVER get an eviction notice or foreclosure notice or no other kinda damn disconnection/bill not paid in full notice. Shit on that. 

Again, my parents taught me to be on top of whatever game I'm in. 

Ginger got screwed literally and figuratively. 

That's all. Carry on.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What I'm listening to right now....

The Preacher's Wife is not one of my favorite movies, but the soundtrack? On rotation every.single.Christmas and any other time I need encouragement. Anyway, I'm listening to this song from the movie right now and felt I needed to share.

.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What I Want For Christmas

I took advantage of the online sales and bought some things I needed -- white t-shirts, a black turtleneck, some rain/snow boots (FINALLY!), an orange cowl neck sweater to replace the one I spilled nail polish on while driving (<-- no I should not have been trying to do my nails as I drove to work, I know this!) and a couple other things.

I also bought Christmas gifts for my brother's daughter and got some of her stuff for half of what I was going to pay a month ago when I first picked them out so she actually got a little more than I had planned to give her initially.

I need to take care of my mom, my dad and step-mom, Niece SLS and my Grandma and then get a few little items for friends.

But when I was asked what I wanted, I couldn't think of anything. Well, there's nothing material that I want for Christmas.

However, there are intangibles. (I'm stealing a bit from Carrie Bradshaw here, but...) Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can't-live-without-each-other love. Trust. Honesty. Friendship. Dependability. Passion. Intimacy. Affection.

That's what I would like for Christmas. New Year's. MLK Day. Valentine's Day. President's Day. Easter. Memorial Day. July 4th. Labor Day and on and on and on.

What's on your list?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holidays, Children and Divorce

As I've noted here before, Mr. SLS and his family have asked me to please continue spending time with his 5-year-old niece and since I love her 5-going-on-35 self to pieces, I do. We have been doing a monthly outing/activity for a while now.

Well, on the last outing (we went to see Puss In Boots, hilarious movie) as I was driving her home, she asked me about taking something to Uncle SLS and I said, well, remember, me and Uncle SLS aren't married any more and I live in my house now so I won't be seeing him. She stopped talking to me and didn't talk to me again. When we got home I told her mom she was upset with me and her mom asked her why and she told her she was mad with me because I said she and Uncle SLS weren't married any more.

Sigh.

So, Thanksgiving comes and ex-sis-in-law invites me to dinner because Niece SLS really wants me there. As I said in my earlier post, I declined.

Apparently (per Mr. XSLS and XSIL in separate conversations) she asked where I was, got upset that I wasn't there, started crying and screamed, "It's not thanksgiving without Auntie SLS!"

Sigh.

When I was talking to her mom about this I said I was sorry and maybe I should scale back spending time with her. I also pointed out that Mr. SLS was seeing someone and may have decided to bring her to dinner, which would have been awkward for everyone and not fair to me or the new lady. So I took my azz on to my friend's where I was welcome and had fun.

XSIL said (in heavily accented English as Hebrew is her first language), "I don't know this new woman, but you are family, divorce or not, so I do not care if she is comfortable. My child loves you."

The sum up to all this is, it seems like it could be messy and there's a 5-year-old involved and I need to exit stage right.

Sigh.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks And Blessings


Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who visits me here and reaches out to me via Twitter. I enjoy laughing with you and learning from you.

Today when I leave work, I am having dinner with CreoleinDC, someone I met via the Internet. It's cool the connections you can make via the Internet.

Last year I worked, but didn't have a plan for dinner or anything and it was the most depressing day I think I had ever spent. I feel terrible for people who aren't able to at least share a meal with coworkers or someone.

My ex-sister-in-law (the one I like who is the mom of the niece I hang out with sometimes) invited me over for dinner, but naturally I declined. Mr. XSLS is having dinner there (we always hosted Thanksgiving cause it's his fave holiday and he just blinked when I told him what to do -- cook the stuff you know how to cook and order a turkey -- so I guess she stepped in). She said I would really be missed. And I *do* miss what had become our little family traditions, too -- Mr. XSLS said he missed them -- but we are divorced and this is how divorce works.

Anyway, I hope each and every one of you is posted up somewhere with friends and loved ones enjoying the holiday! Take care and gobble gobble!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ish I Do Not Want To Hear....

My two best friends are struggling in their marriages right now. I keep them both in prayer because I want them to be happy and their families to stay whole.

Today one of them called and said their marriage was over. Their spouse doesn't want to be married any more, says they were never in love with my friend.

What is that right there man?! WHAT IS THAT?

*kicks over chairs and smashes ish*

I wanted to cry, but rather than do that, I asked if they had tried counseling, then I urged my friend to not give up on the marriage and that their kids were worth them fighting to make it better.

I need to believe that marriage can work. That people who love each other can get together, work through ish and come out on the other side happy and holding hands.

Sigh.

I Know I Have Said This Before But....

I *hate* a mofo who doesn't follow through. I *hate* inconsistency. BE ON POINT WITH YOUR ISH!

If you say you are doing to do something DO IT, NO EXCUSES!


Friday, November 18, 2011

I'm about to revoke my mama's holiday invite....

She sent me a message saying, "Next year invite the whole family up for one of the holidays."

Say what now?

A big hell and no to that ish right there.

I live far away for a reason. It means I can keep all them folks -- and their craziness -- far far far away. I ain't inviting them up here to get on my nerves!

She's gonna mess around and lose her unlimited access to me and my home talking all crazy.



Monday, November 14, 2011

Why It's Nice To Have a "Man-Friend" Aside From The Obvious

They do ish around the house.

For example, this summer the teacher hung some stuff for me and had promised to hang some others before we stopped seeing each other. Those same pictures are laying in the same place waiting waiting waiting waiting.

He also looked at this estimate I had gotten for some work I needed done to my car and told me that I was being cheated and when I went to my regular mechanic (why I went to those other people, I dunno) he fixed what needed to be fixed and told me all that other stuff was fine and it cost me about one-third of what I had been quoted.

I think I started crushing on him THAT DAY. LOL! He was cute, though. REALLLLLLLLLLL cute. With a gorgeous smile and some really pretty and expressive eyes. Whoowheeeee.

*pauses for a minute to reflect on what might have been*

ANYWAY, fast forward to last night.

One of my toilets has been running and I tinkered with it and couldn't fix it and since I don't use that bathroom I just cut the water off to the toilet and kept it moving.

My new casual dating friend (I think I shall call him the Jamaican from now on) came over and used that restroom and asked me why I had cut the water off (I had forgotten it was off). I explained that it had been running and I couldn't fix it or make it stop so I shut the water off instead. He looked inside the tank jiggled something, figured out what was wrong, fixed it so that it wouldn't run in the short-term and said he would go to Home Depot one day this week and get the part it needed and fix it.

THAT IS WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT RIGHT THERE. THAT ISH IS SEXXXXXXXYYYYYYY.

I like a man that can and will push a plow, shovel some snow, cut some grass, tote groceries, do ish with a drill, kill spiders and all that.

Loooooong before I was married I went on a couple of dates with a guy and he came by to pick me up for one of our dates. He looked at my old azz house and said, "it will be hard for a man to please you because you have done so much for yourself." *blink* Needless to say, that brother was fired.

That's how some dudes stay losing. That's right, I don't need you to buy me a house or car. I did that. But you can help me take care of this stuff I own.

Plus, I rattle pots and pans for handy brothers. LOL!

Happy Monday everybody, have a good one.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Cheating Cheaters

Someone asked me a couple of months ago if I had ever cheated on Mr. XSLS. I didn't even understand that question it was so ridiculous.

I didn't get married to be sluttin' around. What would be the point of that? I loved my husband almost from the day we met. I didn't have eyes -- or ass -- for anyone else.

Cheating is not my way. It takes more energy and savvy and sneakiness than I can muster up. And you have to lie. Who can keep all that straight? And none of that is exciting to me. I can send nasty text messages etc. to my man.

Also, I don't see the point to it. If I am that unhappy in a relationship, then fix it or leave. Why stay and cheat?! (I'm looking at YOU Mr. XSLS) Obviously the relationship is not giving me what I need. How can cheating make it better?

Plus, it's hurtful and erodes trust. Why would I want to hurt someone I profess to love by cheating on them?

And I just don't get the "unable to resist temptation" thing. I mean I wasn't blind, I saw hot looking men, but I admired them and that was it. I am not just the tip of the V my legs form. I am a person with cognitive ability, morals and feelings. As such, I don't just act with no thought to consequences and commitments.

In short, I don't do that. If I am with you, I'm with you. As I've said in the past, I only need one man, for one me and I'm good.

Don't ask me any more of these silly assed questions.

And in case none of that is clear, here's one of my favorite country songs that may explain it better:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Fog Has Lifted!

I gotta learn how to shake it off better when folks let me down.

Some of the strategies I use to shake off the blues are:

1. Go look at sports cars and drive them really fast, which can scare the salesman but the adrenaline rush does it for me.

2. Find some child to spend time with because that fresh wide-eyed wonder is like the fountain of youth.

3. Borrow a friend's pet and love up on them.

Today I modified that third strategy in that I went to the animal shelter and loved up on some abandoned and affection-starved dogs, cats and rabbits.

A few years ago before I had cats, I used to volunteer to show animals at adoption events for the rescue league. I think I need to go back and volunteer or even just regularly visit the pound and do play time with the animals. It will be good for me and them.

Alrighty people, happy happy Saturday!


Saturday Ponderings

Ever get tired of being disappointed by people? That's where I'm at right now.

And I'm not talking being disappointed over and over by the same people, no I'm talking about being disappointed by new and different people.

It's making me wonder, is it me? Do I need to stop with the cup half-full everybody starts at 100 outlook? Do I expect too much of people? Am I too open? Too trusting? Not skeptical/cynical enough?

No, seriously. I am tired of giving 100 percent -- or more -- only to get some half-assed effort in return.

Maybe I need to stop giving a damn. Maybe then ish will be better.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The best part of this day....

Was coming home, taking off that all wrong outfit, getting in the tub, then laying back and relaxing with an ice cream sandwich.

It can't get better than this, no sireeeeeee.

Clothing Choices

Ever get dressed at home when you're kinda sleepy and then get to work and realize you have on something you should absolutely not be wearing at work?

No? Just me? OK.

*works on plan to stay seated at desk for the day*


Sunday, November 6, 2011

TapBack Ratchetness

I think I mentioned a few posts ago that my high school boyfriend has been texting me. We stumbled across each other on a reunion site and had exchanged some emails, but I made the mistake of giving him my phone number.

Now, I don't mind catching up and keeping in touch. But I was a little taken aback when he sent me a "here's how I look all grown up" pic of himself and he was looking, um, yeah. Let's just say, for somebody who is into brothers with braids he may be nice looking. For me, not so much.

And I was a bit put off with the textese he used to message me, especially considering he is three years older than me which makes him firmly in his 40s. (I skipped a grade so I was 14 in the 10th grade and he was a senior when I was a sophomore. It was more a talk on the phone, walk me to my class kind of relationship because I couldn't date or have company. He did let me wear his class ring).

But the final ohHELLno was when he asked if he could come up for a weekend and help me get over my divorce with his...well you know what I'm not saying here.

What part of the game is this?!

So when I say tap dance yo' ass on back to wherever it is you have been, that's the dickery I'm talking about right there. Just all manner of wrong and out of order. Between him and college boyfriend trying to save my sinful soul from the devil and his evil minions via Bible scripture, I am all tapped out on tap back at the moment.

That is all. Thanks and bye.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Priorities

I was going to go hang out with a girlfriend today and then I looked around at the dirty clothes I have waiting to be washed and stacks of mail waiting to be sorted and shredded and I sent her a text telling her I needed to stay my behind AT home and handle business.

She said good cause she was on the couch watching trash TV and wasn't feeling like stepping out either.

And a good thing I sorted the mail because I have a doctor's bill that needs to be paid and I need to get receipts and stuff collected to send off for FSA reimbursement. I always do it at the end of the year around the holidays so I can get the money in time to buy presents or pay for travel etc. And I have spent a pretty penny this year in medical costs.

I have gotten such good care and treatment from Providence Hospital, I may try and do all my medical business there in the future. I like that they come and pray with you and stuff. That's soothing when you're stressed or scared.

But what's most important right now is my head is fixed. LOL!

My Hair

I missed my weekly hair appt last week which was a huge terrible mistake (I forgot it was sked for Friday before work instead of Saturday and was in the bed asleep when I was supposed to be in the chair).

I have been looking real crazy about the head as a result, because I need chemicals and color and a trim.

But today, all that will be fixed. And thank the baby jeebus cause I hate for my head to be all raggedy. No amount of makeup and earrings and lip gloss can compensate for a jacked up head.

Plus I feel raggedy when my hair isn't right. I just think that, as a grown woman with a career, I should be polished looking.

Anyway, hope y'all are having a great weekend!

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Miss You

Those three words popped up on my phone via text message a little bit ago: "I miss you."

I stared at them, my heart beating fast -- thumpetythumpthumpthumpthump -- because truth be told, I miss him, too.

This is the third message from him since we abruptly stopped seeing each other, but this is the first one that makes me want to write back.

Still...he hurt my feelings. And does "I miss you" mean all the things my beating heart wants it to mean or is it just something to say to suck me in just for me to end up hurt again?

I don't know what to do.

So, for now, I do nothing.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Reflections Of The Way Life Used To Be

Last night, I got the blues. But it's my own fault.

My old roommate was asking to hear a song by Mr. XSLS and as I was hunting one up she asked, "OH! did you ever sing with him?" (<--imagine this said with a heavy french accent) so I dug up the video of us from our wedding performing a duet and next thing you know, I was crying cause I just remembered being so happy that day and thinking we would be together forever.

Anyway, I'll keep the video because if the tadpoles work, I want our child to know that we loved each other once. For some reason that is really important to me, that our child know we loved each other and wanted them.

I think it's interesting the things that are of sentimental value to Mr. XSLS. He has our wedding pics, engagement pics, the sheet music of the arrangement of the song we performed at our wedding and other stuff along those lines. Partly because they are in my keepsake box that belonged to his mom and I haven't taken it from the house yet, though I intend to at some point, and partly because he said he wanted to keep some of those things. It's hard for me not to make everything black and white in regard to him, i.e. you don't want to be married to me any more so why keep memories of the marriage? He also admitted to feeling sad after he got home from divorce court, as he was reading something that he wanted to share with someone and realized that I am the only person who would get it and we would never share these little moments again.

You know what fixed my blues though? The guy I am casually dating called and said he needed to see me. I said I had out of town company, but he was welcome to stop by for a minute. When he came in the door he grabbed me, picked me up and laughed. And when he laughs it lights up his whole face. Then he sat on the steps, pulled me onto his lap and asked me about my day. He didn't stay long, but it was long enough.

Life is funny.

Loose Change

So my old roommate is here visiting from Montreal and every time we see each other it's like no time has passed at all! She asked me to come meet her in Barbados in January and I just might do it. Need to stack some more money first, though, cause I ain't going nowhere if my savings account is not back to my comfort level.

Sigh. I don't like being poor-ish. OK, I'm not poor, my money just doesn't flow like it used to when I was married and somebody else was paying the bills.

But, I have made some cuts! I got rid of the housekeeper (she was only coming once a month and my house doesn't get nasty enough that I can't clean it myself now that the cats are gone).

Also, I've never been a big credit card person, I usually put everything on AMEX and pay it off every month, but I realized that using that method I was still just raking the card and not really thinking about the purchase.

Now I pay bills, then put a fixed amount in my checking account (the rest goes to savings) and then only carry my debit cards so I have to think about how much I have and how much I want to spend and if I really want whatever this thing is I'm trying to buy. So far it has worked like gangbusters.

I am blessed though, that I earn enough to keep my home. So many folks lost their homes in the past few years. And thank you to my parents, who taught me to not put my wants before my needs.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sensory Issues

I hate having stuff touch my wrists so I wear a lot of 3/4-length sleeves or bell sleeves.

Yesterday I wore a sweater that fit close to the wrists and all day long I was pulling at them and feeling hot. I don't know why having my wrists touched with clothing makes me feel hot, but it does.

One of my friend Honeysmoke's daughters has this issue too. She doesn't like to have stuff touching her arms because she gets hot.

I also don't like sleeping in pajamas. To me, that's like laying in the bed fully dressed. I like to sleep in the buff, really, and I can do a T-shirt or gown, but I absolutely can't sleep with the equivalent of pants on.

Anybody else have these issues? No? Just me and Baby Honeysmoke? OK.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Helllllooooo world!

I just opened up the blackout blinds in my bedroom and let the sunlight wash over me. It was a wonderful moment.

I want to be a slug today, but I have a house guest coming on Tuesday and a party to attend tomorrow night, so I needs to get to cleaning up in here. The guest room is always clean and clean fresh sheets are always ready, it's just my room that needs some work. And I need to clean up the mess I left in the kitchen yesterday.

My mama told me to stop posting ugly 1970s-era pictures of her on Facebook. Of course you know this means I'm about to post another 1970s-era pic of her on Facebook, right? LOL! I love those pics of my parents looking like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

I do believe my daddy is feeling some kinda way because I haven't called him in a bit. I email him all the time but he wants phone calls. I hate talking on the phone though! In any case, I think he's pouting.

I had a dream about the teacher (the one I dated earlier this spring and summer) last night, but I don't remember it. He's reached out to me a couple of times in the past month or so but I haven't responded. He hurt my feelings and I am not inclined to forget or forgive. Sorry Charlie.

I've been reading about being a pet owner and realized that I have made some mistakes with my friend's dog that I keep sometimes. He's adorable, but he's a dog. I don't treat him like a dog. Apparently, that is confusing for a dog. It explains some of his anxiety when new people come to the house (he tinkles on the floor when new people show up).

Since the summer of frolicking has ended, I've just been going to work and coming home. No volunteering, no personal enrichment activities, nothing. I'm OK with being that boring for right now, but I need to get on the good foot and sign up for a class or something for the new year.

I got a good annual review last week at work. I didn't think I wouldn't, but you never know. I'm coasting though. Need to challenge myself some more.

I'm going to make a fish stew next weekend. I've been cooking in my house fairly regularly. I think I'm getting back to feeling like this is my home. Didn't realize it would take so long to readjust to living in MY house again. I do miss my cats though. I only lived here by myself for a few months before they came to live with me and being here without them makes the house seem so odd. And quiet. No knocking stuff down and waking me up in the middle of the night. No getting shut up in a room and then meowing and sticking their paw under the door trying to get my attention. No meeting me at the front door meowing cause they are ready for dinner. No walking around the bed and on my head all night. No laying on the clothes I just laid out on the bed for work. No hiding in places and jumping out and scaring me. They are fat and happy though with their new owner. My mom and Grandma visit them all the time.

What's going on with y'all?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Today's Lesson

If he misses you, he'll call. If he wants you, he'll say it. And if he cares, he'll show it. If not, he can't be worth your time because you're obviously not worth his.
This is just another way of saying what my Grandma told me: When a man wants you, he will make a way. Great advice that can never be reiterated enough.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Post-Divorce Funny

I was editing a story about Greece and the European Union and it made me sad because Mr. XSLS and I had this dream of running away to Greece and living off my writing and his music, drinking wine and listening to the waves roll in every night.

So I text him this: "We never made it to Greece."

He responds: "Country's bankrupt and we probably would have been kidnapped."

Me: "LOL! That's another way to look at it."

Him: "LOL, I know."

That's all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Black Bean Chili Tonight!

I put some black beans on to soak this weekend because I have been craving black bean chili for two weeks now.

Last night I finally got them into the slow cooker with some garlic and when I woke up this a.m. the house smelled so fragrant and garlicky!

Once I get my ground turkey browned with onion, I'll stir that into the beans with some chili powder, fresh oregano and basil. Then I'll let it cook for a bit so the flavors can meld together.

I used my avocado last night when I had my friend E and baby OK over for dinner so I'm going to grab another on the way home and once my chili is ready, I'll top a bowl of it with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, some avocado and diced tomato. YUMMY!

Monday, October 24, 2011

More "New Yorker" Love

Great writing stays with you. One of the best pieces of writing I have ever read was in The New Yorker.

Here, eight years later, I remember the author's name -- Katherine Boo -- and the name of the piece: The Marriage CureIt examined whether marriage was a cure for poverty in the "post-welfare" era. 

I also remember where I was when I read it (at home on a Sunday relaxing with the sun shining on me from my bedroom's bay window), what time of day it was and everything. When I finished it I called my friend PJ (she has a doctoral degree that focuses on issues related to children, education and poverty) to discuss what I had read. The story was that good to me.  

Boo won the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2004 for this piece. Here's an excerpt:
Kim has moist brown eyes, a body that neighborhood males call "ripe" and "aching for my love time," and a bleeding ulcer that an emergency-room doctor ascribes, not implausibly, to stress. It is her habit to think with a fist on her chin, and the puzzle that engrosses her is how to live a life less indigent and criminal than the one in which she was raised. The youngest of seven children, she was the first of her four sisters to forgo having babies as a teenager. She hoped as well to be the first to go to college, and had recently taken a series of tests for a general-equivalency diploma. Although she didn't know anyone from a background like hers who had obtained a college degree, she didn't see why a smart woman couldn't pull it off. For several years, she'd been trying to do the precise opposite of what people around her had done, in the hope of eventually attaining what she termed "a healthy, wealthy, normal-lady life." Marriage, like staying out of jail, struck her as a vital part of normal-lady living.

Do you read "The New Yorker?"

ILLUSTRATION: ROBERT RISKO
If you don't, you should. It's some of the best writing and storytelling out there. Even the letters to the editor are well written. I also appreciate that they don't treat hip-hop poorly and that they spend time examining it. Like in this piece last year about Jay-Z and Decoded.

And please take the time to read this piece about the economics of Sept. 11. Here's an excerpt:
The events of September 11th, as grim as they were, offered the prospect of employment to a generation of working-class Americans who were born too late for good factory jobs. If the Bush Administration’s “global war on terror” had gone the way of the Second World War, mass mobilization in the armed forces, combined with mass production in the factories, would have revitalized a stagnant national economy and produced a postwar boom. This didn’t happen. Without a draft, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fought by less than one per cent of the population. The Pentagon, which wanted to keep those wars limited and short, avoided planning for large-scale manufacturing, even after its necessity became obvious. In 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was questioned by a scout from the Tennessee National Guard about the lack of quality armor for his unit’s trucks. “You go to war with the army you have,” Rumsfeld replied. Even after this remark became infamous, the production of armor proceeded slowly, almost grudgingly, and troops and vehicles remained dangerously exposed for years. Most new defense jobs at home turned out to be in data collection and intelligence, which required college degrees and specialized knowledge, or in the low-paying realm of airport and building security.
But the main reason that 9/11 didn’t become a source of jobs, or of ideas for revitalizing the economy, was that the country wasn’t thinking about its own weaknesses. President George W. Bush defined his era in terms of war, and the public largely saw it the same way. September 11th was a tragedy that, in the years that followed, tragically consumed the nation’s attention.
I'm a long time reader and the best thing they could have done was create their iPad app because now I subscribe to that, which saves trees as well as gives me access to extra bells and webzy whistles. I get so much Sunday joy from my New Yorker. Get you some.

That is all.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All Is Fixed

Mr. XSLS (do we like that?) and I kissed and made up today and handled the business we needed to get done yesterday that didn't happen.

I'm not a grudge holder. Do you know how much pretty is wasted by being ugly on the inside? I'll be damn if my face gets all wrinkled and creased up messing with him.

My mama who is VERY MUCH a grudge holder and who is still mad today about something folks did 20 and 30 years ago said she admires that me and my ex-husband aren't nasty to each other. It's given her something to think about in regard to how she handles her relationships.

It's so pretty out today I put the top back on the car. Hope y'all are enjoying the nice weather too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Y'all like these?

My house is done in oranges, browns and greens. I want another duvet for my bedroom and am looking at these right now:






I Have Relaxed, Related and Released *cleansing breath*

I was still ticked off when I wrote that last post. Wanted to let you know that prayer worked.

It also helped that I remembered the advice my dad always gives me and that I am always giving other people: Control those things you can control. I can always control my reaction to other people's actions. I am in control of me.

I should not have allowed his actions to get me so upset. But he does stuff knowing it's jacked up and then tries to fix it later. No, just don't do fugged up ish!

Still, it's my fault. I keep having expectations of him that I shouldn't have because I have yet to accept that he is not the man I thought he was. Never will be. He stopped trying to live up to my expectations a long time ago.

Just remember what I said people: Choose well. That's the best advice I can give you out of my experience.

Whoooooo SAIIIIIIIIIII

Mr. SLS made me so mad today I had to pray cause everything else I wanted to do would have had y'all looking at a mugshot pic of me on TV with blue mascara streaks running down my face.

That is all. #keeppokingmeinthebackandseeifIdon'tcutamuhfug

Friday, October 21, 2011

Don't Let Me Fool You

Don't read what's here and think I'm all easy breezy cover girl about this divorce stuff. I wouldn't wish this on anybody.

My advice to all of you? Choose well. Choose. Well.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Teachable Moments

So, as promised, I took Mr. SLS' niece to pick her own pumpkin this past Sunday. Because her older brother (who has a different mother) was there with his dad for the weekend, we took him along, too. I no longer feel any guilt for wanting just one child.

First, to be clear, I like her brother, he's always been a nice kid and for the most part minds and follows directions. Neither one of them are mouthy or whatever. But, together these two children bicker. All the time. Which, I guess is what kids do. But it works my nerves.

Secondly, he's 10 and she's 5. He's also sort of a typical boy, which means he's a little bit reckless and always running and jumping and climbing on stuff. His little sister wants to do all that, too, but her legs are shorter and she's not as agile. And it frustrates him to slow down for her and frustrates her when she can't keep up.

Anyway, we get to the farm and she's all OOOOOOoooo and AAAAAAHHHH while he's already over it. It's more little kiddie-focused. Which I told him before he was all, can I come too Auntie Tanya, I want to come, too!!

He runs and gets on a swing, so she gets on a swing, too. He's swinging all high and frankly scaring me so I say, "Nephew SLS don't swing so high!" and then Mr. SLS (yes, he came too) was pushing Niece SLS on the swing and asked me why I was telling Nephew SLS to stop and I said cause he was scaring me and all I could see was his thin little body flying out of that swing into the air and smashing into a gaggle of pumpkins all broken and crumpled.

Mr. SLS said, "He's fine. Let him swing." And he was right.

That is why children need a dad AND a mom. Because, as a mom, I know I would probably react that way all of the time and likely overprotect my children. He saw that, really, though the swinging scared me, it was fine. Everything was fine.

Here's another example of me possibly being too cautious. Mr. SLS had gone off to hunt us up some water and they were still on the swings. Nephew SLS had to use the restroom. I wanted him to wait until his uncle came back to go with him, but he said he couldn't hold it. I made Niece SLS get off the swings and we went to the bathroom with her brother. Mind you, I could SEE the bathrooms from the swing. But, I couldn't take a chance that some perv might be in the bathroom and there was no way in hell I was leaving the little one on the swings.

When he caught up with us, Mr. SLS didn't think I was being too much though he did say chances are Nephew SLS would have been OK by himself.

Anyway, I think that balance you get from a mom AND a dad is important.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Have News

My divorce hearing was at 10 a.m. today. Mr. SLS was late and had the marriage certificate so I couldn't divorce him in absentia. The clerk was nice though and moved our case to the bottom of the list to give him time to show up.

It was interesting. Most of the other cases were same-sex marriages. And with the exception of us and another black couple who had been married for 23 years, all these folks got married last year.

I thought there would be more to the whole thing, but basically the judge asked us to verify our identities and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then asked us when we got married, when we separated, whether we had had marital relations during that separation and whether we both had agreed to separate. Then we went over our having no kids or assets to argue over and that was it. It took all of 3 minutes. Seems like the dissolution of a family should take longer than that. Sigh.

I thought I would be sad when this day came, but I sit here now eating brunch with Mr. SLS and it feels like any other day. I'm considering going to work.

Our divorce will be final in 30 days if neither of us appeals it before then.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Something New

I know I said I wasn't ready to date but whatever, this young man pursued me and I couldn't run that fast. LOL!

Anyway, we've been hanging out and he's a cool kid, but different in some ways I'm not used to but that I like. A lot.

And he's alpha male, which I LOVE. Handle me. Don't just SAY you're the boss BE the boss. Chea!

Is there a future for us? I don't know about all that. I'm not planning for tomorrow, I'm just enjoying this right here, right now.

That's all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Life Is Strange

When I met my husband he was a teetotaler who didn't really hang out beyond playing gigs.

Now, he's at a club every weekend getting drunk and, I guess, picking up women. *blink*

Maybe it's a mid-life crisis, maybe he's tired of being responsible and he's "acting out," but I know that the person he is now is not anybody I want to be married to.

And soon I won't be.

So, there ya go.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Grandma Funny I Forgot To Share

My Grandma's niece Ann came to her party with her new husband. Ann is at least 51 years old. Now, Ann's new husband is a nice looking fella. He was clean and dressed well, smelled good.

And then Ann's husband smiled and he looked like this:

I'll pause and let you take that in.

Anyway, Ann's husband was talking to me about how he has TWO roadsters like mine, though admittedly, I missed much of what he said cause I couldn't tear my eyes away from his gold tooth. After he helped my uncle put my Grandma in my car, he and Ann rode off in a shiny new BMW.

As I drove Grandma home I said in passing that he seemed nice and that I wondered what he did for a living.

My Grandma pursed her lips and said, "Whatever business it is it's criminal cause that's the only kinda business he can be doing with all those cars and that gold ass tooth in his mouth." (Note: My Grandma says she doesn't cuss. According to her, shit and ass are NOT cusswords).

I can't WAIT until I'm 90 and can say whatever.in.da.hell.I.want.to. LOL!

A Divorce Funny

On a board I follow for women dealing with issues around separation, infidelity and divorce, a new poster asked how to answer questions about why she and her spouse were divorcing without getting into details she didn't want to share.

Here's the response one poster uses that I plan to adopt IMMEDIATELY:

"he kept asking people really inappropriate personal questions." Then I stare at them. 

BWAAHAAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

A Work & Labor Funny

My friend E that works with me is pregnant. Baby is due next month. We love picking on our editor. I don't know why. He is such an easy target though! And it makes us laugh.

ANYWAY, here's an IM conversation E and I were having today:

E: they say that labor usually starts slowly. and my doctor encourages us to labor at home for as long as possible. i'm sure i could even walk home (1.5 miles) when it starts. that's my hunch. we'll see though.

ME: boy.

E: or i might ask for a ride home. :)

ME: see, i can't see me being all zen and saying, I think I'll stroll home

E: hahahhahaha

ME: i see me being like, THIS BIG HEAD BABY IS COMING OUT MY STUFF SOON HELPPPPPPPPPPPPPP

E: you crack me up. i know. i still can't believe i have to give birth. yikes. I'm like, getting pregnant will be fun! having a newborn will be fun! but birth? I forgot about that part. what did i get myself into?!?! :)

ME: IT'S COMING!!! (GOES INTO EDITOR'S OFFICE AND MOANS) THE BABY IS ON THE WAY (LAYS OUT ON EDITOR'S DESK)

E: oh my god. i should totally do that. i should actually pretend. see what he does when i'm like 39 weeks along. i'll drape myself across his computer and say, 'i just want to have the baby right here'

BWAAHAAHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OK, I've been so busy...

Cuttin' up over on Black 'n Bougie today that I was neglecting my OWN blog as I did have something I wanted to talk about today.

This song came on today as I was speeding to work:


And when I heard the line that starts 1:37, I was like, wait, whoa.

See, I was with Jaz, Mary J. and 'em right up until then -- "I know it's hard but know that you can walk away, cause it aint no man out there worth causing you all this pain" -- I can get behind that. 

Then Mary J. said this, "I remember, that pain and n****s is all the same." No ma'am. NO MA'AM to that. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the "My Life", "Share My World" Mary J. Blige fans. I have never stopped listening to "Mary J. Blige: The Tour." 

But I just didn't like that line. I can't quite put my finger on why except it is so.very.bitter.sounding. Hard. Ugly. I envision a woman with twisted lips lighting up a cigarette and sucking her teeth as she says it. I KNOW! It makes me think of Namond's mom from "The Wire" and I hated her so much I wanted to punch her character through my TV.


Anyway, that is all. Carry on. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I realizeeee that I just don't love yoooou, NOT like I used to!

I'm not a big a John Legend fan, but I did love this song back in the day and I've had it spinning on repeat for an hour now.

P.S. I think I stopped liking John when I met him and he was my height practically and kinda frail looking. That killed it. HOLLA HOLLA HOLLAAAAA!

P.P.S. I love how Kanye is supposed to be the directing the choir in this video but keeps looking right into the camera. LOL

The Walk

Spotify turned me on to this and I have to share.

I Woke Up With The BeeGees In My Head

Who the hell knows why but here ya go:


And here's some Andy Gibb since we're there this a.m.:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I had a crazy Friday yo.

It turns out that you when you rarely drink caffeine and then you get on a half and half (half sweet tea, half lemonade) kick and drink Honest Tea all the time instead of water or even the sparkling water that you normally drink you can get very very very very very dehydrated with dry heaves and retching and stuff.

And when that happens you have terrible dizziness and vertigo and it's scary so you call work to let them know you can't come but you've scared yourself so bad that you're crying on the phone so your boss insists you call 911 which you do after calling your soon to be ex-husband who also says call 911 and that he will meet you at the hospital. By now you're in a full on cry and panic and when the firemen arrive (dunno why they come first) and you stumble down to the door with everything looking like an LSD trip they check your vitals (which surprisingly and thankfully were good!) and then you proceed to vomit up clear fluids until the ambulance gets there, and then you retch and heave when going out into the ambulance scaring your elderly neighbors who have looked out for you for nine years.

You get to the hospital and they initially think you have food poisoning, and give you something for nausea (thank you Miss Jean!) and you feel better now so you want to go home and then you sit up and everything is still spinning so the doc comes around and asks you some questions and presses your belly here and there and it's decided that you are dehydrated and the lining of your stomach is inflamed. They take some tests and samples to be sure, hook you to an IV to get fluids into you, your soon to be ex-husband comes and talks to your mother who was already in the car and headed up I-85 and to the doc and gets stuff straight then puts you in the car.

Then you go home. And get in the bed. Water only for me for the unforeseen future.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Mama SLS!

I called my mom this morning to wish her a happy birthday and she told me that she wanted a blowout birthday party -- three years from now. What da hell? LOL!

THEN when I asked her what she was doing today (my mama "retired" in 2003, but has continued to take long-term sub teaching gigs) she said her friend was going to work for her (what?!) and she was going to a hotel to check-in and she would be ordering room service, watching Trash TV, getting a massage and not answering her cell.

Of course, I only half heard the last part of the conversation cause I was like, what kind of job is this where you can send your FRIEND in to work for you when you don't feel like going? How do I get that hook up?

Well she told me I was keeping her from her celebration and got off the phone. 

One day Imma be old enough to do and say whatever I want to all the time, too. LOL!

Have a good one y'all!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the end these things matter most....

How well did you love?

How fully did you live?

How deeply did you let go?

— Siddhārtha Gautama

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You *Can* Go Home Again!

It was so cool to be home with my family. And this was the time to be there as I saw relatives I haven't seen in years and years and years, such as:

My fave great-uncle F, who told me I was even more beautiful than the last time he saw me.

His wife, my fave great-aunt B, who hugged me so tight and told she had missed me and that she thinks about me every year when she cooks okra because I always liked her okra.

My cousin K and his children. He looks so much like his dad now that he's older it was scary.

My cousin C's new girlfriend, who I like a lot. He's doing well after his divorce. Gives me hope.

My cousin S's "oops" baby (he's 19 months), who was on my hip and in my lap for a long time cause he liked him some Cousin SLS.

And it was really great to see my Grandma with three of her seven sisters (another two couldn't make it and then another two are deceased -- one passed away a couple of months ago). Her last living brother wasn't able to make it. But, that's a lot of folks still with us (my great grandparents had 17 children) and my Grandma isn't the oldest!

And various and sundry other relatives.

I will admit that lately when I've gone home I have actually thought about going back to live there. I never thought I would get to that point. I guess this time it didn't feel like the prison it has felt like in the past AND I liked having people around who loved me.

Finally, I got to have one special moment with my Grandma. Now, she may be 90, but she is vain as all get out. So when I went to pick her up, I helped her get dressed. We picked out her wig, her jewelry, her make up and she had her nails done and all that. I never got to play dress up with this grandma cause that wasn't her thing, that was what me and Granny did. It was a nice shared memory.

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Quick Post Before I Head South....

My mama has this plan for me to bring my Grandma to her party so it can be a surprise. Did I mention that this is my Grandma's 90th birthday?!

OK put aside the fact that this "surprise" might make this my Grandma's LAST birthday and let's talk about how she's still sassy and working us.

The plan is I call Grandma and tell her I am coming home for the weekend and am taking her to lunch on Saturday, so go in your closet with all those boxes of shoes and matching hats and handbags and get your cute outfit all laid out now.

I do this. Grandma's response? "No, I'm wearing overhauls (her word for jeans)."

I say, no, we're going to be beautiful ladies who lunch on Saturday, so you need to have on a pretty dress.

Her response? "If you want me to wear a pretty dress then you need to buy me one. Otherwise, I'm wearing overhauls."

So, I say, "I'm going to tell my mama!"

She says, "Tell her! I'm HER mama! And then both of y'all can go shopping and get me a pretty dress."

*blink*

Have a good weekend everybody! LOL!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What's on your bucket list?

One of mine is to see Don Giovanni at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City. I'm going to give that to myself for Christmas. How about you, what's on your list?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Random randoms

I haven't been feeling like hanging out recently. Maybe the summer of fun and drunken revelry tired me out, maybe it's the cooler weather, but whatever it is, I'm perfectly content to sit up in my house.

I was invited out by some girlfriends last evening and didn't want to go. I wanted to settle in at home and watch more of Medium. (I've been streaming it on Netflix trying to catch up so I can get to the series finale).

But since I work with them and they were right here and not taking no for an answer, I said I would go out and have one drink and then break out at 7 p.m. I had the one drink, but was having so much fun, I didn't hold firmly to my deadline. It was fun. And, I see now, that I'm going to have to make myself get out this fall and winter.
****
I said before that I am still in touch with my high school and college beaus. Both have been reaching out to me more since I said I was getting divorced -- just checking to make sure I'm OK. 

One thing that has been interesting to me is that they both want to "fix it." For example, one looked at a web profile I have and started giving me feedback -- lengthy ones -- for changes and improvements. Um, I like it just as it is, thank you. I'm good.

The other is trying to show me the light and the way to Jesus, passing along scriptures he thinks would be good and giving me helpful suggestions for what I should be looking for in a church. OK, yeah, I'm good. Thanks.

I've never wondered what life would have been like married to these two guys. I'm good.

****
I need to wash clothes. Like most household chores, I hate this job. Gotta do it though. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Reflections: Buying A House

Nine years ago today at about 11:30 a.m., I closed on my house. I bought in 2002 because, in my estimation, the rent was too damn high here in the Washington Metro area and I couldn't see giving my money to a landlord when I could be putting that cash toward a property of my own.

Still, that didn't stop me from being scared. Was I doing the right thing? Could I really afford it? What if something big broke?

But here it is, nine years later and I've never missed or been late with a mortgage payment, I've made renovations, I've furnished it twice, I've replaced the windows, the roof, the HVAC, the awning and some of the electrical work. I learned how to paint, how to use a drill, how to change light fixtures, install a doorbell and what drill bit to use on my plaster walls.

Initially I was scared to sleep upstairs, so I slept on my sofa in the basement, near the door, clutching my purse. Then, I moved one level up to the family room off of the kitchen. Then I moved to the top level and into the guest room. Eventually, I moved into my bedroom.

That first winter was a cold one. I was scared to cut the heat up too high because I was frightened about getting an astronomical gas bill. I was also sweaty that first summer because I was afraid to cut the air down too low because I didn't want to get a crazy power bill AND I was terrified of sleeping with the windows open as I didn't want someone to climb in and kill me.

If you had asked me back then if I would still be living in that same house nine years later, I would have said, "of course not!" I knew I would be married someday and assumed I would sell or rent my house and me and my beau would buy another together.

It was hard coming back to my house earlier this year. I felt like I was moving backward instead of forward. I didn't really want to leave the home I shared with Mr. SLS because it was home to me. My house was just a house.

However, I am grateful that I had a house to come back to when my marriage failed. And it is starting to feel like home again, though there is so much stuff I still want and need to do in there before I can say I'm "done."

And here's a song I sing in the shower a lot:

Monday, September 26, 2011

Supporting Players

Over on my friend Lottie's blog she's asking whether women support their men enough, given all the things we ask them to do for us. You can check it out here: 30 Something: Loving Him (Part 1)

Rather than blog in her comments, I'm going to put my response here:

When I met Mr. SLS he was going to grad school part-time and it was going to take him 1005000000 years to finish his masters degree. He had inherited some money when his mom passed away the year before that she had told him to use for something other than bills. He spent some of it taking me to Europe and to Savannah (I love Savannah!), Ga.

I encouraged him to go part-time with the school district so he could go to grad school full-time (he could finish in one year that way) and to take that money his mom left him and use it to supplement his income in the interim. Then I helped him with his papers -- proofing, editing etc. -- and went to all his recitals, including one where he was in so much pain (he had surgery sked the next day) he could barely stand and he had to lean on me to get to the car afterward.

I made him business cards to give out when he was at gigs so people could get in touch with him. I helped him make cds to share with people who wanted a sample of his music, I went to his gigs -- sometimes late into the night when I had to work the next day -- I promoted his performances among my circle of friends.

The only reason y'all know bad stuff about Mr. SLS now is because he cheated and we are divorcing. Before then, he was the best man/husband/musician EVAH. I had no problem supporting my man in achieving his dream(s) and holding him down in public and behind closed doors. I didn't do it out of obligation, I did it because I loved him and we were a family, and when he succeeded WE succeeded.

I will say, though, after all the effort and love I put into this marriage only for it to fail, I am not sure how much I am willing to do for someone else at this point. That's obviously something I will have to work through before I embark on another relationship.

And lest that all sound depressing, TiffanyInHouston wrote today about what she's learned during her first year of marriage. It made me tear up, but y'all know I'm waterworks anyway so....Happy Anniversary TMack and M2!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things I Learned Hanging Out With A 5-Year-Old

As I noted a couple of posts ago I took Mr. SLS' niece to the movies today. It was a good little outing and I learned a few things that I will share here:

  • Her mom is 37, which is old but nowhere near as old as her dad, who is 50. That is old. As hell. I made sure to inform her that I was 25 and Uncle SLS is 75. *snicker*
  • Boys play too rough.
  • She is in kindergarten and they have rules. She likes it when people follow the rules.
  • Even though it looks like you can touch the things on the movie screen, you really can't it's the glasses playing a trick on you.
  • Mac and cheese is good because of the cheese.
  • Even if you get up late you should eat breakfast. 
  • The school bus is yellow like the lines in the street. 
  • My car should have a backseat. 
  • My car is fast. 
  • You don't have one friend when you're in school, every one in class is your friend when you're in school.
And there's this tidbit that reminded me that kids see and hear everything:
  • Her daddy takes his wedding ring off a lot when he leaves the house. 
ANYWAY, we set a date for our next outing which will be going to a pumpkin patch because she drew a picture of her picking pumpkins so I thought I would try to make that come true. I just have to find a pumpkin patch. It was a good way to spend what otherwise would have been a lazy Sunday.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

"Timeless" by Sergio Mendes

This was my fave cd for a minute back in 2006. I hadn't listened to it in a while so I pulled it out today and have been jamming. Thought I would share a couple of my fave tracks with you.



Friday, September 23, 2011

"You think you're slick and you've gotten over." -- Angela Winbush

Being a Great Auntie!

Everybody in Mr. SLS' family including and especially him has asked me to please not cut off my relationship with his 5-year-old niece. They feel I am a great influence on her, she has two brothers and no sisters or girl cousins (or any cousins at all for that matter as we didn't have kids and Mr. SLS' sister and her husband have no children) and she is very very attached to me.

As a result, I talk to her on the phone every now and again, and I decided recently that I would revive our once a month activity days. This Sunday I am taking her to see The Lion King and when I talked to her last night about it, she was so excited she could barely eat her dinner.

But what's always cracked me up about this little girl is she is a child, but grown too. Not in a sassy, side-eye way, but in her curiousity and her conversational skills. When I had my surgery back in 2009, she and her mom came over and brought dinner. She insisted -- at 3 -- on serving Mr. SLS his dinner and then they sat at the table talking. About what I don't know as I was posted up on the sofa, but whenever I glanced over at them they were just chattering away as she kept replenishing his plate.

Because her mom is not American and was raised as a Muslim, I've been able to do little stuff with her that her mom didn't know about, such as dye Easter eggs. She told me I was the coolest auntie EVER when we finished that project.

We've baked cookies and made rice krispie treats. We've gone to museums and ridden the bus and the Metro.

Next month we're going to do Jack-o-Lanterns and in November we'll do some kind of craft project (the beauty of being the child of a first grade teacher is that I know what to do with little kids, LOL).

I like being the fun auntie. Here's another fun auntie (and I know Lucille Ball played this role, too, but Rosalind Russell did it best):

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friendly Advice

In the past few months when my married friends have called me for advice, I felt odd giving it. My marriage failed. I felt like, what the hell do I know, I couldn't fix my own ish. And I took to adding that as a disclaimer.

Today, my best guy friend called me for some advice. I thought he mostly needed to talk to someone so I listened and let him get it all out and in the air. Often when people hear themselves, they can fix their own ish.

But turns out he did want me to offer some ideas for how to solve the problem, and as I started with my "remember my marriage failed" disclaimer, he cut me off and told me to stop doing that. To stop disparaging my experience.

The thing is, nothing makes me suck my teeth and side-eye quicker than Steve Harvey somebody with a string of failed relationships trying to give marital advice. I know the idea is that, here are the lessons I learned in the failures, but still, I wanna hear from folks who weathered the storm and stayed together. Anybody can quit.

In any case, I told him to seek out counseling NOW before this medium but potentially serious problem becomes a great big one, and then I remembered that I give out advice on the Web all.the.time. LOL! And, there is value in the lessons learned from the failure of my marriage.

So, from now on feel free to ask me for advice!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Musical Chairs

Other than my oldest cousin, nobody in my mom's family knows I am divorcing.

My mom is throwing a 90th birthday party for my Grandma in a couple of weeks. My Grandma wants to see her favorite grandson-in-law, Mr. SLS. At her party. Surrounded by all my family. Who don't know we are divorcing.

Sigh.

Yes, yes, yes, I know I should tell folks about the divorce. I was hoping when my younger cousins came to visit this summer I could tell them and they would disseminate the information. They had to cancel the visit, though, because my youngest cousin got a freelance filmmaking gig in L.A.

I was thinking my mama would tell it, cause she tells every-damn-thang else, but noooooooooooo she's holding this one close to her chest.

My oldest cousin won't tell it cause it's not his business to tell and he's not messy. Which is why I tell him stuff cause he will take a secret to the grave. Damn him.

So, Mr. SLS is trying to rearrange stuff and see if he can go home with me and attend this 90th birthday party for my Grandma. I'll tell him about the promise I made that he would play a song at the party on the trip down.

What?

If At First You Don't Succeed....

My mother's next door neighbor has been married four times. Her first husband -- we'll call him Mr. Smith -- was her son's father (her son is my age and we grew up together).

When she got married the second time, my family was at the wedding as we all attended the same neighborhood church. It was pretty, the cake was good. I think I was 10. They moved into her house. He (we'll call him Mr. Jones) was friendly enough. And nosy. He reported everything to my mama he saw me do that kinda crossed a line. Then one day he was gone. By then I was in college.

When she got married the third time, I had been living away from home for awhile. I didn't even know she had remarried. My mama said nobody knew, really, dude just showed up one day and was living with her. This guy wasn't as nice and friendly as husband no. 2 so he didn't fit in with the neighborhood. ALL my mom's neighbors have been living there since I was a kid. When I go home I have to stop by and say hello and catch up and stuff.

The fourth husband is a very nice retired man who looks out for my mama by taking her trash cans to the curb and bringing them back and stuff like that. He always chats me up when I go home. Yes, he lives in her house, too.

I should note that I have never called her anything other than Mrs. Smith. Well, not true, for about five mins I called her Mrs. Jones and then when he was gone, I went back to Mrs. Smith and that's been that.

Would you do all this marrying and divorcing? Would you move all these men into your house each time? Do you think she moved them into her house cause she knew the relationships prolly wouldn't last, so why bother relocating, moving her stuff and all that?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Summer Days Driftin' Away

I was thinking about all I did this summer and decided that, dammit, I had a really great summer of 2011! Whoohoooooo!  

I developed new friendships and renewed some old ones. I spent quality time with my mom and niece. I went on some fun dates. I went to the beach. I did some career networking.

I was also thinking about the teacher and realizing that, sometimes, people come into our lives for reasons other than why WE think that they are there.

For example, I had a mad crush on him and thought he was going to be a romantic interest for me. That didn't happen. But, on reflection, that may not have been why he was placed in my path.

See, I have to admit that if it hadn't been for some things he said, I would not have stepped up and filed for divorce. In fact, I'm pretty sure that I was going to resist when Mr. SLS brought up that we needed to talk about it. But, I needed to file for divorce. Doing that gave me some power back in this situation. For so long now, I have felt like it was all out of my control.

The teacher also led me to reflect more on my faith and spiritual life. I am contemplating trying, again, to find a spiritual community. I have often wondered if Mr. SLS and I had been part of a faith community might we have stayed together. I even asked him that question and he thought about it for a long while and then said, very sadly, "I'm not sure. Maybe."

I also had some good dates and talks with the teacher at a time when I needed some male attention and companionship.

It's the whole reason, season and lifetime thing, I guess.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Wouldn't You Know It?

Yesterday as I was walking back to work from the courthouse, I saw the WMATA offices and remembered I had "lost" my SmarTrip card so I stopped and got another one.

This morning, as I was straightening up while waiting for Mr. SLS to pick me up (we had an appt at 10 a.m.) I found the old SmarTrip card. It was laying on my dresser. In plain view. Sigh.

Mr. SLS and I stopped for breakfast after finishing our appointment and as we chatted he said something about his money being tight. I pointed out that he had been saying that all summer long and asked what was he doing with his money. He asked if he needed to be telling me all of that since we were split up and I said, you do if it means I have to wait to get MY money. Playing with my money is like playing with my emotions, don't make me stab you with this fork in front of all these people.

Also I gave the other key back. I don't want access to his house, I just had emotions tied up in the key he had given me way back when.

Hope you all are having a relaxing Saturday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Bits of This and That

I walked the other piece of paper we needed to file with the divorce court down to the courthouse today and now, all we need to do is show up for our hearing.

I was supposed to go out with Mr. SLS yesterday for drinks, but somewhere around 4 p.m. I decided I didn't feel like being out and I told him to just come by and have a drink instead. Then I went home, had ONE glass of wine and fell asleep like a dead woman. He called and said something something something to which I replied (*sjhaosd8907a8!*@ and then I woke up this morning. In my clothes. With my hair all mashed and crazy on one side. And all the lights on in the house. And food in pots on the stove (thankfully I had cut the stove off before I conked out). I haven't been sleeping well this week and I guess the glass of wine was all my body needed to shut down.

I'm invited to a fancy-ish party tomorrow at an embassy and I need to find something to wear. I've been looking around but I'm still not sure what to get. Remember, I said this party is TOMORROW.

My house is a mess upstairs. The other two levels are fine. If I had guests I would not be embarrassed. But the top level of my house where the bedrooms are has clothes strewn from one end to the other. It's a mess.

I'm not ready for it to be cold. I don't like to leave the house when it's cold.

This week was a busy one at work, but in a good way. Not all hectic and crazy, but more ideas and brainstorming. I like that.

Ever since I came home from the beach, I have been cooking dinner in my house.

The city offers free aerobics and weight training classes at one of the THREE community centers near my house, so I signed up.

And since this is a post about random nothings, here ya go:

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The last anniversary

This is a pic from our reception.
I decided I want to use this last wedding anniversary to remember my wedding day.

Four years ago on a beautiful sunny Saturday, I got married in a garden surrounded by 50 of the family and friends who were dearest to me and Mr. SLS, which included the officiant and the musicians. We had just one outside vendor, the florist. Everyone else was a friend.

I woke up sad that morning because it had rained so hard the night before -- like torrential rains where you could barely see out of the windshield -- that I didn't think we would be able to have our garden wedding and instead would have to take the whole operation inside.

I went to get my hair done and when I stepped out of the house it was still misty and damp. I decided to get over it, cause inside or out, I would be married to Mr. SLS and that was the best part of the whole thing.

I talked to Mr. SLS (I was at my house and he was at his, we didn't see each other before the wedding) and everything was loverly.

I ate breakfast with my mom. The makeup artist came to get me all painted and spackled. My photographer friend met me at the the house to take candid shots of me getting ready, my little filmmaker cousin was at the wedding location taking video. And as I was leaving the house, I talked to my friend who was staying a block away from the wedding location and she told me the sun was out and shining and everything was all dried up and the garden wedding was on.

I showed up, got dressed, walked down the stairs, met up with my daddy, walked outside and down the aisle and met Mr. SLS at the altar. I vowed to love him and laugh with him 'til death did us part.

Now back to reality: In the past four years we have gone from madly in love to divorce. I always thought that we talked about everything and communicated well. We went to a trained counselor before we got married, not just the two or three sessions with a pastor cause we wanted to start off on the best footing. We agreed that we would always be honest with each other, no matter what, so that we could fix problems before they grew too big. We agreed that if a problem got too big for us, we would return to the counselor. I supported him with his music and he supported me with all my harebrained schemes. We were the best of friends and didn't have money problems or bedroom problems and we talked to each other.

Yet somehow, we still ended up here. Sigh.