Monthly Archives: November 2011

Molly, rewritten

Boys are gross.

It’s a saying my friend and cousin Cara and I have used the past few years, almost as a code to let the other know that we’re frustrated with the opposite sex.

Today, it’s my mantra.

After four months of being really pretty darned happy – I met a great guy and was happy with how things were going – the mantra has returned.

Boys are gross.

I say that not as a whiner, but as a stronger person than even I realized. I’ve often said I love being in my 40s but I don’t think I really understood the extent of that statement. I’m better in my 40s – stronger, smarter and more confident and happy with who I am. I really got a glimpse of just how true that is this week.

I met The Boyfriend in July and was a little apprehensive. After six years of kissing toads, apprehension just comes naturally. But we hit it off pretty quickly and were soon “comfortable.” There were no nerves when we’d get together, we would talk/chat/email all day and though he worked two jobs and had just one free weekend a month, we managed to find time to spend together. He sent me texts every morning to wake me up and wish me a good day, there would be a good morning email either waiting for me when I got to work or would get there shortly after I arrived, we’d kid around during the day …

Then it just ended. He stopped texting and emailing, and wouldn’t answer his phone or return messages. Monday and Tuesday I was hurt, but Wednesday I was pissed. He was going to stop by to pick something up Wednesday night for his family Thanksgiving and I had to call him at work to find out when he’d be here (since I knew he wasn’t answering texts or emails). He gave me a time and we hung up. Then he never came. Never called. Never sent a text to let me know he wouldn’t be there.

I called to find out where he was, and he didn’t answer. Stunned, I hung up. Five minutes later I called again and this time left a message. I was done. I told him goodbye. Two days later and I still haven’t heard from him.

I let myself be sad for the rest of the day. Just that time. Then I moved on.

The “old” Molly probably wouldn’t have made that last phone call. That Molly would have looked for any excuse as to why all of this was happening, would have made excuses for him and probably found a reason that it was my fault. That Molly would have been devastated.

This Molly – the real Molly – is a better, stronger version. I deserve better. We all do. The Boyfriend was stressed, I’m sure, but in his decision to ignore me – even when he knew it was hurting – he suddenly took his pain and tried to make it mine, and let me know my hurt and pain didn’t matter.

It does matter. It matters to me. And this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the strength and confidence to stand up for myself.

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Facing our own mortality

We often talk about children and teens and how they tend to think they’re immortal, that they have this, “It can never happen to me” sense about them when it comes to doing certain things. There’s a bravado that children have, probably through the innocence of not having seen anything prove it wrong, that lets them believe they will live forever.

Today I’ve discovered that I have lived a bit with that “never happens to me” belief, as well. Oh, not by living vicariously and riding my bicycle down a steep hill to take the jump at the bottom or swinging on a rope over a boulder-filled lake.

No, this mortality comes in the form of disease, age and death. I learned this morning that the sister of one of my very best friends in middle school and high school passed away yesterday. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s last November and, according to Janie, her sister and my childhood friend, the disease moved quickly.

Idona Branstuder, Janie’s older sister, was a bit older than we were – Janie’s parents had two children, Charles and Idona, and then when the older two were in high school had two more, Janie and Nina – but not much. Her obituary lists her as 60, which seems far too young for the evils of Alzheimer’s to creep in. And Janie, who like me is 44, seems much too young to be losing a sibling to such a crippling disease.

My heart goes out to Janie and Nina and the rest of the Tate family in northwestern Missouri. It’s stories like this that truly make my heart ache. I’ve not yet reconciled myself with the idea that my friends and cousins and others my age are facing the real possibility of losing their parents, nor have I come to see the true age of my own parents. My dad and I were talking about aging the other day and I realized that at 72, he is considered elderly – yet when I hear media reports of an “elderly man” of 70s doing something, I shake my head in disbelief.

I know, logically, that we are aging. That it’s been 26 years since my family moved from that small town in Missouri and Janie and I went from hanging out after school to writing letters once in a while. Yet there are times it seems not so long ago, and that we’re not as old as we really are — and those times spent with Janie after school in Idona’s small house listening to Van Halen albums and smoking cigarettes where our parents wouldn’t see us aren’t so distant after all.

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A time to be thankful

I’ve been a little lax in posting lately- really, since I started this thing, but even moreso now – so thought it best I get back to it. And what better time than now, when winter is fast approaching and we’re all going to be holed up at home, trying to stay warm and searching for something to do.

I’m stealing this idea from several Facebook friends who have opted to post their own “30 days to be thankful” lists, one item for each day. Because I have a hard time saying anything in a short way – and because I need to get back to blogging – I’m going to do mine here. Of course, those who know me will appreciate the irony/symbolism of my getting started on the second day of November because I am rarely “on time” for anything. Hell, I was even four days late coming out of the birth canal! 

Day One: I’ll start with something easy, but knock of two things with one day (which will make it tougher at the end of the month). I have to start by saying I am most thankful for the incredible family and friends that I have. I’ve often said I was blessed to have been born into the family I was and I will continue saying it.  Many of my family members are among my very best friends, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.

I’ve also been blessed with some very wonderful friends, many of whom are like family. I’ve also come to realize that sappy internet/Facebook post about “friends coming to your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime” is really pretty true. I have some lifetime friends, but there have also been people in my life who were very important to me at the time they were in my life, mostly when one or the other of us needed just what the other had to offer to get us through a hard time or difficult situation. Rather than mourn the loss of those friendships I’ve learned to appreciate them for what they were.

Day Two: My kids. I know, technically they fall under “family” but really, they’re so much more. We’ve been on our own for what will be 10 years in January (holy cow!) and, quite honestly, we’ve been through a lot together. But when they could have resented me, turned to deviant behavior or done a lot of really bad things, they haven’t. That’s not to say we’ve lived the lives of Pollyanna – we’ve had our share of parent/child drama – but I’m really proud of the people they are becoming. I love that we enjoy spending time together, even if it’s just going to the grocery store or sitting around watching a movie or something really dumb on TV (Justin and I watch “Archer” together now when he’s home – hilariously funny, but really, really dumb …). We’ve got the wonderful relationship that allows us to be friends while at the same time they still know “I’m the Momma” and they respect that line. They’re amazing, and I’ve had a great time watching them strengthen their wings and get ready to fly.

(See why I didn’t do this on Facebook?!)

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