What Empty Nest Syndrome? Ya’ll Are Cray-Cray…..

I have three boys or should I say I’m the mother of three grown ass men.  But, in my world they will always be boys.  I call them “boys” when they’re at my house on Sunday afternoons because we get together at least once a week on a Sunday to have Sunday dinner and watch football during football season.  Since I’m a single mom (yes still after 19 years of being divorced) and so I still revert to calling them boys even thought my oldest is 32 years old.  Which brings me to today’s entry.  My oldest lives with me, my other two live on their own.  Well, they live on their own together, they share an apartment.  In any case, my oldest lives with me until he can pay off his car, and hopefully find a better job that pays more so that he can finally move out and let me live alone.

Not that I mind having my eldest son live with me (much) because I love him after all there is a certain je ne sais quoi (aggravation) that he brings to my life on a daily basis.  He was born into a very chaotic world, being the son of teenage parents and we (I, his dad is perpetually 19 years old) grew right along with him.  But living with my son who’s in his early thirties is an adventure (disaster).  He has his father’s characteristics (ugh) so he’s not the easiest going person in the world.  But he has his positive traits, like I can see that although he’s still a responsible adult (living with his mom) he hasn’t lost his childish enthusiasm (warped sense of humor).  On his days off he washes his clothes, cleans his room and the kitchen (sometimes) and his bathroom.  He prepares for the next work day and then he takes some time to rest.  But this morning we had somewhat of a disagreement (argument) about using an entire storage container for what I consider to be an ounce of food.  He has my refrigerator cluttered with food containers that “contain” about two or three teaspoons of food.

Therefore leaving NO room to store other items that need the storage space in my fridge.  As I was about to leave and went to grab my prepared lunch, I opened the door and three containers of food fell to the clean kitchen floor, one of those containers popped its lid and food splatted on the floor and hit the cabinet as well.  Did I mention that it was the container with my lunch? No? well it was, and as I yelled out in frustration he came running out of the bathroom in his towel and said “What happened?” as I stood there pointing at the three plastic containers on the floor with one oozing out my spaghetti and meatball lunch.  I told him that he needed to clean out the f***ng fridge when he got home this afternoon and throw away anything he wasn’t going to eat and that only had a tiny bit of food in it.  He looked at me and said “You know, we’re throwing away food, and there are starving people in the world” and I calmly (annoyingly) said to him that what he has saved wouldn’t do much good to anyone.

And then I took out nine, NINE plastic containers from the fridge and left them on the counter and took one with a meatball, ONE f***ng meatball!  I said to him “why didn’t you eat that?  What’s the point of saving one freaking meatball?!?!”  He said “I wasn’t going to throw that way, its wasting food.”  At that moment I looked down and realized that marinara sauce had splattered onto my black suede boots.  I took all the containers and gently put (threw) them into the sink and told him to clean out the fridge and throw all the food in there that’s drying up in the air they share in these storage containers.  Like the ¼ of a pork chop that’s been in there for over two weeks.  He looked at me and said “God mom, you’re so wasteful” and walked away back into the bathroom to dry his hair. As I took a damp cloth to wipe the red splattered sauce from my boot I thought to myself, if I lived alone this wouldn’t have happened.

If I lived alone I’d be able to walk around naked and not worry about anyone (or the cat) seeing me.  Oh, did I mention that my son has a cat?  He and his cat live with their mom (cat nana).  I think I prefer the cat (not really, but yes really) because the cat doesn’t squirrel away bits of cat food under the couch or in the bathtubs (maybe he does who knows he may have tiny containers with one or two bits of cat food, ugh just the thought) even though I love my son to death I am just about ready for him to move on, move out and fill his own fridge with plastic containers of half eaten food that he’ll wind up throwing away no matter how he “thinks” he’s saving food.

But I realize I should cherish this time with him, because once he gets married (not holding my breath) I will see him less and less (crossing fingers).  And that I may only talk to him via phone or text (perfectly fine with me) so I should be more patient (if he had his own place) and less grumpy (it’s my f***ing house) about my son living (taking up space) with me.  Did I mention he has three cars?  And that he’s taken over my garage with most of his workout equipment and boxes and boxes of stuff (crap)?  His three cars are all in my driveway (and the side of my house) and they are all in working order.  I asked him why he felt the need to have three cars (okay two cars and a truck) and he said because he could.  Did I mentioned that I truly love (want to kill) my son?

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Charming Part II

When I was twenty-nine I met a man, a wonderfully handsome man whom I believed might be “the” one, “the” Prince Charming. I fell in love for the first time as an adult (or for the first time period I should say) and all I wanted to do was be with this man I loved so very much. Oh, yeah did I mention he was married (he still is, so he didn’t turn out to be Charming either) and please save your judgmental distain for someone else. No one will ever know what I’ve been through until they’ve walked forty-five miles in my stilettoes hauling a very precocious five year old and two pre-teen boys who are tugging and pulling you in every direction but the one you want to go in. It didn’t start out that way, when I met him he had filed for legal separation from his wife. And because I’m the person I am, I went online to make sure he wasn’t lying to me, and made my way through the online county database for El Paso and I found it. Hey, I had to make sure, but did it help? Nope.

Falling in love and dating a married man is not something that any woman sets out to do. I mean it’s not one of our life goals or on our bucket list next to graduating college, going on a cruise or buying those blue satin Manolo Blahnik shoes from the Sex and the City movie. It’s just not something one thinks about when you’re going through it. When you find yourself in a situation like mine, trying to find the moral compass that you know you should follow but is just as elusive as that fucking Charming guy with his mythical white horse everyone says he rides in on. And where does he actually ride in on from? Like does a magic cloud appear at the very moment he decides to “ride” into your life? Or does he actually ride miles and miles from somewhere? But where?! I want to fucking know?! Is there a portal or wormhole that he just rides through and *poof* he’s amazingly at your front door, with his white steed huffing and puffing almost as if to say “Dude next time warn me we’re going to go through that fucking thing and I won’t be caught off guard, okay?”

In any case, the fact that girls grow up to believe that Prince Charming is out there somewhere is a farce, and in a way I’m so glad that I didn’t have daughters because I think I would have been very straight forward had I had a daughter. I would have said to her something like this “So, you know that grandma told you about Prince Charming, but don’t believe her because grandma is bat shit crazy and that Charming dude doesn’t really exist”. But even though I had boys, I have also made sure that they knew that girls/women might hold them up to this false image of what men should be like.
Women who believe this myth expect to be rescued by men whom they’ve been tricked into believing they are their very own version of Prince Charming. And that those expectations may go awry in catastrophic ways. So I’ve said to them when they meet their potential life partner that they tell her “I am not in any way, shape or form a Prince Charming or any sort of likeness thereof. So the sooner you accept that we can move on, by the way my mom told me to tell you that”.

I’m just making sure that my boys cover their asses when it comes to being pigeon holed into this Charming dudes image. I mean I’m not saying that they’re not charming in their own way, of course they are they’re MY boys after all, they’re oozing charm out of every pore because of MY genetic makeup (your welcome boys).  But they are not “the” Prince Charming that every woman thinks is out there and I don’t ever want them to feel the pressure that some women may put on them to be that Charming dude, EVER.

So back to my relationship with my married boyfriend, the thing is when I met him he was in the process of getting a divorce.  I met him where I use to work in at a supply house for electrical, mechanical and general contractors.  I first saw him through the security monitor, and I fell in love instantly.  Tall, dark, handsome and his cologne lingered throughout the sales counter into my office, it was Halston Z-14.  It’s funny the things one remembers about certain moments in their lives.  How was I to know that twenty years later I’d find myself waking up from that Sleeping Beauty phase and realize he was more like the Sheriff of Nottingham in the Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood than Prince Charming?  By the way I just want to mention that I LOVE Alan Rickman in that movie, it was his character that I’m comparing my married boyfriend to.  In any case, back to why I spent twenty years of my life waiting for this indecisive, passive-aggressive, obsessive-compulsive emotional vampire.

Yes that is a long description but it’s better than calling him an emotional sucking self-centered asshole who only thought of himself, right? Again getting involved with a married man wasn’t something I wanted nor liked about myself during this period of my life.  I was convinced wholeheartedly that I loved him and that I would wait forever for him.  Stay tuned for part three……..

Prince Charming Is Dead……I Can Save Myself. A Story of Vampires, Sleeping Beauty and Romantically Created Myths.

Prince Charming Is Dead……I Can Save Myself. A Story of Vampires, Sleeping Beauty and Romantically Created Myths.94b76bf2ce7f2ed471bca089f4174c29

Part 1 = The Beginning of the Mythical Lie

When I was about eight or nine years old I was sitting watching the Lawrence Welk show with my parents and my grandfather (yes one might be able to guess my age by that very comment) and as one of the tall, dark and extremely handsome singers (I think his name was Tom Netherton) came on, my mom commented, “one day, hopefully you’ll meet someone like him and he will marry you and make you so happy”.  As I turned back to the box console television set to stare in total wonder at this very white, good looking, devastatingly handsome man.  I began to wonder if there were men out there that looked exactly like him, a Prince Charming type that every girl like me knew would find them someday and take them away to live happily ever after……….

Of course I was only eight or nine years old what the fuck did I know of love, happily ever after or Prince Charming for that matter.  I could file that comment under, “lies my mother told me” and that file would get bigger and bigger as I got older.  But that one particular one, that one thoughtless comment would stick with me for most of my adult life.  The lie that parents perpetuate to their daughters that there is a Prince Charming for every girl out there is ridiculous!  Stop telling these lies to your daughter’s people!  It’s going to fuck them up in so many ways, especially if they are stupid and naive.  Which let’s face it some of them are, but for those of us who ultimately break the cult like haze of some of the things our parents tell us (mostly our mothers) about that illusive man called “Charming”, we will survive the lie.

Okay for the record not all parents tell their daughters that there is a Prince Charming and that he will ride up to their house, no matter where they live, on a white horse and whisk them away into eternal bliss.  Some parents are actually more critical and realistic, it’s just that mine weren’t, they were full of stupid fantasies about what or who their daughter would do and become.  I know what you’re thinking, how can she call her parents stupid?  Well I’m not, I’m saying that their ideas about the fact that I would marry a white guy name Prince Charming was stupid, it is unrealistic.

What makes this idea even more ludacris is that well, I’m Hispanic, I grew up in West Texas, and close to the border with Mexico (because no one really knows where El Paso is if you ask someone from East Texas).  And even then, I didn’t grow up in actual El Paso, I grew up in the rural part of El Paso County, about twenty miles or so to the east of downtown.  My parents resided in a small quaint rural town called San Elizario, okay so I have to embellish because it’s a small, rural Texas town full of predominately Mexican-American people where the one gas station was everyone’s gathering place. Also, at the time I was growing up there many people still had very strong roots to Mexico.  I, on the other hand did not, I was third generation born American.  Anyway, the idea that a white Prince Charming would ride into San Eli and take me away from rural town life was just stupid.

And for the record it didn’t turn out that way for many reasons, but mostly for the failure of my very Mexicanized parents lack of talking to their kids about things like stranger danger, how proud they were of you (if at all), gave positive reinforcement and especially not talking to their kids about the dangers of unprotected sex. I was a casualty of unprotected sex, a teenage Hispanic pregnancy statistic.  Because what I learned I had to learn either in school or from friends and we all will find out how that turned out.

I met my future ex-husband at one of my cousin’s birthday gatherings, God I should have run as far away as I could have.  But then my son wouldn’t have ever been born so, maybe not, in any case I got pregnant at fifteen, married at sixteen (because the bastard didn’t want to marry me).  No, it wasn’t a shotgun wedding nor did I force the him to marry me either.

When I was almost nine months pregnant and after many attempts to get him to understand that at the time I thought I loved him.  I gave up and had resolved to raise this baby on my own, the minute I stopped pursuing him or trying to convince him we should get married (yes, now I realize it was a stupid idea but I was still waiting for that fucking Charming guy to show up) he miraculously changed his mind.   After meeting his mother though, I should have run but that’s another story or maybe another book entirely.  In any case I married the father of my son and proceeded to have two more boys during the fourteen and a half years of marriage.

Not everything was as I thought it should have been, again at forty-eight years old that Prince Charming dude is still missing.  I divorced at twenty-nine years old, became a single mother to three of the most awesome (albeit sarcastically astute and lovable boys) and struggled to make it as a single mom.  No higher education at the time and naive in many ways I tried to navigate my way through life stumbling, no falling face first into the concrete I call life, that I believed maybe now that Charming guy would finally show up and rescue me, WRONG.  Stay tuned for part two……

 

Birthday’s Are Different When your an Adult……

So, this year my birthday came and went and it felt…….blah.  Yes, that’s exactly how it felt, why?  Because birthdays are different when you’re an adult.  All the fascination and excitement leaves when you’re the one that is planning your own party or birthday plans.  Unless of course the entire world forgot your birthday then you have the right to go buy a couple of bottles of wine or coconut rum and have a party all by yourself singing “all by myself” by Eric Carmen.  All the while talking to yourself sitting on your back porch patio set with your Bluetooth speaker as loud as it can go not caring if you bother the neighbors or not.  Because those mofos play Karaoke at 2:30am on a freaking Friday night when you’re trying to sleep (you know who you are).

Anyway, birthdays lose their appeal as we get older, well at least for me they have.  I turned (yikes) 49 on Saturday and I woke up not feeling special at all.  It only meant that I became one year older and although I have accomplished a lot in the last ten years (bachelors, Master’s, new job and finally getting financially stable) it felt like any other day.  But, I must say it was better than most years, especially at work.  My new department goes out of their way to make everyone feel as special as possible on their birthdays.  They decorate the office doors with corny birthday decorations and they take that person to lunch on their day.  I even got flowers this year, and that alone is a big step from my previous department.  In my last department I got overlooked for my birthday for the three years I was there, and that is just plain bullshit if you ask me.

As for my birthday at home, my oldest and his girlfriend bought me lunch and new iPad (yay!).  My baby and his girlfriend took me to dinner at Olive Garden.  And my middle son?  Well he doesn’t celebrate birthdays anymore since converting to Johova’s Witness.  I respect his decision because he’s an adult and I will love him no matter what.  But he did call me and said “Hey mom, so you’re the big 4-9 today, and I just want you to know I love you so much!”

That was his way of saying Happy Birthday without saying Happy Birthday and I appreciate it. My parents also came by and every year I hear the same story from my mom.  She says “On October 4th I went into labor, and you wouldn’t come out.  You kept me in pain for two entire days until the doctor said he was going to do a cesarean section because you didn’t want to come out.”  And then proceeds to show me the scar on her stomach that I apparently left there, not the doctor who cut her open but me.  And every year she brags about how when I was being born there was an earth quake that day in San Bernardino, but I looked it up and there was NO EARTHQUAKE on October 6th 1969 in San Bernardino California mom! And there was probably a good reason why I didn’t want to leave the comfort and solace of the womb.

But as for me sitting in my backyard swigging from the wine bottle like a railroad car jumping hobo, that’s what it took for me to realize that as an adult birthday’s are not as fun as when you’re a kid.  I had my one and only birthday party when I turned 10 years old.  I still remember what I got for my birthday gift, a beautiful silver watch.  My parents bought it for me (I still have it) and my mom bought me a beautiful light purple dress with very small light blue, pink and yellow polka dots and a brand new pair of white patent leather shoes.  I had a white and purple birthday cake from Greggerson’s Cake Cottage.  I mean that was “the” place if you wanted to get a cake.  Everyone wanted a cake from there, in school you were the shit if you got a cake from Greggerson’s.  I had party bags with all kinds of candy and I had the best time.

Not that I didn’t have a great time all by myself (literally) on Saturday night on my back porch improvising karaoke on my Bluetooth speaker singing “I’m Just a Girl” by No Doubt so loud that my back neighbors two German Shepard’s were howling for me to shut up.  But I was like “Suck it Rocco and Jerry, ya’ll keep me up at night when you howl at the damned police sirens or howl for hours in the summer when the ice cream truck passes by so now we’re even!”  I’m not saying I didn’t have a good time, my son’s did a wonderful job of remembering and I appreciated their efforts.  I’m saying that when you’re a kid birthdays seem so much more surprisingly magical.  But I suppose that if I were a kid I wouldn’t be able to sit and have a couple (or more) Rum and Cranberry juice drinks while alienating my neighbors with loud music karaoke and fighting with their dogs and laughing loudly alone to stupid shit I say (to myself).  Maybe next year when I turn the big 5-O I will actually plan my birthday party and have my boys, family and friends there to sing “I’m Just a Girl” with me.  Here’s to next year, Cheers!Birthday’s Are Different When Your an Adult