Wednesday, July 31, 2013


And at some point, you feel abandonment.

I don't have many friends in general (because I'm generally introverted), but this isn't about being secluded or excluded, this is about being ignored.

For the last week, I've been trying to get MS on the phone with me. A whole week. And she either ignores my texts or says she'll call but then gets too busy. All I'm trying to do is look at our list of things we need to accomplish to move on and discuss the different aspects of our daughter's life. And...nothing.

She told me to call her this evening. I just left her a voicemail.

And MiniShambles isn't any better, doing her own thing, not necessarily replying to anything.

I feel abandoned. The only people I'm directly linked to in this end-of-marriage and I can't get a steady line of communication going.

I know everything'll work out, but it borders on disrespect--

Okay, sorry, but to hell with that post. Much better story next one as I spent last night in the hospital.

(spoiler: everyone's alive, but almost wasn't)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Car Trouble: Finding Normal Roadblock

On June 23rd, my Honda (the one I bought two months ago) shitted out on me. Turns out it was the timing chain going, stretching as it were. $1100 or so.

On June 24th, I had it towed to my usual shop. They got right on it and said - oops - looks like the timing chain and a little deeper into the engine than they go, let's tow it to this second place. On the 25th, it was towed to New Place. This was 4 days before I moved residences; I rolled a rental during the shift.

Friday was July 20th. They have had my car for 20+ business days. I love that they gave me a loaner for free, even if it is a dirty Odyssey, but DAMN! Every conversation has been initiated by me and just to see if it would happen, I didn't call and officially have not heard from anyone all week. Good people, good rep, good work, but slow as shit with crap for communication skills. I can't in good conscience recommend them to anyone else.

And there's the hard part as it relates to the relationship and moving.

Shitty business practices aside, I just want my car back. I want to live in my new place with my own car, not walking out every day to a Honda van. That's not mine. That's not me.

Can't wait to get it back. It's not me, but it is a representation of my life. Hoping this will be a good week.

Friday, July 19, 2013

MiniShambles Explodes: The Teen in the Mix

I spent the first half of Thursday last week frantically jumping between phone and computer, trying to keep my head on as MS and I tried to rein in our daughter like a rogue missile in movie climax. She was ballistic.

Little background please?

Of course. A couple months ago MiniShambles had the luck (read: poor judgement) of catching two speeding tickets within forty minutes. A couple weeks ago, her license was suspended by a not-very impressed magistrate for 90 days, giving her only home(s) and work privileges.

But MiniShambles didn't think the law was suited to her proclivities, and within 24 hours was playing fast and loose with running out to Starbucks or stopping by her friend's house or picking up her boyfriend before work. It didn't take us long to catch wind of this and we nailed it down quickly; having already had to eat the ticket, we were not looking forward to another infraction, which would inevitably kill her license and her job - and with it any chance of getting paid back.

But on the horizon, we saw trouble. MiniShambles was dropping hints of a planned trip four hours away to Cedar Point. How was she going to get there? Her friend would drive her car. Yeah, NO. Okay, her friend would drive. Really? Okay.

And then the night before the road trip happened and MiniShambles's friend went to the house to sleep over so they could leave in the morning and MS brought up friend's driving. What? She couldn't drive - her parents would kill her. So MS and Mini went at it via text until 2am ending with the mantra "HELL NO."

MS woke up the next morning and when she looked outside, her jaw dropped: Mini and friend had awakened early, quietly left the house, moved MS's car, and drove away north.

Here's where we become NORAD and call and text and Mini won't answer for a couple hours but I've got her pinged on the Family Locator phone program, so we know exactly where she is and MS finally gets her on the phone and Mini distills it down to "I don't care - do whatever you want when I get home!" But that's not going to fly; we're way past that. So MS says "Dad's going to ping you in 15 minutes. If you are not back on the highway coming south at that point, we will call the police and the next person you speak with will be a State Trooper.

She turned around, and a couple hours later, she was home. We took the car away for at least a month. And now it's up to her to find a way to work This coming Tuesday - and I don't know if she'll make it.

We know she's pushing. Things are in turmoil right now. Things are chaotic, in flux, and if MiniShambles can farm out a little more territory in this split, she's going to take advantage of it. It's a new room and she's testing the doors, windows, every crack she can.

But we never saw it going as far as "stealing" the car. It messed us up for a few days, scared the hell out of us, then made us angry.

And the thing that makes me livid is that we made the decision to help Mini keep her job. She works some 5 days a week and we said we'd pick her up every shift, but she would have to work with us and figure out a way to work. She can pick up the bus and with one transfer be up at King's Island. But no, she won't ride the bus. It's gross and icky and she might get a staph infection. This young woman who has never ridden the bus is playing Posh Veruca about how shitty that bus is and is literally willing to lose her job over not taking the bus.

I swear we raised her better than that.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Shopping: The Bane and Joy

In my last post, I made note of how frightening it is for me moving out on my own, specifically because of turning around every few minutes to find something missing. I'm a typical man in some ways and sometimes it's "Eh, what date was that birthday? -- oh, yeah," or it's losing the immediacy of that quick wit or share an in-joke with MiniShambles. And sometimes it's grabbing that can of black beans from the cabinet and almost losing your shit because it suddenly dawns on you that YOU NO LONGER OWN A CAN OPENER. Fuck.

So you go shopping to get that can opener. And it's miserable. I've been 4 times "catch-up" shopping since I moved in: 2 Targets, one Kroger (many more of those to come - do you know how many spices I had?), and one Home Depot. And in every one of those instances, I was flooded with the absence, and each time I got near the end of my list and that last item was simply not where should be - or I was just getting frantic - and the anxiety meter welled up along with my eyes and I just wanted to push my cart into the nearest end-cap, scream at the top of my lungs, drop to my knees, and sob quietly for a while. Reality as it is, I held it together, checked out, and held the sobbing for home.

Shopping when you're trying to reconstruct a life can be overwhelming because you're surrounded by absence, every piece is a hole in your life, a reminder of how intertwined you once were with another person, of the emptiness that exists now. But it's not without redemption. Every item you pick up, little things that will allow you to function, is a regeneration, a work towards completion. Granted, you may not realize that until after an in-store near-meltdown and some back-home sobbing, but it's better. And with those trips, as hard as they were, I got a little bit better. I know it's just stuff and "good" is a ways off, but for right now, I can deal with better.

I have to.

Oh, and I did get that can opener, and because it was never allowed in the house due to a solid, lingering aversion tied to MS's morning sickness years ago, it was the best can of Spaghetti-O's I've ever had.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Weekend of the 4th: Gathering Myself

I didn't do much of anything the weekend of the 4th, mostly because MS stuck me with the dog, but also because I was desperate for alone time. And I got it - with a dog who had reverted to paranoid puppyhood: she's be howling and barking even during a brief trip down to the dumpster. At the house, she's become very chill.

But the time I did get I enjoyed; it was just quiet "me" time, watching some TV, goofing off on the internet, catching up on some books.

I also had off today, just me and the cat, doing some final unpacking (though still books to figure out), so tomorrow's challenge: getting back to work.

I keep using the phrase "finding the new normal," but I don't think there is one, and that's frightening. Everywhere I look, there's something missing, and that's terrifying -- but more on that tomorrow.

I made it through the holiday and the worst I got was numb apathy / disconnection - not a hint of depression. And that's a step in the right direction.