Monday, April 25, 2011

Why Easter means more to me now...

Eleven Easters ago, my dear spouse was handed divorce papers by his ex wife while they and their kids were visiting his father and stepmother.  My husband signed those papers and, within a few months, was free for me to date.  I didn't actually start to date my spouse until about a year after his divorce.  Nevertheless, since we're both pretty shy when it comes to dating, we needed the time.  Besides, we were in different states.

It later came to light that Ex didn't actually want a divorce and had used the threat of divorce as a means of manipulation.  But since my husband decided to grant the split, she decided to punish him financially, through exorbitant child support, and emotionally, by alienating his kids.

Eleven years later, he's a happy man.  He misses his kids and regrets their alienation from him, but recognizes that they're adults now and have to make up their own minds about things.  Not only did he survive divorce, he's thrived ever since, even though he left Mormonism.  That was a particularly scary thing for him to do, given the fact that he believed leaving Mormonism would spell doom.  He already thought God hated him for the divorce.

I'm sure it seemed highly inappropriate that Ex delivered her divorce papers on Easter, but to me, it was a very appropriate symbolic gesture.  Easter is all about rebirth and redemption... and happily, he is now redeemed and reborn into a whole, healthy person who can enjoy his life without verbal abuse, threats, and harassment.

And my life has been redeemed in that I finally found someone who loves and appreciates me for who I am.  In a sense, I am now reborn and redeemed.

While I'm not particularly religious, I do realize why Easter matters to so many.  It matters to me, too... more than it ever did in my past life.

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Turkish Children's Day vs Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day...

This morning, a Facebook friend posted a cheery declaration that today, April 23, is Children's Day in Turkey.  I commented that tomorrow is Genocide Memorial Day in Armenia.  She responded angrily to my comment... like I just rained on her parade.  I'm not sure she thought about her response before she reacted, but to me, the irony is pretty obvious.

Today is Children's Day in Turkey.  Tomorrow is Genocide Remembrance Day in Armenia. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were slaughtered by the Turks during the Genocide, which is thought to have begun on April 24, 1915.  That's thousands of people-- men, women, and children.  The Turks want to celebrate their own children and children around the world, and yet they refuse to acknowledge their part in killing thousands of Armenian children.  And the Turks set their day to celebrate children just before the day that Armenia mourns its lost children.

I didn't bother to explain this to my Facebook friend.  I'm sure she was just trying to be positive and she more than likely doesn't have personal experience with Armenians.  I lived in Armenia for two years.  On April 24, 1996, I watched as thousands of Armenians from around the country stood in a long line to visit the memorial and leave flowers for the people who were killed.  I visited the memorial myself on that day and I saw firsthand the way Armenians still grieve.

My second year in country, I lived right across the street from the Armenian Genocide Memorial.  On April 24, 1997, I watched from my apartment window as the same huge crowd of people came to pay their respects, whole families, old people, young people, men, women, and children.  All day long, people descended upon the memorial to remember the dead, climbing the steep hill to reach the austere monument with its eternal flame.  More than a couple of people passed out, due to the heat and the stress of reaching the memorial.  In those days, Armenia was dealing with a fuel shortage.  The eternal flame was only turned on for Genocide Remembrance Day, so people could leave flowers and pay their respects.

And so... while I'm not at all offended that the Turks want to celebrate children, I do wonder why they choose to do it on April 23, the day before Genocide Remembrance Day, especially since so many other countries choose to celebrate Children's Day on June 1.  Is it because they would prefer the world to forget what happened in the early 20th century?  The Turks already put political pressure on other countries to deny the Armenian Genocide.  I guess a nice Turkish Children's Day celebration before Armenia's Genocide Remembrance Day is one way to take the focus off the pain...

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Post-coital headaches...

No, I'm not writing about the headaches that can come from having ill-advised sexual contact with someone.  I'm writing of headaches that occur during sexual activity.  I got one the other night and it's kind of been with me ever since.

The other night I was enjoying the crest of an orgasm when all of a sudden, I was hit with a searing, devastating headache.  It was excruciating.  I felt like the top of my head was exploding.

Sadly, this wasn't the first time I've had such a headache.  I used to get them kind of frequently about fifteen years ago, when I was doing a lot of intense masturbating... necessary because I lived in a country where electrical power was very unstable and I didn't have a significant other.

So I got this severe headache the other night and it took about an hour to go away.  It was still throbbing yesterday morning, although I wasn't in as much pain.  Today, it's just vaguely achy... enough to be noticeable, but not enough to warrant taking drugs.

Maybe it's time to take my blood pressure... or visit a doctor.  Or maybe it's time to stop having sex.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A "twisted" weekend...

What a weekend!

I had big plans to get out of the house this weekend and check out the new area a bit.  Friday, I wasn't feeling very well, so we stayed in.  Saturday, we had yucky, overcast weather and I still wasn't feeling well, so we didn't go out to lunch.  I was thinking maybe Saturday night we could go out, until a little after 3:00pm.  The sky got dark, the rain began to pour in sheets, and the wind picked up until it became downright violent.  Suddenly, I heard what sounded like a freight train.  I looked at my husband and he looked at me.  A tree came down and we realized we were experiencing a tornado.

The tornado tore the roof off our local Lowe's home improvement store.  It flattened several houses and tore the tops off of trees.  A gas tank sprung a leak, closing down part of the road that runs near our house. One unlucky fellow pulled his car over by a treeline, hoping to wait out the storm.  Unfortunately, a tree fell on his car, killing him.  This happened within spitting distance of our house.

After the storm passed, the weather turned gorgeous and serene.

The power was out for about 26 hours.  We listened to the radio, picked up some of the debris around our house, and set up the porch swing and elliptical that had been lying around, waiting to be put together.  Our phone was also out of service.  Emergency vehicles blocked our road all night, but finally cleared out yesterday morning.

My husband had to wait until later to go to work because a curfew was imposed in our area.

The stranger thing was that my hometown a couple hundred miles away in Virginia was also severely affected by the storm.  The school where I attended 7th and 8th grades was pretty much obliterated.  The roof was ripped off and several buses were torn up.  Three people died.

The tornados were very much a freak thing...  They don't tend to happen in this part of the country.

Thankfully, things seem to be getting somewhat back to normal-- at least for us.  I feel so sorry for those who lost their homes in the storm... people who probably had the most to lose.

This was the scene where I live...

And this was the scene in my hometown...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Feeling pissed...

Lately, I've been feeling pretty pissed off.  My poor husband has been kind enough to listen to me vent.  It seems like the older I get, the more pissed off I get.  I think of things that happened to me as I was growing up and I get pissed off again.

The solution is to focus on today, but it's so hard to do that sometimes.  My mind flashes back to the past, when I wasn't treated with kindness or respect.  And I get pissed off again and again.

It's been kind of a yucky week anyway... mainly because of this...

Yes, I've had PMS this week and now I'm on the rag.  I guess I should be happy that it started yesterday instead of today or Saturday.  Seems like Aunt Flow usually shows up on the weekend.  At least this month, I'll be over the worst part before the weekend starts.  I feel pretty yucky today, though... and a little pissed off.

I was even more pissed off last night, probably fueled by the red wine I drank to soothe my jangled nerves due to Auntie Flow.  I drank too much and woke up with a horrible headache in the wee hours of the morning.  Then I couldn't get back to sleep.  So this morning, I've been feeling listless and aimless and very tired.

I guess tonight I'll try to be less pissed.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lots and lots of boxes...

So my spouse and I are mostly unpacked and somewhat organized now, but we have tons of empty boxes everywhere.  We have to get the moving company to visit us and cart them away.  I suppose if I were still as young and imaginative as I used to be, I could have a ball making forts out of these...

On a positive note, we did get a trash bin today, which is already full of six trash bags.  I went around and picked up some residual trash and tossed it away.  Hopefully, someone will show up and at least dump the trash bags.

I think I might be able to relax once the boxes are gone and the house is actually set up properly.  It will be great when things are back to normal.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Feeling a little like Fergie...

No, not the Black-eyed Peas Fergie... the original Fergie, Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (or whatever the fuck she's calling herself these days).  It's been in the news lately that Fergie was snubbed by William and Kate and didn't score an invite to their nuptials.  I understand Wills decided not to invite his uncle's ex wife because he considered her a disgrace.  Granted, she's done some pretty disgrace-worthy stuff, like having her toes sucked on a St. Tropez beach and offering some reporters access to Prince Andrew for money.  But Wills invited Andrew and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to his wedding.  He dissed Fergie.

Well... like ol' Fergie, I was dissed by a family member.  One of my cousins got married yesterday and it seems I'm one of the few people in my family who didn't get an invite.  This particular cousin was also a Facebook friend until today.  I decided to delete her, mainly because I got the feeling we were only "friends" superficially.

Now... it may seem silly that this snub would piss me off.  After all, I doubt we would have attended the wedding, since we just moved into our new house a week ago.  But it's still pretty hurtful to see pictures of my relatives who did attend, plastered all over my feed.  It would have been nice to have had the choice, especially since this particular relative was invited to my wedding... which apparently was a lot less important than a volleyball game.

This action of snubbing has caused me to do some thinking about my family as a whole.  I used to have a lot of warm feelings toward them.  But as I get older, I start to see things differently than I used to.  I start to feel like there's a lot of fakeness.

Take, for instance, an email I got recently from my older sister.  She's 13 years older than I am and I hardly know her.  She has two kids, one of whom is twelve years old going on 21.  Anyway, this sister sent me not one, but TWO, forwarded emails from my nephew, asking for money to support his lacrosse team.  I would have been happy to help out... except for the fact that this kid didn't think enough of me to email me himself.  I'm his aunt, for God's sake.  Even if he'd sent me the mass email himself, I probably would have been inclined to help.  But getting a mass email sent to me by my sister didn't sit well with me... and frankly, I'm surprised she did that for him.  For most of my life, she's berated me for being lazy... and yet she does this for her son.

And take, for instance, the surprise package I got from my favorite aunt.  It was a picture of me and my parents.  I was fifteen years old and had been dragged kicking and screaming to our church, where I was forced to be photographed for the church directory.  My parents then gave prints of this picture to various family members.  Well, this aunt decided that I should have this picture back...  I could tell it had been kept in the attic or something.  It was all warped and there was still a picture hanger stapled to the wire on the back, so no one ever proudly displayed it in their home.  It was probably stored under a pile of junk.  She mailed it back to me as if I should be grateful to have it.

I threw it away.  It was in bad condition and besides, my mother had already given me a larger framed copy of that picture.  I wish my aunt had thrown it away.  I never would have been the wiser.

So yeah, I feel like Fergie these days... and am thinking that maybe my family should get smaller.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The joys of television...

My husband and I subscribed to satellite television for the first time in years.  Consequently, I've started to watch old shows I used to love when I was a teenager in the 80s.  One show I've gotten re-hooked on is Fame...

I knew Fame was cheesy even when it was new.  Watching it over twenty-five years after it was on the air reminds me of just how corny TV used to be... but back then, reality TV didn't exist, unless you count Cops.  Lots of melodrama on Fame, though... it's as cheddar as television comes.

Of course, there are also great shows from the past like the Golden Girls, a show I never get tired of.

I also notice that there are many television channels that show the same thing.  I remember the days when cable TV meant 30 channels and maybe a movie channel or two.  Now it means hundreds of channels that show a lot of crap.  Kinda sad, I guess... but at least I get to watch my favorite programs when they air.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Assholes on the Interstate...

These days, I don't do a lot of driving.  I find driving to be stressful and am usually with my spouse, so I let him take the wheel.  But last week, I had to drive because we had two cars to get to our new state.  We were on Interstate 85, I think... and it was a bit busy.  I was in a little Mini convertible, riding the right lane.  I had to merge for some reason... might have been because the lane was about to turn into an exit, or maybe  someone was trying to merge into traffic.  Anyway, there was a large truck in front of me that I was trying not to hit and I was focused on that.

I put on my signal and waited a few seconds, checked over my shoulder, and started to switch lanes.  Suddenly, there's this loud, obnoxious HONK.  An uglyass large pickup truck was in my blind spot and I wasn't able to see it.  I guess they were forced to slow down and let me in.  The way he was driving, he obviously hated to be forced to cooperate.  Of course, had he been considerate instead of a fucking jerk, he wouldn't have needed to honk because he would have left room for other people to merge.

Anyway, at the first opportunity, this dickhead gets into the left lane to pass, comes up on me, and HONKS at me again!  That pissed me off, so I honked back.  I know I should have ignored it, but I was absolutely fuming.  As if that fuckhead has never cut someone off, accidentally or otherwise...  He took off like a bat out of hell, too, so it's not like he was driving safely, either.  As if honking at me was going to do anything besides make me want to squeeze his balls off with a pair of tweezers.

Folks... it's one thing to honk at someone if they're about to hit you.  Hopefully they'll get out of the way and an accident will be avoided.  It's another to honk at them just to be a fucking asshole... as if your own shit doesn't stink.  I actually found myself hoping that motherfucker in the truck got a little payback from someone else down the road... or maybe a nice scorching case of herpes.

Road rage... one more reason why I let my husband do the driving.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"No amount of success can compensate for failure in the home..."

That was the Facebook status of one of my friends today.  I understand why she posted it and why another friend "liked" it.  Both of these women were cheated on by former spouses and are very angry about it.

On the other hand, my dear spouse used to hear that quote all the time when he was married to his former wife.  It was evidently a favorite saying in the LDS church and a source of great guilt for my husband when his ex wife thrust divorce papers in his face, which she later claimed she had drawn up just to force him to "rock bottom".  

It seems to me that "success in the home", whatever that actually is, requires cooperation from everybody in the home.  That means mom and dad have to compromise with each other.  That means the kids have to cooperate with mom and dad and each other.  It also means that everybody has to be remarkably mature and unselfish.

Seems to me that "success in the home" is not always possible because shit always happens.  A man focuses more on his career than his wife.  A wife starts focusing more on her personal fulfillment than her kids.  The kids just want to grow up and sometimes that means rejecting what mom and dad want for them and striking out on their own...  Sometimes things go horribly awry.  Mental illness strikes.  Or the kids start hanging out with the wrong people and end up in trouble.  Or there's a natural disaster of some sort.  Any number of things can go wrong in a family and force it apart.  That doesn't mean that any one person failed.

A saying like "no amount of success can compensate for failure in the home" is disrespectful and naive.  How can we quantify "success in the home?"  And who gets to decide what success is?

I understand why my friends feel the way they do... given their circumstances.  But I have my own feelings, based on mine.  Though my husband's first marriage failed, we have a strong one together.  And that's a good thing.  

Monday, April 4, 2011

Slowly but surely...

The house is slowly coming together, although we're still up to our asses in boxes.  There's still so much to do, but the house is coming together.  I see a faint light at the end of the tunnel as we climb out of this mess.  Did I mention how much I hate moving?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

In the new house now...

And up to my ass in boxes.  Hopefully, by the end of the day, the house will be more in order and I'll be ready to get back to bitching.