Tag Archives: blogging

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Liebster Award

Many thanks to  Annie, at Simple. I Just Do.  for nominating me for a Liebster Award!   The Liebster Award is meant to recognize and promote bloggers who don’t have a ton of followers (under 200, to be exact).   I’ve said it before, but I tend to break most blogging rules.   I didn’t mean to take so long to respond to this though, truly I didn’t.    With apologies for my tardiness, here it goes.

First , some random facts about myself:

1.  I could go the rest of my life without eating ice cream or chocolate and be okay.

2.  I have never seen Pocahontas or Finding Nemo.

3.  I have a hard time thinking of facts about myself.

4.  I once received a kiss on the cheek from a member of The Rat Pack.

Now, I’ll answer Annie’s questions:  

Questions:

1.  Mac or PC?

PC.  One day I’ll get a Mac, but no can do on the budget right now.

2.  Best book series you’ve ever read?

I haven’t read a book series since I was a kid.  I guess I’m not one for the series.  One and done.

3.  Favorite section of the art museum to visit?

          I haven’t been to one in an embarrassingly  long time.  But I like paintings more than sculptures.

4.  Most annoying thing (that bothers you)?

I honestly can’t break that down.  There are too many.  Lately, well consistently,  it pisses me off when people say “Oh, that poor boy,” when they find out that my son has four sisters.  Don’t get me started . . .

5.  Night Owl or Early Riser?

Both, which is not good.  Not good at all.

6.  What would your friends say is your best quality?

I don’t know, funny?

7.  At what temperature do you turn on the AC?

Hmmm.  It depends on who is home.  I often turn it off and open the windows.

8.  Beaches or Mountains?

Beaches, the sound of the ocean is comforting.

9.  If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Food, meh.  No answer here.

10.  Worst chore?

Cleaning the toilet, or more accurately, the floor around the toilet.

11.  Current guilty pleasure?

Honestly, sometimes I feel really guilty about, yet derive great pleasure from, blogging.  Weird.

Now I’ll nominate my own people and ask them questions!  I will massage the rules and nominate only 3, and ask only a few questions, easy ones.

And the award goes to . . .

And the award goes to . . .

I hereby nominate the following blogs for the Liebster Award:

WriterMom 

Women Without Limits

Southern Jezebelle

Please take a bow.  I invite my followers to drop by the above blogs, as I have found them enjoyable.   Click on, baby, click on.

Now, here are my questions for these freshly minted Nominees, answer as many or as few as you’d like:

1.  How do you like your eggs, if you eat them?

2.  How many TVs are in your home?

3.  Did you go to your senior prom, if there was one?

4.  Do you use more than two fingers to type?

5.  Do you have other writing projects, apart from your blog?

6.  Do you have a smart phone, if so, what kind?

7.  How do you like your coffee, if you drink it?

Here are the Liebster Award “rules” :

1.Thank the Liebster-winning Blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.

2. Post 11 interesting facts about yourself.

3. Answer the 11 questions your nominator asked.

4. Create 11 questions for your nominees. 

5. Nominate 11 blogs of 200 followers or less which you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.

6.  Display the Liebster Award

I’m honored to have received the award (again — yay!).  Soon, I hope, I will be technically ineligible for this award, as I’m almost at 200 followers!   Thanks to my readers and followers for finding and sticking with me!    And thanks again, Annie at  Simple. I Just Do.  for nominating me!

Just Me With . . . a Liebster Award. 

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“I Am Here! I Am Here! I Am Here!” said the Nanny

Wall Street

Wall Street

A couple of weeks ago, I was in receipt of what I now refer to as “Nanny Texts” — when my ex-husband gives me instructions on the preparation of the kids for an event he’s taking them to.

— Have the kids wear clothes, shoes.

— Make sure they shower.

— No t-shirts or shorts.

— Have them ready by 3pm, this should give you plenty of time.

By the by, all of the kids are teens, and pick-up time is technically at 10am, though often the kids have activities that prohibit early pick up. On this day, however, they did not and the Ex had been informed of this.

As to the directive, “Have the kids wear clothes,” obviously  he’d forgotten the word “nice”  — he wanted them to wear “nice” clothes.   But still it was funny.   Sometimes I just read or show or forward the Nanny Texts to the kids to minimize my work as  the middle man, so there is no mistake as to what he  is requiring, and that it’s coming from him, not me.   This time I simply showed the text to the kids, missing word and all.

One girl quipped,  “Well, I always manage to wear clothes.”

Another girl said, “Yeah, I was planning to go naked.”

Jerry Seinfeld

Jerry Seinfeld

My Ex-husband was taking them to a graduation party of his oldest friend, let’s call him Jerry.  Jerry  is much older than we are and was actually my ex’s teacher in Middle School at one point.  They became friends later as adults.   Jerry had been a man approaching middle-age, single, and impossibly neat.  People who did not know him well  thought he was gay — “not that there’s anything wrong with that” —   but folks in the inner circle knew that Jerry was very much like the Jerry Seinfeld character  — not quite marriage material, string of women, classic commitment issues.

Jerry had been the Best Man at our wedding  and years later when Jerry, a long-time bachelor,  suddenly married a woman he’d met on a blind date, my then husband gave the toast.    My husband was even (temporarily) named as Godfather to their first-born, and we both visited and held the hours-old baby in the hospital.  Jerry’s second child is only seven weeks younger than our first and we have the cutest pictures of the two baby boys together.   We were always at all of Jerry’s big family gatherings– kid’s birthdays, baptisms, Super Bowl parties, and when my husband and I started having kids and birthday parties and such, Jerry and his wife and kids were always in attendance.  Jerry only came around  on special occasions, though, my husband didn’t want him at our house to just hang out because he didn’t think our house was nice enough.

Back when my husband announced his plans to leave me, I suggested that he talk to Jerry about it because maybe he needed to talk to someone other than the two women who had his ear:   me and his girlfriend.   I thought that the opposing dueling arguments from the two women who have a huge stake in the matter were just canceling  each other out.

Well, actually, no, the girlfriend clearly won those rounds, but I digress . . . .   My husband refused to confide in Jerry, though,  saying that he knew Jerry  would just try to talk him out of it and tell him it was wrong.

Alrighty then.  Anyhoo . . . 

Apart from his club activities, my husband had few friends,  Jerry was the only one, really.   So it was expected and appropriate that when the marriage ended Jerry and his family would remain friends with him, and not me.   I’ve not seen or heard from Jerry or his wife since my husband moved out many years ago.

I actually don’t know whether they socialize regularly now.  My Ex-Husband has reinvented himself in many ways.

However, my now Ex-husband was going to attend the Jerry’ s first-born’s graduation party.   He  would attend with his new wife, their children  and our children, who had been directed to wear . . . clothes.

After the teen drama at home about finding the proper clothes, the  complaints about why they had to go to this thing, that they don’t really know these people, blah blah blah . . . they managed to get themselves (with my prompting) ready only slightly after the 3pm deadline.  But  no matter,  the Ex didn’t show up until 4:15pm.  While they waited, one girl said,  “I hate it when he does this,” and her twin, who didn’t even start to get ready until 2:50pm, said, “I told you I’d have plenty of time.”  In true Ninja Ex fashion I escaped before he arrived, going to a different graduation party alone.  See I Almost Crossed One Of “My Bucket List of Men To Do” 

And off they went.

The Nanny Texts piss me off, but I’m used to it now and I know how ridiculous they sound.  But later I realized something that did feel weird, though —  that my ex-husband and our kids  were attending this party with his new family, among  people who knew us when our kids were babies and when I was visually present.

Now I certainly didn’t want to go to the party.  God no, I didn’t want to go.   Nor did I expect to be invited, of course.   It just felt a little strange that my (appropriately dressed) children were going to be there  (paraded)  with the Ex-husband and his new family celebrating with people with whom my ex-husband and I  had shared many major life events.    It was hard to believe that that hours old baby I had held (and I think it was the first time I’d ever held an “hours old” baby) was graduating high school.

I don’t know, it felt kind of like I’d been photo-shopped out and new people photo-shopped in and that no one would or could acknowledge it, despite all that we shared in the early years.

Just kind of weird.

When the kids returned, though, one of them said,

“Mom, some lady told me to tell you hello.”

I’m not sure who it was. It didn’t matter.  It made me smile.

At least someone remembered that I am here . . . or was here  . . . or had, at one time, been there . . . or . . . whatever.

"Horton Hears A Who" by Dr. Seuss

“Horton Hears A Who” by Dr. Seuss

Just Me With . . .  The Nanny Texts

If anyone is wondering why I did not simply curse my Ex out for the Nanny Texts, my failure to engage with him can be explained in blogs like:

I Won’t Take It

Divorcing a Narcissist,

and Perils of Divorced Pauline.

The short answer  is that it wouldn’t help. I pick and choose my battles.

See also, I Was The Nanny When My Ex-Husband Got Married  and My Very Own Personal Olympic Games

I Almost Crossed One Off Of “My Bucket List Of Men To Do”

The Village People.  There are all types of men out there.

The Village People. There are all types of men out there.

A while back I wrote a Bucket List of Men to Do.  On it, I included an Too Old For Me Rich Guy saying, “At this point in life this is my only route if I want to be photographed as the pretty young thing on someone’s arm.

Dick Van Dyke and his bride

Dick Van Dyke and his bride

This past weekend, I thought about checking that one off my list.

I had been invited to a graduation party of a former student.  The student’s family is wealthy.   Not surprisingly,  it appeared that their friends are similarly well off.    As per usual I attended alone.  As per usual, it appeared as though I was the only woman attending alone, except, of course, for the widowed grandmothers.  As per usual, I was the only woman of color, and as per usual I knew hardly anyone there.    The point is, I kind of stuck out like a sore thumb.   Well, maybe not sore, more like a bare thumb, among French manicured pinkies.  But these are really good people, we go back a long way, and I was happy to have been invited.   Sometimes I just tire of going solo — all the time — but I digress . . .

I got my food and took an empty seat among strangers, though the host did eventually join us.  He  introduced me, explaining that I was his son’s music teacher.

Thurston Howell, III from Gilligan's Island.   My would-be suitor was older than Mr. Howell, but  he'll do.

Thurston Howell, III from Gilligan’s Island. My would-be suitor was older than Mr. Howell, but he’ll do.

Well, an older gentlemen seated across from me was simply fascinated, almost smitten.  Now I don’t discuss the specifics of age but considering my wealth of life experience, a man significantly older than me has got to be  pretty darn — experienced.   Nay, old.  But this man, by his dress, demeanor and comfort level led me to assume that he had means.   I seriously doubt that this dude needed to check his balance before going grocery shopping.

I didn’t catch his name.  But let’s call him Jack.  Jack was quite complimentary, noting that he  certainly would  have stuck with his music lessons if he had a teacher who looked like me. “Wow,” he said, and inquired as to whether I had any openings . . . heh heh heh.  “I don’t know how the boy could learn anything with you as his teacher.”

I tell you, I almost giggled.  This flirtation from an older gentlemen of means made me —  me, a grown-ass woman of feminist sensibilities —  positively girlish!  I’m not sure, but I think I may have flipped my hair.

I took the comments in kind and did not pursue the matter, but . . .

Damn.

Let the record reflect that I object to the way younger women romantically involved with  older rich men are maligned, called gold diggers and such.  It’s offensive.

But hey, Gold Diggers, I get it now.  (Shhhhhhh)

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Just Me With . . .  giggles.    I really wanted him to buy me something shiny.    I’m just saying . . . 

Can’t Concentrate Enough to Meditate

I generally don’t do well with meditation.  I’ve had my problems with medication.

Wow, that sounds like a song.   Don’t steal it, okay? . . .  but I digress . . .

I just can’t seem to quiet my mind.  It’s an ongoing problem.  I’m better at researching issues and attempting suggested solutions from a list.  Those have been my biggest breakthroughs in dealing with my crap.    But lately I’ve been feeling almost new-age-like — until the books talk about meditation, intoning aspirations and such.   I believe it does work for some people but I  have trouble.  I know it takes practice.   The books say so.

It reminds me of the time my sister was  on a girl scout  camping trip.  All of the girls were looking into the  night sky at the stars and trying to identify the constellations.  My sister and her friend were not impressed and a little bored.  They realized that since everyone was focused and looking up to the sky they could just walk away  —  unnoticed.  And they did.

That’s what my mind does.   It just walks away.   I almost actually walked away at a group therapy meditation session, but the therapist gave me a dirty look.   I just closed my eyes. Whatever.

Anywho . . .

What was I talking about?

Oh yeah, meditation.

I’ve tried it and fallen asleep, I’ve tried it and gotten very angry that THESE PEOPLE ARE MAKING ME SIT HERE!!!!  And, truth be told, I haven’t tried it very diligently.    I did try  massage once.   I could not relax.   Waste of money.

So it’s really weird that I’m walking around with my Feng Shui books and compass looking for my creativity and wealth corner.

Whatever.

Just Me With . . . random thoughts.

I’m tempted to preempt the trolls who will tell me to shut the f**k up and stop whining and go out and do something productive.   Tell ya what, I’ll meditate on that, m’kay?

But seriously, I may write a song.  Maybe that’s more of my meditation style.

Somewhat related:   Getting Off The Meds

 

Sixteen Candles, Give or Take — My Birthday

From the film, "Sixteen Candles" when everyone forgot a girl's birthday

From the film, “Sixteen Candles”

I had a birthday recently.   I’ve always disliked birthdays,  since my teen years.  My parents always made my birthday special as a child, not with lavish parties and gifts, but with special birthday dinners, cake and small gifts, except for the year I got a new piano.  That was the best day ever, but I digress . . .

There's nothing better than seeing a piano moving truck pull up to your house.  Wait, it that Just Me ?

There’s nothing better than seeing a piano moving truck pull up to your house. Wait, is that Just Me ?

The bad birthdays started in my teen years when came down with Scarlet Fever on my birthday.  I know it sounds very Victorian, but I assure you I’m not that old.

I didn't have The Spanish Flu, like Downton Abbey's Lady Mary, but Scarlet Fever was no joke.

I didn’t have The Spanish Flu, like Downton Abbey’s Her Ladyship, but Scarlet Fever was no joke.

In later years my boyfriend (later husband, now ex-husband) forgot my birthday completely, more than once.  I’ve never had the party with the girlfriends kind of birthdays either, for a lot a reasons, beyond the scope of this post.  And then there was the first birthday right after the wedding, the separation and some bad ones since then.

This year I decided to pretty much ignore my birthday.  I couldn’t really do anything because it coincided with one of my kid’s big events . . . so I just let it go.

But the people who have come in and out of my life over the years, many of whom I have written about here, remembered.

1.  My best friend and her husband stopped by with a musical card (hours of fun), a little cake, and a big gift card for me.   They didn’t stay very long, but I appreciated the thought and the gifts more than they know.

See my tribute to her on “To My Best Friend on Mother’s Day”

2.   One of my married male friends sent me a text, hoping he got the date right.  (He didn’t, but that didn’t matter.) He wished me well and told me I don’t look my age.  This guy has done things for me like shown up with an air conditioner and installed it when my house was making us melt and he repaired a pane of glass after my daughter decided to play ball in the family room.  And most importantly, he checks in on me just to see how I’m doing.

He’s one of the men I was thinking of in “Friends Without Benefits — Married Men.”

3.  My Admirer sent me a Happy Birthday text, and when I thanked him for remembering he replied,  “You are a smart and beautiful woman whose inner beauty radiates so brightly.  I won’t forget you.”

It made me smile.  I haven’t seen or talked to this man in years.

For my posts about him see,   “I Have An Admirer” and “Another Text From My Admirer.”

4.  An old friend, who defies any  type of categorization, wished me Happy Birthday via voice mail; I was at my kid’s event and couldn’t answer my phone.  I saved the message.

I’ve referenced him in, “We Thought You Were Dead, Mommy.”

5.  I even got a birthday text from my Stalker.  I did not respond.

See, “If I’d Married My Stalker.”

It feels good to be remembered, thought of.

Well, the Stalker text is a little disconcerting, but still  . . .

Just Me With . . . people. 

And even though I’m all grown up, my parents called and sang to me (a family tradition) and my Mom gave me a card with money in it.

. . . and the quirky child gave me a card and a CD.

Not bad.

Technology Has Created The One Handed Child

iPhone

I admit.  I’m on my phone a lot.  All the time.

But I didn’t grow up on my phone all the time.  I grew up — using both hands!

The other day my daughter and I went to the neighbors’ house to walk their dog.  I wanted to make sure she could do it by herself.  Accordingly, I instructed her to open the door by herself using the key.  She dutifully inserted the key in the lock with her right hand and turned.  The door did not pop open, of course.  She turned the key again with her right hand.  It did not open.  Her left hand hung at her side.

She was bewildered, perplexed, really.

She turned the key again with her right hand.  Her empty left hand still hung at her side, useless.

Before my head exploded, I had to speak up — slowly:

“Turn the key with one hand, use the other hand to turn the knob and push.”

She’s  a teen, not a toddler.  Yet it had not occurred to her to use both hands.

I blame Apple.  Usually this kid has a phone and/or iPod in hand.  She is so used to holding a  device  that it has rendered one hand useless, even when it’s empty.

This scenario has happened often with my kids.   They only use one hand for most things, even cooking.  Oh, I admit they’ve become quite adept at using one hand, but it’s not efficient.  Not at all.

And it looks ridiculous.

When my children were babies and toddlers they always scored so well on those tests for large and small motor skills.  They could manipulate small toys and they could climb on anything.

Now they forget that they have two hands.

I think someone should conduct a study on the long-term effects of the use of personal digital devices on the (arrested) development of manual dexterity in teens — because I think this is a problem.

Seriously.  Have you ever watched a person do laundry with one hand?  It’s ridiculous.

Just Me With . . . both hands.

She Asked For My Help — With An Unwanted Pregnancy

Dunkin’ Donuts

If you’ve read My Love Affair with Dunkin Donuts’ Bathroom, you know that I spent some time without running water during the renovation of my house.

It was during this period where I spent some extra time at a Dunkin’ Donuts, getting coffee, donuts, sandwiches, using the bathroom, washing my face, brushing my teeth, etc.     I continued to go to Dunkin’ twice a day even after I got a working bathroom because  I still didn’t have a kitchen, Bathroom or Kitchen Sink, Who Can Tell?, and anyway, it  became part of my routine to go there, still is.

During my frequent Dunkin’ visits I was befriended by a Pakistani worker there, I’ll call her Sajida.  True to being the stereotypical “Ugly American” I  never felt like I properly pronounced her name, though I loved the way she said mine.

Sajida was there every night when I went in for the evening visit. She was very sweet.   As soon as she saw my car drive up she fixed my coffee just the way I like it and filled a bag with free donuts. It was usually pretty empty at night, which allowed us to chat. Her English wasn’t very good; still, she asked me a lot of questions about myself and when I didn’t understand she made hand gestures to help me out.  She met all of my children and asked if I had a husband.   I told her “not anymore.” She told me I should get a new man.  She  always had a smile for me and usually a compliment, wondering how I stayed so skinny after having all the kids.  See Confessions of a Skinny Mom.   Still, she noticed when I looked particularly tired (it was a rough time) and would ask if I was “okay.”

“You tired?  You look tired.”    She’d say sometimes.

Other times she’d talk about herself, saying, “I’m so fat.  I want to be skinny like you.”  She wasn’t “fat,” by the way, she was shapely, and healthy looking.  She was quite pretty.

I learned that she was 28-years-old and had two children back home in Pakistan who were living with her mother.  She sent money to them.  She lived here alone in a little apartment which she said she enjoyed because it was so clean and quiet, not like back home.    She said she had been married to her first cousin, who wasn’t nice to her.   “It wasn’t good,” she said, solemnly.  Her children were both disabled, with birth defects, one was blind and I’m not sure what the other child’s challenges were, but she said they both needed medical  attention.  I couldn’t help but wonder whether being so closely related to her husband could have been the cause.

One day after getting my coffee I  turned to leave and Sajida called me back.  My children were not with me.

The men in the store were working in the back and largely ignored us.

She told me, “I’m pregnant.”

“Oh,” I said.  I didn’t know what else to say.  She hadn’t made this announcement as happy news.

She said, “I need help.  I need pill.”

“Pill?” I thought it was a little late for birth control, but maybe I had misunderstood . . .

“Pill, I don’t want to be pregnant.  Where can I get pill.  Will you help me?  Will you buy Pill for me?”

“Oh,” I said, again.  Now I understood.

I haven’t had to think about pregnancy  in years.  My tubes have been tied since I last gave birth.   “The Abortion Pill” or “The Morning After Pill” were not around in my unmarried youth.  The only pills I had experience with were birth control pills.  Still, my limited knowledge  about  these other pills was that they were something taken immediately after unprotected sex and/or at the very least, there is a small window of  opportunity where such “pills”  could prevent pregnancy or the continuation of a pregnancy.

I pondered what to say.  There was a language barrier.   I didn’t want to be responsible for or influence her decision, I didn’t want to misunderstand her intent.

I just wanted coffee . . . and some small talk.  Truth is, I looked forward to seeing her every day.  Though I didn’t really know and sometimes couldn’t understand her, I thought of  Sajida as my friend.  It was during a time where I had little interaction with other adults.  My family refused to come to my home, as our living conditions were so bad.  The friends and former neighbors — “angels” —  who had helped me initially,  had finished the first round of work, and I was waiting for the professionals to take over while I organized and cleaned.    The children were tiring of the conditions, and I had to pretend that everything was okay.   But Sajida smiled when she saw me.  I needed that, truly.

Still, as I stood at the Dunkin’ Donuts counter, I wasn’t prepared for this.

Sajida added, “I asked another lady but she wouldn’t help me.”

That almost broke my heart.  The thought of this sweet woman asking random Dunkin’ Donuts customers for help with an unwanted pregnancy —  and that she had been refused?

Shit, I thought.  I don’t want to be that lady, the kind of woman who would refuse to help another woman in trouble, someone reaching out for assistance.

“No one will help me,”  Sajida continued, gesturing to her co-workers, also Pakistani, but male.  “I don’t want to go to my people.   I can’t have another baby.  My children are too much.  I’m afraid there will be something wrong.”

Here she was in a strange country, her challenged children far away, and pregnant when she didn’t want to be.

I decided I would help her.

At the very least I could get her to a doctor so she can know all of her options.  Maybe she’s not even pregnant, I hoped; Maybe she’s too far along,  I feared.  I mean I didn’t know any of the details for sure.

I asked her, “Are you sure you’re pregnant?”

She said, “Yes,”  explained that missed her period, and  made the throwing up gesture.   “Just like before I’m sick like before.  Will you help?  I have money.  I can pay you,”  she added.

Pay me?   “No, don’t worry about that.   Let’s get you to a doctor,”  I said.

My mind was reeling. What if she’d asked someone who would have actually taken her money?  And throwing up?  God, I thought, how far along is she?  No pill is going to help her now.

“Okay,” I said, “Just let me get some information.  Please don’t take anything.  I don’t think you can do that now. Just wait, okay?”

I left in disbelief, muttering to myself. Why, I thought, why do people feel comfortable telling me such private things?    I couldn’t believe that I’d gone for coffee and was presented with a request for assistance in ending an unwanted pregnancy.  But I guess I hadn’t just gone for coffee, I’d gone for company.

And I thought I had problems.  I was broke, my house I shared with five children was barely livable and I was going through a nasty divorce.  But at least I wasn’t pregnant.

This much I understood:  It was clear that Sajida was not going to have this baby.  The only question was how she was going to end her pregnancy and whether she would do it safely.

I’d told her I’d  come back tomorrow.  That night I called my best friend, who happens to be a gynecologist, and explained the situation.   She confirmed what I already knew, that this woman needs to see a doctor immediately and will likely have to have an abortion to end the pregnancy, if that’s her intent.  The next day I called Planned Parenthood and found out where she could go to see a doctor, confirm the pregnancy and talk about options, whether they might have a translator, and how that whole waiting period thing works.

Planned Parenthood

It had been years, but I am no stranger to Planned Parenthood.  I’d gone to Planned Parenthood to get on the pill before I lost my virginity.   When I couldn’t go to my parents, Planned Parenthood was there.  I had continued to use Planned Parenthood until well after I was married — until I eventually got my own private insurance.  I felt comfortable sending Sajida there.  I would have sent her  there for affordable prenatal care if she’d planned on having the baby.

The next day I went to Dunkin’ Donuts and gave  Sajida a telephone number and address,  explained where she should go, and when, and that after she was seen by a doctor she would have to go back another day for the procedure.  She was familiar with the location and said she could get there easily.  She planned to take a bus to the clinic on her next available day off at the end of the week.

She thanked me profusely.

In the next couple of days I saw her  again.  She looked horrible,  said she wasn’t feeling well and was  still throwing up.   She wasn’t as chatty as she had been on previous visits.

Days passed.   The next time I saw her, I simply asked, “How are you?”

“Good,” she said,  “Not pregnant.  There was blood. ”  She gestured to her lower regions, “There was blood, a lot of blood. I’m not pregnant anymore.”

“Oh, you miscarried?   You — you — lost the baby?”

“Yes,” she smiled.

“And you don’t have to  — do anything? “

“No, not pregnant anymore. I woke up, there was blood.”  She seemed relieved.

“Still,” I said, “You should go to the doctor anyway, because you have to make sure you’re okay.  Sometimes they have to — do stuff after you lose a baby.   And you should go on the pill or get some birth control.”

Though the abortion talk had made me uncomfortable, I have no problem whatsoever telling a woman to get some birth control.

“Yes, yes,” she promised.

“Okay, you’re okay?”  I asked.

“Yes, yes.”

I was relieved, for a lot of reasons.

We didn’t talk about it again.  She did ask me for assistance later,  this time in programming her cell phone.  I was happy to help with that.

Over the months that followed Sajida’s English improved greatly.  Almost a year later Sajida told me she was engaged and would be traveling back to Pakistan to marry.    I must have looked shocked because she quickly explained, “No, it’s good.  He’s nice.”

She added, “Someday you’ll meet someone, too.”  She’d always encouraged me to date, one of the few who did.

I never saw her again.  I think of her often, though.

Just the other day as I was leaving Dunkin’ Donuts,  a very cute young Indian man who had waited on me called me back to ask me a question.

I was a little afraid.

Turns out he just wanted to know how much I pay for medical insurance since Dunkin’ Donuts does not provide it, even for full-time workers.    For most people it may have seemed like an overly personal question.  For me?  Well, I was just relieved it was a question with an easy answer.
Just Me With . . . coffee, donuts and some information.

I’m a sensitive sort. I’ve delayed writing and publishing this post for fear of the criticism for assisting a woman who wished to  terminate her pregnancy.   Some might argue that I should have tried to talk her out of it,  that I should have pointed her to an organization that would have tried to talk her out of it, or that I should have simply refused, like the “other lady” had.  But the bottom line was,  she was an adult woman in a strange country,  already a mother of special needs children and her decision had been made — without me.   She merely asked for my help.

Was I relieved that nature took its course?   Yes, yes, I was, I admit that.   But if it hadn’t, at least Sajida would have  received medical care and not simply  paid a customer to provide her with  random medications to end her pregnancy  — and/or perhaps injure herself  in the process.

Where ever Sajida is I hope she’s found happiness and that her new husband is nice to her.

Reader Appreciation Award

Thank you to Prego and The Loon who nominated me for the above Reader Appreciation Award.   I’ve just recently discovered both her blog and that we have more in common than it might seem, at least at first glance.   I’m honored to be included in her list of nominees and recommend her blog for an honest and personal account of an abusive relationship.

That said, I will follow most of the Award’s rules, which are as follows:

The award rules:
1. Link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Attach the icon to your site.
3. Answer the questions.
4. Nominate some other bloggers whom you feel deserve this award!

Here are my answers to  Prego and The Loon‘s  questions:

Q: Do you watch television?

Yes, I do.  But I rarely watch it unless I’m doing something else.  I use it for background noise or company.  Often I turn on something I’ve seen before (so I don’t have to actually pay attention) or some informational type DIY show, again, where I don’t have to pay attention.

Friends
Q: Who is your favourite author?

I don’t know.  I used to answer John Irving.  It depends on the genre and my mood.

Q: Do you like 80′s movies?

Yes, I do.  Especially Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, The Big Chill, Amadeus,  and Rain Man.

Fatal Attraction
Q: What social issue bothers you?

Too hard to answer.  One really can’t put one “ism” over another.

Q: What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

I don’t mess with weird foods.   I’ve had chitterlings (chitlins), but did not enjoy it.

chitlins

Q: How do you like your eggs?

Scrambled, hard. (Somehow that sounds dirty . . . heh heh heh)

Q:When did you discover blogging?

I can’t believe it will be two years in a few months.

Q: Why do like to blog?

It gives me the ability to instantly share my thoughts.  It allows me to connect with people around the world.  It also gives me a sense of completion when I hit “publish.”

Now it’s my turn to nominate other bloggers for this award.

Recently I was a recipient of another blogger award, The Liebster Award, and explained that I’m not so good with following rules.  I won’t repeat it my reasoning here , instead I’ll just play fast and loose.   Since this is a Reader Appreciation Award, I’ll nominate two bloggers, one who has been a long-time reader and one who more recently discovered my space.   They are completely different — but that’s what’s so cool about blogging.

Accordingly I hereby nominate:

Practical Parsimony

and

Alpine Mummy

I don’t have any questions for these bloggers.  Their own blogs and comments speak for themselves, quite well.  I nominate them with the proviso that they can choose to answer Prego and The Loon‘s questions above, or ask themselves their own questions, or choose not to respond at all — no pressure.

I thank these bloggers  — and anyone else who stumbles upon this place — for reading.

Just Me With . . . A Reader Appreciation Award

Liebster Award

Thank you so much to  Knocked Over By A Feather   for nominating this blog for the Liebster Award!

I am flattered to have been nominated.  I still feel new to this blogging community and it’s nice to be included.  Reportedly, this award is given to bloggers with less than 200 followers  that another blogger feels should get some recognition.

There are 4 steps to receiving this award.

  1. List 11 things about yourself.
  2. Answer your nominator’s 11 questions.
  3. Choose up to 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and ask them your own questions.
  4. Inform your nominees of their award nominations.

I routinely break blog rules.  For example, my blog is not about one topic (except me) and I tend to follow blogs I enjoy even if the writer seems (on paper) to have nothing in common with me.   That said, I’m going to take some liberties with the required steps because I’m finding them very difficult for me to follow.

Writing facts about myself is hard because I’m in the process of rediscovery  and rebuilding, so I’ll list just a few.

1. I  have a really hard time writing facts about myself — duh.

2. I do not have a favorite song.

3. I am more comfortable doing public speaking than I am speaking one-on-one.

4. I once tried to be Miss America.

5.  I know how to set a fence post.

6.  I could live the remainder of my days without eating ice cream or chocolate.

My Answers to questions from Knocked Over By A Feather.

1. Fact or fiction?

  • It’s a fine line.

2.What is your favorite animal and why?

  • I like dogs.  They are loyal and responsive.

3. Do you think being rich would make you happy?

  • No, but it would alleviate much stress, and that would be a start.

4. Are you bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning, or grumpasauras rex?

  • I am grumpy, but only if my sole purpose for getting up is to attend to things I don’t feel like doing.  Also, I never get enough sleep.

5. What is your favorite dessert?

  • I can live without dessert, but when I have it, it is cheesecake.

6. What is your favorite thing about blogging?

  • I am always amazed that people read it, especially people from around the world.  That is so cool.

7. Do you like reality TV shows?

  • Depends on the type.  I like the DIY type shows because they help me in my home repairs.  The only entertainment competition show that I can watch (only parts of) is American Idol.  I dislike singers trying to out-sing each other in head to head competition on stage at the same time, so the newer shows irk me.   They all irk me, actually.  The dating shows, no.  Most of the other types of shows merely showcase high maintenance (almost drag queen levels of made up) women behaving badly — so I can’t stand them. Plus, you know, like, I really thought that, you know, it was going to happen, but you know, when I see him and her there I don’t know what to think . . . you know?

8. If you could have lunch with one famous person, dead or alive, who would it be?

  • I can’t answer this one.  I can’t commit.

9. What is your favorite breakfast cereal?

  • I never eat cereal.

10. Do you believe that love is all we need?

  • No.

11. Chocolate or vanilla? Possibly strawberry?

  • Chocolate, if I have to choose.

Okay, I’ve had some difficulty with the rules, as is obvious.   I don’t know how to choose 11 blogs with relatively few followers  because I don’t look at the number of followers of the blogs I read, I just read them (also, unless the number of followers is on the home page, I don’t know how to find out).   Admittedly,  I’m not as good as I’d like to be in keeping track of blogs since I read so many different kinds.  Choosing them started to overwhelm me.  (Sounds lame, but for some reason this proved to be so  hard for me.)   And so  I will nominate only one blog, with the proviso that I hope she feels no obligation to accept the award’s rules because she has a lot going on and I don’t want to give her any more stress.

I Won’t Take It  — This is a blog I discovered recently about a woman going through some tough times.  I think she could use judgment-free support.

I will not ask her any questions.  I can’t really explain why, except that when  person is going through emotional turmoil, even the simplest of questions can cause anxiety. (Don’t ask me how I know.)   I just want to give I Won’t Take It a round of applause and build her support network, without more.

Just Me With . . . a Liebster Award.

My First Grown Up Thanksgiving —- Kind of

The Thanksgiving Feast

Well, I did it.  I prepared Thanksgiving dinner in my own house for my parents.  It was just the three of us.  The children were with their father.

Since my marriage ended years ago it has been our practice for the children to be with my ex-husband for Thanksgiving and with me for Christmas.  See, All I Want For Christmas is My Kids.  So, I’ve been kid-less for many Thanksgivings.  I’ve spent a couple of Thanksgivings with my best friend and her large, extended, ethnic family.   They are very nice and welcoming and I had a good enough time, but it started to feel weird being alone with someone else’s family.   Two years ago I did absolutely nothing (I think, I can’t remember).  Last year I went out for Thanksgiving dinner with my parents.   We didn’t go to a really nice or fancy restaurant, more like a diner, a nice diner, but a diner, nonetheless.  The food was okay, but I found the whole scenario depressing.  There were a lot of older people, elderly people.  It smacked of a refuge for souls who had no where else to go.

So this year, I decided to stay home and cook dinner at my own damn house.  I decided this on Monday, declining my mother’s offer to have  Thanksgiving at their house. That can be (has been) depressing as well, going “home” for Thanksgiving, completely alone, feeling like a grown child, the only child who never moved away (which I count is a personal failure), knowing my sisters are with their families at their homes, knowing that my children are with my ex-husband’s wife’s family.  Just thinking about  going to my parents for Thanksgiving felt like it was one small step above being the middle-aged single man living in his parents’ basement.

No, I have a home, I reasoned, and even though the children wouldn’t be there,  I decided that I would serve Thanksgiving dinner to my parents. Plus, it’ll give them a break.

I’ve hosted Thanksgiving dinner before, but that was in The Big House (formerly the marital home) for my (now Ex) in-laws.  This was different.  This is my home, alone (except for the bank).  My little home that gets very few visitors, despite its extreme makeover.  My little home to which some of my kids are too embarrassed to bring their wealthy friends.  My little home which has a very nice, slammin’ new kitchen.

So I cooked, for me, for my parents.  Cooking does not give me any joy.  See Confessions of a Skinny Mom.   Still, it was so much less awkward than being at the restaurant.  My Mom and Dad ate my food; they were appreciative, and it was good.  And though my long-married parents have a tendency to bicker (huge understatement), today they did not.  I can’t help to think that it was the locale of the dinner.  Had they been at their own home, they would have fought.

George, between his parents on Seinfeld.

In some ways it was my first grown up Thanksgiving, because it was my home, and more importantly, my decision, as opposed to just figuring out how to pass the time while the kids are gone or making sure my parents have somewhere to eat (or, in the old days, doing time with the in-laws).  Now I’ve christened my house as our family home.  It only took three years.

Weird that my first Thanksgiving dinner in my own house did not include my children, but at least they know that holidays can happen here in our new house  home.

Just Me With . . . leftover Turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and something crossed on my bucket list that I didn’t even know was there.