Thursday, February 21, 2008

Sweetened Coconut

When we were still co-habitating my stbx would go through these periods of sugar craving. I've talked about it before. She would need alcohol, sweets - chocolate, candy, cookies, sweet fruit bars - whatever.

Sometimes she would desire her drink so bad she would scour the cupboards for whatever she could find. She just had to have one. Because I didn't like her drinking, I wouldn't keep us stocked with any alcohol. There would be a couple of bottles with something in them - Bristol Cream Sherry (for cooking), sometimes that sauterne cooking wine from the food sections, a bottle of home brew her Dad gave me (serious white lightning) - that sort of thing. Nothing that was really a drink you can enjoy.

She would need her drink and she would finally pull out one of those and have a shot. And then bitch at me when I got home that there was nothing to drink or that what she had chosen sucked (the implication being that it was my fault she was not well served). often she would pour herself this drink while she was on her friday off (every two weeks earned day off) and in the middle of a cleaning frenzy. She would announce that she deserved a drink. I have always hated the deserve a drink thing. You either want one or not. It is not a reward or an entitlement. That sort of attitude - deserving a drink - strikes me as someone with a drinking problem.

Did I mention she would never buy alcohol herself? She did a couple of times in the 20 years when we were going to someones place, but otherwise I would be dispatched to buy any booze. Not her.

With sweets she would scour for anything that would fulfill her need. My raisins (cooking) were never safe. Not dates, not dried fruit, not anything. Not even nuts. Hell, she'd even drink the juiceboxes and fruitbars I would buy for the kids' school lunches. Then I'd be short of juiceboxes or have to make an extra unplanned trip to the store to get new ones. That really made me mad - we had a couple of fights about juiceboxes. I figured she could at least be considerate enough to leave me enough for lunches. i would compensate by buying a swack of juiceboxes (then i'd get bitched at because they took up too much room in the pantry...).

Lots of times she would whine or otherwise inveigle me to go out at midnight to the corner store and buy something for her sweet craving.

The kids tell me that things haven't changed and that she still will score their stuff that they have bought for themselves and just eat it. Or that they will beg her to buy something for them - they will have one or two (like twizzlers) and then in the morning or the next day they will discover she has eaten the whole package.

The stbx would either whimper and whine or bag at me when there were no sweets in the house and she had a craving. To be nice to her I tried to make sure we were usually stocked. Then she would rip into me - especially after she gained some weight - that by buying these sweets I was making her fat. That I was to blame. I pointed out she could choose not to eat them. Her response was that I knew she had no self-control when sweets were in the house. I got sick of it and less inclined to buy them for her as things degenerated in our relationship.

Several times she ordered me to not buy anymore sweets because of her weight gain. Then she would get mad "I know I told you not to buy any, but that was then. I want some now."

I actually took a little pleasure in saying no. I told her if she wanted any she could put on her shoes and go buy them herself when she'd try to get me to go for a midnight run. Yeah - she'd do anything to avoid having to go get it herself. Even on shpping trips i would actually have take the stuff she wanted off the shelf and put it in the cart. She just couldn't admit to herself that she wanted/needed it.

Yeah - she would do anything. She'd raid the fridge for leftover rice and the closet for my raisins and make pseudo rice pudding with milk and sugar in the microwave.

There was lots of times she could have made something, but it would have taken time. And when she had a craving she wanted it now. Right now.

One time she had nothing that could be substituted. So she started searching the freezer and finally found a bag of six-month old sweetened coconut (from christmas baking). She pulled it out and started eating that.


As a side note, the above behaviour is consistent with addictive personalities and their behaviour. Especially being prepared to take any kind of poor substitute for their need...


She called me at work today.

She had gotten the letter from my lawyer about not talking to the kids about suicide or abandoning them.

She was oh so apologetic.

She started telling me how tough she had it and how she knew she made mistakes and blah, blah, blah. That her life was in a shambles since I left and she had no control over her emotion and this and that.

I told her she needed to stop feeling sorry for herself and to start acting like an adult. That it was wrong that she would put the kids in a situation where they would have to call me because they were frightened.

She agreed but then headed off on the difficulties she was having with Son.

He constantly confronts her about her bullshit. Daughter has started doing so as well. stbx is bizarrely erratic and the kids call her on it. In that way they are taking stand where i didn't. I would always try to find some accommodation for whatever. The kids don't. Daughter said to me "I'm just not as nice as you, Dad." Son said "You always try to make things better and worry about other peoples' feelings. I just don't care. If someone is pulling some kind of mass faggotry I call bullshit!" (he's 16...)

Anyway, I was trying to reasonably work through some of the things she was saying about son and her problems. I was trying to make life less difficult for the both of them.

This ended up taking about 45 minutes...

I eventually ended the call because it was really going no-where.

When i got off the call I was in fine spirits and was actually kind of pleased that i had said some of the things i had said. i knew it had gone on a little long, but that is just an automatic by-product of dealing with her, so i didn't think much of it.

I was talking to Smitten on the phone later in the afternoon. I talked to her about some of the conversation, and how it had gone. that i was ok with it all - it hadn't rattled me like most stbx conversations do.

She said that it was positive for me personally that i had said the things that i did, but that she was sorry to say the extended conversation probably fed into the stbx's wants and needs.

i was all "huh?"

Smitten pointed out that the fact that she could keep me engaged and interested in talking to her for that long would have just fed into her needs cycle. that she knew she had been caught out on a major no-no with the lawyers and she was scouting out how i would react. that she was making sure i was still in exactly the place she wanted me - still willing to talk.

that because i was probably the only person in the stbx's whole life who took the time to listen to her and be truly interested in her, that the stbx got plenty of the warm fuzzies she needed from me. and that by keeping me talking she was feeding a need for warm fuzzies that i provide.

that set of statements hit me like a ton of bricks.

because it's true.

and i knew it immediately.

Smitten heard in my voice that i was a little rocked and said "I'm sorry to say these things, but I'm saying them from a professional observant standpoint, not as a girlfriend"

stbx isn't getting it from the guys at work, her family, or boyfriend bob.

she knew from past experience that she couldn't get me to engage on any other issues. only the kids. so that's where she went.

i will quote fromMonday, June 18, 2007 thoughts on garage conversations

i've been trying to figure out why stbx-Mrs_C would still drag me into the garage for those goddamned conversations even though i told her they were killing our marriage and our relationship.

i remember when i told her that in extremely strenuous tones she said (from really fast post, May 12, 2006:

another thing she said the other day - she said: "even though things have been really bad i have felt more connected these last three weeks on an emotional level than i have in years because of the emotional outpouring during our discussions."

then she said:

"i'm almost like a bad kid looking for attention. i'm deliberately provoking clashes because of the intensity of emotion that swirls around them."

that book i got - Surviving A Borderline Parent - talks about people with stbx-Mrs_C's behavioural characteristics. One of the things it talks about is the fact that they cannot generate enough feelings of self-worth within themselves. They rely on others for their feelings of emotional self-worth.

today's conversation?

6 month old sweetened coconut from the freezer

an addict in search of a hit. willing to take any substitute, no matter how poor a substitute it may be

Monday, February 11, 2008


that was my weight after working out yesterday

when i started the workout i was 223.1 lbs

yeah - i got back up to about 232-235 from august through christmas. the lead-up to the election. shit in my personal life. slowly stopping regular exercise. the election. the hell that followed losing. thanksgiving and christmas - and all that eating.

i started working out every day since just after christmas. i have gotten a little tighter on what food i am eating.

the beast (AMT) pictured above on this page is my new friend. previously i was in love with the elliptical trainer, but have since discarded that machine as my primary object of desire.

i work out for a minimum of a half an hour every day except thursday (dance lesson night) - even then sometimes i will go work out. i do 300-600 calories (as machine measured) minimum and most of the time do 900 calories a day. i have got myself to the point where i have a comfortable manner of exercising on my home elliptical as well and use it for the days i don't make it to the gym. i am even able to keep discipline when the kids are at my place.

i always liked the non-cross trainer elliptical (without the cross-country ski poles). the motion with the poles/handles just wasn't natural for me.

on the new machine above - the AMT - i like using the poles. i dislike not using them. this is different for me.

i am able to eat a little less paranoiacally. that is a good thing. i can enjoy wine a little more often. and i still lose weight. not as fast as the hard core vegetable and fibre diet originally took me down, but roughly 10 lbs in 5 weeks is nothing to sneeze at.

i was pretty dejected about gaining that much weight after the hard fought battle to get down to about 210. it irritated me when i mentioned my weight gain to my daughter this last fall and she told me that her mother had observed and commented on it - not in a pleasant way - a sneering and denigrating way - you will recall the battles stbx and i had over my diet and exercise when we were still together.

i was pretty dejected during january after restarting exercise and didn't think i was getting anywhere. each weigh in would show no change - until i stopped weighing in some two weeks ago i was worried i was getting fat again. becoming my (self-perceived) unattractive former self. and then poof - yesterday i weighed myself - it was in the afternoon and i had eaten very little during the day instead of being an after supper workout and weigh-in - so thught maybe i'd show a lb or two.

i would describe to you the body loathing i felt, but having known many of you for awhile, i suspect there is enough understanding of that feeling. nothing fit right - i hated looking in the mirror because it would remind me that i had let myself slide towards the loathsome physical being i had previously.

i'm still not very confident body or looks wise (i am only now beginning to believe that maybe Smitten does actually find me attractive).

it was smitten who first made me feel better about myself in this cycle. i was just telling her about the new machine - it's been at the gym for about 6 months and i have slowly drifted toward it. i was talking about how much i hated the poles before but loved them now on the new machine - about how good the motion felt in a body sense. she commented that she could tell because my upper abdomen and pectorals were a different shape - that she knew i was doing something different in my exercise. that made me feel better that something was working (but also a little paranoid that she is "watching me" - i know not in the critical stbx-mrs_c sense, but i'm still freaky from that life)

going every day was a hard grind - and still is to an extent. i am having to adjust my ideas about how my exercise will work - i used to consider the runner's high i would get at around 1hr 10 min to be a big part of the payoff. now i just go. it is all discipline and i only get my "fix" every 3rd day or so when i actually have the full hour hour and a half to commit to a full session (900 calories).

Smitten tells me she admires my dedication to exercising very much. she has begun a personal exercise program herself recently. she says i inspired her.

it's cool to have her able to do it. when i met her she would not have been physically capable of doing the exercise regime she has begun.

when i met her, her SI (sacroiliac joint [SI joint]) was constantly out. she was rarely in for more than a few hours. she was in constant pain. through massage (mine and my RMT). through the physio my RMT refered her to. through the rehab exercises the physio people provided. and through more massage - she is now at the point where she is staying in for a couple of weeks at a time - and we can put her back in through stretches or massage/manipulation. there was period where she was at the chiropractor every day - sometime more than once a day.

now she hasn't seen him for a month - and that was for a stiff neck - not her SI

the acupressure and the "golf ball treatment" i introduced her to (lying/sitting on golf balls to do acupressure) keep her muscles from going over the edge. she always thought it was a bone/spinal thing but we have since worked it through and she now realises it was her muscles spasming that were throwing out the bones.

i am so happy she is better now. it's been a long grind. if there was any payoff for all the pain i endured and all the things i had to learn about muscles and their spasms - it would be the gradual healing of Smitten.


well, that got a little off topic

anyway - i am exercising and losing weight

i love the new machine

i look forward to being able to show off my re-toned abdomen when i am back down to 210. so in april or so - watch out.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

cleaning the place

i've been cleaning the apartment since daughter came back. there's little piles of stuff here and there. son's room - the room they have to share (bunkbeds) needed to be re-ordered and have things moved out. i've been throwing out stuff that has accumulated in the last year since son and i became bachelor roommates rather than a family - since daughter went away.

but now that she's back

got to make it "nice". yes - that's my soon to be ex-wife you hear screaming out in that statement. the permanent imprint of her views about what women like has not gone away.

last year sometime - before she left - daughter made a comment about the state of the grouting in my shower. it's 30 year old grout. it's a little yellow. it's not my place - i only ever expected to be there a few months - it's now a year and a half later (that's part of the stbx's design - keep me out of decent accommodations so the kids will think my place sucks and not want to go there. she said it to me and has skirted that statement in arguments with the kids (when they were arguing with her that she should settle with me). she would say things like "why should i help him out?", "if he decided that he didn't want to live in a house anymore and be a family, why should i help him have one", "why shouldn't he feel the pain of the break-up of this family? why should it be all easy for him?", and "why should i give him any of my money? i've already given him enough over the years").

daughter didn't like the apartment. i think. i only know what son said - and the stbx - but i don't trust her. i know that the stbx fed daughter lots of lines and worked her hard on all the negatives about the place, and i know that she probed for everything she could find to make daughter not want to stay there. so when i am reacting the stbx - i am indeed reacting to the stbx - as given voice through my daughter.

i hadn't even thought of it until last night when talking to Smitten who suggested that going back to the counselor might be a good idea. she said that i might need to talk out some issues around the move back in that i may need more freedom in saying than i might have in talking to her (she is a wonderful resource - i try to avoid using her as a counselor, but it's kind of an occupational hazard...). she did not want to dissuade me from talking to her, and said it was not her intention to send me elsewhere - but that there were probably issues that would need to be addressed - like the loss of bachelor status and becoming a Dad again - like the anger that is still so present - that is popping up because of daughter being there. the stories that daughter tells, the feelings she has, the things she talks about - all of it is triggering anger - focused around the stbx. Smitten does not want to go - and i don't go there much - in discussion of some of the issues that surround the stbx and our relationship. she rightly doesn't want to be party to some of the details.

Smitten also suggested a couple of practitioners in town that deal with anger issues and the release of long term anger and suppressed/contained violent impulses.

I am so sick of being angry at the stbx. what a fucking waste of time. i am sick of all the triggers, i'm sick of even thinking about her. i am sick of the influence she still has on my life. it's like a bad smell in your house that just won't go away.


so, i'm cleaning up my place and making it nicer. i have talked to the kids about it - especially son - and told them that things are different now that we are a family unit and not just two bachelor guys hanging out. that there is a different standard that needs to be attained.

son and i have talked about making the place better before, but it's so easy to slough. if you have food, access to the computers. the bathroom is half-assed clean... and you are oblivious to other stuff, or it just doesn't impact your consciousness. well...

i would clean up when Smitten came over. I would try to keep things up. but son is a walking disaster zone. i'm somewhat better. but son can trash a place in a matter of a couple of days (it takes me a few weeks on non-effort). glasses and dishes everywhere. socks left lying around. clothes dropped wherever.

i try to avoid bitching too much. i don't want to be on the boy's case too much. i hate receiving it and hate giving it.

i have thrown things out. bought some new containers and such. put all the laundry away (it was done but in baskets). i have cleared various surfaces. bought a shredder to shred the inevitable pile of credit card and other receipts and things.

oh - and the grout? it's pretty much white. i used terminally toxic chemicals over a 2 week period to bleach the ass off it. i don't like using harsh chemicals any time, but daughter coming back trumped my toxic chemical unhappiness.

i scrubbed walls and used harsh cleaners on them too.

i bought new sheets and pillow slips.

blah, blah, blah


i'm buying daughter more clothes. she said she was going to bring over the clothes that i bought her previously. the idea is to have a supply of clothes at my place so that there is no suitcase lugging. they just walk out the door with their schoolbags and they're a go.

son has a big pile of clothes at my place. until i actually had them all washed and put away, i had no idea of how many clothes i had bought him. when he told me he didn't need any more - he was right...

i bought daughter her own bath sheet. each of us has one. i had one - got one for Smitten (last year). Son saw it, wanted to use it. I said no. Bought him one so that he wouldn't feel put out. Daughter didn't have one (as she hasn't been a permanent fixture), so we went out and bought her one now.

daughter is a little pickier than son on clothes. she wants it all to be a certain style and way. son is a little less picky - not uncaring, but more prepared to say "yeah. ok. let's not shop and go eat" or things in that line.

daughter needs to have a wardrobe that is a style statement.



i'll shop for clothes with her.

she'll have clothes at my place.

and the place will be clean(er).

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

not a bribe...

on friday i picked son and daughter up at the house.

they came barreling out like they often do when they are leaving with me for any period of time. they are always running to my vehicle like it's their getaway car idling outside the bank.

they pile in and are all "she's nuts. let's get out of here." or similar comments. their mom always goes weird in the moments as they are leaving.

you will recall my discussions about the stbx's bizarre and desperate attempts to intervene and stop me from going exercising, or from taking a break from a gazillion hour discussion in the garage, or even leaving for work on days when she had some "abandonment" vibe going on.

well it's the same thing with the kids heading out the door. their mother was hot and cold, angry and weepy and sarcastic and "supportive", all within seconds of each other for the whole period until i got there to pick the kids up. in the few minutes before they left she was all mad at daughter - and son by extension. you see, i drive up and give a tiny tap on the horn to let them know i am there. i do not like to go into the house or even to the door because the stbx has made that a seriously hostile zone. sometimes she would answer the door and start spazzing on me. if i'm in my vehicle i have an additional layer of armor for her to have to get through. even if there have been times she has come out and started bagging at me through the window - even yelling down the driveway as i'm pulling out (with the kids in the back seat... or not [sometimes - she usually likes an audience for her displays]). also it's colder than hell in the frozen wasteland and i don't feel like getting out of my vehicle if i don't have to. i also hate standing around and waiting, and my kids are inevitably delayed or slow.

this time daughter told me her mom was "fine. leave. go." all cold and rejecting and harsh. and then in the seconds before daughter was going out the door, she goes all weepy and starts crying and says "aren't you even going to give me a hug?" and opens her arms. emotional instability, guilt, leash jerking, and getting even a few seconds more of control over the situation by using the other person's feelings and common decency against them.

[brother-in-law once told me (in the 2 weeks after i left the house) that all you have to do is just ignore their (his wife [stbx's sister], and the stbx, and the other sisters, and the mother-in-law) antics and do whatever you want. i told him that's not how i wanted to live my life, and that did not match my view of how marriages or relationships were supposed to work. he said "then i can see how you let her do it to you"]

that's why the kids fly out of their mother's house like they are running in a prison break.

we pulled away. i quizzed them on whether they were hungry on an immediate basis and they said no. i drove to my first destination - a gaming store. as we arrived son saw where i had parked and said "Hey [daughter], I think I see a bribe in your immediate future."

I explained that this was not a bribe.

I have bribed in the past. I usually declare bribes openly. It makes life easier if I ever need to discuss the implicit understandings of a bribe/quid-pro-quo openly - if the bribe and the nature of the understanding are explicit - then there can be no hidden hurt feelings and less potential for misunderstanding. I have bought books and clothes and other stuff in the past as bribes. I have covered for their mistakes and undone deeds as well. I have described them openly as bribes or "cheesy attempts to gain favour and/or advance my personal agenda." I am thoroughly consistent.

I explain my agendas and intentions and even my tactics in detail to people i am attempting to influence or manipulate. Often including the descriptor "I am attempting to manipulate you with the following intent and projected outcome". Even in my job when i am supposed to be "spinning" the media, i just tell them the spin and it's intent - it is a source of much amusement. i am however, always taken seriously, and nobody particularly mistakes what i say for bullshit. I haven't the time, energy, or inclination to try to be subtle about anything - polite - sensitive - perhaps a little overexplained - but never subtle. I usually get my way (i have usually predicted/anticipated the needs of the other person and melded that into my plan/agenda already), and no one - except for the stbx - has ever accused me of being furtive or devious. My openness was a significant disadvantage in dealing with the stbx... she always knew where i was coming from and where i was going.

the gaming store stop was not a bribe.

we went inside and i told the kids we were getting a factory refurbished PS2 (cheaper) and some used games. you see at christmas time when we were searching for stuff for my nephews i had realised how cheap all the PS2 games were. i eventually ended up paying full price (mutter, mutter) for a PS3 game because my brother had bought them a PS3 for christmas (i found out when i went to confirm whether they had the PS2 game i was going to buy). i tried to buy my brother's old PS2 from him, but he wasn't prepared to give up his investment base in the PS2 at that point.

i had decided then, a month earlier that i would buy a PS2. i explained to the kids that i had chosen to get it that day because daughter had made the choice to come back, and that one of her previous complaints was that it was boring at the apartment and she had nothing to do - son had his computer, but daughter had nothing but TV and books - options that were less than at the house. i explained that i desired to make the place more friendly and accommodating to her renewed residence at the apartment. and that by buying an older system, the overall cost of ownership (especially the games - $5-$10-$15 instead of $40-$50-$60-$70) would be lower than buying a new system (their desire) - and if they didn't like it they could lump it.

they accepted that explanation. or seemed to. the PS2 was declared "not a bribe" and it was so.

after a short stop at my parents and at a bookstore near their place we proceeded to the all-you-can-eat sushi place. i told them that this stop was half bribe/half celebration. they wanted to know how it was bribing. i explained that by going to interesting places to eat instead of the rather mundane/standard cuisine of their mother's choice, that i hoped that time spent in my company would be perceived as more exciting and would offer the possibility of more new experiences instead of the litany of same-old, same-old that their mother offered (one of their complaints about her, her family, and boyfriend bob).

i went on to explain how it was an example of good political positioning. by playing to natural strengths (my positives) and their complaints (negatives) about the "opposition" - i was reinforcing their desire to spend time with me. they laughed. i then went on to give examples of such positioning in the last local election and of how that was playing out in the various primaries occurring now in the U.S.

daughter told me that her mother had said to her "Oh, and I was going to take you for sushi for your birthday. He stole my idea." (yes - really - a quote) at the moment that stbx found out that I was taking daughter out for sushi (discussed in been walkabout) to celebrate her birthday a couple of weeks previous. both kids noted that their mother has refused to make (or allow to be cooked at her house) fish other than batter covered highliner out of the box stuff in the last year and a half since i left. they called bullshit. they also noted that their mother has never discussed sushi except after one of the times i took them and she had disparaging things to say about fish and fish smell.

for the record - except for the eel - sushi and sashimi don't smell. now, the stbx has an almost magical sense of smell (yes - that good), so maybe things are different for her.

(there are people who genetically have a way superior sense of smell. it is theorized that having this ability in small numbers of the total population would be advantageous in a hunter-gatherer survival sense because these people would be able to smell spoilage and such - sort of an early warning system)

anyway - we finished supper, went home and set up the new PS2. only one game out of five worked...

we exchanged the console the next day for a new one.

and it still wasn't a bribe.

Monday, February 04, 2008

daughter's home

this last friday from 3:30pm until about 5pm was perhaps one of the worst periods of my life. maybe an exaggeration, but it was pretty bad either way.

you see, son had called me to tell me that he was going to be hanging out at his mom's place after school - last friday was switchover day between the houses. he wanted to play some game on his mom's computer that the computer's at my place won't run (not new enough). so he wasn't going to go straight to my place after school (he no longer has to pack anything because i have bought him enough clothes and stuff that he is fully equipped at both places).

i asked him whether his sister was ready. he said no - she was out with her mom. he didn't think she was going to be coming over on friday - maybe on saturday. i was flattened. rugged yanked out. in a daze. sick to my stomach (almost puked).

all of those things.

i had built myself up that daughter was really coming back. that she would really be starting to live with me half time again. it's been a long year without her. the couple of weekends and holidays and the sunday morning brunches and stuff just haven't nourished my soul enough.

Daughter spent time at my place over christmas. she spent another weekend at the beginning of january. with her mom fighting it all the way.

daughter had said that she would be coming back. she was supposed to be back two weeks ago, but her mom had allowed her to have a big birthday sleepover, and daughter said she needed to be there to clean and make the place ready or her mom would freak on her (sound familiar?).

daughter was supposed to come over for just the weekend nights and then spend the weekdays at her mom's that week - but mom put the kibosh on that plan by freaking out, laying out heavy bribes, and promoting another sleepover with one of daughter's friends. daughter chose that. pain avoidance and a sleepover. i was disappointed, but lived through it. daughter said that as soon as the birthday was done she would come to stay - that she just didn't want to do anything that would mess up her birthday party - not just making her mom cancel it, but recognising that her mom acting like a stormcloud would ruin her birthday as well - daughter is smart enough about her mom to know that her mother can ruin a day in any number of ways.

on thursday night i phoned over to the house to ask daughter if everything was on track for friday.

the stbx answered. she said "[daughter]'s busy right now. i'll have her call you."

daughter called back a little bit later. i asked daughter if she was free to talk. she said "just a minute, i'll take it on the upstairs phone."

she told me that she had just told her mother that she was for sure staying at my place for the next week. her mother had a complete meltdown all over daughter. said that it was "short notice" and that daughter was "springing this on her" and that it was rude to do tell her just the day before (daughter later remembered that she had told her mother on monday as well).

daughter began to cry on the phone. she wept "i don't know what to do". i told her i wished i was there to hold her. that i knew it must be terribly hard for her, and that i was sorry that she had to be in such a position, and that i would support her no matter what her decision was. and that even if it wouldn't be a good idea to give in to her mother because it would just encourage the freak-outs, that i would understand if she wanted to avoid the short-term pain and decided to split the difference and stay less days at my place. that i didn't want to put any pressure on her - that i knew that was impossible because even discussing the topic of where she would stay was putting pressure on her - but that i wanted it to be as little as possible and as free from recrimination and upset or making daughter feel bad as i could possibly make it.

i kept repeating that whatever her decision was, i would support it. that even if we had to saw off things now to avoid pain, and that even if it made it more drawn out, that i understood that there was only so much that daughter could take - and that sometimes longer drawn out pain is more tolerable than overwhelming short term incidents.

i told daughter i loved her and that i would support her and continue to love her and do whatever i could for her whatever she decided.

we ended the call and it seemed she would still be coming over on friday - but it was still up in the air a little

back to friday. no matter what the conversation above, it was still a terrible blow to think that she wasn't coming. that the stbx had done it AGAIN. that by freaking out and being an asshole and playing all the emotional games - the anger, the guilt, the crying, the bribes, the everything - stbx had gotten her way - one more time. it was a blow that i wouldn't have my girl back. to just hang out together.

you see daughter and i have done plenty of "dates"

that is what Smitten described them as. she talked about the divorced men she would see (both in a professional psychologist sense and just in her world) who would get their kids for visitation. Dad time was play time. there was no parenting time. no hanging out time. it was a party a minute when it was Dad time because Dad's would be trying to make it the best "quality" time they could.

and Smitten was right. daughter would dress up to impress me. i would try to be shaved and presentable. i would dress in "hip" and fashionable clothes to make her think i was cool. i would make sure i had new music and cool music to share with her. we would do fun - frankly - "date like" things.

Smitten was not criticising - she was observing. she was putting up a warning flag. both for our relationship, and for daughter's developmental progress. daughter associating men and positive male contact with strictly "dating" and "dating scenarios" could put undo expectations on future men in her life. it could warp normal views and relations with men - yes, there is documentation for such conclusions in various journals and publications.

yeah - that's one of the drawbacks to being half-assed self-aware and of dating a psychologist. you have to think about shit like this.

on friday daughter called me as i was leaving work. she told me she was in fact coming to stay for the week.

i was deliriously happy. i was still wrenched at a gut level - the emotion hadn't left me yet. i called Smitten on the way home to tell her how things had worked out (she had called at about 4:30 on her way home). i was able to get past a decent bit of the way i was feeling by the time i picked the kids up.

i was so very happy to have my daughter home.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

laundry tips for guys

you know how when you're folding clothes, you sometimes give them a bit of a whip/crack downward to get the wrinkles out?

if you are doing that with an item with a buckle on it - while wearing pajamas

watch that buckle doesn't nail you in the 'nads

you're welcome