Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Moving Forward

It’s a great concept huh?  Moving forward; advancement; progression… If you go so far as to look it up on, you find that it means ‘gain’ or ‘improvement’.
Well; there is certainly no improvement in the financial ledger that is ‘the Squeeze’, nor advancement in shutting down the illogical and constant demands that the Harridan throws out of left field. 
Therefore, having said that; it becomes rather startlingly obvious that neither one of them has transitioned into: ‘moved on’.
So, my quandary is, how do I help the Moodle understand that moving on means a win for us and our relationship?  Setting rules in place and having the Harridan live and stand on her own two feet also allows us to do things like think about buying a house or doing those really weird things that couples sometimes do…  Ie:  go out on a date every so often.
I’m not saying that addressing it is easy.  Trust me; I know damned well it’s not.  Having any conversation with her that encompasses the word “no” is literally like talking to a mannequin.  It does not penetrate and even if it did, there isn’t anything in there to grasp the meaning.  There is zip moral compass ringing in her head.
And I guess it is difficult coming to the realisation that someone you once loved enough to marry and have children with, basically wishes you were dead.   At the very least, she couldn’t give a rat’s bum if he starved to death and lived out of a shoe box as long as he pays (and pays, and pays, and pays…)
So it becomes a little war.  How much of an opinion should I have..?  (I'm still awaiting a reply to my email this morning pointing out the benefits of telling her to screw herself sideways with a pogo stick...)
From my perspective, I can say that if I have 'no say'…  If this is a “between her and I” thing with no consideration to an "us" thing, then that position would encompass a range of domino effects on our relationship.  After all, it is ‘we’ now; living together, thinking about buying a house.  To me, that means we are in the centre and the rest of the world on the peripheral – including her.
Firstly, I now have a financial investment in our life.  And I want to know when a thousand bucks for saxophone lessons is going to squirrel off into the great waste land.
Before anyone reading this sole entry emails me to say that all kids should be able to play an instrument, I will agree; wholeheartedly.  They should.  But I don’t believe in pushing 3 or 4 private lessons a week onto the kid.  Other than the fact that neither of them can afford it, I am just not seeing it as his desire.  It is her velvet-wearer aspiration; the never ending search for a musician or artist in her litter.  The Squeeze contributes both financially and in his role as a father – as he should.  He is paying approximately 1/3rd of his wage – not bad for one kid as far as I’m concerned. 
My evidence re the sax is based on fact.  It was banished to remain in the car on ‘our’ weekends, given that he has never, not once, dragged it out of the case.  The only attention it ever received while inside, was to put a large dent in my wall when I tried to brush the cobwebs from it. 
And then we have the school concert that caused her to whine and condemn the school for not giving him a big enough part.  Hello!  He looked uncomfortable at best up there and there were all these other kids, singing and dancing like they were on Australia’s Got Talent!   Get your damned rosed coloured glass off your face!  Be like Keith Richard – never without a guitar in his hand while growing up – then I’m all for the Squeeze paying the excessive tuition!
So… The debate and argument is quite easy to understand in my head.  I would have to ‘not love him’ to sit by and watch this leech continue to suck him dry – in which case, why the hell would I be in the relationship?  Because in case you missed it, I’m not exactly winning in the romance stakes or in getting groovy presents…
I for one will be very interested to see how it turns out.  Will he stick to his guns?  Will he pay and confess and put up with me going ballistic?  Or will he pay and then lie to me? 
I am not doing lying again.  He has had his one shot at that. 
Pay and tell…  Then I have no choice but to shut down the ‘house’ idea and start putting what I would have paid, into my super.  I have no choice, I’d be stupid to tie myself up for a combined loan that he can’t service; and I’m not stupid.
Stick to his guns?  Ha!  I haven’t had to think about that previously…

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Strange But True – the Ex Wife is a Selfish Bitch

The list of things that the Harridan demanded as payment in return for the divorce, finally arrived.

Guess the dumb cow actually forgot the part where she refused to sign the divorce papers – costing $600.  And probably more when she won’t post them back to the lawyer – as she will have to be ‘served’ – costing even more (yet strangely appealing if they could do it either at work, or at the soccer group.)

And the list… Utterly astounding!  Ie:  petrol to take the kid to saxophone lessons…  Is this bitch for real?  Guess she forgot about the 3-4 hours a week the Squeeze spends in the car doing her bidding..?  And $1000 for saxophone lessons!!!  They are literally coming out of his gazoo – yep, no ‘living within her means’ registering there!

God knows what else was on there.  I think he was too scared to show me after I stormed around the house ranting about the petrol.  And I guess she figures the list is fair enough.  After all, he’s on a double income…

Ahhhh – I have never felt more like sending that evil bitch a link to my blog!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jazz and All That

I like to think I’ve got an open mind when talking music.  Well, open if you take heavy metal out of the mix; and maybe country (but that whole ‘my girl left, my dog died, my trailer burnt down just isn’t me…)  And it’s not as though those rules are steadfast.

Jaaz – for me, is Sunday brunch over the papers; the Squeeze cooking bacon and eggs and Billie Holiday playing on a record player (because it just sounds better… Real).  I can go so far as to squeeze Ella Fitzgerald over dinner in here and there.  What I absolutely can’t do is that crap they call jazz, which is really just a bunch of crappy instruments all just vying for attention!  I feel like it is the musical version of the freaking yellow pages ad!  “Look at me, look at me, look at me!”

For me, that style of jazz is ‘finger nails down a blackboard’.  On the odd times I’ve been forced to listen to it (with my writer girlfriend in a club or the Squeeze – whenever he can get away with it) I try my hardest not to say anything, because in music, we all have our peccadillos – but I can only hold out for so long.

There have been times I’ve come out of the bedroom and screeched “Turn that off before I stab myself to death, just to be free of it!” – And yes, it really is that bad.

These days I have an ipods (actually, I have about 4 so I can reach one at any time.)  They are scattered all over the place, so I can just slip one on in times of desperation - and shut down “Look at me, look at me, look at me!”

Now it’s not as though I’m unaware of my own annoying little musical habits…

For example, when a new song sinks into my brain, I am consumed by it.  Somewhat annoyingly, I play it over and over and over – determinedly memorising the words – and singing loudly (not caring that I’ve an ipod in).  It’s usually loud (and depending on wine consumption) possibly off key; and let’s not forget…  I’m learning the words, so have to do that weirdo muttering change of word half way through… but hey, it’s a learning process and if you ask me, it sounds no worse than ‘jazz’.

This week has been “Somebody that I Used to Know” week.  
The Squeeze has taken a rather strange dislike to it.
Sometimes I just have to revel in the fact that we are different…  

I have style; he is the yellow pages…

Friday, August 26, 2011

I Never Got It Right

I’ve had a big week; and it finished off with a night of laying in an oily bath.  This is relaxation. iPod on; filled with stuff that I am quite possibly, the only person on the planet, who finds is ‘me’.

Some people don’t quite get that.  I’ve gone out with people that didn’t ‘do’ music (they were at the bottom of my relationship ladder – the ones I pretend, never existed).  

I don’t understand people that don’t relate everything back to music.  Every major event in my life evokes a song.  From childhood holidays at the beach and the Cowsills (i Love) The Flower Girl; to losing my virginity to Peter Frampton – Show Me the Way.  

When in a pensive mood, my ex-husband would call what I played “suicide music”.  He was right; it is music to slash your wrists to.  Not sure why, I’m not exactly the wrist slashing type – I’d prefer to make them suffer me to the last…

Oh - and the title - It's a Carolina Liar song...

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Romance Blooms

I received a text this morning to say ‘Got a yes on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower ‘which made my eyes water at their happiness and the sheer romance of the whole thing.
So if romance is blooming, where the hell is mine..?
That whole proposal on the Eiffel Tower after dinner thing is pretty much climbing Mount Romance and bashing your flag into the summit.  You are the King when you get there.  The King…
But I’ve got to say, Boy 3 is constantly winning the race to the world’s most romantic guy also, with quixotic weekends away in tiny cabins up in the mountains etc and he and his girlfriend are so damned cutesy; their devotion to one another played out for all and sundry on Facebook.
So, both of my boys are making the Squeeze look totally inept in the romance aptitude test; but romance encompasses so much more than weekends away and Eiffel Towers. 
All my kids have grown up hearing ‘I love you’ and say it very easily – which is damned important to all the relationships in your life!  You don’t have to wear your heart on your sleeve and cry over every sonnet… But if you want to be the King of Romance Mountain, you have to be able to say “I love you”, and say it well.

Sleepless in Melbourne

It’s after 2am here.  But only 6.35pm in Paris.
This is where my son is at the moment, awaiting sunset. 

It’s a mixed bag in the joy/fear/stress department.  Unlike my daughter who got a good dose of my organisational skills, the boy likes to just run at things head first.  I can’t even say it’s on the fly; it’s not.  It’s all planned with that twenty-something belief that “it’ll be alright on the night”.  If not, he’ll get a bazooka.  A bazooka has been his way out of everything, since he was about six years old.

Running head first works fine if you’re twenty-something, but it’s not such a great theory for those of us left to organise stuff back here; and who are not twenty-something and haven’t been for a long time.

The other week I had the drama of getting money to him in a hurry.  Weird really; here we are in the world of technology but I can’t just jump online and send money overseas.  I can via internet banking… If I have the sms code and can nominate the bank he will pick it up from.  Yes… just try to google “banks near Eiffel Tower”  Given that most of the results are in French, and that I don’t know if they are 2 or 200 klms from Paris, it is a gamble.

Then I can go to the Western Union office, but I can’t debit card more than $1000 – wtf?  It’s my damned money!  But I work that all out and sign up for SMS via banking and look up the Western Union online and figure, ok, I’ll be ready the next time.

The next time was yesterday, but this time after the search for Banks in Paris, I decide I’ll do it online at Western Union using the Squeeze’s visa card.  Ok, I had a plan; and this was working until his bank didn’t allow the transaction.  Security they said, even though you have to tick off 74 questions with everything except the name of his favourite band in 1973. 

So he calls them this morning, explains the requirement and questions why he is halted, even after all the security checks, to send his own money.  They tweak this and that and finish up with a fine… knock yourself out; go online tonight and do it.  This saves me going to the post office and filling out forms all over the shop only remembering at the last moment that I forgot my damned glasses and am guessing the questions, let alone the answers.

What the bank didn’t say during that “knock yourself out, we’ve fixed it” call, is that it would halt us once again; this time, when the post office is closed; so I’m stuffed.  I’ve let my first born child down.  He is in Paris, on possibly the most important day of his life – and I’ve let him down.  I’m a horrible mother.

So I’m screeching at this point and my voice is rising in octaves as I hear the Squeeze arguing with the pimple faced know-nothing on the phone who is basically telling him that there is nothing he can do about it.  It is night.  wft!!!???  Is this idiot really telling him that he can’t spend his money at night and there is nothing he can do about it???  And he’s eager to be off the line too!

My scathing remarks are getting louder by the second and I literally shout from across the room ‘get the freaking manager!  Demand to speak to someone in charge!’ and the Squeeze shouts at pimples, to “get the manager!”  This is rather thrilling, given that he’s not really the shouting sort – but I know this is in direct response to my threatening to hunt pimples down and kill him and his whole damned family!!!  And I’m so frantic by this point that I can’t even enjoy the manly show playing out right in front of me…

But my boy is stuck in Paris.  He has no money.  I’m half a world away; incapable of doing what I was asked to do.  And this idiot on the phone doesn’t seem to understand the repercussions of this final straw in bank idiocy. 

The manager comes online and is actually attempting to be helpful.  She takes his number, puts on a placating voice and is off to make it happen and will call back within the hour!  (Please note that was approximately 8 hours ago.  We are still awaiting her call…)

And although slightly mollified, it’s only slight.  After all, this is a bank that has actually said they couldn’t help us, it’s night… And this comment, after we’d called, discussed and arranged it, just that morning.  So forgive my dubiousness in their ability to correct the issue; but we leave her to work out the system and we set off in the dark, to find a Western Union office.

The first two are closed and a very helpful guy in an Indian takeout place tells me I should call Western Union and tell them “that place is closed!!!”  The last one I had on my mental list is stuck in the corner of a small Indian grocery store down by a train station...  In the dark.

We slink in the door with me in the lead.  I may be out of my comfort zone, but if I don’t get this done, I’ve failed as a parent…  It’s the cheapo old folks home for me; the one where they bathe you in kero to kill the scabies!  And hell, my kid’s happiness is riding on this!

So we sidle up to the counter and state our business and after the shop keeper finishes his 15 minute extremely loud, non English telephone call, he pounces on us for information.  We spell out each letter, check and double check, all the while wondering if the Squeeze’s bank details will be splashed across the net by morning (and feeling guilty for wondering about it) but the transaction finally goes through and I can breathe a sigh.

I’ve done it. 
Motherhood Success – thy name is ‘me’.

I tried going to bed, but after a few hours of tossing and turning, I decided I may as well be up because laying there, hoping for sleep sure wasn’t helping.

And the production..?  Well the boy has left my sister (who is his fussing UK mother) and flown into Paris to meet his girlfriend.  They only have a couple of days together prior to his leaving France for Indonesia where he joins the yacht he’ll be working on for the next few months.

And in his pocket, is a ring for his proposal during a night time tour of Paris, with the lit Eiffel Tower as a back drop.

Sniff Sniff.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Double Income!!!

When I sit down to write, I don’t actually think about the words I’m going to say.  I have a feel for what I’ll talk about, which is generally covered in the heading.  But instead of words floating through my head, it’s kind of like everything I’m thinking has the voice of the narrator in the Wonder Years.  Weird; which is neither here nor there…  Just an observation.

We are all different.  I’m a brunette, quite tall, blue green eyes.  The Squeeze is relatively short, blue eyes with fairish brown hair.  The harridan is short, kind of squat with short spiky hair.  If this paints a picture of differences, that’s good.  If not, well picture that in clothes sense, I prefer a more tailored look.  The Squeeze is a Levi’s and t-shirt kind of guy.  The Harridan is all flowing, colourful, hippy style.

Still… Even though we are miles apart in some things, you like to think that the basics are similar.  That tiny something that makes us all part of the human race is analogous.  Not so it would appear; and somewhat strangely, this didn’t shock me.

The Squeeze rolls off to soccer on Saturday returns home with Kid 3 in tow.  Although I’d generally cringe at the thought of the techno hell I’m about to endure, I was pretty vague about it all since I woke with a headache that continued into yesterday.

I had put down my foot and we had argued over the “on the fly” plans for Sunday but I was waiting to see what would happen.  Either Kid 2 would pull out of the deal, in which case I was going to say “no ifs or buts get your arses in the car” and drag them with me; or the Harridan would throw something out of left field.

It was of course the Harridan who decided while we were on our way to Kid 2, that we should instead drop him at a birthday party where upon at the conclusion, someone would drop him back to Kid 2’s to spend the night and today, the Squeeze would drive from one side of town to the other, pick him up and then take him to velvet land.  (Obviously she has a bone in her leg or a stick up her arse, either way, she couldn’t do it).

The birthday party was obviously on the fly, since we didn't hear about it until the death knell and considering it was her sister's brat, than I'd have figured she'd have known about it.  Must be a lot of work, all that scheming to be as disruptive as possible...

So we drop the kid off and continue down the highway and now that the kid has gone, I ask if while at soccer, she raised “the discussion” again.  It’s quite amusing really, seeing how many times she will say “we need to have a discussion”, his reply of “send me an agenda or there is no discussion” – and they just keep going around and around.  No agenda arrives.

But… she points out she’s raised the agenda before.  Kid 1, the 25 yo non biological kid – has doctors’ bills that the Squeeze should pay. (Why doesn’t she try that one on biological dad..?) And Kid 2 has thousands of dollars of speeding/red light fines that he needs to pay (yes people, she is obviously too stupid to understand the art of “learn from your mistakes”) both of these have been up previously and were shot down with “I’ve done enough; they are adults.  They can pay it and stand on their own two feet!”   The third money grab is for Kid 3 who is pushed to do 3 private saxophone lessons a week.  Now ‘they’ want piano lessons – but not relinquish the sax.  Sheesh, she’s not much for ‘live within your means…’ 

This may work if a:  she was rich and b: they didn’t live in a tiny gingerbread house and c: he actually had a damned piano or even d: the Squeeze could afford the never ending list of requests to fund her requirement for an artist/musician in the family… (Personally, I hope the kid turns banker…)

And so to fend off that request, because that whole discussion prior to us moving in together around “this is maintenance and it is to cover everything except the school fees, uniforms and health insurance that I pay; so manage it, don’t ask for more because I don’t have it…” obviously doesn’t sink in.

So he says “I don’t have any money and I can’t give you anymore.” To which she says… “Of course you have now you’re on a double income!!!”

Ta da!  And there it is.  Exactly what I would have imagined some total waste of freaking space money grabber would say.  ‘Double Income.’

Ahhhh actually Harridan; he is not on a double income.  He is on one income. I am on my own income.  Neither of which you control.  Pfffttt.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Art of Learning…

I like to think that I was born with a pretty good dose of common sense and the ability to reason.  That isn’t to say I don’t make my share of mistakes; but as a rule, I learn from them.  Not so with the Harridan I suspect.  Because she just isn’t quite getting the fact that this toe thing is not going away.  Doesn’t matter how much chanting she does and waving a dead fish across the kid’s foot isn’t going to help.

He remains Vampire Boy.  The toe is still red and damned angry looking.  That curling black toe nail looks like he could hang upside down from a tree branch and it would clamp on without any drama.  And then I notice that sitting on the table, (in ziplock plastic bag with instructions) is a murky bottle of some weirdo potion that I can only assume is the creepy black stuff, and a fungal cream that looks suspiciously like a vaginal thrush cream.

Okay.  Looks like we are preserving in the “velvet” solution for the toe…  I only shake my head in wonder and feel like having the Squeeze hold her down, while I bash her freaking toe with a hammer and then give it a whirl with my cooks blowtorch.  Maybe then, with the firsthand experience on what the kid is going through, she’d take him to a doctor that doesn’t wear feathers – and get it cleaned up.

And yet I’m as relaxed as can be.  No skin off my nose!  I let the Moodle and Mini Moodle bond for the afternoon while I went off to get my legs waxed, followed by a manicure and topped that off with a massage.  Then it was home to toss back some migraine tablets that already have me fighting off 10pm wilt!

I have a muddily brain, fighting off a codeine fog, so writing is not going to be successful.  Hell, I’m too mesmerised by my manicured nails!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Joys…

This weekend is another kid weekend; three in a row; oh the joy. 
What this means for me is a nonstop television extravaganza.  I am talking to the point where I am feeling an overwhelming urge to put my foot through the damned thing to interrupt the zombie like trance.  And three weekends in a row…
So it is only Thursday and already my stress levels rise.  Why? Because I have the sheer audacity to actually ask that damned Moodle to call the Harridan and work out what is going on regarding weekend exchanges today.  It’s quite simple, there are three options – call her and work out which option you are going with, but make her understand that it is in stone; I’m not changing things on the fly at the last second like we usually do!
We are going out of town on Sunday to see my family.  I’m attempting to organise that the ones that I can see, to all be in the same place at the same time which of course, becomes impossible if I’ve no idea when I will even get there.
To me, this is more than reasonable.  I mean I laid it out in black and white prior to him moving in – I don’t do “on the fly”.  My stress level doesn’t cope with “fluid” plans that are constantly changing.  This needs to be fixed…
But this is obviously not reasonable in the selfish land of the Squeeze, who sends a reply asking permission to use the bathroom.
I am in unfamiliar waters really; because it is a rather logical and rational equation to me.  If you say you will do something; do it.  If you keep saying you will do it for 8 months, but it still remains undone – then prepare to hear repeated requests over that time for it to be done.  Sorry – but this does not equate to whining or nagging.
This equates to you being too selfish, stupid and lazy to do what you said you would.  And I’m not unaware that we continue to have the same argument we have had for the last two years – his inability to put me before the harridan.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Big, Bonding, Happy Family

Kid 3 – (vampire foot) suggested it would be fun to go for a bout of paintball.  One of the biggest centres in Australia is located only a block or two from our place so the idea seemed to have merit. 
Of course the idea of ‘paint balling’ with a group of velvet wearing hippies who don’t believe in war didn’t exactly curl my toes in anticipation, even if the idea of shooting them appealed immensely.   But I supported it because whenever the kid arrives, the first thing he does is run for the television, laptop and now the Squeezes new smart phone; if possible, all three are consumed at the one time. 
The techno gluttony is to the point where it drives me crazy, more so I suspect because the Squeeze lets it go so he can be the ‘good guy’.  Did I say allows it to go on?  Try encourages it if the 1.5 gig of crap downloaded last night counts.   Even though my thoughts on the Harridan are mostly centred around the fact that she should be flogged; I don’t believe in the non full-time parent allowing kids to do “what they like” just to be seen as the nice guy.  It’s unfair.
So I am prepared to give paintball a go and while nodding a: “yeah, good idea”, I’m thinking about each of them as the enemy…  A target.  Vampire boy is too young to think about in the combat sense, even though his toenail alone could be counted as a deadly weapon.  The Squeeze...?  This is a guy that flinches when I move suddenly.  No problem taking him out.  Kid 1 – is so damned innocent and child like that perhaps I could mention that the paint is made from baby ‘paint-esters’ that have all been clubbed to death and left bleeding in the snow, and he’ll be too scared to touch a weapon.  Kid 2 I suspect will attack without problem… Maybe.
Still, I’m the opposite of this group; I was always going to be the closet commando whose own team would have to shoot me, just to get me to shut the hell up and put down my weapon.
So to even things up, I thought I would extend the love and bonding and enlist Kid 2 & 3 from my side.  More like an ‘us versus them’ extravaganza…  This, of course, meant instead of a friendly bonding exercise, it was going to turn into a blood bath. 
His kids have been reared in the ‘new age’ feely good way where there are no losers, kids can never be smacked; and they should never, ever, have to stand on their own two feet.  Alternatively, mine understand the realities of life.  No one is going to hand you life on a platter.  Stuff up, and there are consequences and penalties that stick with you; sometimes forever.  Think before you doing anything and pause to plan and strategise. 
So I send out the call for a friendly little war and as expected, mine are completely on board to the point where my daughter is already planning our strategy and drawing up war plans, not to mention claiming naming rights; and my son is busting a gut to get his hand on a weapon and just begin the bloodletting.  God love them…
No idea what name she has selected for us.  I’m sure it will be something appropriate, such as “Heads on Pikes” or “The Garrotes” (which kind of has a nice ring to it if you ask me!) 
As for the Squeeze’s team, from here on in, their team are to be known as “The Moodles”.
One fly in the ointment is that Vampire footed Kid, even though it is was his great idea, must forgo the fun.  You have to be 18 to play.  As you can imagine, he is impressed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A Man

The whole “bonding” exercise with the kid every second weekend is beginning to wear thin.  Frankly, I think it is a ploy to enable the Squeeze to revert to boyhood, and lose himself for a few hours in some 14 year old movie world filled with choc tops and the smell of popcorn.

Of course for me, there is no sitting back and just watching the bonding.  No… Nothing as glamorous as that! 

While the Squeeze and Vampire Foot Kid slink off to the soccer – I clean.  While they watch recorded movies only fit for a 14 year old mentality – I clean.  While they slink off to the movies for a bout of bonding; and follow that up with a tad of coffee with Kid 2 – I’m home steam cleaning the carpet.  I'll pause to point out that the carpet is dirty in the first place because the Squeeze and Mini Squeeze are too damned lazy to take off their muddy freaking shoes!  Then deny!!!!

What a pity that a 14 year old boy is forever, just that…  14.  

And now I’m living with a 14 year old, trapped inside a 56 year olds body!