Category Archives: The Family

Am I Anti-Mother’s Day?

Should I go see my mom for Mother’s Day?

Apparently, she’s telling everyone in the family that Jo (sister living with me) and I should come up to visit this weekend. My parents live six and a half hours away. Even if we were just going to meet in the town where my sister Beth goes to college, it’s still three and a half hours away.

I’ve already spent money on a gift and mailed it, therefore spending money on postage. Now, apparently we’ve been told she actually wants new tennis shoes as a gift, and since I ended up paying (on a law school family budget)  90% of the total price for the designer boots she demanded for Christmas, I just don’t feel like expending any more time or effort.

I’ve alluded on this blog to the fact that my mom and I have a rocky relationship, and that she’s been very hurtful, controlling and truly just mean in the past. I just don’t think I should be expected to make a long drive on the first weekend after my husband finishes finals to another city to spend time with and cater to the ego of someone who doesn’t really treat me very nicely.

But, what’s your opinion? Should I suck it up and go? Should I spend money on the extra gift she wants?

PS We’re not going to go see Ducks’ family either. I bought and mailed similarly-priced gifts to both, and his parents will actually be visiting his grandparents in another city. So, it’s not like we’re choosing one family over the other. We’re just choosing our family (me and Ducks), to try to rest a bit and relieve the strain of finals. Is this okay, or bratty?

State Traveler

Sorry – once again, MIA for an extended period of time.

Why, you may ask? Because I’ve approximately half my time this week in a car traversing the major cities of Texas. Within the span of seven days, I will officially have spent time in every major city in Texas. And, guys, this is a big state!

Christmas Eve – Work half a day, then drive six hours to my grandmother’s Christmas Eve. It was also, I am happy to say, a day late celebration for her 75th birthday. Love her and so happy to have her still in my life! 🙂

This is her picture from high school when she was a twirler – so adorable!

Then, Christmas Day with my parents – same town, so we had a reprieve from driving for a while. I had an excellent time with my sisters and my mom got some good pictures of all of us together in aprons (we always end up with at least one matching gift).

Sunday – drive to the Metroplex for my in-law’s Christmas celebration. Monday – back to the old SA. Copious napping was done by me, plus I made some food things and froze them to get the new year off to a good start.

Wednesday – H-town for the bowl game. The less said about that, the better. This car trip actually turned into 10 hours in the car. Why? Because we left the house around 10, drove almost to Houston, then realized, oh, neither of us decided to bring the tickets. And they were expensive. So, we went back to get them. Sigh.

Thursday – I worked, then we went to Austin to watch TWEETY CARTER play basketball (not for BU, on his D-League team, the Tulsa 66ers). Oh, how I love that man.

Today – blessed nothing. And some painting, of course. Because our house is STILL NOT DONE. My brother-in-law is coming to spend the weekend with us, so I intend to get him to help with the painting. Yay.

Tomorrow – more nothing. Hurray!!!

Sunday – drive to my favorite city for some college hoops.

I want to hear all about y’all’s weeks, too! I’ve missed everyone! 🙂

Ugg Boots

My mother wants Ugg boots for Christmas.

When I heard this, I thought to myself, “You live in rural Texas. You have no idea what Vera Bradley is. The nearest mall is over an hour from your house. Ugg boots?! Really?!”

Her rationale is that she has poor circulation, so her feet are always cold and the Ugg boots will keep them warm. Here’s what I think about the situation.

When I graduated from college, one of my aunts had recently come back from visiting her daughter and family in Australia. She gave me a pair of boots that she brought back as a graduation gift. They looked somewhat like Uggs from the outside; however, on the inside, they had synthetic black fur (obvious Ugg no-no), which made them hot and uncomfortable instead of cosy like Uggs are supposed to be. To be fair, my aunt didn’t try to pass them off as real Uggs when she gave them to me. They didn’t have a tag or brand label, etc,. either. They were just ugg-ish (with a small “u”) boots.

Therefore, because they were uber-toasty and also tended to get sweaty inside, even with socks, I gave them to Goodwill after I’d had them for about three years. I think that’s perfectly reasonable, don’t you? They weren’t especially comfortable; they weren’t especially practical (it’s Texas, y’all – fleecy boots are not a necessity of life); and they probably weren’t particularly expensive. I had moved them from four different apartments and I had gotten rid of a lot of shoes that were no longer stylish or that were worn.

About a year later (this past summer), my mom called and asked if she could have those boots. Then, she proceeded to become very upset when she discovered I had given them to charity, because apparently giving something to charity that was given to you as a personal gift instead of giving it to your mother who never before expressed a wish for it is a crime.

Anyway, all that to say that she is now fixated on the idea of Ugg boots. She’s never had a pair; I don’t know if she’s ever tried on a pair, but because I gave those knock-off ones away, now she MUST have a pair at all costs.

Do you guys have parents with quirks like this?

I’m going to have to see if the sisters want to chip in.

PS Now that I’ve rambled on and on about boots, go check out the giveaway that Natalie wrote about on her blog. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if I won these and could give them to my mother for Christmas? 😉

This is Why I’m Old

First of all, many thanks to everyone for your concern and advice about the headache situation. I’m going to start monitoring it very carefully to see if it’s linked to stress, or specific foods or allergens. I appreciate all your concern – it’s so nice to have a place to ask questions and share concerns with friends.

And now, a story, about how I know I’m old.

It’s not because I currently have a bag of Halls cough drops in my purse. That’s just because I have a cold.

It’s not because I woke up at 5:45 the other morning and decided to do crafts before work. That’s just because….well, I guess because I’m me.

The reason I’m old is because I didn’t go out on Saturday night.

It’s not really that different from every other Saturday night. As an old married woman, my weekends typically revolve around chores, some kind of sports-related get-together and discussing torts cases with my husband.

This past weekend, I was back in my world favorite town (and yes, I realize I’m probably one of the few people in the world who consider it wonderful, but I love it) and I spent the night with my sisters. After the game, Beth refused to go out, so I drove home with her, stopped to grab some pizza since we hadn’t had dinner and then planned to get ready to meet Jo and her friends and go to some of the local places I had frequented in college.  

However, I hadn’t reckoned with the cold and its effect on my aging bones (apparently). The temperature had dropped to 35 degrees. I had no closed shoes except tennis shoes. And no long-sleeved shirts except the one I wore to the game.

So, I went outside in flip-flops to retrieve my tennis shoes, only to find that I was so chilled that my teeth were chattering so ferociously and I couldn’t make my hands move to untie my shoes or slip them on.

What did I do in this situation? Give up? Never. I took my shoes inside, planning to put them on once I had gotten warm, then to brave the elements and go to Scruffy’s. Or wherever.

Ducks called while I was trying to get warm, and he was fired up and full of game talk and analysis. So, while he was talking to me, I decided the — obviously — most logical way to get warm was to climb under the five fleece blankets Beth had layered on her bed and de-chill my frostbitten toes.

I’m sure you already know what’s coming next. Of course, I fell asleep. Of course, I became very disgusted with myself when I woke up at 11:50, which technically still fell into an acceptable “going-out” time frame. Of course, I didn’t get out of bed, except to take off my jeans. And, of course, I asked Beth, who was watching YouTube videos from her laptop, to put a pair of her socks on my feet. Because, obviously at my advanced age, I couldn’t be bothered to find socks, or to reach down and put them on.

And, because she’s the most wonderful sister in the world, of course, she did. And she got me another blanket. And she turned off the light.

Sigh. I’m only 26, people. I should not be falling asleep at a time when I could otherwise be reuniting with old friends, hanging out  with my sister and otherwise having fun. I should, in the words of Young Jeezy, “run these streets all day, I can sleep when I die.” Or at least, I should be able to walk to a perfectly decent vehicle, drive to a perfectly decent local pub/establishment and carry on conversations with perfectly normal other people.

But, as I thought about this, I wondered, is it getting older, or is it just that my priorities have shifted? I’m in town alone, since my husband has to stay at home studying like a fiend. I’m married, so I don’t have a reason to go out to bars looking for companionship. My 19-year-old sister isn’t going out, so it’s not necessarily that I’m ancient. Maybe I’m just not interested in going to a bar with my 22-year-old sister and her giggly friends, because I’m mature.

But, then, I just got another Halls from my purse, and decided, I’m old. And I will learn to live with it. I’d rather have my sweet husband and my comfy new house and my DVR full of Psych, and a pitcher of homemade sangria than a life filled with evenings out on the town because I don’t have any comforting reasons to stay home.

Can I Have Some Extra Crazy, Please?

Oh wow.

Today, I got a mysterious friend request from someone with no picture. The person’s name was Sandy Jones and the only information listed was that the person was male.

The only person I could think of named Sandy Jones was, so I thought, the nanny character Freddie Prinze Jr. played in a guest role on “Friends.”

(featured here with The Grumpus – oh, man, I laughed so hard when I watched this episode — but, I digress.)

Anyway, I’m looking at a couple of other things on Facebook when I see a message pop up in my inbox — from Sandy Jones.

The message is now being posted here for your enjoyment, and probably your secret sympathy:

SUBJECT: Sandy Jones…. I am your mother. ha!

Message: [myname]…sandyjones is my fb name. i’m a creeper. ha!
i pushed the wrong button and am a man on here. is that funny or what? ha ha ha 
jo  is trying not to friend me and i’m going to get that child. i hope you will be my friend. 🙂

I am still kind of laughing about this. Weirdo.

Background: Earlier this year, my mom did have a Facebook page. At that time, she sent all of her daughters a long message about how she did not want to be our Facebook friends and that we should not feel pressured to friend her. Beth and I did, but Jo did not (probably because she has a lot of slutty pictures on Facebook).

Then, one day, she sent another 15-page email saying that she was deleting her Facebook because too many people she knew wanted to be her friend. Which, I thought was the point of Facebook, but what do I know? So, I’m very amused that she’s back, transgendered and semi-anonymous in her new Facebook profile. Just wow.

A Moral Dilemma

I have a true moral dilemma on my hands. It’s a crisis between practical charity and reason. It also makes me wonder whether I am a naturally selfish person.

Here’s what happened.

Around 7:30 p.m., a phone call interrupted my NaNoWriMo work. It was my parents’ home phone, so I decided to answer. As usual, my mom freaks me out to begin the call by sounding like something may have happened to someone in the family. But, no, that wasn’t it. She was calling to ask my opinion on a woman that she and her Sunday School class have been helping.

This woman was about 30 and pregnant. She showed up at the church one day and wanted to become part of the Sunday School class and have her kids, an 11-year-old and a 6-year-old take part in church activities. Then, last week, she lost her baby at 20 weeks.

That part of the story is heartbreakingly sad, and I do feel for this family, as I feel for anyone who loses a child. I can’t imagine the pain and grief that someone would go through.

Well, that’s just one piece of the puzzle. As my mom continues to tell me about this woman, she explains that her three children all have different fathers, that the 6-year-old’s father just fled back to Mexico to avoid criminal charges, that the father of her baby was another man from a neighboring town that she also wasn’t married to. She also tells me where the family lives – in a trailer house behind a liquor store, that the woman has no job, no car (because her insurance lapsed and she was ticketed for driving without it), has multiple tattoos and is on welfare. When my mom asked the pastor about her, he said, “It really wouldn’t surprise me if she’s been involved in anything and everything.”

Now, my mom is a bleeding heart for people like this. While she’s not always that nice to her own children, she has a very strong desire to help anyone in these kind of desperate circumstances, because she grew up in a family that wasn’t completely stable (although not to this degree). But she’s not always a great judge of character – she’s a  very literal person and takes what people say at face value, especially if it has anything to do with Christianity. If you make comments about “the Lord” or try to sound like you’re “seeking God,” then she will automatically believe you.

(Sidenote: The last person that she tried to help was a woman who worked at a local gas station. She lived in the local housing authority and had three children under the age of 4. My sisters, mom and I were donating and serving lunches for the children who didn’t have food to eat in the summer – a project that my mom created and that does show she has a  good heart, especially for children. Her babies were literally crying because they were hungry. My mom went to the gas station, talked to the mother and got all bleeding heart for her, especially because the mother said she didn’t even have enough money to buy milk for the baby. Her philanthropic spirit only increased when she went to the woman’s apartment and saw that she had a picture of her baptism hanging on the wall. That sealed the deal for my mom. She bought groceries for this family, gathered clothes for the children and helped them — until the mother was picked up and arrested for running a prostitution ring from her home.)

To get back to the story at hand, the reason she was calling me was to ask if I would mind whether she invited this woman and her kids to spend the holidays with our family – Thanksgiving and Christmas. For Thanksgiving, I don’t care, even though I don’t trust this woman, because I won’t be there. But, is it wrong for me not to want my mom to invite this woman to their house on Christmas Day when Ducks and I will be visiting? I always make it a point, whatever my other holiday plans with the in-laws are, to be with my parents Christmas morning because my sister is still so young and I love to watch her open presents, but I feel like having this other woman and her kids there will ruin the holiday.

I’m sure something will come out to prove that she’s not genuine and is using people in the church for money before Christmas, so I’m not super concerned about it, but I am also a little concerned about my reaction to the situation. I’m not feeling a lot of sympathy to this family. I hope that people will charitably give her and her children some nice Christmas gifts and a Christmas dinner, but I just don’t want it to be WITH my family. And, I feel a little guilty about that, because it’s not very “do unto others” and I feel like I should want to be a little more kind and generous and let these people join in our holiday when they have no other family, but I just can’t want it.

Is this wrong? Give me your honest opinions.

Lame Post Time: Recap of My Week

This is just a post to say, whoa, sorry, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. Somehow this past week became BUSY. Here’s a quick recap:

– Rangers sucked it up for two games and then pulled it together. Watching them right now – it is essential that they win these home games!

– COLLEGE FOOTBALL. Freaking hurray!

– College basketball starts this week. On that note, here’s a cute picture and a funny story. Picture = my two sisters in their costumes from their sorority’s act in our college’s big musical revue.

And the story. My parents never came to events when I was in college, so this year was their first year to go to the homecoming festivities. While the Littlest Sister was walking around with us, Jo and I kept seeing this extremely tall guy and wondering why he looked familiar to us. After we stared for a while, we sent Amy over to ask him his name, since of course, she’s 12 and adorable.

So, she walks over, taps him on the back and he stoops down. She says, ” What’s your name?” He tells her and she walks back to us and says, “I couldn’t understand him.” Psssh. Useless, just useless. So, we give up on our quest.

Later, Amy’s standing with our father, and asks him, “Dad, what’s that guy’s name?” He tells her, and she freaks out. Why? Because he’s a player who happened to get in trouble for some substance problems recently (and by substance problems, I mean he passed out in the drive-thru of Taco Bell….sigh). Amy runs over to us, stomps her foot, and says, “You made me speak to a crackhead; I could have died!”

Poor innocent little chica. For one thing, it was so not a crack issue. And for another, the problem that he had typically just makes people hungry, not violent (hence, Taco Bell).  😉

Okay, so I got a little sidetracked. Back to my list of what happened this week.

– I dressed up as Snow White this year for Halloween. The girls at the office wanted to dress up — I’ve never been a big fan of Halloween – we didn’t celebrate it growing up, but my friends wanted me to join in, so I did. We had two regular Disney princesses (me and L as Ariel) and two zombie Disney princesses – scary! I realized that I’ve been typecast as Snow White – I’ve been Snow White four times in my life.

– On a completely unrelated note, I was called a snow bunny. Apparently, this is a very derogatory term (link to very inappropriate Urban dictionary definition). To which, I would like to respond by saying, “Ummm….hello….I’m married.” But anyway, I was quite offended, and I told one of the graphic designers I work with that I was offended because I am actually part African-American. He totally believed it. Hehehe. It’s funny because, remember, I’ve been Snow White for four Halloweens – I’m dark-haired, blue-eyed and Irish-freckled.

– We have Trick-or-Treaters! We’ve had, among other things, Cookie Monster, Mario, Power Ranger and a Lucha Libre wrestler. Also, I would like to point out that if you’re a teenage girl not in costume but old enough to have cleavage pouring out of your tank top, you’re too old to trick-or-treat. I mentioned this to Ducks and he said, “Oh, I didn’t notice.” Either he’s the best man on earth or a big fibber.

– I went to buy some chair covers for some wingback chairs my mom gave me. I was super proud of myself for finding a coupon and taking it with me. And THEN, I forgot to use any of my gift cards to pay for it. Grr…

Really, I’ve got nothing else. I’m hosting a jewelry party to help my friend start her business this week, so that should be interesting. I’m behind on ALL my blog reading, so, tell me, how was your week?!