16 June 2024

Happy Father's Day

 Father's Day can sometimes be as challenging as Mother's Day.  My dad passed in 2009 and I only felt relief.  The saving grace is Kevin's dad.  As I often say: he can make us want to scream and drink but for the most part: he's the epitome of a good dad.

He's 85 years old and as we've mentioned, he's starting to wind down.  He's still active and doing better moving through this world without his wife. He's still 85.

He's a man who makes sure his family is taken care of, even to his own detriment.  He brings his "daughters" flowers for special occasions, he brags about his sons to waitresses and in the doctors office.  He works in whatever capacity he can to make sure he's "pulling his own weight".  We can't count how many times we've heard "I want to be like him when I'm his age..."

We have a sign that we had made years ago for the parents when they first lived with us.  It became something we all said when another of us helped, did something nice, or even sarcastically.  I rescued it from their house and refurbished it before they took it away.  Now it hangs on our house.

15 June 2024

Retrospect via Social Media Melodrama

 There's been some drama on the clock app and I am fascinated. If there is drama, I usually scroll right past it.  Life is too short.  My clock app is set to topics like dogs, writers, libraries, wanderers, photographers, and the such.  I've designed it so that the feed provides a peaceful activity.


One of the people is a creator who I used to follow then her socials changed to a focus I wasn't interested in so I stopped following.  It just wasn't pertinent to me anymore, that's all.

So then yesterday, someone was on my FYP feed in a weird shower cap thing and said "So, I'm not friends with X anymore..."  For some reason, probably the shower cap thing, I stayed and listened.

As I listened, her story was feeling familiar. Like, it felt like I knew the person she was talking about. I didn't investigate any further though, because it's not my drama.  It just felt validating that someone had the same experience as me.

Then today, someone stitched her video and it was the woman I used to follow.  She is part of that friend group and is also no longer friends with X.  Her telling of the story was much more detailed and whew, change the names and I really had lived that story.

Then this afternoon, ANOTHER WOMAN stitched the stitch and was all "ME TOO" and she told her part of the ongoing story.  All of their stories complimented each other in facts and behavior AND added layers to the situation of being friends with X.

Again, I'm all THIS WAS MY LIFE years ago and thank all the gods it isn't anymore.  

What had happened was the X person had a few bad episodes in their life and the friend group rallied around her, just to get destroyed by this person.  X was the victim and there was no discussion otherwise.  There was no other possible option or outcome. Then X proceeded to divide and conquer amongst the friend group so everyone was fighting and nothing was X's fault. Ever.  They were the victim.  Everyone was mad and hurt with everyone else.

AND THEN, the saga continued with screenshots and voice messages and rebuttals; including have a blog post mispresented and used as "evidence" of being a terrible friend. (happened to me) A story about how a birthday was ruined because impossible standards are set and friends were treated like ungrateful and disobedient servants. (change birthday to wedding and probably also a birthday and it happened to me)  I'm telling you: I could have written this whole situation.

This felt so familiar.  It was sadly a relief hearing someone else having this experience.  I recognize that in posting this drama their intention is self-protection and full-disclosure to their followers. BUT I wonder if they realize or considered what a cathartic thing to share with others who have had those same experiences. I wish I had the self-awareness and mental health to deal/cope with the situation back then the way they have.

I wrote about my experience way back in 2009-ish. To summarize: this person is one of the reasons I no longer drink.  This person not only manipulated me but others as well, and took zero personal responsibility.  They damaged relationships. They sh*t talked about me to whomever would listen, including my bio-family.  

The family seemingly took her side and that's one of the reasons for distance there.   Example: my mother told me once that I just "Need to get over it, apologize, and be friends with X again."  I told her that I was not ever going to do that, because they needed mental health help and when I offered to support them in working through that, they told me to F*ck off. So I didn't feel the need to reconcile.  Also, that they had lied and manipulated about so many different people & situations that all trust was irretrievably broken.

And guess who came to the next family gathering.  Yeah.  And all the others following.

Example #2 of how similar this situation is: X bought me tickets to an event "for my birthday". 

Pause: I tried to write this paragraph style, but I'm just going to make a list. It got too confusing.

  • They didn't tell me what it was until I got to their house, which was forty-five minutes away from my house.  It was supposed to be a great surprise.
  • It was a comedian whom I hated, HATED, and trust that there was no mystery about how I disliked them. (she is now universally disliked, to give a hint)
  • Next it was announced that we were riding with two "friends" from their work; both of whom I had never met.  
  • The show was in Canada.  They were rude at the border, which is a big deal because that can create consequences at future border crossings and I was crossing regularly.   
  • We did not stop for dinner. 
  • I sat by myself, which was a gift because X was animatedly "interacting" with the comedian as the show went along. 
  • The others drank before, during, and after the show so yes, one of them did drive us home drunk. 
  • We did not stop for dinner.  I had a happy meal on the way home at midnight after I left them standing on the sidewalk in front their house

Yet, I was ungrateful and my consequence was radio silence for a while.  Hindsight: I should have just gotten back into my vehicle and gone home at the start.  When a person is in that kind of situation though, you feel guilty and obligated and justify that maybe it will be fun...  You all know the drill, we've all been there.

So, anyway, I could go on and on with examples. It was bad enough that it still feels terrible.  Eventually all of their lies and manipulations were discovered and I severed the friendship.  Actually, I had backed away and gone quiet in an attempt to let time take care of the situation.  It had an opposite effect though and they just ESCALATED.

They say that they ended the friendship and were the victim. They "anonymously" one or two mean girl comments here on the blog, which I deleted without comment. They talked about me to my family and others, including being "iced out" and glared at functions we both attended. And of course, the required long email listing all the things that I had ever done wrong, most of which were false.  No accountability, no self-awareness, and frankly just craziness.

Anyway.  That's just context, it's not the focus of this post.  

What was cathartic watching this online drama unfold was not only that someone else had that same experience.  It was watching the dawning realizations and recovery afterward.  The "Why did I put up with that?"  The "Why didn't I SEE this behavior sooner?"  "Why did I make excuses/accommodations/forgiveness for this person for so long?"

The answer is a bit trite: When you know better, you do better.  You have stronger boundaries, you have more self-awareness, you own your mistakes, you tolerate less. 

You stop making excuses.  "I know, but..." is not a phrase that should be used when explaining or justifying any kind of relationship.  "I know but we've been friends a long time" "I know, but they can be kind  or funny or generous or..."  "I know but they aren't like that usually/when alone"  "I know but I could have handled it better"

Because sometimes the fun friend, the crazy friend, the long-term friend is just the unhealthy, unsafe, and not-really-a-friend, friend.  A person should feel BETTER after spending time together, not exhausted.  

If you have been in this kind of situation then you understand.  I hope that it gives solace that someone else has experienced it and been able to work through it successfully.  

Or if you're in it now, reread or print out the last few paragraphs to support you in making different choices.

If you're curious: the drama on the clock app, the creators are Sensible-Amber. Megan Rose, and Abby. 

12 June 2024

Broken Kids Club

 One of the things that I noticed when I was doing the Nostalgia Project was that I didn't keep friends long-term.  I've learned over the past few years that neuro-divergent kids or kids who have ACES scores have trouble making or keeping friends.  It was one of those things that I'm all "Oh, yeah.  That makes sense, because I am both of those."

I had friends all through school, however I was one of those kids who didn't belong to a specific group. Not an outcast, smoking across the street kid or hiding in the library kind of kid. Definitely not the popular or sports crowd, a little bit the drama and music crowd.

I had a main friend group, four girls and four boys and we waxed and waned throughout high school.  It depended who had lunch together or who had to work or was on a different academic path. I've since learned it also depended on any individuals headspace at any given time.

Now with the perspective of many years, I see that it was Broken Kid Meets Broken Kid. 

My childhood best friend moved away in eighth grade, we kept in contact then lost touch as young adults, then thanks to social media found each other again.  She lived in poverty and fell through the cracks because the family moved so much.  She just texted me because a photography tip I learned from the ticktock worked for her. She sent a gorgeous photo from hiking.  

One of my high school bff will randomly message me or vice versa.  We don't spend time together but when we do, it's like none time has passed.  The other I ended the friendship (see "What do We do About A Problem Like Maria) and the other we're friends on social media.  All had complicated homes lives as well.  The boy counterparts are online only and usually a casual comment or message every once in a while.

The broken kid friends cycle didn't stop but improved with adulthood.  Also though, the friendships aren't frequently talking or seeing each other, "normal" kind of friendships; while at this stage of life it feels like that isn't particularly unusual.  I've found that friendships wane as we age; jobs, marriage/relationships, kids, then raising parents for many of us, takes much of a persons time. 

My adult bff lives on the opposite coast.  Kevin thinks it's odd that we don't see each other or talk but write letters and emails, snaps and texts.  It's what works for us.  My other adult bff I see often and is the kind of relationship where you can just be quiet together.  But that relationship takes long pauses as well. Another adult friend is the occasional "Hey, still alive?" message with promises to get together then rinse and repeat until...

Social media has made friendship easier for me and I suspect for many others.  Far-away friends sometimes feel more real than ones you've actually met.  Social media posts are sometimes easier than a text or a call.  Friendship just doesn't seem to exist in the same as it once was.

05 June 2024

Faxing, Wading, and Eggs

 The universe just woke up and chose violence today; or at very least: chaos.  I have angered the Gods.

Work has been challenging.  Other than my computer, the next most important tool I need is faxing.  Yes, I said faxing.  Because it is the 90's up in here.

Medical Records operate mostly via faxing.  It's archaic and dumb.  It is supposedly more "secure" than email.  Yes, more secure to send it over sketchy phone lines then let sit on a copier until someone remembers to go get it. *sarcasm font*

Anyway, I request medical records on the daily.  They are faxed to me daily.  The process is configured on my computer as an email set-up so they arrive as attachments.   Thank you, pandemic, for allowing this system to be put into place.

About three weeks ago, the system started acting up and not performing as usual.  I did all the diagnostics on my side of things and tried the timing of said faxing.  Like, 5:30 in the morning, noon, 5:30 at night.  I even tried 8:00 pm; with mixed results.  I had the interweb service come troubleshoot my system before calling in a ticket to my work I.T. department.

Then, right before I was going on a week vacation, it stopped entirely.  SUPER. Love that for me.  Not to worry, I.T. was working on it.  LITERALLY the last hour of my day, they Teams Message for me to send everything I have because they have a temporary work-around.  Immediately and only for FORTY-FIVE minutes.  It was dumb luck that I happened to be sitting at my desk at that time of day.

It was like a dumb game show, with a timer and people waiting - and watching my progress online.  But I prevailed though and got out as much as I could then went on vacation.  I've been back just a little over two days and it is still not fixed.  Rinse and repeat: I.T. messages me that I can have the window open again for about fifteen minutes.  At least this time, I was prepared but it was 8:00 in the morning. I am barely verbal at this point of any day.

So, that's the work thing.

It's been raining non-stop here.  Non-stop.  Today is finally nice and I took Lucy to a new park to let her run around.  Because of said rain, the creek flowing through it was gorgeous. GORGEOUS.  I was taking many photos and letting Lucy roam while we both enjoyed the warm sun. 

Now I have a ring on the back of my phone instead of a pop-it because it works better for me, looks nicer, and allows the phone to lay flat.  That's the theory: it works for me.

Was I using said ring? No.  Did I drop my phone in a flowing creek? Yes.  Did I probably ruin a mom's day by exclaiming "Sh*t! Sh*t Sh*T!" in front her child? Also, yes.

I watched in horror as it landed flat on its back in the water. I had a quick mad thought of "Is it going to float? Is it going to float downstream?" which of course: no.  Instead, it gently zig-zaggedly sunk to the creek bed.  I stared at it for what felt like minutes before stepping two steps into the creek to retrieve it.

I think this might be taken mid-air

My phone has a waterproof and rugged case because Hi, Hello, It's Me. I'm the problem, it's Me.  This is not the first time I've dropped my phone into a moving body of water.  To its credit, the phone seems unharmed other than the speaker is a little crackly until it dries completely.  I sat in the sun on the park bench for a few minutes to recover before bringing Lucy and myself back home.

Now it's lunch and I'm forcing myself to remember to eat lunch every day.  I decided that because this day has gone so well, I would make egg salad. Things to know: a) I am allergic to eggs b) Thus I never learned how to make eggs c) I had to google it and d) it went as expected

I accidentally bought extra-large organic eggs a while ago.  I think they might be dinosaur eggs, they are so large.  Keeping that in mind, I used the normal small pot that I use, which promptly overflowed and cracked the eggs.  I googled to make sure that was okay...the cracked part, not the small pot...and continued with the task.

Was the mayo nearly empty AND the mustard...yep.  Did I remember while I was doing this that I still have to make tuna salad for Kevin's lunch and could have just had that for lunch? also yep.  AND I had taken the garbage out before we left. I couldn't leave the egg detriment in the garbage until it was full. Instead I tossed it outside but bobbled the throw - predictably - and it landed in the yard instead of the trees.

Also: the chips were stale because they were left open sometime over the weekend.

There should not be this much chaos for a dumb sandwich

Now the stove is a mess, the countertop is a mess, and the house smells like eggs.  What in the name of sweet, tiny 8 lb. 6 oz. baby jesus was I thinking.  I literally consolingly thought to myself "Well, worse case, I give myself food poisoning."  This is the level of ridiculousness today has wrought.

Now I still have to clean the mess, make tuna salad, and there are 16 faxes waiting to be processed.  Oh, and I have to leave the house again to do direct service at a center in one hour.

02 June 2024

The Missing Thing Is...

 So, you're probably aware that there was a very big news story the other day that most people, it feels, were relieved about.  This is not about that, necessarily, so please keep reading.

I usually don't post political stuff on my social media unless it's something really big or gives me feels, like "Stay out of my Uterus" or "I am a Ally".  Even when I post, it's usually fairly benign.

I posted a meme that hits that criteria.  "Live you life so that the entire world doesn't celebrate your guilty verdict"  No further comment, nothing inflammatory.  I knew that there would probably be one comment that would be all "Yeah...but..." and as long as it's respectful and true, I can be open to the other opinions.


I dislike this phrase and never use it. I've had to done to me in the past and I get it, it just gets over-used. I was man-splained.


  • I was wrong.
  • He used a phrase that a) wasn't accurate to the situation and 2) is often a key word frequently used in a certain "news" organization
  • He "has a legal background so he knows"  (he's not a lawyer, btw)

This began a debate between a high school friend whom I consider incredibly smart and educated. They do have a Masters Degree and a high level job in finance for the government. The first commenter I knew when I was younger that worked for the federal government. They, at most, react to some things that I post. Another is a regular commenter on any of my posts whom knows my beliefs but disagrees and we're fine.  The rest were just out of the woodwork, if you will.  The man-splainer 

Sidebar: I was working on my response when the wife of a friend piped in during the debate with a YEAH WHAT HE SAID and we should put all the politicians in jail because they're all criminals. Sigh. Then followed by someone else posting a Monica Lewinsky meme that I deleted just as soon as it posted. I mean, C'MON. But the frosting on the cake was my very liberal high school English teacher plainly and dryly posting a comment "That's a good plan." in response.

Kevin said I should have known that was going to happen and I agreed. Yet I post for my friends whom agree and maybe don't feel comfortable posting on their own pages.  It's easier to react to a post than it is to post one due to guaranteed conflict. Like this.

So, I wrote my response on a word document, edited, walked away, walked back, edited, thought about it, then posted.  In the meanwhile, the debate continued, respectful but still.  I wrote:

He was tried and convicted by a jury of his peers, in his hometown, after careful consideration. It does not meet the definition of a kangaroo court. It’s incredibly disappointing that anyone would support this indicted and now convicted felon. If you wonder my sources, I am careful to balance whom I read and reference to avoid - as best I can - any bias. While I’ve only worked for at-risk children, women, and families my entire adult life and don’t have a legal background, I’m still well informed. The only disapproval being heard seems to be from folks who only listen to only one "news" source. I did not jump into any other comments or posts to cry foul or celebrate. Now respectfully I ask to stop commenting. I'm not squashing debate, I'm not having dis-information on my feed.

I thought that I would either get no response - which is totally fine - or get an "Okay" kind of response either via comment or messenger. 


We were supposed to be gone all weekend.  In fact, we were gone all day Friday and Saturday.  I posted on my social media about what we were doing so it was clear that we weren't home. I didn't pay close attention to anything else on my media. I only posted.

Over ONE DAY LATER, he posts a link for "proof" that he's right and I'm wrong.  He states "here is one of the most fair-minded legal minds out there, a regular on CNN. He even says this prosecution was BS." with a link to an article.

I was immediately angry.  I felt like I was clear that I didn't want the discussion to continue. I said that it's my page and that this was my boundary.  And he stepped over that in order to show me he was right.

After thinking about it and considering just taking the post down, I decided to ignore the comment. Let others decide for themselves but I wasn't going to give this any more oxygen. 

Also, I didn't take it down because sixteen people reacted favorably to it and I didn't want to disrespect that support either. (yes, that's not a big number but still. And not everyone will react yet still like the post)

BUT, I was curious about the link and it was itching my brain. AND I honestly do try to read opposing opinions if they're from a credible source. Once I was home I looked up the link. 

  • It was behind a pay-wall.
  • It was from a lifestyle magazine that isn't the New Yorker and isn't entertainment.
  • The magazine isn't even featured on the Media Bias charts (so not considered a news source)
  • The person cited wasn't staff on a network. He's not even a pundit.  He's an "analyst" that is occasionally used. To be fair: he IS a lawyer with experience.
  • He is regularly referred to on the other "news" sites and their affiliates
The end result is the link was absolutely cherry-picked just to prove me wrong.  There were no other corroborating articles from anyone else.

Now, if you've read this far, thanks.  This is my point:

It's not about the disagreement about the post. It's not about politics. It's not even about social media.

It's about I stated an opinion in a funny and benign way.  Additionally, I posted a -what I felt was clear - request "to respectfully stop commenting"  

Someone felt comfortable enough to try to correct me in my own space then further ignore the boundary placed. To me, that is the biggest problem.  The "Stand aside, little lady, and I will show you how you're wrong. Let me educate you".  Or take gender out of it completely: the comfortability and ease to just pee in someone's cheerios because they don't agree.  (that's coarse but it's such an illustrative way to describe what's happening)  This is a base reaction that needs to change. 

I'm GEN-X.  When I was a kid: politics religion and wage was considered beyond rude to discuss.  Then as an adult, the mindset was more open but still impassive.  Somewhere along the line it changed to Everything Should Be Discussed, which has its merits.  

It feels like The Thing that is missing is basic respect. Somewhere the art of "I don't agree, let's move on" turned into "I have the right to prove you wrong in every setting". There has to be a basic decorum where people think "Oh, I don't agree but whatever" and keep scrolling. People need to feel less entitled.

It is also said that "We have to be able to disagree and still live together". This is also true.  There is also accountability.  A person can say whatever they choose, AND there are still consequences.  We also have to be accountable to what level we react or interact. I chose to post and open myself up to comments.

Will I unfriend anyone or block/mute them?  No, it's not worth that drama.  If they continued, then yes.  Otherwise their comments will just fade into oblivion.  One day, maybe, basic manners and decorum will return.