Thursday, January 15, 2009

Random thoughts for a Friday

The ex has brought something to my attention that I'd never considered before. When he has the girls and they have to go to the restroom, he can't go in after them. Its really too bad that more places don't have family restrooms.

If you were a woman and saw a dad come in a public restroom to find his daughters, would you be offended?

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I had to go check out that website I've seen advertised on billboards all over town. You know the one with the famous faces and the words I Am Second? Maybe its a local thing? Anyway, its apparently a very well designed religious website (and marketing plan) where people tell their stories of hardship and how they found God.

I had to check out the story of local baseball hero Josh Hamilton because of two reasons:

1) I love baseball, especially the Texas Rangers.

2) Duh. He's hot.

3) Ok, I knew he'd had a difficult time in life and had fought back to be a baseball champion.

One of the things I found interesting about his story was that he turned to drugs, alcohol and tattoos to give him the same high he felt when playing baseball in front of a huge crowd of adoring fans.

It occurred to me: Could tattoos essentially be along the same lines as cutting?

You know, where people cut themselves for a pain/pleasure experience? Hmmm...

He's still hot though.

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Since I was home again today with a sick child, I thought I'd move my hair appointment to today vs. tomorrow. I was in dire need of a hair cut. It was also good to get Rose out of the house.

I've gone to the same stylist since I was pregnant with Grace. She was having similar issues with her husband as I was during my pregnancy. She fought and fought and finally, about a year ago, decided to file for divorce.

I've seen her twice since then and both times she complained about how her ex was cheating, not working, stealing, lying, drinking and being an absent father to their teenage children. She was glad to be moving forward but still wrapped up in the drama of filing for divorce and dating.

Today, she told me that they are reconciling.

I asked if things were any better. She sighed and shook her head. When I asked about his drinking she said,

"Well, he's still an alcoholic. He said when I filed for divorce, he got drunk every day. Seven days a week. Now he only drinks about 3 or 4 days a week."

Seriously?

As I left, I began to ponder other friends in similar situations. Marriages that are already over. Spouses moved out. Issues not even in the beginning stages of getting resolved. Barely speaking to each other...but they're trying to reconcile.

Who am I to judge?

I am certainly not in her shoes but part of me wonders if the reconciling is for convenience or because she didn't want to be lonely anymore.

Suddenly I felt that divorce isn't such a cowardly way out, as some people say. It seems like it takes major courage to decide to be alone instead of staying in a loveless place. Without even trying to bring the love back. Resigned to it, I suppose.

Then there's that horrible feeling of loneliness when you're actually lying next to someone.

I only know my own personal story. I may not have someone to snuggle up to every night but I do feel loved and happy. I'm also very grateful that the ex is dealing with his struggles and I am dealing with my own. We're more respectful to each other as well because we're no longer blaming each other for our unhappiness.

Our divorce was worth it. And actually... so was our marriage.

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Tonight on the drive home from picking up Grace, we heard "Shock the Monkey" by Peter Gabriel.

Grace was singing it after we got out of the car.

"Chocolate Monkey. CHOCOLATE MONKEY. Chocolate Monkey. CHOCOLATE MONKEY."

Peter Gabriel would be shocked!

Heh.

16 comments:

  1. My ex and I communicate better now than when we were married. I used to tell him that we were unhealthy for each other and it's true, tho he still doesn't see it. He needed a cheerleader 24/7/365. I needed someone who would take the time to make me talk. A bad combination.

    I would rather be lonely and unhappy than married and unhappy. And the longer I live solo + kid, the more I understand why maybe this is just what I need. Accountable to only myself.

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  2. Love that song! And yeah the guy IS hot! Interesting question about the tatoos...

    I think what's cowardly is when someone leaves a marriage to be with someone else. If they did not have the courage or desire to leave the relationship UNTIL they had another person in the picture - distracting them from their own inadequacies - they wouldn't have left but instead would have had to face that truth. That's my take on it anyway.

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  3. Dont you guys have family restrooms?

    I have this problem with Cameron - he doesnt want to use the ladies ones with us but no way am I letting him go alone! So I know stand at the door of the mens loo and talk to him!

    The point about divorce is also very true - I feel it is often easier to stay! People are quick to judge women who leave saying it was easy - its not the easier option!

    Because not only do you need to deal with the being alone you also need to face your own demons and deal with them!

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  4. When I was in "nanny school" one of the teachers said she would stand outside the restroom when her young son went in and say "My son's in there alone, he's five." To every man who walked in (this was busy restrooms, I imagine, not ones with only one guy going in.) Anyway, that way every guy knew that she was telling every guy, and that she was right there outside the door. I actually think that it's a pretty good idea, although at first I felt like it was similar to saying "My child is in there alone and defenseless."

    On the tattoo issue, it can totally be similar to cutting. So can piercings. I did all three as a angsty teenager (tastefully, with the tattoo and piercings, thankfully). Bikini waxing is the only one I indulge in now!

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  5. Divorce is a the easy way out? Divorce takes bravery.

    As for the bathroom issue, I say you do what you need to do - tell everyone, march in there, whatever.

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  6. Grace just made my day...Chocolate Monkey, Chocolate Monkey!! LOL!!!

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  7. "Suddenly I felt that divorce isn't such a cowardly way out . . "
    Most definitely not.I definitely agree.

    It takes courage to fight, it takes courage to leave. The cowardly are those that do nothing- and simply adopt the complacency.

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  8. I've seen many a single parent peeking into a bathroom and yelling out to see if their kid was okay. I've also been asked many times to check on a child when I was coming in or out of a bathroom.

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  9. That dude is nice. Very nice. I'd be willing to overlook all those tattoo's to just ... LOOK at him. ;)

    I often wonder if women reconcile so much because they are afraid of being alone. Me? I couldn't wait. And he and I are better now, than we ever were married. I'm grateful for that.

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  10. Hy T! Jackie here..
    As a mom of a teen in a privileged high school society where "cutters" live too... I don't equate tatooing to equal the same as cutting. Tattooing to me is an emotional expression.. cutting really IS A CRY FOR HELP. AND... I hate it when people say to me... a never married single who couldn't get that court order for child support because - Yes! He left the country before the baby was born...."At least, he sends
    money!" My child has never spent the weekend away at her dads. Never! There were times when we were both hankering for such a gift. But we're past that now.. and I look at new single moms longing for someone for their children - that the dad just can't be to the kids, and to the ex. I wouldn't have a problem escorting his daughter into the ladies room, absent any "family room." Any opposers would just have to get over it. Dads who do what ever it takes for their children are awesome! Dads who run and hide and whimper and rationalize... are.. wimps. Duds. Be glad to be rid of him!

    Love your blog!
    Blessings!

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  11. I agree divorce takes a lot of courage. This is why the reader I blogged about whose wife is having an affair with a woman still had trouble leaving her.

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  12. The decision to stay in a marriage or to divorce is always a very tough decision. To divorce takes a lot of courage. I applaud the decision that you made. Sounds like you and your ex have a good relationship as you move forward.

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  13. Divorce can be a total cop-out. And it can be a brave, best decision. Depends entirely on the situation. My boys' mom and I are both way more happy, as well as far more functional, and much better parents, because we're divorced. For us to stay together any longer would have been a horrible decision.

    I've been asked by moms to check on their sons in the bathroom. 'Specially if I have my kids with me. And I've seen worried moms hovering at the bathroom door, and given her an update: "He's grunting hard but it sounds like he's making progress. Be calm; he's fine." I've also offered to check in on kids when I've noticed the HoverMom routine. I'm lucky in that I have 5 boys, so I don't ever have to deal with the bathroom/gender conflict.

    Tats could certainly be self-harm enactment. I doubt that they usually are though.

    My girlfriend was approached not too long ago by a woman in a supermarket... an older, obviously conservative and well-to-do woman. The woman said, "Your tattoos are extremely offensive." My girlfriend has tats on her back & shoulders of wings, with a realistic-but-stylized heart between them. Nothing even remotely offensive in the artwork; it was the fact that she had tats that offended. I was blown away... people actually find the existence of tattoos offensive? *shrug* I don't get that.

    My girlfriend responded to her, "I'm sorry, I didn't realize they said 'Please approach me if you're a white conservative BITCH.'" The lady huffed and stalked off, of course, as intended.

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  14. I have gone in the men's restroom with my boys when the women's was closed for cleaning. It was either that or have them go on the floor in the hall. I wouldn't be offended if I saw a dad in the restroom with his daughter at all.

    Scott: I was shopping with my boys one day and a woman approached me and said: 'you seem like a really good parent which is surprising considering you have all those tattoos.' Um, WHAT??!

    I just smiled and said 'thank you, I love being a mom' and left it at that.

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  15. I hope Rose feels better soon.

    *hugs*

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  16. I have to chime in about the tattoos and cutting. My 18 year old step-daughter is a cutter, well maybe you could say recovering cutter, but she did it for several years. After they stop they look for other ways to get a high, or rush, or just to release their feelings. She turned to piercing and now that she is 18, tattoos. So yes I think their is a connection. It's trading one addiction for another, sort of like how many recovering alcohoics in AA are now chain smokers and perpetual coffee drinkers, witnessed it through my step-mom when I went to alateen as a teen.

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