Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In Which We Discuss Things That REALLY SUCK because that other stuff? NOT. EVEN. CLOSE.

Pin It (Alternate Title: Tell Me To Look On The Bright Side And I Will Hunt You Down and Kill You, So Help Me...)

Um... Hello! Greetings! Contrary to popular belief, I have not actually succumbed to the runs. I'm alive, but have been resisting the urge to post any of my drafts, which have very melodramatic and self pitying titles, such as:




I thought I would spare you until I was able to get some perspective.
What's that? You want to know what's been going on with us? It's so nice that you asked, because I'm feeling in the mood for a rather large vent. (WARNING: EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF PERSONAL INFORMATION AHEAD, AVERT EYES IF SQUEAMISH.)

If you've been reading for a while, you might know that we had a business. A business we were pretty sure was going to do well. Oh. Hold on. Excuse me for a moment.

(bitter laughter) ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha (/bitter laughter)

Sorry, where was I? Oh - right, the business. It didn't work out (UNDERSTATEMENT) and we've been scrambling a bit (MASSIVE UNDERSTATEMENT) to get things back on track, with very little success (SPECTACULAR UNDERSTATEMENT) in spite of our best efforts.

The weekend before last, we went to Las Vegas to look for a house to rent. We're moving back there - leaving the little town we love and going back to the horrifying hell hole (UNDERSTATEMENT) we grew up in. My husband has a good job waiting for him there, I can keep my job and work from home in Vegas, and it just made sense in a whole bunch of very boring ways. We made the decision together and agree it's the best thing to do, but it still feels like a failure - leaving a place we love, a neighborhood we love, and returning to a place we both despise. Ugh.

Anyway, we spent the weekend looking at rental houses and eventually found one that did not make us want to impale ourselves on sharp sticks. The kids all got sick, making the trip home very suspenseful and interesting: Who would barf next? Would they barf into a bag, or share with their siblings? And how many times do you think you can you barf in a car before EVERYBODY gets sick? (Answer: Approximately four) Those were super fun car games. The trip home just flew by.

But the best part of the whole trip? Happened right after we got home.

We pulled into our driveway. My husband parked the car in the garage and went out front. I started helping the children out.

He came back and looked at me grimly. "The car's gone."

I looked at him blankly. "Gone? Somebody stole it?"

He gave me a wry smile. "No."

I didn't understand. "Then where is it?"

"I'm guessing probably at a repo yard somewhere."

They repossessed it.

On Sunday.

Which also happened to be my birthday.




So, uh, we've been adjusting to life with one car while we negotiate with the bank to get it back. (Magic 8 Ball Says: Outlook Hazy, Ask Again Later)

We filled out some credit counseling stuff the other day in preparation for (HOLD ON, IT GETS BETTER....... WAIT FOR IT...........) our bankruptcy, and part of it involved entering your debts and expenses and income into an online calculator. After you enter all of the information, a little automated person tells you how much money you have left over after paying your bills each month.

My husband and I sat there and cracked up for, oh, gosh, probably an hour, making the little robot voice repeat over and over again, "MRS. SMITH, AFTER PAYING YOUR BILLS YOU WILL HAVE NEGATIVE $9,050.00 THIS MONTH." He was just so chipper and happy to let us know about our negative cash flow. There was nothing to do but sit on the floor and laugh.

We're doing pretty well, in spite of it all. Husband and I are in this together, deeply, and we've managed to (mostly) avoid sniping at each other and fighting. And we have our sense of humor. And we have our kids. And nobody has cancer. Yet. (PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THAT AS AN INVITATION, LORD.) Things will be better in a few months when we're back on our feet.

The hardest part of all of this is dealing with the blow to my pride. I'm not worried about what my family thinks. I barely know most of my extended family (with a few notable bloggy exceptions) and don't really care about their opinions of me. And in my immediate family - well, bankruptcy and foreclosure - pretty small flashes in the pan quite frankly. To get a bad rep in my family you practically have to rob a bank or marry a cousin or something. Anything else is just another day at the office.

It's letting other people know that makes my stomach churn a little. Neighbors and friends. I'm going to be incredibly embarrassed about the Bank Owned sign swinging in front of our house after we leave. I don't want them thinking we're those people - people who I (JUDGMENTAL) picture relaxing on the couch and eating twinkies while watching the home shopping network and buying Marie Osmond dolls at 2:00 in the morning, until they max out their credit cards and declare their third bankruptcy.

We aren't people who get cars repossessed, or behind on their mortgage or late on their bills. We're resourceful and hard working and smart. We're responsible. We're successfullish. We're from hard working pioneer stock, gosh dang it.

But I guess most people who go through this kind of stuff aren't those people either. They're just - human. And so are we. Human and having a very crappy time of it. (This has been another episode of Very Obvious Life Lessons brought to you by Sue Smith, thank you so much for joining us.)

We'll be okay. We really will be fine, so don't feel sorry for us.

(Unless your particular form of feeling sorry for me involves bringing me baked goods or sending me chocolate. Or money. Yes, feel quite free to send me lots and lots and lots of money.)

(I'll just wait over here by the mailbox.)

I know it will all be o.k. I just never wanted to be a flippin' cautionary tale.
Losing our house to foreclosure, saving our house from foreclosure

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Things That Suck, Part II

Pin It Having the runs.

Having the runs at work.

Having the runs on the way to work.

Having the runs on the way to work and having to stop at three gas stations before you get to work.

Having the runs on the way to work and having to stop at three gas stations before you get to work, and then not being able to find another bathroom when you really, really need one.

Having the runs on the way to work and and having to stop at three gas stations before you get to work, and then not being able to find another bathroom when you really, really need one, and then finding one, and almost but not quite making it to the bathroom.

You know how I said yesterday sucked?

I was wrong. As it turns out, any day that you do not lightly poop yourself on the way to work? Really not that bad of a day.

This is gonna be a long morning, I'm thinking.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Things That Suck

Pin It Having a co-worker who feels the need to one-up. About EVERYTHING. (You had 16 inches of snow yesterday? She had 16 and a half. You once had a kidney stone? She had twelve.)

Sitting in a cubicle. Seriously. Kill me. KILL ME. Give me a window or kill me.

Listening to people you barely know talk at length about intestinal blockage.

Waiting in line to use a microwave.

Sitting through what was supposed to be a two hour meeting (the whole reason you came into the office in the first place) as it is continually sidetracked, sidetracked, sidetracked.

Trying not to roll your eyes when people stir up drama over totally inconsequential things. I don't care who got a new chair. My chair is fine. Your chair is fine. SHUT UP so that we can end this freaking meeting.

Trying not to scream as the planning meeting degenerates into a fairly intense discussion about strategies for developing good support teams in order to improve your World of Warcraft score.

Having a 20 minute drive take 45 minutes because you apparently are passing through four separate weather zones on the way home - foggy, sunny, blizzarding, sunny.

Back at home, walking in and finding out your little son is not feeling well, and is sleeping on the couch and warm to the touch.

Having your daughter cry because she missed you. Having that same daughter make a card for her little brother because he isn't feeling well. When he finally wakes up from his nap, he tells her he doesn't want it (because he's irritable and sick). Her feelings are hurt and she cries big heartbroken tears.

Letting your other daughter go out to play in the snow in the backyard, hearing screaming a few minutes later, finding that her boot is stuck in a deep drift. She has been crying for five minutes, and you didn't hear her because you were trying to wake up your son. She's sobbing and hysterical and asking why you didn't come to help her sooner.

Some days, all you can do is hold them, while you all sit and cry together.

Here's hoping tomorrow sucks just a little less.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Quirky? Who, Me?

Pin It Veronica has tagged me for Six Quirky Things About Myself.  Veronica's husband actually came up with the list of things that were quirky about her, which sounded like a terrific idea. Not only would I get a blog post out of it - I wouldn't even have to WRITE the thing. So I asked my husband what was quirky about me.

"I don't know," he said.

"You can't think of anything odd about me?" I asked him incredulously. "Seriously? You don't think I'm a little weird?"

"Oh, no, you're plenty weird," he said. "I just can't think of anything specific."


Ok then. I'm so glad we cleared that up.

ANYWAY. Here is my list of six quirky things, NO THANKS TO MY HUSBAND:

1. I am quite sure I'm going to die before I'm 60, probably of cancer, or in an incredibly tragic traffic accident or a horrifying plane crash or something. Everytime I fly, I am sure it's going down. I start obsessing over it several days in advance, and by the time I board the plane I've usually convinced myself that my fears are actually the Holy Spirit warning me that the plane is going to go down with me in it, so I write a letter to my kids before I get on the plane and leave it somewhere easy to find, because I want them to have something to remember me by. The plane is always perfectly safe, and even though my husband teases me and says dramatically, "You're ALIVE, you're ALIVE," I know, deep inside, that it was a close call, and that NEXT time, it's for sure going to crash. Probably. (Did you know I was in a plane that was struck by lightning once? We landed safely, but it FREAKED. ME. OUT.)

2. I think that if I don't die in an incredibly scary, dramatic fashion, I am probably going to die in a very embarrassing, mortifying way - like having a stroke when I'm naked in the tub. Or even worse, maybe I'll have a stroke when I'm pooping or something, and then they'll come in to find me dead but naked, and they'll have to try to move me off the toilet, and it will be gross, and my husband's last memory of me will be all - nasty.

3. I drive like a grandma. I'm the one in the right hand lane on the freeway going 59. I am no longer fazed by people who flip me off. I used to be a bad-ass in the car, and then we moved to a little town where the speed limit on every road is 25 and I rarely went more than 5 miles from home. Traveling on an actual freeway, in actual big girl traffic, is insanely terrifying. The cars are all going so fast, and all that's keeping us from slamming into each other is the tiny little white dotted lines, which, strangely, don't really make me feel all that safe. And of course, I usually don't think to write my children a goodbye letter before I get on the freeway, so I have to drive extra slowly so that I don't die on this particular trip, because if I do they will NEVER KNOW their mother loved them. Tragical.

4. If I lie down, I am asleep within seconds, literally. It drives my husband nuts. It doesn't matter if I'm tired or not, if you put me in a horizontal position I'm out of it within seconds. (Er, except when we're being romantic. Mostly.) I'll be in the middle of a conversation with my husband and a minute later I'm snoring. He always knows when I'm falling asleep because I do that little jumpy thing. (Do you know what I mean? You know how babies startle and jump when they are falling asleep? I still do that.)

5. If my husband looks at me a certain way, with a certain loving look in his eye, I cannot sustain eye contact and I usually giggle, and then he laughs at me. We've been married for 12 years, I should be over it by now, shouldn't I?

6. When I'm at home by myself, I like to tell myself stories I've made up and will actually sort of act them out. I'll walk around the house talking to myself dramatically as I'm cleaning, playing the different parts. I'll get so wrapped up in what I'm telling myself that I'll be disappointed when people come home because they are interrupting my story. I do the same thing in the car by myself. It's endlessly entertaining. Sometimes I drive around the block an extra time, so that I can finish the "chapter." Sometimes I make myself cry. Sometimes I'll get mad at my husband in my imaginary story, and it will carry over into real life. I can't help being irritated with him, and he'll say, "What?!" and I just say nothing, because I can't very well tell him the truth. He'd think I was crazy or something.

I'm tagging Karen, Heidi, Blackbird, Amy, and Hollywood. Unless they don't want to be tagged. Then I take it back. (How embarrassing.)