Saturday, February 20, 2010

a tale of two Valentines Day THIEVES

i have always loved valentines day. ever since i was a little girl and we would decorate our "mailboxes" at school with markers and little heart stickers, and lay them on our desk where everyone would go around and put their valentines in each others boxes. i couldn't wait to get home and dig through the pile, looking for that "special one" from that "special boy." then i got older and started dating and instead of the little mailboxes i started getting big red heart boxes filled with chocolates and then it was a dozen roses.

when "the middle-aged man who left me for greener pastures" and i were trying to decide what day we would get married we settled on february 15. i had owned a flower shop at the time and of course, valentines day was the busiest day of the year. so we thought that since i was ordering so many flowers it would be a good time to just add my wedding flowers to the same order and get married the day after. and so we did. and that always made it a little more special because i got to celebrate two holidays in two days. and that usually meant two presents. and i liked that part. about the two presents. after we had been married a few years he started just combining the two and getting me one gift. i didn't like that part so much. but hey...i didn't complain, because one gift is better than NO gift...right? i love the whole idea of romance. sappy love stories, men who cry, unexpected love and chocolates. and hearts.

this last week mama and daddy got an unwelcomed visitor at their house. MR. STOMACH VIRUS. i packed a few things that i NEEDED, like my own pillow and my laptop and headed over to their house to stay with them while it ran its course. and play nurse. then my nephew, ryan, got it. and then my sister, paula, got it. i avoided it because my uniform of choice was this

i wore these for eight days. because that's how long it stuck around. and i am the only one who escaped that evil man's clutches!

valentines day fell in the middle of this week. and i realized when i woke up that this was the first year EVER, that i did not have anyone that would be sending me a valentine. and deep down inside, and a little bit on the surface, i was mad. at "the middle-aged man who left me for greener pastures." not because HE had a NEW valentine, but because i DIDN'T! he had ruined this holiday for me. all i had was virtual valentines from a few of my facebook friends. (don't get me wrong, i loved them,) but i was not going to hear the florist delivery van drive up the driveway so he could deliver me roses and i wasn't going to get a card in the mail. and worse...i was not going to be getting any CHOCOLATE!!!! and on top of that, i wasn't going to get an anniversary present the next day either. that stunk! this was the second holiday he ruined for me. (mothers day was the first, but that's a whole nother story.) at this rate, i wasn't going to be celebrating anything anymore...and trust me when i say this...i gave him a tongue lashing like you wouldn't believe!!! only he wasn't around to hear it. dadgum it!

my second oldest son, christian, sent me a valentine's message on facebook. and my oldest son, landon, called me that night to tell me happy valentines day. but i didn't hear anything from micajah, except when he called me to see if i was coming home that night. he was staying at our house to take care of all the animals. i told him no, that i needed to stay one more night. he told me what he had gotten his girlfriend and i waited to see if he was going to say Happy Valentines Day Mom! i love you! but he didn't. and i whined about he never thinks of me, except when he needs something, and how all he cares about are his friends. i whined about it alot. he called me the next day to see if i was still coming home that night, but by then daddy was getting sick again so i told him no, it would have to be the next day. i wondered why he was wanting me at home. he doesn't talk to me a whole lot when i AM there, so i figured he needed some money or some laundry done. he speaks to me alot when he needs MONEY .yesterday afternoon i returned home like the prodigal mother, draggin my pillow and my laptop behind me. i walked into my bedroom and there on my other pillow was a card that said MOM. it was a valentine from my baby boy. and what he wrote inside just melted my heart. "i love you whether you think i do or not. micajah" i had tears in my eyes. and i went in the bathroom to get a kleenex and there in the trash can was a single yellow rose in cellophane. i went to his room to thank him for the card and asked him what a rose was doing in the trash can. i thought maybe he had gotten it for his girl and then decided not to give it to her. but he said, "i got it for you but you didn't come home in time and it died. and i didn't want to give you a dead rose." awwwww...tears welling up. sigh. sooooo sweet. my baby boy loves me. and i realized right then that valentines day is not just for the romantic kind of love. it's just about love. plain and simple.

a few years ago when micajah was in the sixth grade, he had his eye on a girl in his class. valentines day was approaching and i kept asking him if he wanted to go to the store and get her something. but he kept saying no, he didn't think he was going to give her anything. i thought that was a little odd, because at his school the kids would all exchange things with their sweetie and come walking out the door at the end of the day with flowers and balloons and teddy bears. i couldn't figure out why he wasn't giving her anything. a couple of days later, it was a sunday, and i had just gotten home from church, when i walked into my bedroom and noticed immediately that something was a little off kilter. i'm one of those people that can tell instantly if someone "strange" has been in my house. or if something has been moved. and i was noticing then that something had been moved. i kept my jewelry box on top of the dresser and in front of it i had two little wicker baskets and a little doll of some sort. and they had been moved. just a little to the right. and one of the drawers on the jewelry box was slightly open. i asked "the middle-aged man who left me for greener pastures" if he had been looking for something, but he said no. so, i asked micajah, the only other person who lived there and he too said no. SOMEBODY WAS LYING. so i pulled the jewelry box down and began to go through it and noticed right away that one of my rings was missing. and i knew it because i know where everything should be because i have ocd, remember? i'm organized. everything has it's own little place in the world. i thought, well who in the world would come in my house and just take ONE ring? hmmmm. doesn't make sense to you either, does it?

and then it dawned on me. i knew who would do something like that. an eighth grade boy with a girlfriend. whom he would want to impress on valentines day! i called micajah in the room and asked him point blank if he had given my ring to this girl. and after a few futile attempts to lie about it, he confessed. so...i did what any normal mother would do. i thought of the "worst punishment for him" and i told him that he had to call the girl and tell her she had to give the ring back because it belonged to his mother. and that if he didn't do it, and in front of me, that i would be calling her mother myself. he did it. and he was humiliated beyond belief. and i felt sorry for him...but i wasn't about to let him off the hook after giving away my jewelry to a girl he would be breaking up with in a matter of days! he told me i was a mean mama. (he steals my jewelry and lies about it and i'm a mean mama!) but he lived through it. and i got my ring back the next day. and he dumped the girl two days later.

i decided this year that since i won't be celebrating an anniversary anymore that i would come up with something NEW to celebrate on that day. so...i'm thinking on that. and i'm thinking that it needs to involve me eating an absurd amount of chocolate. sounds like a plan is forming.....

Monday, February 1, 2010

the "reconstruction of ME"

ok. is DAY ONE of my "reconstruction of me" project. a project that will involve sifting through the rubble that my life has become and digging deep, to see if i can find any gems that are worth salvaging. (you know...bits and pieces of self-esteem, self-worth, good qualities, etc.) these things have been sorely lacking in my life for the past year. well, actually, more like the last 18 years. and now that i am "going through the big D, and don't mean dallas" thing, i thought that i would re-invent myself. undergo a major reconstruction job both on the inside and outside. "fix" some things that need to be fixed. sort of like plastic surgery. nip a little here and there. cut some things out. add a little bit of this and that. but first, i wanted to do a little self examination and see if i could find anything about me that might be worth keeping or if i need to just start over from scratch. (after a few hours of looking at myself under a microscope i'm thinking i better go with the start over from scratch idea.) God is going to be with me throughout this process, so i know i'm in good hands.

as a lover of all things scrapbook related, i am jumping on the bandwagon and beginning the Project 365. this is where you take a picture a day, all year long, of things that encompass your daily life. people you love, people you love that don't love you back, friends, pets, places you shop, places you go, things you eat, things that will eat you. you get the idea. little things in life that add up to the big things. i will be posting the pictures here in an album entitled "Project 365 minus the first 31 days of 2010." because i got started late. but better late than never, right? so, if you are at all interested in bits and pieces of "me" check out the pics. if you're not...well then...don't. HA!

last week my family and i got into a big discussion on OCD. for those of you that don't know what that stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. and i have it. but personally speaking, i feel that people who DON'T have it are the ones with a disorder! i tend to believe that it GIVES me order. anyway, i do not suffer in this alone. many others in my family also tend to "lean that way." with varying degrees of the disorder. i think that my own degree is slight, however, there are those who would tend to disagree with me. i have always known that this a part of me, though i wasn't always aware there was a name for it. i have always liked to think that i am very discreet about it. if you don't know me well, or if you weren't reading this, you would probably never know that i can be freakish about some...things. and if you're wondering right about now why i'm talking about OCD, it's because after our big discussion about it i have determined that this is one of the areas of my life that needs to be reconstructed! makes perfect sense now, huh?

one symptom of OCD is when a person has a compulsive desire to do something. maybe a certain number of times, or a certain way. and there is usually a reason WHY you need to do it, although you might not always KNOW what that reason is. for instance, i have to do certain things in even increments. not everything. but certain things. and i can't tell you what those things are, because they can change on a daily basis at any given time. i can tell you that i have to do them an even number of times. and this can drive a sane person, well, insane. like turning a light switch on and off. and then on and off again. or scratching my head. and then scratching it again. or having to have everything in the food pantry organized. by fruit, soup, breakfast foods, baking items,etc. and then within the food group itself. and labels facing out. and all in a perfect row. my sister, terri, and i used to own a gourmet gift basket business. we stocked alot of boxed candies and nuts and fruits. we also had alot of different gift lines. every day before i went home i would go around and line up all the little boxes. in perfect rows. but at an angle. and when i would come in the next morning, all the little boxes would be in perfect rows still. but lined up one in front of the other. i would "fix" them again and the next day...same thing. this went on for awhile. one day i mentioned it to mama (who worked with us) and terri, and told them how it drove me nuts that someone was always "undoing" the order of things. and terri admitted that it was HER! see, she has this same disorder. but where i like things at an angle, she likes them perfectly straight. so...most people would just do some sort of compromise...or let it go altogether. but not us. not TWO people with OCD. we just continued on with what we were doing. i would "fix" things and she would "mess them up." drove mama up the wall.

terri also has the "even" thing. but she is waaaaay more conspicuous about it than i am. one thing she does...when we are in the car and she is driving, if anyone is sitting in the backseat and says something to her...she has to flip her head around like you would do if you were looking for oncoming traffic before merging into a lane. and she does it twice. and if you happen to be going on a long trip with this going on...let me just say that by the time you reach your intended destination you have a car full of unhappy campers and a driver with whiplash. it even drives a fellow OCDer batty!

there is a show on tv called HOARDERS. these people suffer with a form of OCD. i watch the show...but i don't suffer anywhere near this degree. i don't hoard junk. or trash. or food. or animal feces. i went to mama and daddy's house the other day. when i walked into daddy's office there was mama sitting on the couch surrounded by empty boxes and...stuff. i asked her what she was doing. she said that alot of things they had gotten for Christmas had been left down there and she was taking it all out of the boxes so she could put it where it belonged. so i jumped right in and began tearing down the boxes. you know. to put in the trash. and then mama had a little "OCD issue."

"what are you doing...i want those boxes!!!"

"for what?"

"because they are "good" boxes. just put them in the closet over there."

"ummmmmm...for what?"

"because when i need to mail a gift and i need a box i'll know where they are. you can never have too many boxes."

"but you don't even shop anymore. so you don't mail gifts. so you don't need boxes. and if you ever DO need one...i will go to the store and get you one...if you don't already get one free with whatever it was you bought."

"but i hate to just throw away "good" boxes." (said as i am madly tearing them down still.)

" do not need boxes. you are wanting to get rid of "stuff" not collect more "stuff." the boxes GO!"

"fine!! but at least give me that big shoe box. i need that to put my tax stuff in." so i let her have the shoebox. (and today she told me she lost it.) go figure.

two of my sisters, paula and terri, AND both mama and daddy have a thing for boxes. and empty bottles. and styrofoam ice chests that daddy's insulin comes in every month. so i have to keep them all in check because i don't share this trait, and i throw them away when nobody's looking.

to top all of this crazy behavior off...i was a decorator. and for any of you fellow decorators or know what it's like. certain things have to be in groups of 3 or 5. what kind of chaos do you think THAT rule does to an "even numbered" OCDer like me? YES! you do understand don't you? you can spend literally hours working on a page and everyone will ooooh and aaaah over it (you caught that i had to do 4 o's on each word, didn't  you?) and tell you how pretty it is and how talented you are. but YOU KNOW that something just isn't right. it's missing that one little thing. and you can't be happy with it or done with it, until you find that ONE little thing. then...and only everything right in your little corner of the world. thank you! i knew there were people out there that can relate to me!

in my very first picture of my Project 365 minus the first 31 days of 2010 album, you may notice in the background a large pile of clothes. on hangers. but not hanging in the closet. yep...this was taken in micajah's room. i wash the clothes. i hang up the clothes...on plastic hangers...because i CAN NOT have wire hangers in my closets! and he lays them on the bed. why? because he is 17 yrs. old. and his job is to drive his mother looney. which he does mighty well. MIGHTY WELL INDEED!!!

all of this to say...this problem needs some attention. some "fixing." i drive myself nuts sometimes. i tell myself over and over again that NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF I DON''T TAP THE TABLE FOUR TIMES. OR FLIP MY PILLOW TWICE BEFORE I GO TO BED. OR BRUSH MY TEETH TWO TIMES BECAUSE I CAN'T REMEMBER IF I REALLY DID BRUSH THEM OR IF I JUST THOUGHT I BRUSHED THEM. but, i have a hard time listening to myself. therein lies the problem.

so this will be a work in progress. this is just the beginning. hang on if you're going on this ride with me. it might get a little ummmmmmm out of sorts!.