The trick is growing up without growing old.

Last Sunday after grabbing some breakfast with friends we got home and as I threw something away in our trashcan I saw this:

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Me: OMG!
Ben: WHAT!?
Me: THE NEIGHBORS BOUGHT AN X-WING FIGHTER WHY DON’T WE HAVE ONE OF THESE?!
Ben: Really?
Me: Yes look!
Ben: We SHOULD have one of those!
Me: HANGING FROM FISHING WIRE IN THE LOFT!
Ben: LET’S GO LOOK IT UP ONLINE!
Me: OKAY! This is why I love being an adult! You see a toy you want… AND YOU JUST BUY IT!
Ben: And you don’t even have to ask your parents!
Me: RIGHT!?

We went upstairs and hopped on our computers and saw that it was only $35.00 and I was getting ready to order it when I realized that it had really bad reviews. It’s wings don’t even open into an X! WHAT!?

I looked around and found one that is FAR better, has wings that open and looks more like the original and is, of course, $104.00 + shipping.

Me: This is the part of being an adult that sucks.
Ben: *nods*

In my head I had immediately listed out all the costs we have coming up in the next few months:

  1. Finishing up the tile flooring.
  2. New downstairs bathroom including new toilet and vanity.
  3. New couches for the living room.
  4. We NEED a new refrigerator as soon as we can fit it in the budget.
  5. Hopefully we can convince the rest of the neighbors to split the cost of the rest of the 2/3 of the fence that needs to be replaced.
  6. I’m going to Malibu in June because my cousin is graduating from Pepperdine with his PhD! Plan on spending a day at Magic Mountain on that trip.
  7. I might join Ben in New York for a work trip in late May.
  8. And oh yeah, we are buying a new car this weekend.

So no new X-Wing Fighter for us.

Sometimes being an adult can really suck.

Ben: So, should we tile?
Me: No…
Ben: What are you going to do?
Me: Play video games all day!

Turns out, being an adult isn’t so bad.

PS: Anna means “Graceful”

So we sold Ben’s Mazdaspeed 3 this Tuesday. Good lord there is a whole story there in itself that I might get into someday but for now I’ll just say that we decided to sell the Mazdaspeed to get Ben a more fuel efficient car now that we have the M3 for a “play” car and it decided that it was not happy about it and tried to commit car suicide. It was a lot of stress and conversations and more stress and as much as that car was a good car that served us well, I was not all that sad to see it go.

Maybe what played out at the bank the next day was karma for not feeling sad.

When we were getting into bed Tuesday night I posted this to Facebook and my best friend and others tried to PEER PRESSURE me into playing with all the money.

PEERPRESSURE

I didn’t give in. Mostly because the money was all the way downstairs and I was upstairs and it would have required me to but clothes back on and move my body. Ben and I had talked about who was going to deposit the money and it sounded like he was going to do it the next day so I was surprised when I got home on Wednesday and the money was sitting on the table still. I messaged Ben to see if he wanted me to deposit it and he must have been busy because I texted him twice, called twice and left one voice mail and was getting no response.

So I got bored.

And then I could not help myself. So this happened:

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Baby you are so money you don't even know it.

It's so sunny in this bathroom. This green shade I found on sale is helping.

While I was taking all these pictures I was starting to feel a little anxious. It was 115 hundred dollar bills and when I laid them over Danica’s paws I started to imagine her seeing a squirrel out the sliding glass door and jumping up, money going everywhere, her ripping through 10 of the hundreds with every step and then flash forwarded to trying to explain to Ben how now we only had half the money to deposit.

So I very carefully counted out the money TWICE, put it back in the envelope and left it on the table exactly where I had found it. It wasn’t till 5:40PM that he texted to ask me to deposit it. I jumped up and was trying to get out the door quickly because I knew the bank was going to close in 20 minutes. I was trying to wrangle the dogs, get my sunglasses out of their case and was holding onto the envelope… and dropped it.

It was like a perfectly choreographed slow motion movie scene. The money went sliding out of the envelope three feet like a deck of cards. Then the dogs ran back and forth across it spreading it out while I stood there frozen and unable to breathe and internally screaming profanities at myself for not ever living up to my name (PS: Anna means “Graceful”).

I picked it all up and ran out the door. In retrospect, the smart thing to do then would have been to recount the money. But I was just trying to get to the bank before it closed and my brain was still in some shock at seeing all that money flying around under the dog’s feet.

Wells Fargo has these annoying people that stand at the front of the bank line and ask what you are needing to do that day. I told him that I had a cash deposit and he tried to guide me to the ATM. I was keenly aware of the envelope in my purse with $11,500.00 in it and tried to quietly tell him that I had a large cash deposit. So he asked me HOW MUCH. SERIOUSLY!? My answer was “A large sum. Like, selling a car large sum.”

I kept trying to get him to understand that I was trying to NOT broadcast to the entire goddamn grocery store that I was carrying a large amount of cash but he was just NOT. GETTING. IT.

Thankfully, the teller finally called me up and I started the deposit process. He carefully counted out the money… $11,300.00. Um, no. I explained I had counted the money twice before I left and there was $11,500.00 so he counted it again. And then one more time. And then I requested that another teller count it. Then I insisted they “use one of those money counters like in the movies” and they all got the same amount: $11,300.00.

And I pretty much had a nervous breakdown in the store. I had completely blanked on dropping the money on the way out the door and was trying SO HARD to figure out how I was going to explain to Ben that I had lost $200 because I was PLAYING WITH THE MONEY and posting the pictures to social media because I GAVE INTO PEER PRESSURE!

I told them to just deposit the $11,300 (again, if I had been thinking clearly I’d have just asked for the money back until I could find it all) and started praying to Gods I don’t even believe it to PLEASE LET THE MONEY BE AT HOME WERE I CAN FIND IT OMG!

It was about half way home that I suddenly remembered dropping the envelope on the way out the door and started to calm down a bit thinking that I had probably just missed the two bills somehow.

I threw open the garage door, looked into the bathroom and:

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There are several morals to this story.

1) MY NAME IS A LIE.
2) Never trust a blonde with a lot of cash and a camera phone.
3) Karma is a thing that exists and sometimes it sucks.
4) Peer pressure will bite you in the ass. HARD. WITH SHARP TEETH.

I wasn’t talking about your anus.

Very shortly after I posted the blog last night we were in the kitchen:

Ben: Can we recycle these?
Me: I don’t think you can recycle light bulbs.
Ben: They’re just glass and metal.
Me: I’m pretty sure I looked it up before and you aren’t supposed to.
Ben: Is there some kind of dangerous gas in them or something?
Me: Yes, they are filled with deadly gas. It will kill you.
Ben: I wasn’t talking about your anus.
Me: …

Another conversation happened at breakfast but I can’t remember what it was. I do, however, remember threatening to start posting all of these little exchanges online for the world to harshly judge us. He just laughed and acted like he was okay with it.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, BEN.

Living with me is it’s own kind of fantastic torture.

Over breakfast this morning:

Ben: Will you help me wash my car today?
Me: *horrified face*
Ben: I just need you to wash the rims, I’ll do the rest.
Me: What’s it worth to you?
Ben: Selling my car.
Me: That benefits YOU, not ME!
Ben: It will be more money for you to buy things!
Me: …
Ben: What will it take?
Me: A good kiss at a time of my choosing.
Ben: Your choosing can not fall between the hours of midnight and 5:00AM.
Me: Deal.

What’s funny is as we got up from the table I said, “I want the kiss now” and he leaned in to kiss me! A GOOD KISS! In the middle of a busy restaurant! I laughed and walked away but after every kiss today I keep having to establish that that was not The Kiss.

Sometime this afternoon while at my computer:

Me: I’m going to go to Target to get a duvet cover now.
Ben: Okay.
Me: Do you care what I get?
Ben: No.
Me: What about this one?
Ben: No.
Me: What about this one?
Ben: *horrified face*
Me: What!?
Ben: Pick one you think we’d both like.
Me: But I don’t care what you like.
Ben: …

When I got back from Target, with no duvet cover:

Me: But look at these cute skirts I got! They were only $20 and buy one get one half off!
Ben: How much did you end up spending?
Me: Around $100.00?
Ben: *I can see him doing the math in his head* Uhhh…
Me: Well, I mean, I got other stuff too that we NEED. Like cat food!
Ben: What else did you get that we NEED?
Me: Candles?
Ben: How much did the stuff cost that we NEED?
Me: $100.00?
Ben: Honey!?
Me: This is exactly why women don’t tell their husbands what they buy when they shop.
Ben: …
Me: *quickly walks away*

While laying in bed discussing tomorrow’s plans:

Me: So. Tiling tomorrow?
Ben: Yep. Want to get up early?
Me: Define early.
Ben: You define it.
Me: Lets eat breakfast at 9:00 and then start tiling right after?
Ben: So, EATING at 9:00?
Me: Yes.
Ben: Okay. (He totally does not believe this is going to happen.)
Me: I just need you to wake me up at 8:30.
Ben: Set an alarm.
Me: NO! Alarms are so harsh and mean.
Ben: There is no way I could ever wake you up without you being a…
Me: NO! Just say “Good morning, you look so beautiful this morning. Time to get up and…”
Ben: HAHAHAHAHAAH NO.
Me: WHY DON’T YOU GO PLAY THAT STUPID GAME YOU DOWNLOADED!?
Ben: Aaaaaaand, switch flipped.

Living with me is it’s own kind of fantastic torture.

$92,927.91

I feel so much sadness for all the parents out there that don’t get child support when they REALLY need it. I am so lucky that even without Ben I’d be able to support Cassidy and that Ben taken up the responsibility of her deadbeat “father” to support her financially.

deadbeat

For the record, since her “father” doesn’t think it’s necessary to support her, he now owes me $92,927.81 in child support. The state of California has basically done nothing to make him pay. The last time I was able to get them to make him come to court he lied so much, and he’s so bad at it that I was easily able to point them all out WITH ACTUAL PROOF and all they did was… nothing.

I basically begged them for MONTHS to suspend his license and they never would. Eventually he got a arrested for drunk driving, didn’t go to court, then didn’t pay the fine, then didn’t go to the class he was supposed to go to so they gave him jail time. When he turned himself in for his mandatory time he tried to sneak meth into the jail (YAY FELONY!) so he got more time for that. Served 100 days and is still on probation. Then in July of last year he got pulled over again and arrested for possession of meth, meth paraphernalia and “driving while license suspended for driving while under the influence”. Of course, he didn’t go to that court date and is currently listed with as a “fugitive” on the San Bernadino Superior Court website.

I honestly look back 12 years ago and I don’t even know how that guy turned into this loser. A lot of time goes by without me ever even thinking about it and then I’ll see something that will bring up this feeling of absolute gut turning rage at the utter lack of caring that exists for Cassidy’s well being both emotionally and financially.

About 4 times in the last year I’ve had this nightmare where I am back together with him. In my mind I know that I’m there for Cassidy so I’m trying to “fake it till I make it” and then something in me snaps and I start to panic because he and his step-mom won’t let me leave. So I start screaming and fighting to get away. Twice now Ben has had to wake me up because I’m having an actual night terror. I know I’m asleep and that if I just wake up it will be over so I try and scream but I can’t get anything more than a squeak out. It’s actually really terrifying.

Anyway, I’m not exactly sure where I was going with all this but today was one of those days where it came up and rather than hold it all in like I normally do I wanted to just pound the keys to get it out of my system.

A lot of counseling has taught me that I am not responsible for his failures as a father and to look at how great a kid Cassidy is. She’s funny and makes me laugh every single day, she’s so much smarter than she realizes, she has an ever growing passion for music and fashion. She HAS a dad. An amazing one. One that didn’t just give up when things got hard. One that took the bumpy and unforgiving path to better himself along with the rest of us to get to where we are today. She is so lucky. We are so lucky.

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