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Monday, January 9th, 2012
You know that saying “when it rains, it pours?” It’s definitely true, at least in my life, or at least in my 2012. My boyfriend dumped me in the most sudden and brutal way possible, I totaled my car, my laptop died, and I’ve been on call 80 bazillion times in two weeks and have been missing my kid like crazy.
I mean, it could be far worse, but, what’s a single mom to do? I’ll tell you what. She spends a sh*t-ton of money she doesn’t have. Because, well, she has to. I mean, I have to. (I’m losing track of myself in the third person here.)
As for the first problem, confesh: I totally pretended that every tooth I extracted for about a week was HSD’s, sans anesthesia, natch. (Very therapeutic. Try it sometime. Not at home. Or without a valid dental degree.) As for the second, I went out and got a super-cute dark blue used Volkswagen Golf, which hopefully my insurance will still decide to cover despite the fact that I am basically this:
Allstate mayhem commercial
(Watch it. It’s only 30 seconds and so worth it.)
As for the third, I got an iPad, which I am currently blogging from and is, incidentally, very handy for entertaining cranky toddlers in a pinch, and cheaper than a laptop. All of this served as truly excellent retail therapy. And as for the fourth problem, as of tonight I’m not on call for almost a whole month, so I got some quality snuggle- and play-time in with Caroline, and I plan to get much, much more.
So it’s all worked out quite well in the end, and my friends and family (and readers! Thank you!) have proved yet again how truly awesome they are with offers of comfort and rides and cars and loans and hate-mail-sending-services.
Things are looking up for me in the new year, even if they took a couple of weeks to get there. It’s also time for me to be getting serious about my post-residency job search, and I’ve come up with several options that involve major life change, relocation, and consequently being shanked by friends and family who would prefer that Caro and I stay close by.
But, it’s time for a change and the next chapter in this crazy adventure that I call my life! Stay tuned for my big announcement, once I’ve finalized my decision and have informed the appropriate people in appropriate ways…
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Breakups, Caroline, Dating, Money, On-call, Residency, Single Parenting | Categories:
Caroline, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance
Sunday, January 1st, 2012
Sometimes… a girl has to be a little b*tchy.
Actually, I should have prefaced this post with, “I’m back, you guys.”
Due to the HSD breakup drama, I had been lying in bed at my parents’ house and being useless all weekend, feeling naush, not eating anything and not really sleeping either. My mom even accused me of being a detached mother to Caro, which was not exactly what I needed to hear at that point. I was feeling pretty crappy about everything, which was only compounded by the fact that I left my parents’ house with Caroline to do some retail therapy shopping and accidentally rear-ended this woman as I was coming off the mall exit.
Yeah. Awesome. Not a great start to 2012. I was starting to think that maybe in a past life I had dumped someone via text message for a married woman, or something. (Karma, you know?)
I kind of wanted to lie down and give up at that point.
But I didn’t.
I chatted with the poor woman who I rear-ended, apologized a billion times, and told her about my crappy week:
Me: I know this doesn’t matter to someone who doesn’t know me, but my boyfriend dumped me via text message for a married woman the other day. I guess I was distracted. I’m so, so sorry.
Her: (long sigh…) Oh, honey. I’d be out of it too. I think your baby’s crying in the car. You should go sit with her, I’ll talk to the police for you. Hey, you know, I have a 16-month old boy myself.
Me: Really? Awww. What’s his name?
Her: DJ. What’s your baby’s name? She’s so cute.
Me: Caroline. She’s pretty hilarious. Poor kid, she has no idea why her mom is such an idiot.
Her: Honey, you’re not an idiot. My name’s Natasha, by the way. Hey, here’s my cell number. Let’s keep in touch? I hope things get better for you.
Clearly, Natasha and I are basically BFF now. Even though, you know, I rear-ended her and destroyed her bumper and made her late for work. We’re totally gonna hang out next weekend. I told my friends this story and they all said “only you, Jules.”
So where was I? Oh right. After my retail therapy shopping session, which I really can’t afford since my car is most likely totaled due to the accident (seeing as how it’s worth about $400), I went home and posted the following Facebook status:
“ATTENTION! Down-on-her-luck single mom, totaled car, dumped by douchebag boyfriend via text message for married woman, seeking volunteers to drive self and adorable toddler around for the next week. (I’ll take 2011 back, thanks…) Any takers, please let me know! Hugs.”
It got quite the response. (If you’re a longtime reader, you know I’ve used my Facebook statuses to provocative effect in the past.) Tons of people replied and messaged me and texted me and called me, and I have to say I was very touched by the outpouring of support and generosity towards Caroline and myself. (Thanks, you guys.)
Also, HSD’s brother commented:
“Huh? Is there something I should know????”
Whoops. Apparently, HSD didn’t even tell his family. (Perhaps he was ashamed…?)
My response: “Well. This is awkward.”
And I swear, if I hear anything from HSD about posting that on Facebook, my response will be, “Yeah, I feel badly about that. For your brother. Because it sucks to hear about important information via Facebook… or text.”
I hadn’t cracked a smile since I got that terrible text, but for some reason, this made me giggle for hours every time I thought about it. And I felt like myself again. Thank goodness. I’m back, you guys. I won’t let all this stuff get me down in the new year.
I needed a new car, anyway.
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Saturday, December 31st, 2011
I’m sitting here staring at a blank screen because I want to blog because that always makes me feel better, but I don’t have much that’s productive to say. I’m way more upset over this HSD thing than I should be. I’m not eating or sleeping well at all. It was just too abrupt, too shocking, too upsetting, and not a great way to end 2011. Or any year, I guess. Caroline and I went to my parents’ for the new year because that always makes me feel better (see picture).
Although, on the plus side, if you’re looking for a quick way to lose weight for your New Year’s resolution, I’ve got a fanastic diet plan for you. Just have your significant other dump you out of the blue, via text, for a married woman! Bam! 10 pounds gone! You can thank me later.
Anyway, I really do want to just shake it off and look forward to a new year and a new beginning. So in order to do that, I will look back at all the good things that happened this year, and focus on those.
I graduated dental school, at last. I started my residency and got a lot more confident doing dentistry. I got this sweet gig blogging for Parents Mag, and with my writing I’ve made a lot of people laugh and made a lot of people mad. (Both awesome.) I got a trip to Jamaica through said sweet blogging gig. My divorce was finalized, legally and officially freeing me from an unfulfilling marriage. And, I suppose, I figured out that my boyfriend was a big crazy douchebag, which is better figured out sooner rather than later, and in the end, dodging a bullet early on is always a gift.
I learned a lot of lessons this year.
I’m not really sure what all of them are, or how well I’ve learned them, but, you know, here’s hoping.
And, to look forward, my resolutions. I never make resolutions, because I always just break them, but now seems like as good a time as any to at least set forth some good intentions:
1. To be more careful about who I date and who I let into my daughter’s life.
2. To find a killer first real job as an associate in an awesome practice.
3. To spend more time with my daughter and less time “plugged in”.
4. To be better about compartmentalizing my day, and find a more healthy balance between work and my life as a single mom. (No phone calls to patients or pharmacies while Caro is awake, and conversely, no leaving charts undone to rush off to the grocery store!)
5. To get my kid potty-trained again, already, for the love of God.
I think that’s enough. Those will be ones that I will actually keep. So here’s to the finish of 2011, and to the arrival of 2012: another year to grow, to learn, to love, to be happy, and to just be.
What happened in your life this year that was great, and what are your resolutions for 2012?
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Blogging, Caroline, Dating, Dentistry, Divorce, Jamaica, milestones, Residency, School, Single Parenting | Categories:
Caroline, Divorce, Residency, Single Parenting, Unexpectedly Expecting, Work/Life Balance
Friday, December 30th, 2011
The one saving grace of my terrible luck with men… is that they sure do make it easy for me to hate them.
For those of you who read this blog for drama because my personal life is a trainwreck most of the time, this one’s for you. Just go easy on me in the comments, okay? I’m a little sensitive right now.
So we all know I’ve been dating HSD (Hot Single Dad) since the summertime. We had taken a little break somewhere in the beginning of October for about two weeks, but had both decided we did want to be together, and things went really well after that. We met each others’ families, I introduced him to Caroline (which I have never done with anyone I’ve dated since my divorce), and he introduced me to his daughter. We were together all the time and I was really happy.
Yeah… was. Past tense.
Yesterday, during lunch, I got a text from him, out of the blue, telling me that he was sorry but his ex-girlfriend, who was married, finally left her husband so he couldn’t continue our relationship anymore.
Yeah, a text.
Yeah, it said that.
So that’s that. I still don’t even know what to think. I’m more mad than sad. Were we a perfect match? No, but he was good to me and to my daughter and I had really liked him and trusted him. I had felt secure enough in what we had to let him into not only my life, but my daughter’s life too.
And that’s the thing that pisses me off the most. Not at him, but at myself. I should have known to wait longer to bring him around her, I should have been more careful, I should have taken things slower where she was concerned. I don’t want to be one of those single parents who brings a string of significant others in and out of Caroline’s life. Well, she’s not even three years old and that’s already one down. I better shape up in the future. It was selfish of me to let them develop any kind of relationship, really.
But… how could I have known? And even worse… in the future, how will I know?
You would think, having been crushed by a failed marriage by the young age of 26, and having a child involved, that I would be more cautious about getting attached to anyone in any way. You would think that I would have an eagle eye out for red flags. You would think that having a child whose father’s involvement in her life is sporadic at best would make me more protective of who I let into her life in the role of my significant other. But I was not, and now I have to pay for my foolishness by being faced with the task of telling my daughter that he won’t be coming around here anymore… on top of having to deal with how the whole thing makes me feel. I guess I just got caught up in the euphoria of actually really liking someone who seemed to really like me back.
In the end it is not as big of a deal as I’m making it out to be, because she did not much care for him anyway (she’s a better judge of character than I am, I suppose), and because a relationship of only a little over four months will not take me long to get over. I am mostly disappointed that he is not the person I thought he was, that someone who I thought was wonderful would not only do something like this, but do it in the most cowardly and sh*tty way possible: with a text. Christ, I had just left his house that morning, thinking how lucky I was to have found a great guy like him.
So. I got the rug pulled out from under me. It happens. But… what do I do about it?
I pick myself up and be grateful that I learned this lesson before my daughter is old enough to be too affected by the consequences of my poor decision, that this happened sooner in our relationship rather than later, and that I can at least be secure in the knowledge that he is not the kind of person I want to be with anyway. I allow myself to be sad and mad but place the blame squarely where it belongs… not on him, but on me, because I am the one who made the decision to introduce them. And I look at the example he is setting for his daughter, who is twelve, and old enough to understand, and I make damn sure that I become a better relationship role model for my own daughter than he has been for his.
And in the future? I try to take the blinders off, put my daughter’s needs before my own selfish wants, and give things time and take it slow. What is the rush, anyway? For now, I think that is all I can do.
It sucks, though, you guys. I’m not feeling too great about things at the moment.
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Thursday, November 10th, 2011
So we all know I’ve been seeing HSD (Hot Single Dad) again for a little while now. It’s gotten relatively serious, I would say. I’ve met his family and his daughter and his daughter’s mother, and he’s met Caroline. We hang out all the time. We have a lot of fun together.
I like him. I truly enjoy his company. And I haven’t said that about anyone I’ve dated since my divorce.
With all of that said… even though I like him, I don’t necessarily like dating. I mean, let’s be real. It’s kind of sucky sometimes. I’d forgotten what it was like, to be completely honest with you. I started dating Tyler when I was 19, and that was a long time ago. The rules of the dating world are different when you jump back in after eight years. And there are all these insecurities and misunderstandings that are just an inescapable part of getting to know someone and letting them into your life.
Having a child also puts a whole new perspective on it, of course.
Because I can share as much of myself as I want to, and if things go bad, well, that’s on me. And that’s fine. But when I share my daughter, I feel… open, and vulnerable, and scared. She is my most precious part of me. I stand guard over the people I let into her life as though my own life depends upon it. So, having a relationship post-divorce is scary enough for me as it is, and bringing Caroline into it… raises the stakes, somehow.
“I don’t like not knowing where I stand,” I told one of my girlfriends today, who is also divorced. “I hate dating sometimes because of that.”
“I know what you mean,” she sighed. “Honestly, that’s the only thing I miss about marriage. No joke.”
“Same,” I said. “But, you know, it’s better to be unsure of where you stand with someone you actually like, than to know exactly where you stand with someone you hate.”
“I freaking love you, Jules,” she laughed. “We should be marriage counselors, I think.”
That’s the thing, you know? That’s the whole reason behind my divorce. The insecurity and the sometimes-loneliness of being a single parent sucks, for sure. But the exhilaration of it, the free-falling, the not-knowing, the roller coaster… is exactly what I was after. My marriage made me feel like I was dead inside, like I’d never feel a real feeling again. I wanted to feel something, anything…
If I’m being honest, I think I settled for Tyler because I had had my heart broken just before I met him, and I never wanted to feel that way again, and I knew that Tyler would never leave me. But having already settled once, I will take a broken heart and certainly the insecurities of dating any day over the flat, dead nothingness of staring bleakly out over the years that stretch ahead of you when you know you are doomed to spend them with a man you do not love.
The silences, the months spent alone, the angry words, the fights, the conflicts. Whenever the uncertainty of my life as an unmarried mother starts to get to me, I look back on them and immediately I feel better. Because… no thank you. I can’t live that way. I never want to feel that way again. I never want to stare across the living room at the silent man on the couch and think, I have to live with you forever, but I don’t even know you anymore.
I traded security and unhappiness for freedom and hope. So did my friend. So do a lot of divorced people, I’d imagine.
For me, it was a good trade. Even when it gets tough, even when I feel sad, even when I despair at how terrible I am at dating… at least I am living, now. And that thought makes me feel better, every time.
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