Archive for September, 2015

Wedding Woes ( G-uno)

Weddings like most family orientated events are a lot more complicated underneath the surface. No matter how hard you try to leave out the drama it still seems to come creeping back in ever waiting to test your patience. We have a HUGE family so things can get a little tricky. As the mother of the bride I am not much help because unlike a great deal of women out there I never really spent a lot of time planning my own wedding.

In fact I decided to get up early on our wedding day to go to the beach with my groom. I was late getting home so I did not have time to get my hair or my make-up done. I literally showered threw on my dress, and went to the church. Luckily our daughter is no bridezilla. She is doing everything she can to keep things drama free, but it still seems to creep in at the most unexpected times.

Our first difficulty was in making the guest list. My husband’s family is huge! Unfortunately our budget is not. Our future son-in-law, and our daughter have insisted on paying for most of the wedding their selves. So the guest list will be 150. This meant trimming the family tree considerably. So to be fair they cut everyone off after the second cousins. I think this was probably the most difficult decision they’ve had to make.

Secondly our niece who got engaged five months after our daughter decided that she would like her wedding to be 6 weeks before ours. So this is a very tricky balancing act as well. Not only because of the timing, but she lives in a different state. We have our own wedding events prior to our wedding, so the entire family is a little stressed over trying to meet both of the couples events. We have had to just say up front that we will only be attending the wedding. This did not go over very well with our niece, or her mother. I did step up to gently remind them that by choosing to have their big day six weeks before ours they surely had to realize our wedding events were going to be impossible to completely coordinate. So there are some hard feelings there, but in all fairness there is only so much time everyone can take off from work. Not to mention the issues of setting up our own ceremony.

Our third issue is the photographer. After seeing her photos from other weddings we have decided that her artistic vision is not quite what we have in mind. After the engagement photos our daughter has been anxious about her style, but really does not want to insult her in any way. I told our daughter to forget about the deposit. We are giving 7 months notice of cancellation. I told her to blame me. Just say that I am paying for the photography, and that I am insisting on using another photographer.

Our fourth issue is the Mother-in-law. She seems to have an issue with every single choice the kids have made regarding the wedding. She has even told our daughter that she plans on wearing black (implying that she is in mourning), and will be bringing her own wine to the wedding because their choice of wine is unacceptable. They have tried to include her, but she has declined repeatedly. If she does not like the choices the kids have made she simply refuses to participate. I’m not exactly sure about how to approach this issue. It’s complicated because she, and the father-in-law are divorced. He has been in another relationship for over ten years, and the kids love his girlfriend very much. Trying to make everyone feel included without stepping on any toes has been almost impossible.

At this point I am just trying to do whatever I am asked to do. I am enjoying watching our kids plan their special day. I think they have done a great job at every turn. My husband, and I just keep telling them it’s their day. I just wish everyone else could adopt that perspective. 😉

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Sibling Rivalry (G-uno)

What is it about being siblings that can turn even middle-aged reasonable adults into screaming, fighting, competitive children? I can think of a few things, but in today’s post the winning answer is a parent’s will. I will further add the parental decision to make one child the executor of their estate. If you really want to mess with your children’s heads then you should by all means pick one of them to handle your affairs. That way the other child, or children as the case may be can immediately revert to their childhood deep-seated insecurities reliving the indignant horrors of how you were never regarded in the same favoring light that your sibling seemed to live within.

Since my friend fell off her newly installed stripper pole she has been unable to drive, so yesterday she asked me to not only drive her to her sister’s home, but to remain there as moral support. Her husband is out-of-town, and each of her siblings would be there with their spouses. Now I’m a realistic kind of gal so my head is screaming bad idea, but my mouth was saying okay. She has had a tough couple of months which included the death of her mother. Plus her sister can be quite the little drama queen even on one of her better days so we knew today she would be in exceptionally rare form since my friend’s mother had named my friend as the executor of her estate.

My friend is the 3rd child (the baby), her sister is the oldest, and their brother is the middle child. The oldest sister is the financially well off, and quite use to running the show. The brother is a gruff retired military man who I don’t think I have ever seen without a drink in hand, except for mom’s funeral. My friend is a published writer, quite the little spit fire most of time, but lately her spark has been a bit subdued. A formidable bunch to be sure, and their mother was a complete down home girl who grew up on the family farm. I happened to adore her, but to be fair she wasn’t my mother.

Back in the day mom was quite the party gal who had married an alcoholic, and their relationship dominated the family spotlight. I think all of the kids felt like extras on the set, rather than the cherished little stars of their family show. So each child naturally comes with all the insecurities of being raised in a home where mom, and dad’s marital issues/drinking took center stage on a daily basis.

So when we walked into the house both big sister, and brother were quite pissed over the baby being placed in charge. The accusations started to fly the moment we sat down. I watched as my friend calmly as she sat looking everyone over. She sat there quietly as the two older siblings ranted over every detail of their mother’s carefully thought out will. Keep in mind all three children had financially supported their mother equally in her last decades of life. She did not possess a large estate, even her home had been equally owned, and paid for by her three children. So the points of contention were over her personal possessions, things that had been passed down generation after generation.

They were fighting over things that were a familiar part of their erratic childhood. It was almost as if each item held some piece of their own self-identity. A kind of symbol of their personal value in their mother’s existence. They accused my friend of  manipulating their mother into giving her items that they said their mother wanted them to have. My friend sat there silently as they raved, and ranted. Then she cleared her throat stood up, looked both siblings in the face, and said take it all. Divide it up however you want, I really don’t care.” Then she asked me to hand her two carefully wrapped packages. One for each of her siblings. She had me place one in front of each of them, and then we left.

As I drove her home she barely said two words. Then she turned, and smiled at me. I finally had to ask her what was in the two beautifully wrapped packages she had given each of her siblings. She had given them each a framed copy of their mother’s hand written will with a small note in it with her hand written words that said ” Take it all, with all my love. Mom’s favorite.” 😉

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Love Hurts -When You Fall Off Your Stripper Pole (G-uno)

My dear friend ended up in the Emergency Room due to an injury she sustained trying to do a trick (no pun intended) on her newly installed stripper pole. Keeping things exciting in the bedroom when you’ve been married for over thirty years is much more challenging than you might think. I did know that she had one installed as a birthday gift for hubby, but I hadn’t quite gotten my nerve up to ask her how that was working out for her.

Two hours in a follow-up doctor’s appointment kind of opened a perfect opportunity to finally bring the subject up. Apparently she had taken a couple of months of lessons before she actually decided to install the pole. She was a little embarrassed by our conversation, but when you’ve been friends as long as we have you learn to toughen up through all the teasing. After all it is a stripper pole, and subject matter like that is going to inspire some good-natured ribbing.

Once we covered what brand of pasties I should order for her birthday gift, I just went head first in asked her how it was going with the pole aside from her little trip to the E.R. She started out with saying “You know how hard it is to be creative after thirty years,” this is where I interrupted saying that I get all of that, but why the huge commitment of having an actual pole installed. Then being the good friend that I am I told her your beet red what color was your face when the delivery guys showed up, and asked her where she wanted it?

Don’t shake your head at me, you know you would have teased your friend if this had come up in your friendship. Then her face went from smiling to concerned. I lightly bumped her with my arm, and told her not to worry I’m sure your not the only one here seeing the doctor for a stripping injury. Normally this kind of teasing would have gotten me a salute with her middle finger, but this time it only brought tears.

Feeling like the world’s worst friend I stopped with the jokes, hugged her, and pleaded with her to tell me what was wrong. She told me she thought doing something so bold would breathe new life into their relationship both inside, and outside of the bedroom. The problem was that it had made things worse in both places. She felt embarrassed, unattractive, and old. I can tell you she is a beautiful, very athletic, and has a figure that most women our age would kill to have. So I’m not exactly sure why her husband has responded to the newest venture in such a negative way.

So I told her to just ask him. To quit torturing herself with thoughts that could be completely untrue. Then the receptionist called her back to see the doctor. She awkwardly stood up, and reached for the walker they had given her use instead of crutches. They gave this 53 year-old woman who plays tennis twice a week a walker. She stood there staring at it as though it were a coffin someone was asking her lie down in for the rest of eternity.

So being the compassionate friend that I am, I shout across the room to the perky little receptionist ” Hey my friend got this injury on her stripper’s pole if your going to insist on making her walk with this old person’s walker you could at least bedazzle the damn thing!” 😉

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Let The Human Being Suffer, But By All Means Rescue The Kitty (G-uno)

We live in a society where people will rally together to save an animal from an abusive situation, but when it comes to a real live human being whose odd behavior frightens us then we simply want them removed from our sight immediately! Apparently Nickole Dykema has been exhibiting some very odd behaviors for years, according to her neighbors who witnessed her arrest this morning. I would like to point out that one neighbor was quoted as saying “She has never been violent.” She does however exhibit very strange behaviors, and screams a lot so the neighbors were so relived that she was arrested.

The police who were not familiar with Ms Dykema’s odd behaviors went to her home to arrest her for shoplifting from a Dollar General store.(Sorry I’m still not clear about those facts.) This woman who has never been violent with any of her neighbors was afraid of the police, and tried to defend herself with a machete. So the poor officers who were there to arrest her ended up having to tase the frightened woman before making the actual arrest.

I’m clear as to why the police made the decisions they made based on their assessment of the situation. What astounds me is that all the neighbors who did know Ms Dykema was not violent, and was obviously experiencing some mental health issues prior to her arrest all stood by for years watching her struggle. In all that time not one single person felt an ounce of compassion towards this woman who was obviously in need of care. If she had been a cute little kitten trapped under a tree I sure they would have all taken the day off from work to rescue the little darling. They would have all smiled in front of the ABC’s live cameras spouting off how sorry they all felt for the poor little kitty, and how they felt it was important to step in helping a creature who could not help itself.

Yet they witnessed a live human being struggling, unable to help herself, and they were delighted to have this nuisance removed from their sight! Ahh yes a fine example of “The Milk of Human Kindness!” This poor woman was living under horrible conditions with no electricity, or water. Which probably has something to do with her shoplifting charges. If you see the horrible arrest picture they have chosen to show of her, you can see that she is malnourished. (But by all means give the kitty some milk while this woman starves.) Ms. Dykema clearly was suffering in a multitude of ways, and her neighbors stood by, and did nothing. Let me correct that statement they did come out of their houses to stand in front of the ABC cameras to say how glad they were to have her gone.

My point is that if you are not cute, and well-groomed (even if it’s a symptom you have no control over without proper medical care) then you will more than likely be shunned, ignored, possibly even ridiculed. We live in a society that will spend millions of dollars to house the mentally ill in jails, but finds it fiscally impossible to address the mental health needs of citizens who are often abandoned by they own families, and society. Let’s punish the mentally ill because their own life circumstances haven’t caused them enough suffering.

Then let’s put a journalistic ratings spin on the story by calling their home a “house of horrors.” Let’s ridicule a human being for circumstances they have no ability to control, and while we’re at it let’s up our ratings by calling their horrific living conditions a spooky little name with a Halloween sounding twist. After all October is just around the corner. Shame on you ABC. Shame on all of us for ignoring the ill, and then patting ourselves on the backs for rescuing the poor little kitties.

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The Worst Thing My Husband Ever Said To Me (G-uno)

Marriage can be difficult even in it’s best moments. We are capable of incredible damage with just one slip of the tongue. The moment when your otherwise harmless organ turns into a razor-sharp blade with the ability to make a cut so deep that even the most skilled plastic surgeon would be unable to hide the scar left behind. I remember the moment when four little words brought me to my knees. Simple words, that suddenly had the power to emotionally cut me in half. “You don’t like me.”

It was, and to this very day is the worst thing my husband has ever said to me! What made it so horribly painful was the fact that he actually believed what he had said. The man who had been my best friend through every single event in my life for over thirty years was standing before me believing that I no longer liked him.

I know what your thinking. Oh big damn deal some of you have heard name calling, fuck yous, I hate you, I cheated on you, and a lot of other horrible things that on the surface seem like much worse things to say. I get all of that, but the very idea that I had somehow given my husband even the slightest notion that I didn’t like him was deeply painful to me. It had never even crossed my mind that this thought would be something anyone could convince him of, under any circumstance, least of all me.

Somewhere along the way something I had said, or done had cut him so deeply that he harbored this thought. My mind was spinning. How could he believe something so awful? Why didn’t he say something until that moment? God, how long has he been thinking this way? Most importantly how could I have not picked up on something so big between us? In my mind I guess I felt exempt from this kind of miscommunication between us. It was a huge wake up call. A reminder that I had been complacent. That I had taken him for granted,assuming that I knew how he felt, and that he knew how I felt.

Relationships are not self-sustaining states of being. They are ever-changing, living organisms that require you to be present. They need attention, and maintenance to survive. If we are really smart about our relationships we will do way better than just trying to survive. We will put in the wiser goal of thriving. 😉

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The Alzheimer’s Whisperer (G-uno)

We are all born with certain talents, unique gifts that not only enhance our own personal journeys, but impact other souls as they travel along their’s. I have been nicknamed “The Alzheimer’s Whisperer.” I’m not exactly sure how this talent came into existence, but I am sure that the Universe has decided that it should be a part of my journey. My talent extends equally to babies/ children, and a wide range of people who might be categorized as uniquely misunderstood, but for this post we will stay focused with those souls who have Alzheimer’s.

Although I have always loved the very old, and the very young, my work interests have always leaned towards the medical field. I have worked with one of this countries finest retinal surgeons. The problem with this line of work is that you have to work with doctors. Don’t get me wrong I have the utmost respect for doctors, but working with them presents a number of issues that simply held very little satisfaction for my inner self. I made a much better salary, but it left my inner self destitute.

I have a love/hate relationship with this side of myself. I have the ability to live a much more lucrative lifestyle, but I’m only happy when I am doing what I love best. I have chosen to follow my heart over my bank account. Luckily I have married a man who seems to find this completely lovable. So I am a self-employed personal assistant who finds herself being hired over, and over again by a particular type of client (those with a very demanding employment), who seem to be in need of someone with my ability to organize while dealing with the more difficult loved ones in their lives.

G-uno to my fellow bloggers, but “The Alzheimer’s Whisperer” to many of my clients. Alzheimer’s is a brutal disease that forces people to lose their loved one’s twice in one life time. My gift is my ability to understand them once they have reached the point of being unable to convey their wishes for themselves. My gift to my clients is my ability to get their loved ones to cooperate in ways that lesson the enormous stress their inabilities place on their loved ones both physically but more importantly emotionally.

I can not explain to you how I understand my client’s wishes/needs, but I can tell you that within a half hour I am able to bring them great relief. I am also able to get them to do tasks they have been unable to do for years, or months prior to our meeting. I have a front row seat to being able to bring joy, and relief to both my clients, and those who are suffering. I am lucky because I wake up every day to the possibility of being able to bring great joy, and comfort to those who whisper in a way that only some can hear. 😉

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The Thing About Daughters… (G-uno)

She was the first in every way, from the moment they laid her warm 8 pound 6 ounce body onto my chest. Heart to heart, my world would never be the same. She didn’t even cry. She held up her little head looking around the room as if she were surveying it’s worth. The doctor, and everyone else in the room shared the same look of awe at her incredible strength. I am to this day amazed that she only scored a 9 instead of a 10 on her APGAR rating, because she did not enter the world screaming like a banshee. If I think about it, she entered the world pretty much the same way she enters a room now. She silently walks in with her head held high, and her beautiful chocolate-colored eyes surveying everything around her.

She is petite in stature, but large in her presence. Her “Helen of Troy” beauty lures you in, but her total command of the room makes you want to stay. She’s engaging, smart, direct, and her sense of humor is fueled by her unyielding desire to see your ability to withstand her way of magnifying your most hidden human characteristics. She can be extremely driven, and has very little tolerance for those who disregard her need for personal space, for uncleanliness, and disorder. She has zero tolerance for disloyalty, and I think this stems from the fact that she is quite possibly one of the most loyal people on the planet.

She sees the world from a more grown up point of view than I do. Even though she is to grown now to lay across my heart she is forever entwined in it’s every beat. We can talk for hours about everything, and nothing at all. I can count on her to tell me the truth when none else can. She sees me in a way that no one else can see me. Her very existence makes my life better. That’s the thing about daughters… 😉

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