Sometimes Anti is better

I love my family.

All sides. From the crazy, colorful, funny and fearless side to the painfully repressed; they are my family and I love them.

But I don’t want to deal with them this year. I should, with the death of my Father and Stepmother, I should want to do nothing but be around my family.

But I don’t. I don’t want to be around my father’s side of the family right now.

I feel bad, but I also know that it is better for me to handle myself the way I know how and to leave them be. They can keep any judgements to themselves, which they will anyway because they are all “too polite” to actually have awkward conversations that might result in actual results. See above: re repressed.

They mean well. They make all the right moves and say all the right things but the truth is I’ve never felt much of a connection to them. We’ve ALL tried. But when you have almost nothing in common with family, that’s when the trouble starts. People have to be free to feel comfortable and not feel like they have to watch what they say in case they accidentally spark off a conversation that inevitably turns to money, religion or politics. Which, when you have zip in common, almost always ends up being the topic!

So instead, I begged off; claiming I had to work because I work in retail now (thank THE LORD) and stayed in bed late with Boyfriend and Puppy just enjoying every moment until Boyfriend had to go to work.

My dinner will be chips and salsa or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and it will be delicious and satisfying. I might get up early and run to Target for a Black Friday deal on a sewing machine. But I might just stay in bed some more until I have to go to work myself.

I’m thankful that I gave myself that time. I’m thankful that my family might not understand but they accepted my excuse and didn’t push the issue. Truthfully they probably knew I wasn’t working, but that tendency towards repression worked in my favor.

Giving French Dude the boot

Last week, Boyfriend let me know that French Dude was going out of town for a few days. “HOORAY! We get our house to ourselves for a few days!” was my reply.
And it was glorious, so comfortable and easy. I loved every second of it.
Until Saturday, Boyfriend and I came home from the movies to find that French Dude was home and in the shower.

Drat.
After his shower, standing in a towel, French Dude approached Boyfriend and they were chatting. I was in the kitchen, getting things together for another outing that Boyfriend and I were going on. When I heard Boyfriend raise his voice.
He never raises his voice.
“Wait, you took WHICH bag??? The leather one?!?!?!”
Now, Boyfriend has had this particular leather bag for 15 years, it was part of his graduation gift from the school he attended. This bag is an $800 bag. It’s a nice bag. When he was moving in, I went to swing it around or something and he stopped me in my tracks, explained how expensive and special this bag was and I immediately handed it to him because I didn’t want to ruin it.
French Dude had seen that bag, FULL OF STUFF MIND YOU, emptied it out (dumped everything on the floor) and took it as his own bag when he went out of town.

He never asked to use it. He never even hinted that he’d borrowed it. He had made the point to text Boyfriend to tell ME that he’d thrown out the Ant Bait that was in his room and closed the door so I wouldn’t have “anything to stress about”. (Ummm yeah, I told him 5 times to keep that door closed so Puppy couldn’t get in and mess with the ant bait since you know, it could kill her!! I had to go so far as to PUT A SIGN ON HIS DOOR for him to FINALLY start leaving it closed. Ugh, jerk.) But never did he mention that he’d taken the bag. If he had, Boyfriend would have told him to guard it with his life. Frankly, if he had ASKED Boyfriend would have told him NO YOU CAN’T USE IT, HERE’S 1871223 OTHER BAGS IN OUR HOUSE YOU CAN USE INSTEAD but no, French Dude saw that beautiful leather bag, thought it was “the perfect size” and took it.
And then, it got stolen from him because the dumbass put it into checked baggage at the bus terminal.
French Dude had the stones to say to Boyfriend, “yeah, the bag got stolen. But don’t worry, nothing of value of mine was in it. But yeah, that bag was yours.”

I almost exploded.

Boyfriend couldn’t even speak, he kept trying to walk away from French Dude, who kept chasing after him like a moron.
I started shrieking like a howler monkey. French Dude looked at us like we were turning purple with pink polka dots.
He kept saying, “Sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t know it would get stolen.”
I tried to hammer home, “Dude, YOU stole it FROM THIS HOUSE!”
He didn’t get it. He said “I didn’t know it had so much sentimental value.”
My voice got even more shrill, “IT HAD VALUE YOU JACKASS! IT WAS AN $800 BAG! And you didn’t even ASK if you could borrow it!!! That’s THEFT!”
It wasn’t until I started tabulating what he owned that would be equivalent to the dollar amount. His watch, his computer, BOTH of his suitcases (WHICH WHYYYYYYY DIDN’T HE TAKE ONE OF THE TWO SUITCASES HE OWNED?? Because THE LEATHER BAG WAS BETTER LOOKING, of course!) all the clothes, the shoes and all the cash in his wallet; and it still wouldn’t amount to what that bag was worth.
He still looked confused. I lost it.

I told him to get out. To get dressed, pack his things and leave.
He started to argue, “I need to make arrangements, I need time.”
I grabbed my phone and set the timer, “You have 10 minutes and then I’m going to start throwing your things out the front door.”
That seemed to wake him up.
He was still trying to follow Boyfriend around and appeal to him, but Boyfriend was too livid to even look at him.
I started throwing the food that he’d purchased into a bag, he told me “I don’t need it” I told him, “Then throw it away yourself, I want NOTHING of you in this house. You broke our trust, you stole from us. I NEVER want to be reminded of you.”
I took the terrible paintings he’d been working SO hard on, and piled them on top of his suitcases once he’d packed them and moved them into the living room. He said, “I can’t take those with me.” I told him, “Nobody here wants your terrible ‘art’.”
His hand was shaking when he handed me the key I’d made for him.
I was comprising an email to his mother, I did my best to keep my head, but I did tell her that we’d had so many problems with French Dude for so long, this theft was the last straw. We can tolerate a lot of things, but the blatant disregard for even the simplest amount of respect, NOT taking what ISN’T yours; it was too much and we couldn’t allow him in our house any longer, so at 10 days shy of him leaving the US and returning home, we had to boot him out.

When he handed me the key, I looked him straight in the face and said, “YOU did this. We trusted you and tried to help you, and you betrayed us. You better make DAMN sure your mother pays for that bag or I will have you arrested at the airport when you try to board your plane for home.”
And frankly, I intend to.
Boyfriend and I tried to find that bag again, it isn’t in production anymore. Which made it even worse for Boyfriend.
I found two other bags, ranging from $907 – $1,675 and sent the mother the link.
She’s agreed to pay, she’s actually tried to negotiate the price down, but Boyfriend is being adamant. He wants $1,000. I want $1,675, but it wasn’t MY bag French Dude stole.
OH AND I JUST FOUND THIS OUT, apparently Paypal has been taking $20 for conversion costs every month the mother has paid for French Dude’s rent, so WE’VE NEVER BEEN PAID THE FULL AMOUNT OF HIS RENT! Man, if Boyfriend weren’t insisting on the $1,000 I would be even more mad.

After French Dude left for the last time (I shut the door in his face after tossing a few things he’d left in the guest room on the ground at him, and told him, “NEVER come back here”) Boyfriend and I talked for a long time.
“THIS is what you were talking about the whole time.” he said to me, shaking his head.
I tried really hard not to say “I TOLD YOU SO” instead, I opted for “I’m sorry babe, I tried to tell you.”
I felt relief knowing I’d never have to see French Dude again. Boyfriend probably will feel some relief when/if the mother pays.
Boyfriend also waxed nostalgic about his own life, how his mom had to bail him out more than a couple times and how it really helped “kick him in the ass” and get himself together. My parents have had to do that for me too, it’s all a part of growing up.

*****

Update: She paid.
Now I feel better. Boyfriend can get a bag that’s close to the one that was stolen, but it won’t be the same. And it will break his heart every time he thinks about it.
After Boyfriend got the alert that French Dude’s mom had paid the full amount; he called his own mom and thanked her for all she’d done for him. Bailing him out and making him learn the lessons he needed to learn.
And yeah, I might have fallen in love with him even more than I already am.
I think I won’t fully relax until it’s past the date that French Dude departs the country. I’m not scared of retaliation, really. But I know I’ll feel better when I know he’s not anywhere near me, Boyfriend or our home.

I might be a masochist.

So I might be a masochist.

Boyfriend and I talked some more yesterday afternoon while we watched Puppy play in the dog park. He agreed that French Dude has been disrespectful to both of us. By picking fights and disrespecting me, he’s disrespecting Boyfriend and the whole house and has been more trouble than he’s worth. So he agreed to back me 100%. When we got home, he talked to French Dude alone (and said some pretty awesome stuff, I eavesdropped. I COULDN’T HELP IT!) and French Dude begged for another chance to apologize to me.
I laid it all out, told him I have no more patience. He gave me empty apologies, I called him on them because I have heard them before. I told him I know he thinks he’s blameless, but the fact is HE has created this WHOLE problem. And HE has been doing irresponsible and inconsiderate things for months with zero regard for any consequence. 

He kept trying to bargain, talking about us needing to give him 30 days. I told him, I know more about the rental laws than you do, you get squat. He kept asking how much time? How much time? I said “you should have been OUT of here already. Instead, you sat around, smoking and painting all day. You have no concept of how serious a situation you have created. ” I told him “I gave you carte blanche after EVERY incident. You learned nothing. You went RIGHT back to your behaviors, even getting worse. I have no sympathy left for you. I’ve turned it off”.

I also told French Dude that whatever shred of respect I had for him as a human being was completely demolished when I heard what he had done with his “fat girlfriend”. That he disgusts me and how dare he treat anyone like that, especially in MY house on MY bed (my old bed is in the guestroom). He tried to say he has feelings for her, I shut him up and called bullshit.

At the end, I looked at Chef Boyfriend and said, I’m sorry. I know you don’t want to be a dick, but I cannot take it anymore. This was supposed to be an easy summer and it’s been awful.” So Boyfriend looked at French Dude and said, “OK. You heard it.”
I left the patio, got in the shower and started to cry. Because I’m just emotionally wrecked. Boyfriend came in and got in with me (which is rare because he’s so tall and I’m so short, mutual showers are kind of a comedy routine) and lightly chastised me for crying. Saying I did what was right and that he supports me 100%.

In the shower. I looked at Chef Boyfriend and said “should I let him stay?” He said “the week? That’s fair” and I sighed and said, “No. The duration. It’s not HIS money he’d be spending, it’s his grandmother’s and mother’s money. It’s not fair to THEM.” He told me he’d support me no matter what, he also told me how I handled myself during the discussion was sexy which made me laugh and question his sanity.  Then he told me to make French Dude sweat and stress about it as long as possible.

I waited 15 minutes or so. Enough to let him really worry, then knocked on his door. He came out and I said “God help me, do NOT make me regret this. But you can stay until the end of August”  French Dude looked like I’d just saved his life. He kept thanking me profusely. I told him “I’m not doing this for you. Don’t thank me. Thank your mother and your grandmother. THEY don’t deserve to have to spend even more of their loan money on you because you can’t get a grip.” He looked like he had JUST realized that was what he was doing, abusing THEIR funds. That his behavior reflected on them.  After he kept thanking me and I kept telling him “don’t. If something happens, there will be NO discussion. You’ll pack your things and hand over your key and you’ll leave. End of. ” He “promised” this and that. I told him “You don’t have to impress me or make new rules, you just have to be a considerate human being!”

Then Boyfriend did the sexiest thing. He looked at French Dude all serious and said, “Look, I could give a shit about possessions. Don’t break stuff, obviously. But if you hurt my girlfriend or my dog? I’ll hunt you down in whatever country you’re in, cut off your balls and make you eat them.” He kinda softened it with a chuckle, but the two of them had a moment where the seriousness came through.

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes, it was such a protective and sexist thing to do; but I can appreciate him doing it in front of me. Making it abundantly clear that French Dude is not to mess with me, or Puppy in any vindictive attempt at retaliation.

So yeah. We’ll see how it goes. But now French Dude knows, unequivocally, Boyfriend and I are on the same side and he’d better shape up or get out.

2 1/2 months or I would be a terrible Mother

Saturday I got into another fight with French Dude.

He smokes weed in my house, which makes me angry, he rolls his own blunts and cuts it with his Marlboro red cigarette tobacco and it STINKS. I’ve told him I hate it and to stop. He doesn’t listen. Saturday night, I had another talk with him that escalated into me screaming my guts out. Eventually he agreed not to smoke in my house anymore at all. But I hatethat I had to threaten to tell his mother amongst other things in order for him to comply with my request!

Sunday was another one. I was sitting in the living room and French Dude was making himself some pasta in the kitchen. I noticed he placed the hot sauce pan, with the handle pointed out, on the space of metal between the two sinks across from the stove top. I asked him, “Please don’t put the pot there, ok?” and instead of asking me “Why” or asking what my concern was, he said “It’s built for that, it’s melting point is high, it’s fine.”

…Ok, that’s not what I was concerned about. And I said, “Dude, that’s not why” and he kept going on about how it was fine and under control and he does this all the time. I had to get up from the couch and walk over and try and talk to him about it. He started in. Telling me that it was fine and he just wanted to make his pasta in peace and not have drama.

Well, that did not go over well with me. I started screaming and cursing him out. How disrespectful he was, how dismissive he was and how dare he not listen to me about my own pots and pans in my own kitchen. How much I hated him him, how stupid he was, how much I can’t wait until he’s gone and I wish he would leave RIGHT NOW.

He tried to go sit on the couch and eat. I could barely see straight, I was so angry. I told him to “Get the F*CK up and get out” of the living room and that I didn’t want him anywhere around me. Naturally he was mad too and slammed his bedroom door.

I called Boyfriend and demanded he get home THIS INSTANT and luckily he was coming up the walk. But I hung up on him. I was so angry I was shaking and slamming the dishes and cupboards.

When Boyfriend tried to find out what happened from me, French Dude came out of his room and went to the patio to have a cigarette and obnoxiously retort everything I was saying. Which only made me angrier!Every time I’d get to a calmer place and be making a point, French Dude would interject and off my rage would go again, screaming louder than before. Boyfriend was intensely unhappy with me about that. He hatesyelling.

It doesn’t help that my yelling voice rivals only the screeching of a Howler Monkey in battle.

Eventually, with Boyfriend’s help. I think I was able to get through to French Dude, yet again. But this isn’t the first time. He dismisses me, I get raging mad and we talk about it or we all talk about it and it’s ok again.

But the times are getting shorter. It’s not taking me as long to go into my fury and that scares me. My fuse is so short with French Dude now. It’s making me miserable! I live for the times where he’s not in my house! When he goes to the pool or on dates with his new Chola Girlfriend (who’s really nice, but dude…so Chola), I get so happy that I can live in my house the way I want to live in my house. And yes, that means just being comfortable walking around MY OWN HOUSE. NOT EVEN NAKED, just walking around!!

So yeah, I’ve got 2 1/2 months to go before his French butt is out of my world forever. But this experience makes me question my ability to be a good mother! If I can’t handle a 23 year old French Dude, how am I supposed to handle a screaming 2 year old or a sullen 13 year old????

Ugggggggggggggh!

Badly damaged, maybe salvagable.

My “Gay-Husband” or GH and I haven’t spoken in months. He’s been battling with addiction and after showing up randomly at my home and behaving so erratically I was actually a bit frightened. 

I’d seen his Facebook updates, where he seemed sober and on the right track. Then I saw a post about being in the hospital so I reached out via FB message. We talked briefly, he told me he has Intestinal Cancer. I offered support and asked if he had a phone again. He never responded back. I’d headed over to his house once, but no one was home. So I let it be.

Tuesday was his birthday, I went to FB again to wish him well and discovered that he had un-friended me. Having logged many many years with my GH, I was notably offended and went back to FB messaging to express my concern as well as my birthday greetings. I could see him read the message, but not respond. I got angry.

Two days later, I decided that I was going to drop by his house. He was there, his internet was being funky, we talked.

He claims he never cut me off. He claims I sided with Boyfriend against him (Boyfriend was concerned about his random visits and his drug addiction, of course I agreed!) and that I had cut him off. He admitted that he was angry at me for something that was in his own head. When I pointed that out, he got mad. We fought. I started crying. We screamed at each other, he ordered me out of his house. I wouldn’t leave. He called me a lunatic because I was crying. He charged at me and put hands on me and tried to shove and physically remove me from his house. I wouldn’t move. I screamed louder.

Eventually we both calmed down. He cried. I never stopped crying. He tried to explain how he shut everyone out, even his family. How he was convinced he is going to die from the cancer because it’s the same one his uncle had and he was dead within 6 months of diagnosis because the doctors wouldn’t remove the malignant but dormant tumors in is intestine. GH has the same tumors, he says. He said that everyone left him, he said that he needed the time and the space. He said he’d been sober but has had a few relapses. We both agreed that we both made mistakes, maybe I should have tried to reach out more. I thought about it every few days, but I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if he still lived at that house anymore, I didn’t know what was going on and I was too scared to find out. We made up. The bridge isn’t burned anymore.

But it’s definitely damaged. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel as close to him as I did before. I know that happens with long-time friends, they grow apart. It happens. And I know from the experiences with my father that if someone is determined to go down the road of drugs and destruction; there’s nothing anyone can say to deter them. Even if he says what he wanted was someone to tell him it was ok, Iknow that it wouldn’t have made a difference. The only one who can lift you out of that kind of shit is yourself.

French Crazy-Pants

Well, add one more thing to the list of French Dude’s Crazy-Pants status.

Remember Hipster Barista? Yeah, well that relationship went sour and fast. With French Dude having so much time on his hands, he built up the relationship in his mind and lost touch with reality a little bit. Hipster Barista ended things, they didn’t end well and French Dude was depressed for about a week.

He dated another girl, for two consecutive days. And she broke it off. (WELL DUH, he’s a bit intense!!)

Now he’s started dating another girl. However, Hipster Barista is still in the vicinity being as she works at the coffee house near French Dude’s work. Naturally, she talks to the other members of his Internship team. Friday she “happened” to mention to one of his co-workers that she has this boyfriend now suddenly. Of course it got back to French Dude and instead of ignoring it and forgetting about Hipster Barista, French Dude got into a text argument with her.

And here’s where he put on the Crazy-Pants.

French Dude threatened her. NOT PHYSICALLY and NOT SPECIFICALLY. But he threatened her. He told her if she didn’t stop with these “trying to make him suffer” actions (or something, it was very broken English) there would be “retaliations”. OHHHHHHH BOYYYYYY.

So of course she sent back that she would get a Restraining Order and sue HIM and the Company he’s interning for…When he told me that, the bells started to go off.

He broached the subject with me by saying, “I did something stupid, I want to talk to you about it.”

He wasn’t wrong and I told him as much.

After agreeing that he was very stupid to say anything to her, especially in writing and especially when he was angry, I told him that it might be ok because he was non-specific and he didn’t threaten her physically. But YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE I read him the RIOT ACT for threatening her AT ALL.

I told him that he should tell his boss the next time he saw him, to make sure that the Company knows that there’s a possibility that this Hipster Barista is looking for a big payday and they need to be on watch. And I told him that UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES should he text, talk, call, Skype, or SMOKE SIGNAL with this girl EVER. AGAIN.

He asked if he should mention this interaction on his new date that night…I nearly choked. Politely, I told him “Sure, go ahead. But you’ll look completely crazy and you’ll never see this new girl again.” From the look on his face, I think he decided not to tell her.

He texted me a few minutes ago with a picture of an alert the Tangoe App (some sort of communications app) sent him, that there was a “request” to add him as a contact from “Hipster Barista”.

I really hope he Ignores, Rejects, Blocks her.

Silent time

I’m at my wits end at The Cubicle Farm.

Management and Trainers say they expect participation and questions whenever we have a meeting or a training, but when I ask a question or participate in a group discussion I get pulled aside later and told that I’m “disruptive” and that the “perception of my delivery” is bad.

So I’ve decided. I’m no longer speaking at the Cubicle Farm. If management or another worker wants or needs to discuss something with me, they can email me or message me. I’m done having my words twisted and misinterpreted.

I’ve put up signs stating my intention. Obviously there’s going to be some sort of query about it. I’ve already written down responses to expected questions.

“It’ll keep me out of trouble” “I can’t control perception. I CAN control is my mouth moves.”

I know it’s going dramatic. I know. But I’m proving a point.

They want me to be a mindless sheep, all the while, on the surface they are asking me (and all of us in the office) to be a Unicorn. To raise questions when we have them, to be advocates for ourselves and our customer. But then they punish me when I do just that, and try and make me feel bad and force me to morph myself into something I’m not. I do my job, I do it well. Frequently I go above and beyond, but it’s not enough for them. So at least for today, I’m done speaking.