March 25, 2009

"My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot." ~Ashleigh Brilliant

We've had a lot going on lately and yet nothing's really transpired. Well...that's not entirely true. I did go on another interview last week. This time, in a curious turn of events, it was for a local job. What's more, it's my aunt's job at the high school I attended. She's been there for 35 years and is retiring in June. She says 90 people applied for her job. Out of them, 10 were interviewed. So we'll see.

The kids are adjusting to life here kinda-sorta well. Bubba's doing great. His speech is exploding and he understands so much. You can't slip anything past this kid! Beth is riding the rollercoaster of "I'm still in a new environment AND I'm four years old. Wheeeee!" She still talks about going "home" and how she just wants "to get out of here." We have to keep explaining to her that, for now, this is home. It breaks my heart. Quite frankly, I like calling this domicile "home" about as much as I like raw onions. For those of you who know me, you know nothing makes me gag as much as tasting a raw onion.

Living in my mom's house has been, to say the very least, trying. She's lived alone for the last six years and has become accustomed to her solitary life. Then we come straggling in with our two small children and their toys, wreaking havoc on her simple, quiet home. We're up at 7:00 a.m. every day, there are Cheerios, Kix, and occasional cookie crumbs strewn about her floor, and dinner is a three-ring circus. We're cooking with seasonings and flavors she's never cooked with and she informed me that she's eaten more vegetables since we arrived then she's eaten in the last year.

With all that comes her belief (or, at least, what I suspect is her belief) that since I'm "home," I need to be led around and parented like the child she must think I am. She's meddling in my job search, brow beating me into working at that damn Cracker Barrel and trying to make me feel bad for not wanting to work into the evening. They only want to hire a prep cook for the afternoon/evening shift. My availability clearly states that I want to be home by 6:00 p.m. I want to eat dinner and bathe my kids and be there for bedtime. That's extremely important to me. Mom doesn't get that. She seems to think that this is the Best Job on Earth and that I should kiss the toes of the manager who's planning on calling me to try and convince me to work in the evenings. Good luck with that.

I really hope something comes along soon so we can move the hell out of this house. I don't care where it is. I need my own space back and my kids need to be free to have fun and yell. THEY'RE KIDS! Let them be kids!

And then there's the nebby, gossipy canary about town who's telling people I'm some oppressed housewife with no opinions and no chutzpah. I've got an idea of who it is and frankly, I'm not surprised. Conneautville is the very definition of Small Town, U.S.A., and what better to talk about than the person who moved out of this town a beer-loving, wildly independent party girl and came back a calm, settled wife and mom who appreciates the art of compromise and doesn't feel the constant need to be a hard-nosed, stand-offish bitch who keeps everyone at bay to avoid getting hurt. I went through a very rough five-year period before I met my husband. I lost my dad, my grandparents, an aunt and an uncle. I had two different boyfriends cheat on me with good friends of mine. I had friendships fall apart. By the time I met Rob, I had lost a lot of respect for myself and was sick and tired of getting hurt.

But when he came into my life and stayed, didn't hurt my feelings or make threats of leaving, and showed me that it was okay to let people in and that he wasn't there to use me, and most importantly that nothing was going to shake his love for me, I softened. I calmed down. I trusted him. And what people didn't bear witness to over the last six years was the metamorphasis I went through. I started seeing life differently, especially after having children. My values changed, my opinions changed, and I wanted different things out of life. I guess some people write that off as a character flaw and are bent on sharing the news with everyone.

Maybe all that city livin' in California did me some good. It taught me to mind my own business. It also taught me to stand up for me and mine. My politics may have changed, and I may not be as wild and crazy as I used to be, but I'm a whole lot stronger now than I ever was. So if the gossip hound reads this, pass this along, too: I don't need anyone's approval to be happy. I absolutely love my life and that's all you need to know.

March 14, 2009

Now I'm a bi-monthly poster...

I'll be surprised if anybody reads this. Seriously, I will. I do still love writing, and I miss blogging, but the days just run away from me like hungry cheetahs after a wildebeest. I wake up, feed the kids, feed myself, feed my husband, and then he does schoolwork in the morning, we usually have somewhere to go in the afternoon, and then there's dinner, baths, and bedtime. I usually squeeze in 15-20 minutes between baths and "Jeopardy," but that's not enough time to check and reply to my emails, breeze through Facebook and MySpace (both of which, in my world, are only slightly more active than this blog), and see if there are any jobs to be applied for on Craigslist.

In other news, and in case the previous sentence didn't give it away, I'm still unemployed. I went on two interviews for the same job last week. First was with a staffing agency who was doing the legwork for a small company in Bridgeville. My interview was at 10:00 a.m., where I basically just filled out an application and W-4's, told the lady who was handling my case that I could start immediately, and had her tell me that if I didn't hear from them by Friday to call them and see what was going on. Four hours later, she calls me and asks if I can do an interview with the company the next morning. Clearly, I impressed somebody. So we hauled our cookies back down to Bridgeville Wednesday morning, left the kids at my mother-in-law's, and went to the interview. I thought it went well, the girl interviewing me seemed friendly and the company is a perfect fit for me. I have no idea how soon she'd be calling, though, if she wanted to hire me so I'm sitting on pins and needles here. I assumed by Friday but maybe that's too soon?

As a result of the joblessness, we're still at my mom's. I think it goes without saying that this situation SUCKS. She's 70, she's used to being alone, and she's definitely not used to having small children underfoot. Small children who, part in parcel, come with small toys and small bits of food. Oh, and loud voices. She spends her time at home yelling at them to stop running, stop jumping, stop yelling, stop touching anything that isn't a toy (and some things that are toys), and either belittling our parenting or completely disregarding it, as though we're the babies in this situation. We have got to get out of here.

So that's about it with us. How've you been?

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