Monthly Archives: August 2011

Happy Birthday, Darlin’

Prince Charming’s birthday is Friday.

You know me, birthday’s are a big deal.  From what I’ve learned about his past, his birthday was never a big deal.  That made me very sad.  It also  made me very determined to make this birthday very special.  But I had no idea how I was going to pull it off.

Then the bestest idea ever fell into my lap . . . I learned that Peter Frampton was going to be coming to a City Near Me the week of Prince Charming’s birthday . . . and the concert would include the entire playlist of one the albums that holds a lot of memories for me and Prince Charming . . . I would take Prince Charming to see Peter Frampton perform Frampton Comes Alive for his birthday!

You see, Prince Charming is a life-long Frampton fan . . . he bought the album when it first came out in 1976 and that album became a part of the soundtrack for our young romance.  It was so much a part of my memories of that time with Prince Charming that I couldn’t bear to hear the song after we broke up.  It was too painful . . . it reminded me of him and of us and of how badly I screwed up that I couldn’t listen to it.  I did everything I could to avoid any Frampton music  . . . which isn’t easy when you listen mostly to classic rock on the radio.

The minute I heard about the concert, I knew we had to go . . . and I didn’t care what it cost . . . we were going.  Since I’m horrible at keeping secrets, I told Prince Charming my plan and he couldn’t believe what he was hearing.  Just the thought of going to the concert has pulled us through some pretty rough times this summer.  Every time something looked pretty bleak, we would turn to the other and say “Well, at least we can still go see Frampton.”  The twinkle in his eyes when he talked about it warmed my heart.  I knew that I had picked the perfect present.

So finally the date of the concert got here . . . We left the house REALLY early so that we could be there when the gates opened . . . and ya’ll know me, I NEVER get anywhere REALLY early.  Must be love, huh?

The concert was in a town that Prince Charming used to live in, so getting there was no problem.  Parking was no problem.  We even had a simple dinner at the Food Court at the Venue . . . which included chili cheese coney’s from Prince Charming’s favorite place . . . He sat down to eat his coney and said with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen “It’s good to be home!”

As good as that was . . . I got an even bigger smile when the concert started and Frampton walked out on stage.  Prince Charming looked like a little boy on Christmas morning . . . I gotta confess, I got a little choked up watching it.  He sang every word.  He played air guitar and/or air drums to every song . . .

Then came the minute we had both been waiting for . . . the first strains of “Baby I Love Your Way” started and the crowd went nuts.  I looked at him and he looked at me and for the next few minutes the world stood still and it was 1976 all over again.  The couple behind us even got a little teary eyed . . . don’t know if they were hopeless romantics like us or had just a little too much to drink . . . either way, they thought we had been together for 35 years.

It was a wonderful evening and Prince Charming hasn’t stopped thanking me yet for making this the best birthday ever . . . and the actual birthday is still two days away.

I may have set the bar a little too high . . . how am I ever gonna top this!?

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Lazy Saturday

I’ve been meaning to go to the grocery for hours now. Watching Little League World Series coverage and Hurricane Irene stuff. It’s good to be lazy once in a while!

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Well That Was Fun

Every day I learn new things about Prince Charming . . . I learn how blessed I am to have him back in my life . . .

I have my Mom’s birthday party here at my house every year.  That means there are 17 people in the Little House for about 6 hours.  Mom loves having burgers on the grill but she doesn’t like to get the grill out for two little hamburgers for her and Dad so we usually have a cookout for her birthday.  I provide the hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats, and the cake.  The siblings bring side dishes and we have a good old fashioned cookout.

Okay, so I have a little bit of OCD and have to make sure things are “just so” for this event.  The house has to be clean.  The yard has to be mowed and trimmed.  The outdoor furniture needs to be cleaned.  The dogs have to be on their best behavior because the nieces don’t like big dogs.  I have to make sure I have enough food for everyone. Did I get the right kind of cake?  I obsess about EVERYTHING!

In the past, ExHubby was as OCD about it as I was . . . but there was always something about his demeanor during the prep for the party and the party that seemed a little off.  To him, it was a task that had to be done.  He went about all the tasks without much joy in his heart.  He dreaded having so many people in the house at one time.  He was always concerned about the cost of everything.  It seemed like he would rather do anything BUT host this party.  I picked up on that and it made my anxieties and insecurities even worse.  He never seemed to enjoy himself during the party . . . and that away a lot of my enjoyment of the day.

He was grumpy and that made me anxious and nervous and that made my OCD go off the charts.  Not only was I trying to make sure that everyone had a good time and the house and everything else was perfect, I had to make sure that ExHubby’s mood didn’t sour the day.  It was a lot of work.  As much as I love my Mom, I dreaded having her party every year.  At the end of the day of the party, I was exhausted!

Fast forward to this year’s party preps.  The usual anxiety and nervousness set in.  The obsessive list of things to be done was written and I talked to Prince Charming about what needed to be done.

Every conversation was met with “it’s okay, honey.  we’ll get it all done.”  Added to the usual list was finishing the painting job in the bathroom.  Why in the world did I wait so long to get started on that project?  Why do I always do this to myself?  “It’s okay, honey.  We’ll get it all done.”  The more OCD I got about the party, the calmer he was.  He tackled every task with a smile and a cheerful attitude.  When we went to the grocery to get the stuff for the party, he kept me from completely flipping out over the cost by pointing out how many wonderful meals we could have with the leftovers.  When I obsessed about if the house was clean enough, he pointed out to me that everyone was here for a party and they wouldn’t be checking out dust bunnies under the couch.  They would be checking out the new paint in the bathroom!  He was a breath of fresh air.

The day of the party, he was calm and organized and kept me on track and on schedule.  His calm demeanor slipped a couple of times when his OCD took over and I was able to give him the same advice he had given me.  “It’s okay, honey.  We’ll figure it out.”  It made him smile and, trust me, there’s nothing better than Prince Charming’s smile!

For the first time ever, I was not a complete nervous wreck the day of the party.  For the first time ever, I actually ATE during the party.  My stomach wasn’t tied in knots because of the stress of the day.  Every time I looked at him, Prince Charming had that beautiful smile on his face.  Every request for help was met with a fast “Yes, baby,” a big smile,  and then he did whatever it was I had asked.  It was a dream come true.

After the party, he helped me clean everything.  We did dishes.  We re-arranged furniture.  We ate leftover hamburgers and coleslaw.  When everything was finally done, we sat on the couch and I fell asleep on his shoulder shortly before he fell asleep resting his cheek on the top of my head.

Somebody pinch me ‘coz I’m pretty sure this can’t be real!

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Things I Wish I Could Say

I work at the community mental health center in Smalltown.  Part of my job is to manage the patient assistance program that helps patients get their meds when they can’t afford them . . . and some of those meds are OMG Expensive!  We give samples when we have them, we have a couple of programs that provide meds to patients at no cost to them.  Because of the economy, the number of clients I deal with seems to increase each month.    Most of the time, this is a very interesting and satisfying part of my job.  Sometimes it’s a thankless energy drain that keeps me running all day.  Yesterday was one of those thankless days.  I spent the day wishing I could say this outloud . . . but I can’t . . . so I’m writing it here.

I’m not your sweetie.  I’m not your honey.  I’m not a dear or a darlin.  I don’t care if you want me to have a blessed day.  This is my job.  I give every patient’s request the utmost care and attention.  Flattery isn’t going to speed up the process.

I don’t care why you couldn’t call before you took your last pill.  If the meds aren’t here, the meds aren’t here.  I can’t snap my fingers and make them magically appear because you’re out and you gotta have them.  The reason I ask that you give me a week’s notice before you run out is so that the meds are here when you need them.  I can’t just “call in a refill” for you.  I have to get an order from a doctor and I can’t help it if the doctor is with a patient/on the phone/gone for the day.  I don’t care how your meds got lost.  I don’t care why you can’t come and get your meds today and you need to have your sister’s husband’s second cousin pick them up for you.  The more dramatic you make the story; the less likely I am to believe it.

If you call me and leave a message for me to call you back, you need to answer the phone when I do call back.  If you do answer the phone, don’t pretend it’s not you because “out of area” came up on the caller id and you think I’m a bill collector.  If you haven’t heard from me, it’s not because I don’t want to talk to you and I’m ignoring you or your request – it’s probably because the number you left is no longer in service, or your voice mailbox is full, or the doctor hasn’t had a chance to reply to the few dozen earlier messages you’ve left already today.  Trust me when I tell you that I will make sure the doctor gets your message.  It’s not necessary for you to call every half hour to see if I’ve talked to the doctor yet.

If you show up at the front window expecting to pick up meds when you haven’t called ahead, don’t get snippy with the girls at the front desk if they aren’t there.  Don’t get snippy with me when I bring the meds to you.  This isn’t Wal-Mart and we don’t have an Automatic Refill Service.  You have to tell me you need the meds so I can get them ready for you.  I don’t have a bunch of little elves in the med room putting orders together for me.  If you call and make a big fuss about needing samples of your meds, please come and pick them up promptly.  If they are still there and not picked up after a month, I put them back so someone else can use them.  Once that happens, I have to get a new order from the doc for samples and explain to him that you didn’t pick up the last batch he ordered for you.

They’re your meds.  This is your illness/disease/problem.  It’s your responsibility to manage your meds.  I do understand what you are going through but I’m not Superman.  I have rules/limits/laws that I have to follow.  Sometimes you have to accept the word “NO” and I’m not being mean when I tell you “no”.

Whew!  I feel better now!

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Well, That Was Fun

I went to the reunion. All three events.

Prince Charming went with me. I think he had as much fun as I did.

I’m tired. My feet hurt from all the standing around and dancing. My sides hurt from laughing.

The more things change . . . the more things stay the same.

And I’m very grateful for the life I have even if it isn’t perfect or what I imagined it would be about now. Seeing some of my classmates and learning about their lives put my in perspective for me . . . .

I’m glad I went . . . and I can’t wait for the 35th!

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Blink And You’ll Miss It

Today starts the 30th High School Class Reunion Weekend . . . tour of the new building and a small get-together at a little pizza place in the Hometown . . . Saturday Night is The Big Event . . . Sunday is Family Picnic . . . I’ve never been to a reunion so I’m really looking forward to this.

The school district tore down the old building a few years ago to replace it with a new modern with all the latest technology building that cost a fortune and looks like something that belongs on a college campus. The nieces and nephew live in that district but I’ve only been in the auditorium (which is part of the old building). I’ve seen pictures of the new building and, frankly, I’m not impressed. I’m sure the kids are making their own memories in the new building but I want to see MY building there when I come up the hill . . . It was a beautiful old building built in the 40’s or 50’s with an addition a little later to accommodate the expanding class sizes. It had a glass walkway, and a big and a little gym, and a big and little lunch room, and being told “turn left at the pool and go to the elevator” was part of your orientation by upperclassmen (there was no pool or elevator!)

I’ve never been to a reunion for one reason or another . . . always some lame reason or another . . . but basically I didn’t feel that I had accomplished enough with my life to go “show off” at a reunion. My marriage wasn’t happy and I didn’t want to hear how wonderful it was to be married for such a long time when I felt the marriage was a prison sentence. Everyone I went to school with knew I wanted a large family and I didn’t have kids of my own. I had the step kids but it wasn’t the same . . . and I didn’t want to go into all the details of life with the kids and the drama of being a step mom and why the dream of a large family didn’t work out for me. Basically, I felt like a failure. I hadn’t accomplished anything I wanted after graduation and the life I did have was the complete opposite of what I dreamed of for myself.

As much as I didn’t think anybody wouldn’t notice if I wasn’t there, several people did notice that I never went. A couple of good friends always begged me to come and I gave whatever lame reason I had for not going. After the 25th reunion, I promised a good friend that I would be there . . . come hell or high water . . . and that’s when I decided I had to do one of two things . . . accept my life the way it is/was, or do something about it and make some changes . . .

Well, ya’ll know which route I took . . .

I finally feel ready to go to a reunion . . . well, except for the weight that I’ve picked up in the last 30 years!

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Too Much TV

Every night at 7:30, Millie barks and runs to the door.  Since Prince Charming and I are usually doing the dishes after supper, we have no idea what she might be barking at and go check on her.  She’s pacing and dancing at the front door like there’s somebody there.  So we open the door to see if there is someone on the front porch or if she’s heard somebody walking down the sidewalk.

Usually, there’s nobody there.  We tell her she’s a silly girl and she looks at us like we’re crazy.  If she could talk I’m sure she’d say “But, I swear I heard the doorbell.”

This is a new development for her and while it’s amusing to me to play this game with her every so often, I’m kind of curious what’s going on her mind to do this.  Is she feeling neglected and needing attention?  Is she bored and wants Mommy to play with her?  Is she developing some kind of early doggie Alzheimer’s? My doggie mommy worrying has been going off the charts!

Well I got my answer yesterday . . .

We had the TV on in the living room and “Wheel of Fortune” comes on at 7:30 . . . one of the sounds they use at the start of the show sounds a lot like our doorbell . . . and that’s what sets her off . . .

I feel much better now to know that she’s doing what she’s been taught to do . . . let us know if she hears the doorbell . . . and I have to remember to change the channel before 7:30!

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I’m Pretty Sure I’m Gonna Pay For This Someday

Poor Prince Charming has had a cold or a sinus infection of some sort since Sunday afternoon.  My normally chipper and happy boyfriend has not been himself at all.  Now picture my 6’2” boyfriend with watery eyes, a nose that is all red and raw from the cold and is either so cold he is snuggled under a blanket on the couch or so hot he’s walking around shirtless.  I can tell the poor guy doesn’t feel good because he has barely spoken to me in a couple of days.  When he has talked to me, it’s usually in what I call his “Eyeore” voice (Eyeore from Winnie-the-Pooh).

I told you that story so I can tell you this story . . .

The other day I was doing dishes while Prince Charming was in the living room watching TV.

He came into the kitchen for some reason (I don’t remember why) and gets a tissue to blow his nose.

I hear him say (in his best Eeyore voice), “This doesn’t look good.”

I look over to see him standing in the middle of the kitchen with the open tissue in his hand and inspecting the contents.

Pam: (laughing – I couldn’t help it!) “What?”

Prince Charming (still using Eyeore voice):  “This doesn’t look good.”

Pam:  (still laughing) “Then stop looking at it.”

Prince Charming:  “This is gonna be a blog post, isn’t it?”

Pam:  You better believe it!!

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Was That Nice?

Poor Prince Charming has had a really hard time with this cold/sinus infection/whatever it is he’s got. Stuffy nose that suddenly runs like a faucet. He’s used a ton of Kleenex . . . I wish I had stock in the company! Stuffy head complete with pounding headache.

I’ve been trying to take care of him. Make sure he’s got the meds he needs. Make sure his favorite comfort foods are here in the house. Cooking supper and gently reminding him that he needs to eat even if he doesn’t feel like it. Making sure he gets enough rest. Trying to keep the doggies quiet so they don’t wake him up.

You know, the whole good girlfriend routine.

And my payment for such good care . . .

I think I have his germs!

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It’s My Turn

Wow, I really didn’t think that it would happen this fast!

But I have years of experience in dealing with this, so I should be prepared . . .

Unfortunately, my years of experience aren’t going to do me a whole lot of good.  The experience relates to a specific person . . . and that specific person isn’t in my life anymore . . .

So I adapt.  I improvise.  I pray that I am doing all the right things. 

Yep, Prince Charming is sick . . . he has a cold, or severe allergies, or a bad sinus infection . . .

So I have to translate my “Florence Nightingale” routine to fit Prince Charming’s needs. 

Yep, I’m praying that I get it right . . . ‘coz you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

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