Friday, August 31, 2007

Morality Tale

Lawyer Mama just posted an interesting exercises from an ethics class she recently took. She challenged readers to rate the characters in the tale from the best to the worst, 1 being the best, 5 being the worst, and to do it without readings anyone elses's replies first.

Here is the tale:

Nicole and Stephan are very much in love. They want to be married and stay together for all of their lives. Unfortunately, they are separated by a deep, swift flowing river, in which there are alligators, and neither is a good swimmer.

Nicole sees Robert standing next to his boat on her side of the river. She goes to Robert and asks him to take her across the river so that she can be with Stephan. Robert replies that he will do so only if she sleeps with him. Desiring to remain faithful to Stephan, Nicole refuses.

Looking around, she sees Stephan's friend Earnest nearby, and goes to ask him for help to get to Stephan. She tells Earnest the situation, but he turns and walks away saying that he is too busy to become involved.

Still wanting to get across the river to be with Stephan, Nicole returns to Robert and pleads with him to take her across the river, but he stands firm. Finally Nicole relents and sleeps with Robert, who then takes her safely across the river to Stephan.

Nicole then relates the story to Stephan. When Stephan learns what has happened, he tells Nicole that she has prostituted herself, and he wants nothing more to do with her; and he walks away.

Nicole is brokenhearted. As she is walking home reflecting on her experience, she meets her friend Donald. He asks her what is wrong, and she tells him the whole story. Donald is incensed. He finds Stephan and beats him up.


The Characters:


*The Sad Saga of Nicole and Stephan was originally written by Anina Klein, MSW, with editorial support from Alan M. Lerner.*

My ratings and rational:

5= Stephen. All right, I'm thinking this has to be the popular choice for the big baddie of the tale. Stephen is a complete jack-ass. I mean, Nicole exhausts all of her options before sucumbing to her only choice to be with the man she loves, and he's going to punish her for it? After all, what was he doing on his side of the river? A whole lot of nothing. I mean, the guy can't build a raft? Frankly, I would have knocked him out cold, thrown him in the canoe, and sent him to the gators. Lunch time you ungrateful toad.......

4= Robert. #2 slime ball for sure. I mean, asking someone to violate themselves for a boat ride is low. Like something out of Deliverance low.

3= Earnest. He's Stephen's friend and he can't help get his girl across the river? Especially knowing her only other option is to sleep with slime ball #2? I mean, what exactly is Earnest so busy with anyways? Seems to me he's just hanging out by the river anyways. Lame.

2= Nicole. All right, even though she had a justifiable reason, she still compromised her own moral code for a boat ride. While personally I feel the ends do justify the means, she did still sell herself out without waiting to see if Stephen could get his act together on his side of the river to cross over himself. Besides, Robert and Earnest can't be the only two guys in the world with a boat right?

1= Donald. What can I say. Frankly I've always felt a true friend is someone who's willing to kick a little butt for you. Don't tell my kids I said that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

How NOT To Get Close To Your Husband

In a recent personal exploration, I found a few key ways NOT to to bring your distant husband closer to you. In order to save someone else from the same arduous ordeal, I thought it best to share my findings.

Top Ways NOT to Bring Your Husband Closer To You:

1.) Do NOT nag, nag, and nag some more about what is bothering him. Going about it this way will only cause your distant husband to push you further away.

2.) Do NOT ask him if he's been avoiding you becasue you've gotten so fat. Do NOT continue by pointing out in pounds and inches how much weight you've gained over the past year.

3.) Absolutly, positivly, do NOT ask him if he's seeing someone else. This will cause said husband to question your sanity, and not only not touch you, but not speak to you for a while either.

4.) Do NOT threaten to throw his computer out the window if he stays on it one more minute to game online.

5.) Do NOT obssess over every unspoken word, every phone call, every missed kiss godd-bye.

Effective Methods To Actually Bringing Your Husband Back To Your World:

1.) DO be understanding when he's had a tough day at work. Allow him some peace and quiet.

2.) DO understand that online gaming, or other activities, are a way for him to de-stress, not avoid you.

3.) DO try to discuss what's bothering him, but don't push when it's clear he doesn't want to talk about it.

4.) DO let him know how you're feeling, but not in an accusitory way.

5.) DO make an effort to find ways to spend time together without the kids, to be grown-ups together. Don't bring up stressful topics at this time, but focus on appriciating each other.

6.) Do understand that he stresses out about things just as much as you do, but that he processes things in different ways. Don't take it personally.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Basement Dwellers: Update

Today I ambushed Basement Dweller Z, as I have been doing diligently for the past week or two. The encounters usually go something like this:

*Z skulks up from the basement, hoping not to be seen. I greet him in the kitchen, ignoring his deer-caught-in-the-headlights look*

Me: So Z, looked at any apartments?

Z: As in actually been inside them? No.

Me: So, did you at least check CraigsList, the paper, anything? Any good apartments?

Z: Ahh yeah, some good apartments out there. Looking good.

Me: Uh-huh *rolling eyes*

So, today, I ambushed him once again as I was doing laundry. Z let me know that he had quit the job he just started two days ago. Apparently someone reprimanded him for reading a book on the job. He thought that was a jerk thing to do, and walked out. I clenched my fists, and resisted the urge to alternately claw his face off, rip his head off, and spit down his neck.

After a few moments of Lamaze breathing, I approached the apartment question. Here, I was pleasantly surprised. He informed me that they planned on moving out by brother E's next paycheck. I let out a squeal of glee. Of course I apologized, but in a very half-assed way. He assured me they were eager to leave as well. I told him I was glad the feeling was mutual.

So, maybe if I'm a very good girl, the Gods will see fit to smile upon me and grant me this elusive promise of people moving out of my home. Please Gods please. I will sacrifice, pay homage, dance naked, whatever it takes! Be merciful! Today I bought a 12 pack of toilet paper. Deliver me from evil!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wonderfully, Chilling Challange!

I just stumbled across a fabulous challenge that's right up my ally! For anyone who loves scary stories and horror books, Check out Stainless Steel Droppings for the R.I.P II reading challenge. I'm know I'll be going for it. The hardest part will be which great new creepy tales to read....

School Daze

It's almost that mystical, magical time of year- The start of the school year!

Most parents of school-age children approach this time with a mixture of apprehension...and sheer joy. Apprehension over the new teacher, the new materials, the new kids in their class, etc. Sheer joy over the banishment of summer camp fees, and early mornings trying to throw together an impressive bag lunch for the latest summer field trip.

For our family, this school year represents two, very profound milestones. The first, is that K, my baby will be going to kindergarten. This officially makes both of my children school-aged, in school, full-time, big school, school attendees. It makes me feel both old and sad. How on earth did I get to be old enough to have two kinds IN SCHOOL? Oh yeah gods, I'm a mom, a truly, true to life mom.

It's always a little disorientating when these "mega-mom" moments hit. I mean, of course I realize I'm a mom every day. I'm a mom when I carefully apply After Bite to each and every one of my children's bug bites. I'm definitely a mom when I find myself patiently instructing my son on the proper to technique to wipe his backside (something he still hasn't quite mastered at 7 *sigh*). I'm a mom when I do laundry and make dinner after a full day of work. I'm a mom when I softly kiss smooth foreheads at bedtime and feel my heart swell each and every time. However, there are always events and occurrences that hit you harder, make you pause and take a moment to fully feel the magnitude of your mom-ness.

I admit, having K enter kindergarten this year has caused me a surprising amount of anxiety. This will be G's third school year in this particular school, and has escaped each year whole and happy. K even has the same kindergarten teacher G did, and we loved her. Why is then that I find myself hyperventilating when I think of K getting onto the bus herself (kindergarten has it's own bus, so she won't be able to ride with G)? Why is it that I worry that K, my little warrior princess, my stupendous social butterfly, will have a hard time going to a new school and making new friends? I try to tell myself I'm being completely irrational, but these nagging doubts remain, lurking just under the surface as I shop for a new pink backpack, glue sticks and pencils.

The second milestone may not seem as momentous in comparison, but it will represent some huge changes around out house all the same- We've officially left our daycare, and will have a neighbor girl watching K and G after school. This girl is the daughter of a close neighbor of ours, and since she will already be watching her younger brother, a close friend and classmate of G, our families agreed that it would be a perfect arrangement for her to watch G and K after school until I get home from work. Since I have Mondays off, and Generous Husband has Tuesdays off, and possibly Thursdays soon, neighbor girl A will only have to watch the kids two or three days a week. This arrangement equals a few important changes:

1. The kids will be able to be home after school and relax, rather than transitioning to the hectic scene of after-school care after a long day of school.

2. My commute home will shorter minus the stop at the daycare, which equals more quality time with the kids.

3. We will be saving TONS of money. This means less stress and more opportunities to do all of the fun stuff we've been putting off for so long.

All of these things combined equals a healthier, happier home life for all of us.

All of these new changes all at once may be a bit hard to digest. They may require a cocktail to chase away the anxiety, and the purchase of a trashy tabloid (which I may now be able to afford :) ) to distract from panic attacks, as K's first day of kindergarten approaches. It may require a tight leash on the credit card and Amazon account when I'm caught up in the fever of extra spending money, and my long wish list of new books.

All that aside, things will work themselves out, as they always seem to have a way of doing in the most unexpected ways. I'll just keep my seat belt on, and try to remember to enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Basement Dwellers

There are people living in my basement. Three, fully functioning, grown people are living in my basement. They use my hot water. They use my electricity. They use my toilet paper! They take up my metalsmithing studio, and litter my backyard with cigarette butts. They leave hair in my shower drain, and clothes in my washer. They have been there for two months, and show no signs of leaving.

How, may you ask, did I end up in this predicament? My super generous husband.

Several months ago, Generous Husband casually asked one night, if it would be all right if his good friend Z could stay with us for a wee bit if he needed to. When I asked why he would need to, Generous Husband told me Z was having difficulties with his apartment, and may need to leave abruptly, before he could find another apartment. Generous Husband said this was an unlikely possibility, but he wanted to ask anyways. I told him I thought this would be fine, as I knew Z, and thought he would be a fine house guest.

Weeks went by, and no mention of Z was made again, and it all but faded from my mind. The, out of the blue, GH announced that Z and his brother, E, would be coming over to discuss staying with us. It was so sudden, my brain barely had time to register- brother? Oh yes, said GH, don't you remember I said Z's brother would be staying here too? Flabbergasted, I insisted that was a detail I would have been sure to remember.

So, put on the spot, I opened the door to find Z, Z's brother E - and E's girlfriend! E's girlfriend??? Yes, even my darling GH was taken aback by that addition. E's girlfriend, V, assured us that she wouldn't be staying with us, only visiting once in a while. I had my doubts about "once in a while", but bit my tongue, oh so generously.

The next day, despite my hysterical misgivings the night before, Z and E moved into our basement. It was at this time that I discovered Z and V didn't have jobs, only E. It was at this time that my hysterical misgivings became a full blown aneurysm.

This was nearly two months ago. In this time, GH and I have fought more than in our entire marriage combined. I beg GH to tell the basement dwellers to get the hell out; GH tells me I'm overreacting, that they haven't been here that long, We argue over each other's definitions of "not that long". While we argue, somehow V has migrated into our basement as well, holing up with the other two.

In this time, they haven't given us a dime, bought a roll of toilet paper, or even cleaned up after themselves without a good amount of snarking on my end. GH is still baffled as to why I'm upset. I tell him it's simple math: 5 adults + 2 kids + 1 bathroom +no money = a neurotic, stressed out, Sarcasta-Mom!

Z assures me that by September 7th they'll have enough money to start really looking for a place. Looking????!!!!! In the meantime, my parents refuse to visit, as their guest room is occupied. I spend my days choking on bile of pure rage, desperately avoiding fights with GH the best I can. I still slip. I still tell GH that he's making my life miserable by refusing to help me oust the freeloaders in the basement.

I think it's time to take up drinking. Unfortunately, I only have enough money to cover toilet paper.