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Ex#1 Redhead

I Channeled Lucille Ball for my Wedding

April 17, 2011

Last night at the Tribal Blogs Slumber Party we got to talking about bad hair or drunk hairdressers or maybe it was just bad marriages. I’m not really sure because the conversation was going so quickly. Anyway, I mentioned that I looked like Lucille Ball at my first wedding and of course everyone wanted to see a picture.

So I posted this

redhead ranting, Minnesota blogger, wedding disasters, bad hair, don't let your hairdresser drink before he does your hair for your wedding

Because the conversation was going by so quickly and soon enough we were talking about Go-Girls again, I never got to explain why I looked like Lucille Ball for my wedding.

So I will now.

Don’t worry, it’s a short story.

It was a big wedding, since it was my first, and like most brides-to-be I was all about making everything picture perfect. Notice the flowers, aren’t they beautiful? The flowers were the only thing that worked out right at the wedding.

The cake was wrong, I got the wrong wine and never heard the end of it from my father, the dress ripped and of course the husband was completely wrong.

The hair should have gone right.

It didn’t because it was my wedding day that my hairdresser, who had been doing my hair forever, decided to get off the wagon. The bridesmaids and I had all met at my apartment the day of the wedding and had a mimosa. We weren’t pounding them, just one each. Not my hairdresser. He had one drink then another and then a few more by the time he got to my head. My hair was very long, which is why it is piled so much on my head. In order to not have it hanging down the only thing he could do was back comb it and then tightly curl it with a curling iron. I objected though apparently not enough because it was 15 minutes before we were supposed to leave for the church and there wasn’t enough time to fix it.

I spent those 15 minutes in my bathroom crying while my father tried to convince me, through his laughter I might add, that it looked fine. He also mentioned something about Lucille Ball being a beautiful woman at one point which only made me cry more… which made my mascara run.

I had to brace myself so I didn’t fall forward from the weight of all that hair in the front of my head.

The wedding itself went off without a hitch but the reception was overwhelming to me. I suspect I knew I had made a mistake and if I didn’t I surely did when my new husband dropped a ball and chain onto the wedding party table as we were making toasts. I kept my mouth shut, made a toast or two and then headed to the bathroom to take off my pantyhose and shoes which were killing me, if my hair hadn’t thrown me so I would have thought to grab a pair of jeans so I could change into something comfortable, but I wasn’t thinking. I then went down to the pool house where all the wait staff were getting high and hung out with them for the rest of the evening. Interestingly, ten years later I married one of the waiter’s best friend, though he did not introduce us.

So, what wedding disaster stories do you have to share?

 

 

 

 

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Ex Husbands Ex#1

How to Win at Slots

February 23, 2011
A row of "Wheel of Fortune" slot mac...

Image via Wikipedia

A couple of weeks ago I left a comment on Babs’ post about winning at bingo. I hadn’t won at bingo because I don’t play bingo but I had won a small fortune on the slot machines and left a brief synopsis of the story on Babs’ blog.

I hadn’t though about that day in a long time. Partly because it was about 20 years ago and also because even though it was a great win it was also bittersweet.

I’d never won anything before. Okay that isn’t true, I won Dr. Hook’s album A Little Big More when I was about 10 years old. I won it by being the 9th caller to an am radio station. I would not have won it for the fact that I had faked being sick that day and was not at school but instead was at home listening to the radio. I did not stay home because I wanted to listen to the radio to win a Dr. Hook album, I stayed home because there was a math test and I wasn’t prepared for it.

But I am getting off track.

Even though I had actually won something before it wasn’t something that happened very often so when I won at the casino that night it was a big deal.

In a nutshell, my husband at the time (ex#1) and I went to the newly opened Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake, MN. Minnesota had a few casinos in the state but because they had to be on Indian reservations most of them were either way up north or way down south. There weren’t any close until the one in Prior Lake was built.

We went to the casino because it was date night and there wasn’t anything else we wanted to do together. We had been married for just a little over a year but already we hated each other and needed something like date night to make us spend time together. In our short marriage we had already experienced infidelity, cancer and the death of our daughter just two weeks before the casino date night. It was a lame attempt at holding something together that really couldn’t and shouldn’t have been held together. He probably would have agreed to split if I had asked but I wasn’t willing to concede defeat so early on so through sheer stubbornness we went through the motions.

We entered the casino together and then quickly went our separate ways. He wanted to play a game of poker, something I didn’t know how to play, something I had no desire to learn and something I certainly didn’t want to watch him play. In my state of deep depression I just wanted to be alone so I searched for the most isolated slot machine and sat down with my rolls of quarters. I was still a wreck, prone to crying at any given moment so being in a dark and noisy casino was really not a bad place for me if I broke out in tears which seemed to happen without warning. I was playing a progressive slot machine which meant if I bet on all lines of play I could win several different ways so I put 8 quarters into the machine and pulled the lever. I think I won $1 on that first pull which was enough to spur me to put another $2 in the machine and pull again. This time I won more than $1, I won the jackpot. I won $2500 on my second pull.

Alarms and lights started to emanate from my machine which irritated me because while all this racket was going on I couldn’t play the damn machine. I had to wait for an attendant to come and cut me a check because the machine didn’t pay out in quarters that much money and because the IRS wants to know if you win more than $600 at a time. While I waited for the attendant to return with my check I started to play the machine next to my machine ( I wasn’t going to leave my machine until I got my check) and after one pull I won the jackpot again, another $2500. Once again the lights and whistles started coming from my machine. At this point my husband came over to see what was going on and was happy to see that I was having such a great time playing the slot machines (something he had said were for idiots not more than an hour before by the way).

Within about 15 minutes I had won $5000 but it didn’t end there. Because I had to wait by my machines I kept playing the nearest, within arms reach, machine to me and won the jackpot two more times. At this point I was pretty sure luck had nothing to do with it (except for the luck of being on date night with someone I had nothing in common with and therefore ended up at a casino because neither of us had anything against them) the casino had just opened and set the machines to pay out frequently so there were plenty of winners who would go home, tell their friends about the win and they would go down and try to win too. Funny thing was, we didn’t tell anyone about our win for a long time.

Both of us felt guilty for winning at a casino. Not so much the winning but that we were even down there at all. We, or maybe it was just I, felt as if we had no right to be anywhere having any kind of fun at all. It was just me now that I think back on it. I was surprised I had the capacity to smile again (and winning $10k tends to make me smile). When my daughter died I was pretty sure I would never smile or laugh again. I had no idea that time was a hugely powerful thing.

My ex husband and I stayed together long enough to have another child, born almost nine months after the casino win. We stuck it out for another 8 months after that and then called it quits. I have never won at the casino like that again and I don’t expect to either. You can’t win if you don’t play but if you keep playing after a big win you will lose everything back so quit while ahead.

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Ex Husbands Ex#1 Kids

Abby Annette

March 25, 2010

Today would have been my daughter’s 18th birthday.  Not the little one who keeps me on my toes but my first born daughter, Abby Annette.

I was going to write a post like this last year but my son totaled my car four hours after getting his drivers license and I ended up posting about that. You can read it here if you want.

Abby Annette was diagnosed with spina bifida and anencephaly about two weeks before she was born. She never had a chance.

I had been experiencing contractions that were strong enough to bring me to the hospital but like a car that makes a noise until you bring it to the mechanic they stopped as soon as I got to the hospital. After the third trip down there and seeing how big I was the doctor decided to do an ultrasound.

Because I had been down to the hospital so many times, and it was getting to be routine, I sent my husband off to his meeting. I could tell something was wrong by the look on my doctor’s face but he wanted to wait until my husband returned. I’m sure you all know I wasn’t going to stand for that.

I heard the words and the explanation and I understood that my daughter was going to die. I however, was not going to cry at that moment. I would later but I knew if I let go I wouldn’t be able to stop. I bit my lip and started singing a song in my head. A song we must have heard on the way down to the hospital. Justified and Ancient by KLF featuring Tammy Wynette of all things. I didn’t like the song and I could only remember the chorus, and I didn’t quite “get” the lyrics. In fact to this day I have no idea what the song is about. All I know is that it distracted me enough to keep me from losing it.

All bound for Mu Mu Land
All bound for Mu Mu Land
(hey)
(hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land (justified)
(hey hey)
All bound for Mu Mu Land

I thought it was Moo Moo Land. Which struck me as somewhat amusing.

When my husband arrived I told him what was happening. The doctor came in and told us that for now the contractions had stopped but due to the circumstances they wouldn’t try to stop them. They told me I could go into labor at any time. I asked if I could drink and they said yes.

On the way home I made my husband stop at the gas station to pick up a pack of cigarettes for me, then I made him stop at the liquor store.

When we got home we started making phone calls. I made one call. I called my father and told him what was going on. We lived next door to my parents, if I made the call in my kitchen and my father picked up in the kitchen I could see him. I told him what the doctors had told me, that the baby had spina bifida and anencephaly and that she would most likely die within minutes of birth.

My father was a doctor. He questioned me about the diagnosis. He wanted to make sure they had said anencephaly rather than hydrocephaly. Hydrocephaly is an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain, it is a common companion of spina bifida but it is treatable and the baby can live. With anencephaly the child is born without a forebrain and can not live. I explained that I had not gotten the diagnosis wrong.

That was the first time I had ever heard my father use the word “fuck”.

I asked my father to make the calls to the rest of the family. I didn’t have it in me to explain to everyone. I also asked him to tell my mother even though he suggested I do it. I couldn’t deal with her at that moment. My mother had short term memory loss as well as other brain damage from a stroke when she was 29. I couldn’t tell her the sad news and then tell her again and again and then comfort her for not being able to comfort me.

About ten minutes after hanging up with my father my brother called me. He didn’t say much, just that it sucked and then we sat there on the phone for about 15 minutes not saying anything. There was just nothing to say but it was comforting to not say anything with him.

The next night my brother stopped by with a lasagna and his daughter. My husband was the gate keeper and tried to keep them out. His heart was in the right place, he thought seeing my niece, who was only a year old at that time, might upset me. My brother wasn’t having any of it and forced his way in the house. My niece ran into my arms and though I did cry a little it was because she was such a wonderful sight to see. My niece and I had bonded from the moment she was born, I was the first person besides her parents to hold her. I was her aunt Nenny. Seeing her was and always is one of the best things in the world. They didn’t stay long but wanted to stop by to say hi. My brother mentioned that my sister in law was going to stop by a little later.

When my sister in law arrived we sat in the kitchen and smoked and drank. We cried too. I was playing a waiting game and drinking was probably not the best thing considering it relaxed me which prevented me from going into labor. I am forever thankful to my sister in law for sitting with me night after night. She had a family to care for, she had work, she had a life to get to but she spent each night of that week with me.

After two weeks and no contractions my doctor said he could induce labor. He started my on Pitocin. A lovely drug that makes your uterus contract. At the rate they were giving it to me they anticipated I would go into labor in about three days. Three days would have brought us to March 25th which happened to be my husband’s birthday. I suggested we wait a day or two to start the whole Pitocin routine but my husband said he didn’t mind if everything happened on his birthday. He was not convinced that it would necessarily happen on schedule.

The doctors and nurses had briefed us on how the delivery would most likely happen. If the baby was born alive they would do everything to make her comfortable, but the general consensus was that she couldn’t feel anything. They said she wouldn’t be able to live more than a minute or two beyond birth.

The baby had been active the whole time. I could feel her kicking and hiccuping up until the night before I went into labor. I was sitting in my kitchen by myself. I hadn’t felt any kicks for an hour at least. I tried to make her move by pushing on my stomach, something that had always worked before, but it didn’t work this time. I knew she had died. I didn’t tell my husband. I don’t think he was home, but I am not sure at this point. I just didn’t.

The next morning we went into the hospital for another dose of medication and the doctor decided to hurry things up just a bit more by inserting seaweed sticks into my cervix. Apparently the sticks then expand and dilate the cervix causing labor to begin. I’m not entirely sure how they work because as he was inserting them he broke my water. Because of the birth defects I was carrying a lot of extra fluid. As bad as things were at that moment it felt wonderful to get rid of some of the pressure I was feeling.

I was in active labor for no more than half an hour. There were no monitors wrapped around my belly. The whole room was incredibly quiet. After she was born the nurse cleaned her up and took her foot prints. I was checked to make sure everything was okay. At some point the priest from our church came in the room. I wasn’t fully there. I was in Mu Mu Land. Trying to hold it together so I could get out of the maternity ward and go home.

Shortly after a nurse came in and dressed Abby Annette in an outfit with yellow bunnies on it and some booties that had been knit by someone who hung out at the hospital or something like that. I couldn’t understand why she was dressing her up until she pulled out the camera. She posed the baby with toys, in my arms with my husband standing beside me and in several other positions. It was surreal. I didn’t want pictures. The nurse said maybe not now, but one day I might. She took four or five Polaroids and two rolls of film.

I didn’t want pictures. At that moment I just wanted to move on. In my minds eye my daughter was an adorable little redheaded girl. In reality she was not. She had many birth defects that are probably part of the whole neural tube defect. Her spine had not closed, she had very long limbs but this was an optical illusion due to the fact that her head didn’t exist beyond her face.  She had what the nurse called a cleft pallet. In reality she had two mouths. I kept laughing because the phrase a face only a mother could love kept running through my head.

And I did love her. I knew her as only a mother could. I had already planned her life out. She would be smart, funny, beautiful. She would grow up to do the things that she had a passion for. She wouldn’t settle for anything less.

We tried to donate her organs but they were too deformed to be of any use.  After making arrangements with the funeral director we were allowed to go home. Because the hospital was expanding the regular entrance was closed. To get out we had to walk through the children’s hospital, the cancer ward. As bad as things were at that moment I knew they worse for someone else.

The next week, hell, the next month, was a blur. We made all the appropriate arrangements. I received flowers and cards from friends and family and from people I didn’t even know. I received one of the nicest and most heartfelt cards from the cashier at our neighborhood grocery store. The kindness of people never ceases to amaze me.

I held it together for the most part. I was busy making arrangements, canceling my baby shower and just trying to get through each day without screaming at any pregnant women or moms walking down the street with baby strollers. I probably could have used a little therapy at that time.

My husband and I decided to bury Abby Annette in the cemetery where his mother was buried. This was one of the few things that made me happy. I had never met my husbands mother, she died when he was 15, but it gave me great comfort to know that my daughter would be with her grandmother. She couldn’t be buried next to her, she had to be buried in the childrens section of the cemetery but it was close enough. As a mother I felt as if I had let her down. I wasn’t sure what I believed as far as an after life but I felt horrible that I wasn’t there with her to take care of her. I didn’t want to die but I didn’t know how to be her mother given the circumstances. Having her grandmother there helped a lot.

My husband and I didn’t talk about any of this. Our marriage was already ending I just refused to see it. I had held it together pretty well I thought. I knew I would eventually have myself a good cry, maybe for a couple of days, but I wanted to get through all the ceremony first. I didn’t want to make anyone more uncomfortable around me.

We had a small funeral, just immediate family. I don’t recall what the priest said, I wasn’t really listening. I was just singing the Mu Mu song to myself. When my sister in law saw the casket, the tiny little casket, she lost it and started crying. This set me off and suddenly we were both bawling our eyes out. Something my stoic family just didn’t do. Of course it set all the women off who were in attendance.

I don’t remember much that followed the funeral. Life returned to normal for everyone else but me it seemed. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I had quit work in anticipation of being a mom. I could have gone back to work but that didn’t seem like something I was ready to do. I decided to get pregnant again. My husband wanted to wait but I wasn’t going to not be a mother for long if I could help it.

He didn’t understand. When mother’s day rolled around a couple of months later he didn’t get why I was so mad at him for not making any kind of deal about it.

“But you aren’t a mother” was his defense.

I’m pretty sure I was. I gave birth to a child, I named her, I buried her. That makes me a mother in my book. He didn’t understand and really wanted to wait but when we had to put down my dog only a few weeks later I think he knew, as I did, that having another child just might save my life. And it did.

My son was born less than a year later.

If you are still with me I’m wrapping it up.

Like the bag I have of all the cards I received and the rolls of film I never developed I never know where to put her in my life. When people ask me how many children I have, I tell them two. I don’t mention Abby Annette because for the most part it isn’t something I want to explain. It makes people uncomfortable and it makes them sad for me. When I get to know people better I have no problem telling them, it just isn’t something for acquaintances.

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about my first born child. It isn’t something my ex and I discuss but it is a bond that we have between us. My children know they have a sister but it isn’t something that comes up in everyday conversation. Life goes on.

Around the time that Abby Annette died, in fact only a few days before, Eric Clapton’s 4 year old son died when he fell off a balcony. I don’t recall it being in the news at the time, though I am sure it was. He wrote the song Tears in Heaven for his son. That song pretty much sums up everything I have tried to convey here.

And it’s much better than Mu Mu Land.

* It’s funny what no longer seems pertinent but I should say that the neural tube defects could have been caught in a series of tests in the first trimester. I chose not to have the test. I figured I was 25 and healthy and if something was wrong we would deal with it. I never imagined that they would or could discover something like this. I was thinking about Downs Syndrome. I knew if I took a test and it revealed something was wrong I would be faced with decisions I didn’t want to make, nor was I willing to make. When I found out I asked if they terminating the pregnancy was a possibility, if I could have a c-section. I was told that that would be considered a third term abortion which my doctor was not permitted to perform. He could induce labor but he could not terminate the pregnancy. I was also told that a c-section was not a possibility because there was no reason for one. It was shortly, only a few months later, that it became public knowledge that taking folic acid supplement greatly decreased the risks of these kinds of neural tube defects. Now breads and other foods are supplemented with folic acid. I should also note that I had had a miscarriage before this pregnancy. Knowing that, I was put on progesterone to help maintain the pregnancy. I had been on Clomid to get pregnant and I was also on Lipitor at the time of conception. I don’t know if there is any correlation to taking a statin and birth defects but they now they say if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant you shouldn’t take them. While in the hospital I was approached by an ambulance chasing lawyer. I told him to go to hell.

Please don’t feel sad for me. I got 8 1/2 months with my daughter which is something no one else had. If this hadn’t happened I would not have my son who was conceived five weeks after Abby’s birth. I don’t know why things happen I just know that sometimes they do. I have been blessed with two wonderful children and I have an angel looking over me. Not everyone can say that and I feel pretty lucky.

One more side note. When the diagnosis was made my brother suggested that I shouldn’t bother playing the lottery since I already hit my one in a million chance on something. Actually the odds were much better something like 1 in a 1000 if I recall correctly. In those five weeks between pregnancies my ex and I went to the opening of a casino in our area. I hit the jackpot three times winning over $10k. I haven’t bothered to play ever since.

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Blogging Ex Husbands Ex#1 Ex#2 Kids People Things I Really Like

Meet the Family

December 1, 2009

Some of you may have noticed that I rarely have pictures on my blog. I take pictures and I even upload them to my computer however I have yet to organize them and label them with names and dates (I know, big surprise).

After two years of writing about them I thought it might be nice if you had some faces to put to the characters. I say characters because if you hadn’t noticed I haven’t named anyone but the dog before.

Without further ado I introduce to you my family:

Alex is the only non redhead in the family. Until he started dyeing it that is.

Alex and his cousins who love each other dearly

Alex and his cousins. There is a shot of the three of them just before this picture was taken where they are all hugs and smiles. I don't know who set it off, probably the middle one.

Alex on his big boy bike

Alex on his big boy bike. This is Ex#2's bike, we had just started dating. Alex had just broken his finger for the second time while out with his dad (ex#1).

Help

Help. My mother bought this tutu for Maddie. She did so because when I was her age my father bought one for me. I have a picture of it somewhere. My mother thought every little redheaded girl needed a pink tutu. My brother's daughters all got one too. Maddie is the only one who still wears hers. All the time.

Stop taking pictures of me

This is Stanley, the Bassador. Dumb as a box of rocks.

Mmmmm bagel and cream cheese

Mmmmm bagel and cream cheese. She still eats this way.

Mmmm spaghetti

Mmmm spaghetti. See. Messy Maddie. That's the Sponge Bob blankie which is just about to retire for good.

Alex and his hair

Alex and his hair. Luckily this phase has passed. But not before he learned how to dye it different colors.

Harley Girl

Same bike, that's ex#2 on the right, ten years later and instead of dating we are divorced but he's still hanging out in my backyard for some reason.

#62

#62 That's my baby. Tallest kid, longest hair.

Still not out of the hair phase but getting close

Alex and his girlfriend of two years. They've been dating longer than most of my marriages.

It's a little snowman

This was back in September. We haven't had a bit of snow since then. Weird, must be global warming.

Alex, Mom and Maddie '07

Alex, Mom and Maddie '07

I am the official picture taker in our family and there are only three pictures of me because of it. This is the only picture I have of all three of us together.  The boy has cut his hair so it is just below his ears, he is now a lean mean fighting machine and probably another two inches taller. He isn’t nearly as bored as he looks here. Daughter can still wear this dress but it is a tad on the snug side and a little short to be worn in mixed company. I was trying something different with my bangs at the time of this picture.

I hope you enjoyed meeting everyone.

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Ex Husbands Ex#1 Ex#2 Things I Really Like

How Big Is Your Condom?

October 26, 2009

largecondom

Today I stopped at Walgreen’s to pick up a prescription.

I have a thyroid disorder, I take a synthetic hormone replacement. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease when I was 18 or 19. The dose has rarely changed except after the birth of each of my children. I take one pill each morning and never think about it again.

When I stopped at Walgreen’s to pick up my Rx I was told that my doctor had denied my refill. No explanation just flat out denied. Both the pharmacist and I thought this was strange. She checked all my information and it was correct. I was not due to visit my doctor for any tests so this was rather strange until she mentioned the name of my doctor. Wrong doctor. This explains why the medication was denied. Apparently last time it was refilled my doctor was not in the office and another doctor okayed the refill. Why the current refill was not passed along to my doctor I don’t know and after last week I don’t really care. The refill was resubmitted and the pharmacist gave me a few pills to get by until the doctor okayed the refill.

But that isn’t what I’m talking about today.

While I was waiting for the pharmacist to gather my meds I browsed around a bit. I was over by the shaving cream section and noticed by the men’s grooming products there were condoms for sale. This was not the condom section just a little suggestive selling on the part of Walgreen’s. As in “Hey, you’re going to shave why not get some Magnum condoms while you’re at it?”

I have to wonder how many men buy the Magnum condoms because of wishful thinking? And how many pregnancies were caused because it slipped off due to poor fit.

32I’m no expert but most guys are average. Ex#1 had extra length, painfully long, but disappointing girth. Ex#2 was average on length and girth. Both were convinced they were hung like horses. They weren’t. I went out with a guy for a few years who was. Too bad he was lacking in most every other quality. I also went out with a guy who must have been using steroids because it was hard to find. And to look at the guy you would have thought he was in the horse league. He was a nice guy, a little on the clingy side, which was the nail in the coffin. I could make due, reluctantly, with his shortcomings but the clinginess was too much.

So, if you are a guy, do you buy condoms because they are large, regardless if you need large ones, or do you buy the size that fits? Is finding your condom size like getting a bra fitting? Does the manager from the drug store take you to a back room, pull out a tape measure and ask you to drop trough? I really need to know.

*You could have posts like this automatically if you subscribe to my feed.

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