Saturday, October 25, 2014

Why I Don't Drink

No, I don't think alcohol in and of itself is bad. So relax. This isn't a a holier than thou blog post.

My dad has been sober for 30 years or so, and I am so proud of him for that.

I didn't purposefully decide, because of my dad's disease, to shun alcohol. Even though I knew that genetically I might be predisposed to a life of addiction.

Throughout my life, I have noticed that I do get addicted to things easily. The hardest one to overcome so far has been, don't laugh, Diet Coke. GOOD LORD ALMIGHTY, that stuff is LETHAL!! I must have tried to quit drinking it 40 times if not 400. But every time I would get this false sense of self-control, and think that I could have just one. I'd think of my friends who live by the motto, "Everything in moderation." If they could do it, why couldn't I? I'll tell you why: There's no such thing as moderation for those who are prone to addiction.

I honestly don't think I would have EVER been able to kick the D.C. habit, had it not been for the blessing of Aspartame poisoning. It caused temporary paralysis on one side of my face, which I didn't link to the Diet Coke, until it happened a second time after a weekend of drinking NOTHING BUT the low calorie beverage. Anyway, it scared me so badly, that I haven't had a drop ever since, and that was three years ago!

Now you'd think I would have automatically deducted that alcohol would be something I personally needed to stay away from, but this was not so.

I remember one time when my sister and I were living together in our early twenties, and she was out of town. I had the thought, It's Friday night, you're all alone with nothing to do and no one to do it with ... why not go to the store and buy a wine cooler? So I did. And I enjoyed it so much, that I did the same thing the next night. When the third night rolled around, and I found myself not only longing for it again, but planning on how I would buy a four-pack instead of just one, I stopped with purse in hand and considered what was happening to me. Did I want to be controlled by this substance? I'd seen what it had done to my dad and our family, so why would I even be willing to risk it? I decided I wouldn't.


Fast forward a few years, and I'm engaged and on vacation with my fiance and his family. One day his folks decide to take the two of us to the Palm Springs Ritz Carlton for lunch.  I KNOW!!  So we go, and I'm offered wine. I accept, because not only am I "safe" with my soon-to-be family, but HELLO??? It's the Ritz Freaking Carlton!!

As soon as I had the first sip, I knew it was a mistake. And yet, when I was offered a second glass, I couldn't seem to refuse. I honestly don't remember if a third glass was involved, but I do remember realizing a few things that day. 

First of all, I'm a light weight. Half a glass would have been PLENTY. 

Secondly, I am extremely chatty after consuming alcohol. My companions were very gracious, but heavens to Betsy I must have been obnoxious if even I knew I was talking and laughing too much!!

Lastly, all I want to do after drinking is SLEEP. Now to be fair, that's all I want to do when I DON'T drink, but that day I found that the desire is definitely more intense after two - three glasses of wine. After lunch, my future husband and his parents wanted to drive around Palm Desert and take in the sights, which sounded like a GREAT idea. Sadly, I ended up passed out in the back seat the whole time. Charming, no?

No.

Sometimes I wish I could handle just a little, but for whatever reason, this is my cross to bear. We all have them, and we can either choose to deny ourselves or live a life that is less than God's best for us.

I've decided that I want His best, and for ME, that means no alcohol.



Thursday, October 23, 2014

Being Falsely Accused of Road Rage

After Megan's volleyball game, she and Amanda begged for a Mc Donald's ice cream cone.

Being the awesome mom that I am, and knowing there was a large iced tea in it for me, I drove to the nearest Mickey D's.

As I was being handed the cones, I saw that our drive-thru, rarely frequented by us, dumped right into a parking lot exit which was backed up with cars that were trying to merge onto a busy street at rush hour.

As we inched to the exit, I noticed that the parking lot drivers were being courteous and doing the "every other car takes a turn" deal.

Until it was MY turn. 

NOW all of a sudden NO ONE will look my way. They all just look straight ahead as if completely unaware that there's a drive-thru AT ALL.

That's when I see another exit about 100 yards beyond the one I'm trying to merge into.

Excellent. If none of these Bozos will let me in their exit lane, CERTAINLY they won't care if I just cross in front of them to exit somewhere else, right?

WRONG.

Why are drivers SO LAME?!  And selfish. Oh my WORD. SO. SELFISH.

I tried my best to get their attention by waving, yelling, and slowly moving forward.

THREE DRIVERS COMPLETELY IGNORED ME.

I realize now as I'm writing this, that three cars doesn't seem like a lot, but you have to understand that it was taking FOREVER to get onto the actual street from the parking lot, so THREE cars seemed like a GAZILLION cars.

So what is a calm and rational mom to do when her yelling and arm waving is getting her nowhere?

HONK. THE. HORN.

Oh yes, I did.

Thankfully, the driver of the car that I was about to t-bone, didn't pull out a gun. She just continued to stare straight ahead. As if THAT'S fooling anyone!! 

Amanda: Mom! Control yourself!

Me: What?! They're all pretending to not see me, so I honked. All I want to do is cross in front of them, but they won't look over here so that I can show them with my arm signals that that's what I want to do!! What is WRONG with people?!?!? To the lady ignoring me: I DON'T WANT TO GET IN FRONT OF YOU!!! I JUST WANT TO CROSS OVER!!! SHEESH!!!

Amanda: Seriously, Mom. You have a problem.

Megan: Yeah, Mom. You're raging.

Me: Raging?!  As in Road Rage?? OH BROTHER!! THIS is NOT Road Rage!! I JUST want to CROSS OVER!!!!!!

Amanda: You should have gone to church with me last night to hear Josh. He talked about how we're only focused on what's right in front of us, rather than everyone else around us that we could be helping.

Me:







Right about then, I see the next driver, waiting two whole car lengths back, to give this lunatic plenty of room to file in line.

I waved profusely as I tried to explain with my hands: See? I just wanted to CROSS OVER. I'M REALLY NOT A CRAZY PERSON!! THANK YOU NICE DRIVER MAN!!

Don't you know, the girls talked about Mom and her road rage all the way home.

All the way.

ALL OF IT.

I finally said, after realizing that they would never let me have my day in court, "You're welcome for the ice cream."

Then they tattled on me to their dad.

I protested. He laughed. 

Whatever.







Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Read this before you leave your family.

Last Sunday a friend from church asked me how my sister was doing. He had traveled with her in a music group 20 years ago, and saw that she had recently been out to California for a women's retreat and just wanted an update. 

One subject lead to another, and before I knew it he was asking about my dad. Asking questions like if I saw him regularly even though he lives in Texas, or if we talk a lot on the phone? When I said, "No" to both questions, he apologized for prying. I assured him it was okay.

And it was okay, but the conversation got me thinking about my life and the choices we make. How we don't live in a vacuum, and that everything we do seems to affect someone else, whether we want to own that or not.

My dad chose to leave us when I was in first grade. 

I realize that his decision making was tainted by alcoholism, but the ramifications of his choice to leave us reached far and wide. His vacancy has affected relationships I've had with others ever since. Always so afraid of being abandoned or discarded. Doing whatever necessary to keep someone from leaving me. Or better yet, keeping them at a safe distance so that it wouldn't hurt as bad when they DID leave.

I realize now how unhealthy that is, and I didn't really intend on sharing that when I started typing, but apparently I was supposed to. Perhaps it will give some insight to my current circle of friends ... DON'T LEAVE ME!!! Ha! Ha! Seriously though ... don't.

Alright. Back to what I originally thought was the point of this post ... 

When my dad left, I'm sure he didn't think that one day he might enjoy having a relationship with me. I doubt he thought much about the future as far as it pertained to his three children. All he could see was the present, and how he wanted out to explore greener grass.

As for me, I never set out to hold a grudge toward my dad, and I honestly don't. I love him, and forgave him years ago. However, when you only talk to someone on the phone twice a year growing up (birthday and Christmas), it's pretty hard to keep a relationship going. Perhaps he wanted to call more often, but maybe didn't know what to say once he did call. So sad. 

I think about my daughters and how blessed they are to have a dad in the home that loves them, and I see what joy they bring to him. My dad missed out on all of that, because of poor choices. And what's worse is that while I love my dad, we don't have a relationship. Not a real one anyway. And that wasn't intentional, it's just what happens when you don't spend time with someone.

So what I'm trying to say to you dads out there (and moms too, I suppose) is that if you're thinking about leaving your family, you really need to consider all of the consequences. Those you leave behind will be scarred forever. If they're believers, they'll have the Lord and His Holy Spirit to fill the void you leave, but their future will be ever altered thanks to your decision. And if you think that someday, after enough water has passed under the bridge, your kids will want to have a relationship with you, you might be sorely mistaken. And how sad would that be? My dad has NO IDEA how TRULY AWESOME I AM. I know that sounds silly and perhaps a tad bit conceited, but I do feel sorry for him. It's just one of the many consequences to the path he chose.

Now all that said, if you've already left your family, this piece is not meant to condemn. I sincerely hope that your scenario ends differently than ours did. God still does miracles.




Monday, October 13, 2014

80's Love

I am thankful for many things. Not the least of which is my love for the 80's: The big hair, obnoxious shoulder pads and killer synthesized music. Pretty sure that will be the decade of choice in heaven.


So apparently I've spoken fondly of this time span on more than one occasion to my girls, because this happened ...

I took Megan shopping for some warmer clothes in preparation for her week of Outdoor Education camp in the mountains.

After showing the dressing room attendant our items, she looked at Meg and said, "Pick any room that suits your fancy."

Meg looked at me and I gave her the Don't say a WORD look.

Once we were in the dressing room with the door closed, she looked at me and whispered mockingly, "Pick any room that SUITS your FANCY." And started cracking up.

Me:  Have you never heard that phrase before?

Meg:  NO! Why, is that a saying from the EIGHTIES???"

Me:  Ha!! No.

Later that night we were sitting at the table with my husband and sister, and Meg wanted to tell them about the oh so hilarious phrase she'd heard earlier that day. After she was done ...

Meg to my sister: My mom's favorite singer from the 80's was called Princess.

Me:  PRINCE not Princess.

Meg: Whatever.


My husband then pointed out that Prince wore enough make-up and feminine clothing to be called Princess. 

It was then MY turn to say, "Whatever."