Tanning Bed Blues

I’m frustrated.

I’m annoyed.

I am drained.

My frustrations with Steph can be summed up by one incident involving a tanning bed.  I cannot tell you how much I loathe tanning beds.  For the record, I have never been to one and there is no way that I would ever go.  But Steph goes.


And it makes me nuts.  She’s an RN for Heaven’s sake!  You would think she would already understand the dangers, and she probably does, but chooses to ignore them.  That’s the worst.  When intelligent people behave stupidly.  I’ve taken to calling it the “cancer bed” when I’m around her because I sound like a broken record every time I get on my soapbox about the dangers.

So, the incident…

There was a time when our friend, B, Steph and I would get together on Wednesday evenings to scrapbook and chat.  We would meet every week without fail.  Rain, cold, sleet, hail- whatever- we would get together.  Then we took a break because life got busy and we had gotten a little burned out on scrapbook, quite frankly.  Our break lasted about a year but lately B and I have started missing our weekly visits.  So, in January the three of us convened at B’s house just like old times.  It was great!

This week I decided that we needed another scrapbook session (at my house) since two months had gone by since our last meeting.  Steph immediately made the excuse that she would not be able to come because Big Red would probably work late.  I told her that I would ask him to come home to watch the kids so she could come over.  “Uh, ok…” was her response.  As if, my request to Big Red was completely absurd.  I agreed that it was a long shot but I figured why not ask and see what happens.

So, I texted Big Red and, much to my surprise, he agreed to come home.  When he arrived home he informed me that Steph was already in bed.  At 8:15 PM…

I sighed but figured that it was typical of her behavior these days.  She’s depressed and I totally understand that given the stress of the impending divorce.  So, I thought no big deal.  She had blown me off many other times when I’ve invited her to do something so this came as no surprise.

Not 10 minutes later, G texted again with the message that Steph was up and was heading to Starbucks for a latte then going to the tanning bed.


So, I asked her if she was coming over and, of course, the answer was no.  She was heading to Starbucks and the tanning bed.

I had specifically arranged for her husband to come home to watch the children (which is pretty much impossible these days) so she could have some free time with her friends.  Instead, she took advantage of the free time and blew me off.


Now, I know there are many, many ways to look at this incident.  The fun activities she used to engage in are less than appealing when her life is in turmoil.  Hanging out with two happily married friends is not her preference.  Scrapbooking happy times when everything in her world is torn apart is not something she can face.

I get it.  I do.  But B and I are the support system that she’s chosen for herself.  She’s involved us.  She has asked for us to be there for her. But when we try to do just that we’re pushed away.

When you deal with almost daily drama from someone, you watch them engage in self-destructive behavior, you are at their beck-and-call for babysitting without so much as a thank you,  and they ask for help but won’t take it, the situation gets extremely old.  Steph does not realize what an emotional roller coaster her divorce has been for me and B.  I care about Steph so much.  I want her to make the best decisions for herself and her children.  But she’s not.  She’s floundering.

She’s being rebellious and self-centered as well.  There are so many other examples I could give but I’m not here to spread her dirty laundry out for the world.  I’m just trying to express my feelings on a situation that is suffocating me.

I need a break from the circus.  I’m tired of trying to reach out to her only to be shot down.  I’m tired of just being the babysitter and dumping ground for drama.  My psyche can’t take much more.

Perhaps I need to revisit my resolution for 2010…

Sorry to unload all of this here but writing about it helps me deal.  *sigh*  I hope to get back to regularly scheduled fun posts soon.


My Personal 2009 Year-in-Review: September-December


The beginning of September saw my return from a long weekend at the Zumba Convention in Orlando.  Steph and I learned a lot of new choreography, worked out to the point of exhaustion and shopped ’til we dropped.  It was a fun weekend.  We even got our photos taken with the creator of Zumba, Beto Perez.

Wildman began his first soccer season in the position of Chief Bird Watcher.  Sometimes he was the Executive Grass Picker.  To say that he was not interested in the game would be a gross understatement.  He loved the idea of soccer.  He loved the social interaction of being on a team.  But the game?  Not so much…

J turned 37 on September 25th.  His brother, his father, his grandfather and Cousin B also celebrated birthdays in September.   It was a busy month!


We spent October having lots of fun play dates and field trips.

We met some old friends from Texas for a day a Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The end of October brought all the fun of pumpkin patches, local fairs, Halloween parties and candy.


Our friend, B’s, birthday was at the beginning of November.  Steph and I took her out to see Legally Blonde, the Musical.  It was wonderful!

The boys and I ventured over to the Lego Store at Downtown Disney on Veteran’s Day.  I don’t have to tell you how awesome they thought that was.  Funny, though.  They didn’t think visiting the new H&M was as exciting…

We watched Space Shuttle Atlantis launch one afternoon at the beach.  It was a lovely day for a launch.  The low, wispy clouds did not impede our view too much.  Once the shuttle broke through the clouds, it was glorious.

The circus came to town in mid-November.  The boys were mesmerized by all of the acts.  However, the motorcycles in the spherical cage and the guy who got shot from a cannon were the most exciting for them.

Turkey Day was spent in Orlando with J’s family.  His aunt and uncle host dinner each year.  J’s parents, his brother, his cousin’s family all meet there.  It nice to see everyone again.  I drove back home after dinner to rest up for a rousing morning of Black Friday shopping!


December was filled with many Christmas activities, as always.  It flew by in a flurry of pine needles and glitter!  My head is still spinning.

My first baby turned 5 on December 21st.  Ugh, my heart breaks when I think of how big he has gotten.  He’s not my tiny newborn anymore, that’s for sure…

We cruised into 2010 with an awesome beach bonfire (where our Christmas tree finally met it’s demise), lighting smoke bombs and small firework fountains in the street and toasting each other at midnight when the ball in Times Square dropped.  It was a quiet but perfect way to ring in the new year.

Happy New Year, everyone!  We wish you great health, good friends and lots of whatever makes you the happiest!!!

My Personal 2009 Year-In-Review: May-August


May brought back our nice, warm weather, cookies at the beach and the end of another year of preschool.

May also brought us our last swim in Ya-ya’s pool.  The sale of her house went through and she closed in June.

I can’t forget Mother’s Day!  We had a lovely brunch at our house that Sunday morning.


June’s sunny skies saw the first of many scoops of dirt that would be excavated for our new pool!  Work began on June 1st.

Cutie Pie and I had a date with Elmo!  So fun!

What I do for one son, I have to do for the other 🙂  Wildman and I went miniature golfing for our mother-son date.

I can’t forget Father’s Day and the boys’ Son of Superdad shirts.  We took J to his favorite wing joint for lunch.

At the end of June, J and Wildman had the honor of being in Ricardo and Karenita’s wedding.  The wedding was wonderful, the reception was a snoozefest and my mom’s drama afterward made the night supremely memorable.


Independence Day was a blast.  Pun intended.  We had a family BBQ then went out on Steph and Big Red’s boat to watch fireworks from the water.

Despite not having our own pool yet, we managed to stay cool in the pools of our friends and neighbors for most of the month.

A day trip to Disney’s Bizzard Beach also helped us beat the sweltering summer heat.  Except it was not so sweltering on the day we went, much to our chagrin…

Mimi (the one on the right) blacked out and hit her head on the ceramic tile in her kitchen at the end of July.  She was rushed to the E.R. in the middle of the night with a massive head wound and an irregular heartbeat.  We were all scared that she was not going to survive the injury.


J and I celebrated our 9th year of marriage with a weekend trip to Orlando where we spent one glorious day at Discovery Cove.  Swimming with the dolphins has now been crossed off my “Things I Want to do Before I Die” list.  Amazing!

The pool finally became swimmable in mid-August!  We were thrilled!

Mimi came home to my mother’s house at the end of August after one month of hospitalization.  She gained a pace maker while there.  Once home, her crippling headache persisted for another month.  I am happy to report that she has since made a full recovery.  Thank GOD!!!  Mimi continues to live with my mom, her sister.  She’s still working at the hospital full time but is not taking on the overtime work that she had been before the accident.  She speaks of the big D when she speaks about the future as it relates to her husband of 30 years.   For once in her 52 years, I think she’s truly happy.  Thank GOD for that too!

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