Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Twinsday Wednesday: Best Edition Round 3

Ok, so I know I'm keeping you in suspense over the shop.  We're going to have to do some serious purging before we make some headway and my mother is making me want on pictures.  (I'll try to sneak some on Instagram.)  Today we're doing the Best Edition again, so let's fly through this so I can go get my hands dirty!

CASEY

Best...Wardrobe Staple:  I'm pretty sure we've answered this before, but I think we can have more than one staple right?  How about a good jacket?  I have this yellow peacoat I got from Old Navy a couple of years ago and I adore it.  It fits well, it looks great on me and it's warm.  I don't really have much use for a thick coat down South but I use it whenever I can.

Best... Inspiration: 
A good dream!  I have some wacky dreams but they're vivid and detailed and I can remember them well.  That or any of my numerous magazines.  Or talking with my mom and sister.  None of our styles are similar but we know enough about everything to snowball a good idea.

Best... Quiet Place:  the shower.  The noise and hot water drown everything out.  It's a good place to think or not think.  Which, of course, doesn't last long because my mom trained me into a very short shower time.

Best... Pick-Me-Up:  A good laugh attack.  No question.

Best... Hidden Talent:  I can sound like Shakira.  When I sing Hips Don't Lie.  Jamie knows. 

Best... Adventure:  Um...Vegas so far.  But the Real Suburbia/Happy Girl Southern Summer Road Trip is going TO BE AMAZING.

JAMIE


Best...Wardrobe Staple: Anything that fits really well. Whether it is a great pair of pants, a wrap dress, or a stunning pair of heels, something that makes you feel fabulous is always a staple.

Best... Inspiration:
I find inspiration in a lot of things. It could be a shade of blue on a stranger's handbag or a blooming flower, inspiration hits me in all things. I am always looking for ideas for anything, be it an old table or a hairstyle.

Best... Quiet Place: My bed. I lay in bed an hour or so, before I go to sleep as a gift to myself. That's when I can evaluate the day, hunt for solutions to my problems or calm my mind(which is not ever completely calm). It also helps that Justin falls asleep much quicker than I do, because if he's still awake, he wants to relive the day with me and discussing it right before bed isn't always a good thing.

Best... Pick-Me-Up: COFFEE!!!!!!! I love coffee. I love it when I'm mad, sad, tired, happy; coffee is my pick me up. Or a really good song, like, Hurt So Good by John Mellencamp.

Best... Hidden Talent: There's a bone below your thumb knuckle that I can pop on myself or just about anyone. Don't attempt it on yourself or on my husband. It's like I've broke his thumb.  Otherwise, I'm pretty good at translating people's ideas into my husband's work. Trust me, that's not easy. It's like speaking two different languages.

Best... Adventure: Every adventure I have been on has been it's best in it's own way. I've seen the Pacific Ocean, something I never would have expected. I've been 1037 feet underground, trekking for miles in New Mexico and I've zip lined down Freemont Street in Vegas. They all have a very special place in my heart, and I hope to see more. There's a plan for that this summer!
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

To Drink or Not Drink

     I was thirteen when I had my first drink of an alcoholic beverage. I went to a party with my first real boyfriend(who was a bit too old for me), and my smart ass mouth got me into a drinking contest with a guy much older, much heavier and much more prepared for the battle. To my surprise and pleasure, I kept up with that drunken baboon, in front of a crowd of people betting against and for me. I didn't feel drunk. I didn't feel anything really. I remember getting in the truck and telling my boyfriend to turn on the heater. My ill prepared self wasn't aware that heat isn't good after too many beers and I threw up in the truck.
     I was pretty regular when it came to drinking as a young teenager. I stayed with my cousin a lot and my mother was none the wiser. Vodka and orange juice, really vodka and anything was my choice of drink and I found myself feeling very sophisticated about it all. Then one night at a party at my cousin's house, a few years later, I was way under the influence, puking in a bathroom while everyone was laughing at me. I stopped drinking alcohol.  
     Now, my father, his father and mother, and almost every person in my surviving family had a drinking problem, with the exception of my mother. My mother was anti-alcohol in every way possible. You could drink outside all you want, but you were not allowed to bring alcohol inside the house. I remember, at around 14, we came home and my mother was sunning in the pool with a bud light. What was going on, was everything alright?! We couldn't understand it. She never finished that one beer. Being raised anti-alcohol and seeing the effects alcohol had on the person drinking and the surrounding people was enough to prove a point as I got older. Things are said that shouldn't be said, body language misconstrued into hostility, voices raised where there was no need. Why would you drink something that made you hateful, hurtful, and sick at the end of it. 
     My husband and I had parties when we lived in town, before our daughter, that involved board games or dominoes with too much liquor and beer. I'd play around taking sips here and there, pouring my drink out when no one was looking. I finally quit playing the game. I got nothing from drinking or being around people who were buzzed or drunk. It all reflected on how I was raised. My father's love for it and my mother's disdain for it. 
     I can't choke down a beer these days. I can drink a Long Island iced tea with pleasure, until it's over. Then I carry a guilt that I'm not completely in my head and I chose to escape into a drink, like so many people in my life chose too. My daughter, be it good or bad, has a hatred towards alcohol that I'm sure I taught her.  
     A very good friend of mine told me to try and keep her away from alcohol until she's twenty five. Studies have shown that both the brain and the body are more likely to dislike and be less receptive to the effects of alcohol, thus stopping a problem before it starts. I believe it is a genetic trait, because even at my lowest, crying with an empty bottle of wine, I can feel my body resenting the intrusion of a cloudy mind and body. I hope it's one of the few genes I've passed on. 
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thursday I'm In Love v22.0

Ok.  So.  Next Tuesday I'm headed to my mom's for a week.  And for this week's TIIL, I'm needing some opinions.  Let's rewind.  My parents have a shop.  It was my dad's shop where he kept all the paint and equipment for their business and where...well..all the men hung out and talked about guns and drank.  Now that my parents have split up and they each have their own businesses, there are no more men and guns in the shop, just my mom's paint and equipment which only takes up a small corner in the shop.  Here's where I turned into a dog with a bone.  I want to turn that dusty, sad square into a gorgeous, chic, feminine studio.  And I'm forcing Jamie into helping me.  Oh yes.  Twisting that broad's arm.  I've been super pumped about this 160 square foot cube for almost a week now.  Really, what I'm saying is I would rather do spring cleaning around my mom's property than in my own house.  But that's besides the point.  And here I would have to do it alone.  Out there, I can make Jamie do it with me.

My mom is asking us to allocate a space for her stuff, which of course we're doing because it is her shop, but we're going to really do an overhaul.  My mom has a dumpster I plan on filling, Jamie knows whether paint is good or gone bad, we both were bred for manual labor and it has electricity so we can listen to music while we work.  I plan on maybe vlogging this process with Jamie, but don't expect some DIY Network/HGTV beautiful made-up women with a 50 man crew behind them.  We want you to see that you can do the hard work all on your own, as a woman and create exactly the space you want, all for little cost.   I have a ton of crafting stuff, my mom's old teacher's desk, Jamie's sewing machine and all the awesome things she's hoarding collecting.

I started a board on Pinterest called Ginger Siren Studio (which you can follow and is also my experimental name for this project) with some ideas on how I want it to look.  Right now, it's just a square metal building, the walls are coated in foam insulation and there's electricity run to it.  There's two doors, two windows, and a little bit of a carport.  I'll definitely show you pictures next week as soon as I get in on Tuesday.  Here's where I need your help.  These are just what I've found but what I'm working towards.  My mom has 20 acres out there and her land is on the corner of two roads that form a T.  I want people to drive by and wonder what that building is.  I want it to POP.  This has the potential to be a little time consuming but I really hope you follow us into turning it into reality and actually building a brand and a future for us.  Because let's face it, we're unicorns.  And we're magical.
A.

B.

C.
I just love this in general so I wanted to show you.

So, stay tuned for more on Tuesday.  Follow us on Instagram for a better look.  And wish us luck.  And as little pain as possible.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Twinsday Wednesday: Finish The Sentence - Round 3

In honor of spring cleaning, which I hardly ever do but plan on doing in the next week or so (once I kidnap Jamie and make her help me), we found some FTS about organizing.  I'll admit, I'm not so organized and hoarding runs in our family.  So, just give us a break and take a break from the Windex and feather dusting to do these prompts with us and with Adrian over at The Happy Girl Blog for a fun weekly link up!  Just steal our button from the bottom of the page and I'll work on getting it on the sidebar.

CASEY

  • The most organized part of my life is...um...um..well...*cringe* my computer.  I have folders for everything.  I don't like a messy desktop.  On a computer.  My actual desk?  Wreck City, population: 137 murdered envelopes.  OH!  Also, my fridge decorations.  All of my magnets, fun fotos, and Wilder's art have their place.  I'll show you one day.
  • The most disorganized part is...my car!  I can't keep that sucker clean.  It's literally the hardest thing for me.  Between me, Wilder and our long drives, it holds: straw wrappers, six pairs of shoes between us, DVD cases, four of my jackets, a bunch of antlers that I have yet to use in a project, two huge hats we took to Galveston, a bunch of mail and crumbs out the wah-zoo.  It's embarrassing.  But I may be getting a new truck on Tuesday so I can just quietly say good bye to Towanda 2 and all her mess and welcome (maybe) Towanda 3 to my mess.  If you don't get that, my past three cars have been named Towanda.
  • I get motivated to declutter when...I move?  That's how I purge usually.  That or my life is in disarray and I feel like decluttering my closet or dressers will make me have some sort of control.  But really, moving.  We moved 6 times in almost 8 years, so I have a good purge every...year or so.
  • I need to give myself permission to get rid of... OLD MAGAZINES.  I can't do it!  I keep them like they're worth something.  They're stashed everywhere in my house.  I always say I need to keep it for an article or for something I liked or because I'm going to give it to Sarah or Jamie.  But...I currently have six on my table by my chair, three on the coffee table and my island is swarming with them from my scrapbooking.  And I have five in my car...

JAMIE

  • The most organized part of my life is... My silverware drawer. That's it. I have an organized chaos everywhere. Drill heads in ice trays in a cabinet meant for Julia's artwork, seeds in a container in my pantry, I mean I've got stuff everywhere except my silverware drawer. 
  • The most disorganized part is... Ugh, my spare bedroom. Am empty room justifies me keeping leftover lamps, old trunks, a mantle for a fireplace I no longer have, etc. To put an end to me using a hidden away room, I'm knocking a wall down. In the end I will have an open bigger living room with a Murphy bed and built in cabinets for storage. Wait, I'm still making room for my junk...oh well. 
  • I get motivated to declutter when... It's actually like a spider falling on you. It's sudden panic and a mad dash to get it off you. And then when it's over, there's a sigh of relief. 
  • I need to give myself permission to get rid of.. Nothing. I'm keeping my stuff. That's why I have it, because I want it, it has a purpose, and it makes me happy. God, I sound like a woman on an episode of Hoarders, don't I? Once again, oh well. 

 
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Monday, April 7, 2014

What Fried Green Tomatoes Taught Me

Did you ever see Fried Green Tomatoes?  The 1991 classic starring Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson and Mary Louise Parker?  I remember the first time I watched it.  It was in our old house (the one that burned down).  I didn't completely grasp it like I do now, but it still resonated with me.  I learned a lot from that movie.  I know it's a book, but I loved the movie so much that I didn't want to read the book which is a rare case for me.  Let's discuss.


My daddy always used to say there was a separate god for children. - Ruth
This line didn't really matter to me until I had a child.  I think it's so true.  Like Jamie mentioned yesterday about Chewy's innocence.  Children are born into the world with no negative marks on their soul.  They don't know evil, tragedy.  They're human silver linings, from the very beginning.  New and fresh.  Maybe a separate god isn't the right way to say it, but I think...I think that there has to be a different force for children.  I don't like to think of a vengeful god as it is, much less one that would strike down on children.  Right now, Wilder is out playing on the back porch with the water hose and he's laughing so loud and obnoxiously, much like myself.  In any gods' eyes, he would be pure and light.  Most adults aren't considered that way.

-Ninny Threadgood
Ninny tells this to Evelyn.  I think anyone who has ever loved someone knows exactly how this feels.  A broken heart, it can make you feel like you're dying, even though you're perfectly alive.  No one ever expects to get their heart broken and there's really no way to prevent it or wholly protect it.  I think about Wilder getting older and falling in love with whomever, and I know he'll get his heart broken.  Young love is like that.  I wouldn't want him to be guarded and put walls around his heart, I don't even know how I would broach helping him get through heartache.  Young love is the worst, because you really do feel like there's no coming back, when in all honesty, it's mainly hormones.  When Ninny is talking about it, she tells Evelyn about Idgie's brother, Buddy dying too soon, and about her own son who died in his 30's when the doctor's didn't think he would make it as a baby.  Our lives are wracked with loss throughout our existence and sometimes we forget that we are the ones still living.


Ok.  I prefaced that to lead to this.  This is major for me.  I'm not a religious person, by any means.  I did attend church as a child, I've been baptized, I was in choir.  I have two bible verses that I just love.  One is Jeremiah 29:11.  This is the other.

It's an obituary...oh no, honey, Ruth's mother died.  And this is from the Bible, it's from the Book of Ruth.  And Ruth said: "Whither thou goest, I will go.  Where thou lodgest, I will lodge.  Thy people shall be my people." - Mama Threadgoode
This is Ruth 1:16.  I remember hearing it for the first time.  I get chills now.  When I have a bad day, this is on a loop in my head.  We are a small family.  We are all we have.  And I've moved so many times.  Maybe it's because I'm a twin.  But when I see or hear this, I immediately want to be with my mom and sisters.  Jamie and I have never lived in the same town really.  Neighboring towns, but still never in the exact same town since we graduated.  Sometimes I feel like a rubberband.  Or a yo-yo.  No matter how far I get pulled away, I'll always be back.  And I will always have those few people I will go back to.  That I will follow and I will be with.  Those people will always be my people.  

When Ruth sends Idgie this letter with this verse, it's because she knows Idgie will come for her.  That sometimes you get yourself into situations that you can't get out of on your own.  That in everything life throws at you, sometimes there is one person you know you can count on.  That won't give you grief, that won't judge you, that's there just for you and only with good intentions.  


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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Where's Your Head At?

     Forgive the title to this post, if you're one of those people who gets songs stuck in their head. I'm a bit overwhelmed lately and I'm sure it's been showing. Between jobs, finding jobs,Instagram, Facebook, divorces and trying to survive, I've been stretched pretty thin. Plus, I worry a lot. In general, for no particular reason or for every reason I can conjure up. So let's talk about happy things. I learned years ago, it's better to write down what I'm feeling, why I'm feeling it, and in a few cases how to cope with it. Writing happy things helps.
                 Jamie's Happy List
1. Ju. We named her Julia because it was something that started with a J, like mine and my husband's names, it was impossible to make fun of, and to me, it sounded regal. When they brought her to me, my father said, "She looks like a little juju bean." All wrapped in pink, and screaming, she did. So she was nicknamed Ju. She's a beautiful, magnificent creature. My half monkey, mostly her father, child is a blessed torture. I worry about her grammar, her usage of words beyond her reading level, her hopes and dreams, and the choices she will make. As she is now, she's innocence and glory at it's finest, talking to geese, calling her cousin like as if he were a dog, and eating with abandon. 
2. Justin, my pain in the ass. He understands me, aggravates me, and can carve out intricate missing details for me. 
3. Casey. Yes, Casey. I can feel ten feet under and in two seconds flat with Casey, I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe. Laughing so hard I can't even make a noise. And laughing for no reason. She just makes me happy. 

4. The smell of rain. I can feel it and hear it coming, but the smell is the smell of new, clean starts. I cried the day I walked outside with Ju and she stopped, threw her head back with her eyes closed and announced she could smell the rain. It was exactly how I feel, in perfect form, at the smell of rain.
5. My animals. All of them. From my minion chickens, to my dogs, they all have their own personalities and they delight me. My gander goose adopted three goslings I brought home to him. The bastard has loved me and never hissed or bit at me until I gave him babies. My Little Dog, who warms my feet and is scared of the dark and the snores of slightly overweight Jack Russell Lily, make me happy. 
6. Blooms of any kind. Spring is coming, and so are my callas, iris, and vines are starting to peek up through the dirt. Soon, my vegetables will be too. 
7. Mornings. Morning equals coffee and I love coffee. And a new song to sing. Almost every morning, I wake Ju up with a song: Good morning, starshine. The earth says hello; wake up, whatcha been dreaming about, etc. She thinks I'm old and shouldn't sing, but she's happy to hear a song then hearing "Wake up!"
8. Flip flops. I hate socks and shoes. I love heels, sandals, and flip flops. Thank god for spring. 
9. Good teachers. The great thing about being back where I went to school, is that I know almost all of my daughter's teachers, first hand. And the good ones make it all worth it. I'll do whatever I can to help them because I know they will do whatever it takes to help my daughter succeed.
10. The people who enjoy our little blog/Instagram/Facebook accounts. I mean, hey, y'all make it really worth it. Plus, y'all are like a free shrink. A more diverse group of therapists, whether you know it or not. 
     Where's my head at? In the clouds, in the sand, under a pillow? Probably all of the above. But I know y'all are there, so it helps a lot. Thanks, guys!


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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Support Beams

     I'm a lover of old abandoned houses. I always have been. There's something about someone owning a property and leaving a house to rot, that is mind boggling to me. Instead of fixing an old house, people will build a giant nondescript house that is easily found in any subdivision. 
     We "creatively accessed homes", in the words of a good friend, from the time we were seven years old. Some houses would be completely emptied with no structural damage in sight. Others would be collapsing dangerously in places with a pantry full of canned goods and old furniture strewn around like a tornado had gone off, before everyone took off. 
     The man I love and loathe, is against entering any abandoned home because, as a carpenter, he can see where the instabilities are and the dangers of entering said houses. It's taken me years to learn to see what he sees, and it has also taken me years to show him what I see. When we first got together, I showed him an abandoned house outside of my home town that I adored. "Look at that exterior wall leaning in; see that roof line sagging; the foundation is ruined" he would say, pointing out it's flaws. "Look how that window was put in that turret to look out onto the pasture; I'm so glad they used pocket doors; look how the master bedroom gets the morning sunrise" I would reply. 
     The longer we have been together the more we both realize the pros and cons of houses, their building, and their potential. Five years ago, we almost separated. I had had enough and so had he. But as I sat in my little house, looking at what our hard work had done to a house that wasn't even ours, a rental, I realized something. When he found me, I was an abandoned house, things strung about like a tornado. He was the person who saw the potential, ignoring the sagging roofline and twisted walls. Something he knew without me pointing it out. That the headers and joists were still structurally sound. And I, as the old house, had to trust that he knew what he was doing, for the most part. (Yes, he needed my help along the way.) He was my support beams, without him my house couldn't handle the gale force winds of life. 
     I know now, that all houses, metaphorical or no, cannot be saved. Empty shells, or left filled with Christmas presents unopened from years ago, just aren't structurally sound, no matter who the carpenter. I look and see what those houses and marriages were in their glory days, with touches of love here and there, usually in the wrong spots. It's best to move on from those. But I'm the kinda gal who will hang a chandelier in the haunted house, and I'll have a carpenter to help me add support beams along the way. 
     

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thursday I'm In Love v21.0

Hi there!  How's your Thursday morning?  Good, I hope.  I had a good day yesterday so my TIIL is dedicated to yesterday, partially.  Things are kind of looking up, I have some amazing friends that are helping me tremendously.  Let me tell you a little about my Wednesday.

   ~Adrian, my most amazing soul sister I was so lucky to find, brought me cupcakes.  Let's talk about the cupcakes.  They're Gigi's Cupcakes.  And they're amazing.  Let me show you:


They're so rich and amazing and perfect once in a blue moon.  She brought six and we split some of them and I let her steal one to take back to her husband.


    ~I also had her help with all my DIY magazines to help me start my dream house scrapbook I mentioned.  Newman helped, too.  We chatted about our styles and how they've changed, the unfortunate lack of white furniture/bedding due to our animal hair in our houses and how we can appreciate white walls after despising them.  We ripped out pages and cut out ideas and it was a great pairing to the cupcakes.  And Pitch Perfect.







Here's my dream house exterior:


    ~I got a massage last week to work out some of my knots and tension at this magical place Austin Deep.  I don't like 'put you to sleep' massages.  I want to get really untangled when I go.  I also like chatting while it happens and both girls that have massaged me have been really chatty which helps me.  If you ever have the opportunity, go see them.  It's worth the money.



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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Twinsday Wednesday: Best Edition-Round 3

Wednesday!  Woot woot!  Whatever.  Just another day for me but I'll let you hump it up.  Wait, what?  I mean...Awkward.  Best edition again for you today.  I hope you play along and let us know your responses.  Please?



CASEY
  • Best: Kept Secret - You're not supposed to tell secrets, right?  Um...uh... Carole King sang the Carebears' songs in one of the old movies.  I can still hear it in my head.  Care-A-Lot...it's place where you can go...
  • Best: Way to Unwind - reading in the bath tub.  Have we had this discussion? That or cooking maybe?  If I have all the ingredients.  Otherwise it stresses me out. Crocheting helps too.  I like anything repetitive in nature.  Shelling peas.  Shucking corn.  I could do that all day and be happy.
  • Best: Way to Feel Beautiful - Kissing someone you love.  There's something about it that just makes me feel like a million bucks.  Even if it's a slobbery Wilbs kiss on my forearm. 
  • Best: Quick Workout - Being chased by a June bug.  It's that time of year again.  I will duck and dodge with the best of them while shrieking my face off.  No joking.  I HATE them.  They stick to you, they make that creepy buzzing sound.  I'll run. 
  • Best: Recent Read - Fault In Our Stars?  My friend Adrian's book she let me read.  I have so many, but Fault In Our Stars was a gut punch.
  • Best: Wardrobe Staple - the right casual dress for your body shape?  I have about five of the same style dress because I know it's super flattering.  But also, a nude camisole.  That's one of the handiest things I've ever bought.
JAMIE
  • Best: Kept Secret - The imaginary celebrity neighborhood I build in my mind. My dream house is there and my next door neighbors are Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci. It keeps getting added onto. It's like my own Sims game except everyone can take care of theirselves. 
  • Best: Way to Unwind - my husband gives me back rubs a couple of times a month. But, it's the way he rubs my head and brushes my hair at the end that really winds me down. 
  • Best: Way to Feel Beautiful - Proper fitting underwear does wonders. A perfect bra and good underwear do a lot. I saw Casey's raggedy underwear once and had her ass. My motto: would you be embarrassed by what's under your clothes of the paramedics had to cut them off? If not, upgrade your underwear drawer. 
  • Best: Quick Workout - I don't even know how a quick work out happens. I think, hey I'll sand this chair, it'll be good for my arms. Then, I'm in a seven day project redoing a dining room set. 
  • Best: Recent Read - W is for Wasted by Sue Grafton. I love the alphabet series and Kinsey Millhone. 
  • Best: Wardrobe Staple - A little black dress. I own three for certain occasions. They are all flattering and made my husband go crazy. It's worth the money for a lifetime little black dress. 

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Monday, March 31, 2014

The (not so) Bad Girl

Ok.  I'm going to tell you a story.  You may severely judge me after, you may hate me, or you may get that I was a dumb, hormonal teenager.  Let me preface.  I've only been drunk four times.  The first time was when I was 14 and I'm lucky I'm alive from it.  I've never tried any drugs.  I don't smoke.  Rarely drink.  I'm slightly terrified of the addiction gene in our family.  I've only been to one party in my whole life.  I just don't like to disappoint my mother so I avoid doing bad things.

When I was 16/17, I worked at a grocery store.  I was a cashier (I worked my way up to dairy manager, woot).  A guy came in and was flirting with me.  My boyfriend at the time was hot and cold, currently cold, so I flirted back.  He came back in a few times and we always chatted.  He wasn't my type: short, thin, glasses, beard.  But something about him really pulled at me.  So, when he asked for my number, naturally I gave it to him.  I could hear my mother's wise words:  Never turn down anything a man wants to give you.  Dinner, a Coke, just take it.  Obviously, she meant this within reason, don't go all wacky with her advice.  He called me, asked me to spend the day with him since he did a lot of driving for work.  I blew off work and went with him.  He was twice my age, I found out, but I didn't care.  The tiny little detail I missed was that he WAS MARRIED.  My young, dumb brain totally missed the wedding band that was constantly on his hand.

Yeah.  Married.  I'll admit that I didn't feel that guilty.  I actually felt a little powerful.  That sounds stupid but like I said, I WAS YOUNG AND DUMB.  What I also didn't realize was that I saw his wife at least once a week.  We had spoken, been friendly and didn't know each other had existed in the awful respect that we did.  He, of course, lied to me, telling me they were separated and all sorts of lies and drama and I ate it up to cure my heavy conscience.  One day, I blew off work and decided to hang out at a cousin's house until I could leave with him when he left for work.  That cousin, who was an awful influence, actually decided to rat me out and call my mom as soon as I left to tell her what I was doing.

On my way home that evening, my mom called me.  She yelled at me and told me she knew everything that I was doing.  I remember I was pulling into Bellevue when she had called me and as she ripped me a new one, I thought to myself, "I have enough gas to make it to at least Kansas before anyone notices I never came home..."  But, because I hate disappointing my mother, I begrudgingly turned left and headed for the house.  My mom didn't let up when I got home but I remember vividly the one thing that scared the hell out of me.  She said, "Casey, if that was my husband, I would drag you out of that grocery store and whoop your ass in the parking lot for everyone to see!"

Uh, gulp?  I knew I was doing something seriously wrong, but I never thought my mom would find out.  Plus, my mom is a scrappy broad and she had me scared.  I wouldn't want to get my ass whooped by anyone, but I especially wouldn't want to embarrass her by that actually happening to me.  So, I broke it off with the guy.  Not immediately, on account of the hormones, but pretty directly.

Sometimes, the ripple effect in life is obvious.  Sometimes, you could throw an anvil in the water and not notice it.  I thought since I wasn't attached that I wasn't responsible for his end of things.  Then I took a few steps back and realized, in almost all cases, it's never just you involved.  At least one other person is affected by the choices you make in your life, and that's something that kind of slips my mind.  I used that year of my life as a learning experience.  My mom has always said, "Always be observant of your surroundings."  I used to think she meant just in case we get kidnapped, but you need to be mindful of everything.  Physical or intangible.  Also, don't piss of your mother.  Especially if she's a scrappy broad.
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