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He Put My Ring In His Pocket!!!


Daily Prompt: Tainted Love..

Ever been dumped by a boyfriend or girlfriend? Was it a total surprise, or something you saw coming? Tell us your best worst breakup story. Never been the dumpee, always the dumper? Relate the story of a friend who got unceremoniously kicked to the curb. Change the names to protect the innocent if you must.

I swear, I laughed out loud when I read this prompt.  Loud guffaws.  Tell about a break-up?!?  Hell, this blog was STARTED as a way for me to work through the rambling musings bouncing around in my brain post-break-up with my former love!  I have written mmmaaaannnnyyyy posts about the very subject.  Well, more about the aftermath than of the actual event, but still.  I’ve also written about the end of my marriage.  May haps I should just link my whole damn blog!?

But, I shan’t.  As while those are interesting stories, they are not one of those epic “Oh. My. God.  Are you kidding me?!?” break-up stories.  But, honey, have I got one for you.  Buckle up!

I have mentioned before that I was engaged TWICE in my early twenties, neither of which “took.”  I am not three times divorced.  Just once, thank you very much.

So, here is the story of my break-up with fiancé #1 – AKA Fratboy.

Fratboy and I met my first year of college.  Became engaged my second year, and were planning a wedding the summer I graduated.  Right on schedule.

Fast forward to the summer before my final year.  We were in the homestretch!  10 months before we were to be married!  Life was perfect…or so I thought.

I show back up to school for my senior year, my head full of plans for the future, and a U-Haul trailer full of my stuff.  Fratboy meets me at my dorm to help me unload and to help carry all my things up three flights of stairs.  WHAT A SWEET BOYFRIEND!!!  Was I lucky OR WHAT?!?!?

*snort*

Back and forth we go for 45 minutes.  Everything seemed fine.  We had  spoken the night before and he told me how happy he was I was going to be back the next day and how happy he was that I was going to be back in the same town with him and how much he missed me and loved me.  Blah blah blah.  While I had chattered on about how I had just gotten my ring professionally cleaned and how sparkly it was and how I couldn’t wait for him to see it.  Ah…bliss.

So, here we are on the final trip down the stairs to get a few more things, when about half way down Fratboy says to me, “Hey, let me see the ring.”

I grin and hold my hand out for him to see the sparkle.  “Isn’t it beautiful?!?”

“No, let me SEE it,” he replied.

Being the trusting young thing I was, I slid the ring off my finger and held it out to him to look at.  Makes sense, right?  I mean, we were GETTING MARRIED!!!!!  Weren’t we?

He takes the ring from me, and then…

(ready for it?)

PUTS IT IN HIS POCKET!!!!!

My ring.  It was no longer on my finger.  It was no longer in his hands.  IT WAS IN HIS DAMNED POCKET!!!  What the hell?!?

My two-thirds of a carat heart-shaped diamond on a gold band FREAKIN’ CUSTOM-MADE FOR ME engagement ring WAS IN HIS POCKET!

Ok.  In retrospect, the ring was incredibly cheesy, and I want to go back and slap the shit out of my 20-year-old self for ever loving it in the first place.  But, HE PUT MY RING IN HIS POCKET AND I WANTED IT BACK!

I remember I kinda laughed and said, “Hey!  Give it back!”

“No,” he said.  “I’m going to keep it.  I don’t think I want to do this any more.”

(BTW, gentlemen, “I THINK” is a passive statement.  If you are in the process of breaking up with someone, passive terms do not sugar coat the situation.  Use plain language.  A helpful little hint from me to you.  You are welcome.)

All this happened as we were walking down the three flights of stairs to go back out to the parking lot of my dorm.

At this point I am somewhat hysterical.  Standing, by now, in the parking lot next to my 1974 orange Volvo SOBBING.  He asked if I needed him to bring my things up to my room.

I just answered, “NO!  I WANT MY RING BACK!”

“I’m sorry, but I just can’t do that right now,” and he got in his car and drove away.

Somehow I made it back upstairs and into the arms of my best friends who started calling him every name in the book, and how they never liked him, and how I was better off, etc., etc.

And how right they were.

If I had married him, I know for a fact that I would have either divorced him, or killed him.  Either way, I would not be with him now.

Ironically, he ended up marrying another girl from my college.  She is Facebook friends with several of my Facebook friends.  I can not tell you how badly I want to stalk her pictures and see if she has a cheesy two-thirds of a carat heart-shaped diamond in a yellow gold band engagement ring sitting on her finger.  Just so I can laugh, and know how she was given the ring that was custom-made for ME!

Oh, and to be ever so grateful for the day that Fratboy took it back.

Daily Prompt: Name that… You!


Daily Prompt: Name that… You!.

My name.

I’ve had a love/hate relationship with it my whole life.

I have never really felt like a “Susan,” whatever that should feel like.

I guess I just always felt it to be an old-fashioned, plain name.  And I’ve never really felt “old-fashioned.”  As a child I certainly felt plain…but DEFINITELY not now.  Now, I am sassy and fabulous.

I do not know where my parents came up with the name Susan.  My hunch is that I was named for my father’s best friend’s wife.  Both of my parents deny it.  I don’t believe them.

Susan comes from the Hebrew, Shoshana, meaning “graceful lily.”  Ok.  Well, I danced for about 19 years, so I could see the graceful thing.  But, there is no way my parents would have known that as I was but a wee little 6 pound, 11 ounce baby lying in my hospital bed.

My middle name is Katharine.  It came from my mother. It  was her name, and the name of her German grandmother.  There was never any doubt in my mother’s mind that her baby girl would carry the name.

Katharine comes from the Greek, Aikaterine or katharos, meaning pure.

So, when you put the meanings of my name together it is “a graceful lily that is pure.”

I kinda like that.  THAT sounds poetic and lovely.

In light of that, henceforth I shall be called, Pure Graceful Lily.

Oh sure, it’s a bit of a mouthful, but it’s my name and I can do what I want to with it.  And why shouldn’t my name be as fabulous as the wonder that is me?

I think so!

Susan…That’s Not My Name (ame, ame, ame)

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Write about your first name: Are you named after someone or something? Are there any stories or associations attached to it? If you had the choice, would you rename yourself?

via Daily Prompt: Say Your Name.

wpid-IMG_20130309_175149.jpg

With all due respect to The Ting Tings…  but, that’s not my name…

Reportedly, as I was but a wee little 6 pound 11 ounce bundle of joy in the hospital, my mother wanted to name me Karen – but, pronounced Kah-rin, not the more familiar Care-in.

My father hated it.

If I have been a boy, things would have been easier.  I would have been named after him.  George Charles the IV.  My brother got that instead – 4 1/2 years later.

I almost went home without a name.

The nurses pushed and prodded and cajoled until finally my parent’s chose a name.

Susan Katharine.

I have no idea where the Susan part came from, but I have my suspicions.  My father’s best friend’s wife’s name was Susan.  My mother denies it, but come on, it is just too much of a coincidence.  And while at one point in time, Susan HAD been a VERY popular name, this was 1966 – and it’s popularity had waned.

Katharine, however, has a story.  It was my mother’s middle name (she has since had her name legally changed to have it as her first name).  And THAT came from her father’s mother.  That Katharine, was originally Katharine Jung, which became Young when her family emigrated from Germany.

I have never felt like a “Susan.”  Don’t ask me what a “Susan” is supposed to feel like, but alls I know is that I have never particularly liked it.  On the other hand, I also do not think I would have particularly enjoyed having the name “Kah-rin.”  I can just imagine having to have spent my whole life correcting the pronunciation!  As it is, with my middle name being Katharine with a “K” and an “a,” and the fact that my last name has a capital “B” in the middle of it, I have had to have every diploma (and driver’s licenses and social security cards etc.) I have ever received redone because one or the other or both have been misspelled.

Even though I don’t really “feel” like a Susan, I am pretty sure I would never change it.  Despite the fact that it is complicated to do (well, the changing is easy – it’s all the other stuff and getting other people to call you the new name), I am Susan.  It’s my name.  Like it or not.

An Unexpected Love

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Duffey was always in the middle of everything.  Every Christmas I would have picture of him buried in wrapping paper.

Duffey was always in the middle of everything. Every Christmas I would have picture of him buried in wrapping paper.

via Daily Prompt: I Want to Know What Love Is.

Some of the most amazing relationships in my life have come about when I wasn’t looking for one to happen.  The night I met the Monkey Daddy.  My former love.

Such a happy dog...

Such a happy dog..

My first baby…

No.  I didn’t have a child I haven’t talked about before.  This baby wasn’t a “human” child.  He was a furry one.  A VERY furry one.

He was a dog.  Duffey.

The day I found Duffey (or I should probably say, he found me), I wasn’t expecting to fall in love.  I was just looking at the puppies.  And then he looked up at me from out of his cage with his silly little grin and that right ear flopped over his head – and his chocolate-brown eyes locked with mine – and I was lost.

I actually walked out of the store, got into the car, and started driving away.  Then the tears came.  I knew I couldn’t leave him.  He was mine.  So, I turned around and walked back in and didn’t leave again until that 11 pound 11 week old collie/shepherd mix was with me.

He was the sweetest dog.  Always happy.  Playful.  A tiny bit mischievous.  And BIG.  85 pounds of love.

Duffey was in my life before The Monkey Daddy.  Before any of the Three Monkeys.  But, Duffey welcomed each one of them into our lives like they were meant to be there.  He was so good with the Monkeys.  They crawled on him.  Used him as a back rest.  Fed him from their high chairs.  Every night we would hear him make his rounds into each of the children’s rooms – checking on them – making sure they were safe.

The Girl Monkey with her two best friends, Duffey and Kitty Kat (the rabbit)

The Girl Monkey with her two best friends, Duffey and Kitty Kat (the rabbit)

His bond with The Girl Child was the strongest.  She loved him almost as much as me or her father or her brothers or even her beloved Kitty Kat (her lovey…yes it is a rabbit – long story).

I knew he wouldn’t be around forever.  After he turned 10, I pretty much considered every additional month with him a gift.  After he turned 13, he started aging more rapidly.  Within 6 months he lost most of his hearing, had doggy dementia, became incontinent, walking became harder.  I stopped letting him go up and down the stairs.  In this same time period, my marriage was coming to an end.  I couldn’t bear the thought of losing Duffey, too.  But it was coming – faster and faster.

Then came the day when he could not stand.  At all.  Not even with help.  He wouldn’t eat.  He barely drank.  And I knew it was time for us all to say our final good-byes and with love let Duffey go.  It was the day before Monkey #1 was to come back from his trip to France with his grandmother.  So I had to make the agonizing decision to either wait until #1 came back, or have him not be able to say good-bye to his beloved dog.  I decided to wait until he came home.

I still miss him.  And I swear, even four years later, I still find some of his long hair in corners of closets.  (Every summer he would blow that double coat – and we would be knee-deep in fur. )  I know that dogs like him don’t come along every day.

It has taken me four years, but I think I am ready to enter into a new furry romance.  Ironically, it has taken me longer to feel ready to “replace” Duffey than The Monkey Daddy… Please don’t take offense to that when you read that, Monkey Daddy!  🙂

The Monkeys and I have been searching for the perfect rescue dog, and we think we might have found it.  Her picture stirred the same feelings in me like I had with Duffey,  Something is pulling me to her.  We will meet her for the first time next weekend.  We are all nervous.  We want it to go well, but we also all know that we can’t let pure emotion rule this decision.   With any luck this furry baby will be with us for a long time, and we have to make sure she will make a good addition to our family.

Of course, the last time I was in this position, I did let my heart rule my head – and look how beautifully that turned out.

Maybe this will be just as grand.

Monkey #1 and Duffey

Monkey #1 and Duffey

The Middle Monkey with his favorite pillow

The Middle Monkey with his favorite pillow

Love is Lovelier the Second Time Around (or even the twentieth…)

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Tell us about a book you can read again and again without getting bored — what is it that speaks to you?

via Daily Prompt: Second Time Around.

Love is lovelier the second time around
Just as wonderful with both feet on the ground (Second Time Around   – as sung by Frank Sinatra)

As I have mentioned many many times, I am wrapping up my 15th year of teaching.  I am a big proponent of the teacher-read-aloud – even in the upper grades.  I read to my class every day and use it as a jumping off point for so many lessons and discussions.  It is the most special time of our day.  I have students who are now in their mid-twenties who tell me they can still remember certain books I read to them and how much they loved it.  For some of my students, it has been what has made them fall in love with books.

I put a lot of thought in what I chose to read to them.  And I try not to just read the same book year after year.  After all, while THEY may not have read it, I would get bored reading the same things all the time.  With one exception…

I have read Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls to nearly every single class in the past 15 years.  It has become a link to each class.  Siblings from a previous class will ask the brother or sister in my current class if I have read it yet.  It sticks with them.

For those of you who are not aware of the book (and if you haven’t ever read it – read it…it is great), Where the Red Fern Grows, is the story of Billy Coleman, a young boy growing up in the backwoods of the Ozarks somewhere around the Depression.  Billy’s family isn’t just poor, they are dirt poor, living off the land.  However, Billy decides he wants some dogs.  And not just any ol’ dogs.  He wants hunting dogs.  Specifically Redbone Coonhounds.  His parents want to help him, but they can’t.  So, Billy works for over two years to gather enough money to buy his beloved dogs.  And that’s where the story really begins.

“It’s strange indeed how memories can lie dormant in a man’s mind for so many years. Yet those memories can be awakened and brought forth fresh and new, just by something you’ve seen, or something you’ve heard, or the sight of an old familiar face.”  
―     Wilson Rawls,     Where the Red Fern Grows

It is a story of perseverance and determination.  It is about setting a goal and not letting anything get in your way.  But mostly it is a story about undying love and devotion.

I have read the book somewhere around 20 times – independently as a child, to my classes and to my own children.  It still makes me laugh and it still makes me cry.  Real tears, not just brimming in my eyes.  Every single time.

I will probably be looping with my class next year.  Meaning, I’ll be going with them from 4th to 5th, with most of the class intact.  And since I read it to my students this year, I won’t be reading it to them again.  And I am a little sad about that.  I look forward to reading it every year.  So, looks like I’ll have to read it to my own children.  I read it to Monkey #1 when he was 8.  The Middle Monkey heard it from his 4th grade teacher (a fellow teacher who also reads it to her class every year).  The Girl Child has yet to hear it.  Perhaps it is time.

“It’s a shame that people all over the world can’t have that kind of love in their hearts,” he said.  “There would be no wars, slaughter, or murder; no greed or selfishness.  It would be the kind of world that God wants us to have – a wonderful world.”  
―     Wilson Rawls,     Where the Red Fern Grows

The Half-Empty Glass

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Is the glass half-full, or half-empty?

via Daily Prompt: The Glass.

Nothing good ever happens, she said.

My life is pointless, her lament continued.

No matter what I do, I never win, she wailed.

Why do I even bother?

Good things happen everyday, I replied.

Your life is valuable, I consoled.

Joy is everywhere, I reminded.

All you have to do is look around.

Nothing good ever happens, she said.

All I do is fail, she moaned.

Everything is hopeless, she cried.

Why do I even bother?

Good things happen everyday, I replied.

Joy is everywhere, I reminded.

Maybe what you need to do, I encouraged,

Is open your eyes and look around at the opportunities before you.

Texty McTexter

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Daily Prompt: It’s a Text, Text, Text, Text World.

How do you communicate differently online than in person, if at all? How do you communicate emotion and intent in a purely written medium?

Ok.  I’ll admit it.  I’m a texter.  And an IMer.  I love texting for the EASE.  Need to quickly ask the Monkey Daddy what time he will be picking up the kids from my place?  No problem!  Just a few typed words, and VOILA!  An answer.

And IMing!  Wow!  What a concept!  When I am alone in the house, I am not actually alone, because I can be carrying on conversations with as many people as I want!  Word to the wise, though.  Make sure you know WHICH of the conversations you are currently responding to.  It can get BAD to write the wrong thing on the wrong conversation.

My former love and I spent the first two weeks before we even went out together messaging until the wee hours of the morning.  And even after we started dating, on the evenings we weren’t together, we were “chatting.”

There are a couple of reasons I like texting/messaging.

1.  You can say what you want to say when you want to say it.  Like I said, need to ask the ex a quick question?  Send a text.  And when you just want to tell someone you are thinking of them and hopefully bring a smile to their face – well you can do it.  Right then.

2. There is a bit of anonymity to it.  I have found myself being very much more open through the written word than I would be face-to-face.  I don’t have to worry about SEEING the reaction of the other person.  Both positive and negative.

3.  I have time to think about what I have to say – and I can rewrite if necessary.  I have a bad case of verbal diarrhea.  Particularly when I am anxious.  Or nervous.  Or excited.  Or my ADHD meds have worn off.  And I can ramble.  On and on and on and on and on.  I can easily say too much – WAY too much.  Or I can suddenly get so shy, I don’t know what to say.  So, I have a chance to re-read what I have written and THEN send it.  Not that I haven’t hit send and then thought, “CRAP!  Did I really send that?!?”  Because I have.  As I have referenced before.  Besides, I am ever so witty with the written word…

There are drawbacks to using the written form, however.

1.  I am VERY sarcastic (or as I say, I am fluent in three languages, English, sarcasm, and innuendo).  And SOMETIMES the tongue in cheek way I MEANT for it to come out, isn’t how it is reflected in words.  Needless to say, I rely on the “winky face” emoticon… AND CAPITAL LETTERS!

2.  There is nothing worse than not getting a response!  Particularly when you have just made a big emotional reveal.  It gets my mind all swirly.  I start to wonder if they saw it.  Or if they are ignoring it.  Or OMG…WHAT IF THEY ARE IGNORING ME!  WHY WON’T YOU ANSWER ME?!?!?!?  And then the crazies start to take over.

Yet, even with the pauses in messages, it still doesn’t seem as bad as the uncomfortable silence you sometimes have when face to face.

Technology.  Love it or hate it, things just aren’t the same without it.