Sunday, February 15, 2009

Better Sundays...

The house (or the apartment - better yet, Gray asked today if I had room service at my new hotel) was full of good sounds - the kids room is still full of styrofoam packaging and cardboard boxes, and now it is a fort full of "snow" made by broken pieces of foam littered about the room - they call it their "little Maine" - and enjoy the emptiness of the room. It is amazing how the kids can can be in an empty room of discarded furniture boxes and rubbermaid storage containers and turn it into a dream world of laughter and armies and forts and kings and queens...

My house was filled with good things - Gray, a little scared, a little upset, wanted to cook dinner, and take some to Mom, we did - she was happy to have that fifteen minutes of Mom time - and to see her and know that we are still mom and dad - there was laughter this weekend as the kids dove into the pool, seemingly a valentines weekend ritual for them now - it is warm enough outside to wear shorts and flip-flops, so it must be warm enough to swim. The sounds of Wii and the Disney Channel were blaring until fifteen minutes ago, when the two tired eyed angels decided it was okay to lay down and go to sleep.

I am not so sure about all of my decisions throughout the past 18 years - and not really sure that I want to make them again, but I can be positive about two things - and the noises this Sunday were exactly what life for a middle aged man should be like - it should be filled with family and children and waking up to fix breakfast and play games and deal with life's challenges. It is easy to pour yourself into that after long weeks at work - I can see how it would become difficult to do just that - and not anything else, but for me, it is more relaxing and rejuvenating than a weekend spent sitting on a beach...

This divorce thing, well, it is what it is. There have not been too many good Sundays. There have been more questions than answers, and more uncertainties than given quantities - but this Sunday, it was a much better Sunday than most. Sure, that sinking feeling is still there, and it is awkward to know how to be a family, while trying (even creating) ways to not be the family you are used to - but this Sunday was good, and for what that is worth, I will take it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

So the New Living Arrangements...

These days, apparently, I am not the only one going through this sort of thing, Friday Night at Shannon's, I ran into three other friends who are doing the same routine - the split your belongings, find a place, try and occupy the quiet time, and test your somewhat dusty decorating skills -

It's a nice apartment - it has two showers and a washing machine and a dishwasher, and even a cozy screened in patio that overlooks the parking lot...what it does not have are the sounds that you grow so used to after 13 years of mostly happy times, some very bad times, and some of the boring times. Last night was the first night sleeping in a house by myself - I mean really by myself - there was always that thing to look forward to - going home, seeing the kids, football parties with Christy and friends, planning the next vacation, paying the bills (both types), and those weekends where you would just unwind, sleep off a long week of work, and just rest.

My new found independence was the result of years of foundation building that I put together - my work requires travel - and I love my work. My habits, some of which were good, did not always agree with the family thing, and my growth, well - it went in a different direction - not necessarily bad, but probably distinctly selfish. Christy and the kids went down to Tampa this weekend, and I well - I did what I had to do -

Yup, I miss the sounds of Sunday mornings and the smells and the chores, and basically, I miss that. But enough about that - here is the latest top ten list I could muster up -


1. Rent a U-Haul that is too small. That way, as you are cramming the last of the shit that you have accumulated on top of all of the stuff that is fragile, you will realize that you don't really need those foot scrubbers, the old television, the extra shoes, or cat food. Cats are survivors.

2. Make sure the person you have helping you move is a drunk who just ate a garlic and onion sandwich. That way, as he drops your belongings, you can at least be distracted by his breath.

3. TJ Maxx is a god send. Buy several gift cards. Shower curtains, pillows, and other stuff that guys are not good at are sold there, and there is always some lady with bad taste willing to help you select your new decorations. (She really thought the six foot tall giraffe was an interesting centerpiece for any new apartment)

4. Listen to the apartment leasing consultant. Remember, they just live in the complex for free - so everything they say has to be true. (i.e. There is a hot tub - what she meant to say was "There is a bathtub in every apartment that has optional hot water")

5. Memorize the gate password to get into the complex. I threw away the "Welcome Home" package, now I just randomly dial apartment numbers until someone lets me in.

6. Christen the place by turning up your stereo full blast at two am. Your new neighbors want to see how cool you really are when you wake up their newborn.

7. Walk around in your bathrobe - alot - that way your new neighbors think you are independently wealthy, and keep an apartment just for your special "alone time" - not to mention it is interesting to see their reaction when your junk spills out accidently.

8. Take up two parking spaces, just to let folks know you really need your space.

9. Make sure to move the empty boxes into a spare closet. You are going to lose your security deposit anyway, so if you store everything in that closet, then someone else has to deal with throwing all of the spent packing supplies away.

10. Do those things that you were taught not to do - wash a red shirt with a white one, throw stuff in the toilet, leave the refrigerator door open, don't lift up the seat, eat something you left on the counter for over a day or two, and refuse to wipe down the kitchen counters. After about six hours of this, your place will looked lived in, and have a great "homey" feeling.

That's all I got - I miss the noises, but life goes to those who choose...