Thursday, April 24, 2014

One thing good ...

As I was being a sadsack (AGAIN) last night, I said to Michael, "Is it bad that I do value my reputation? And that, according to two people now, I'm a manipulative, overbearing person? If it was just one, that'd be easier to brush off. But two ... I mean, I'd much prefer to have a good reputation..."

Michael: *with a bit of a Russian accent* "You know what is reputation? Is people talking."

Me: *taking up accent* "I have reputation."

Ah, that crazy Niska (from Firefly. Go watch "The Train Job." You'll see him there).

I mean, Niska DOES have a reputation. Just one that'd best used to frighten people.
Heh heh.

He and Jubal Early are both very interesting characters. Not people I'd want to emulate, mind you.
But very interesting.

Maybe if I just employ Firefly/Serenity and Princess Bride quotes today, I'll get over this ... fiasco.

When it's daytime, I seem to do better. At least I can shake my head and roll my eyes.
It's an improvement, right? Better than fester, fester, fester, rot, rot, rot.
(Maybe I should just watch "French Kiss" again, then ... if I'm going to quote it.
But it'd be better to watch it with my T or my Cynthia.)


So, apparently, as much as I try, I'm not as well-adjusted as I try to be.

So, I heard back from the wife of the friend who called me manipulative.

Backstory: When I first learned that he and his family were in the ward, he let me know that (1) she is pretty new to the church and (2) she is uncomfortable around people she doesn't know.

These are good things to know. And how do you get to know people well enough to get comfortable around them? ... Well, spending some time around them or adding them on Facebook at least (so you can get some insight to their character/personality/sense of humor/life) can help.

I met her ONCE in real life. I tried to be friendly, but not overbearing; kind, easy-going ... you know, on my best behavior.

I sent her a Facebook friend request, along with a facebook message letting her know who I am ... some people are better with faces/names ... and letting her know that she could join our (private) Facebook group for playdates and other kids' activities. This way, she can take her kids to something fun AND have a chance to meet up with some other gals from church. Get to know THEM in a low-key environment and all that.

She never took me up on either offer.

When I sent [her husband] the text and facebook message about a possible visit, I also messaged her, too. Since some spouses check Facebook more often than others. Figured I'd cover my bases.

When I heard back from [her husband], I should have just sent another message ... something like "Oh, never mind! Heard back from your husband. Maybe a visit another time ... or meeting up at a park or something another time!"

... But, well, I didn't do that.

So, last night, I got a message back from her which basically said
  1. I hardly know you
  2. Don't invite yourself over 
  3. Don't message me again
.... .... ....

In my defense, I never said that I was the one coming over. Just that I needed to know if that date/time would work for a visit.

Yes, she hardly knows me. Because she never made any effort to get to know me. I understand that people are busy and stuff. But, heck, I've met people through blogging or friends-of-friends through Facebook. Doesn't take much effort at all to respond to a message.

Sure, I won't message you again. Doesn't give me any opportunity to apologize or whatever. And I don't LIKE when people think poorly of me. I'm not perfect. Heck, I'm a big screw-up (apparently even more so than I had first thought! Joy!!/sarcasm).

I mean, I can entertain fantasies that someone will drop a letter off to them telling them that
  • I was just trying to help my husband. Since THEY never respond to anyone else's texts, calls, stopping by.
  • I was not going to be a part of the visit. Michael and the Stake President (most likely) were. So I wasn't going to invade their INNER SANCTUM OF SOLITUDE or whatever.
    (Geez, it's not like we're living high on the hog. We have five people, a cat, and two fish crammed into a two-bedroom manufactured home. One that is rather cluttered and all. It's never going to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens or House Beautiful or anything.)
  • And they don't have to take the opportunity to get to know me (better in the husband's case, since it's been a while) ... and, with that, they're missing out. 

  • Because I can be really nice. I can bake. I can make jokes (often self-depreciating!). I can whip up a decent card in MS Publisher. But, hey, if you're not willing to give me a chance, I need to get over myself. Because I need to realize that it's not worth fretting over ... and my energies can be better utilized in other things ... on people who actually appreciate what I'm trying to do.
  • AND, if you DON'T want visits or calls or whatever from your Home Teachers, Visiting Teachers, or anyone, you need to stop blowing everyone off for months, put on your big-kid panties, and ask to be put on the Do-Not-Contact list. We'll respect that. It'll make it easier on those trying to serve you AND it'll make it so that you're not bothered by people who just want to serve you or get to know you or have concern for you. Because we don't want to be a bother. 
Yeah, I'm cycling through frustration and dejection.
Since apparently, I suck at dealing with rejection, too. FUN FUN!! Issues are the BESTEST!!
(In case you were wondering, that was complete sarcasm right there.)

I  do admit that I harbor some fantasies that [the husband] will someday be all, "Allanna, I was a jerkbuttface when you were just trying to help out your husband and show that you care. I shouldn't have done that. You up for a game of Spastic Uno?" or [the wife] will initiate a message on Facebook or something.
Or that they just forget about this ... awkwardness.

Because it sucks, knowing that someone is upset because of you.

Can I hope that they just have some issue in their brains that they are already over this? And it's just me obsessing over being thought of as having less-than-perfect manners?

Any ways to learn (at 33, I'm so old!) how NOT to let other people's judgements be felt so keenly?

'Cause I'm totally in the market for some kind of non-accredited course like that. TOTES.

Oh, well. Imma go and contact the gals that I Visit Teach. Because, at least, THEY like hearing from me and know that I'm not a complete buttmunchjerkwad. In fact, 3/4 of them totally know that I'm good to have around in a pinch. We can sit and chat and laugh. That other one, at least, knows that I care for her and genuinely LIKE her (she's great. I know her from Girls' Camp, when she was in YW [Young Women's, the 12-18 year-old girls' group]).

Yeah, stuff like this just sucks. I hate feeling/knowing that I screwed up ... especially when I have the best of intentions. Because, dang it, I'm personally invested in this family that (apparently) thinks that I'm an overbearing jerk. How can we HELP them at all --effectively --, if we don't know their needs?

Well, there's prayer. And, oh, if that's the only tool we have, it's GONNA get USED.

Well, at least I can try to content myself with the knowledge that I know, his mom knows, Michael knows, the bishop knows, my mom knows, and Heavenly Father and Jesus know that I was trying to do something right. Something good.
And maybe they're not ready to accept it as that. But, eventually, they'll get that. And they'll know that I was just trying to be nice and helpful and having their best interests (along with helping Michael, who's -- face it -- a bit of a higher priority, y'know) at heart.

So, yeah, it makes me sad that they took it this way.
But I can't MAKE them ... do anything.
As Detective Lestrad would say, "Not my department!" (That's a BBC Sherlock reference, in case you were terribly confused.)

And, yeah, I'm hoping (as I'm sure that MICHAEL'S hoping) that this is my last post about this ... unless something absolutely miraculous happens and I can report some good news about this whole fiasco.

But, until I'm over it, I might as well just hash it out on "paper" ... It's therapeutic, right? Cathartic, at least. Either that or making some serious bread, so that I can KNEAD it and BEAT it quite a bit.
Or else I should just get on the elliptical (like I should do anyways) and watch some trash TV (Toddlers and Tiaras? Honey 2? Sharknado?). Or get some paints and hash things out on paper (but, well, that might be frustrating for me. Things never turn out how I see them in my head. Which is ... frustrating. But, well, it'd give me something ELSE to be frustrated at, right?).

Honestly, I'm rather jealous of people who don't live nearly completely inside their heads. It must be really freeing to escape from thoughtsthoughtsthoughts all the time. At least, when I read or if I'm acting, I get to escape from MY thoughts and into someone else's. It's nice.
But I've never gotten to that place when dancing or (attempting at) running when your mind can go blank and you're just sensation moving through space. Is that what an endorphin high feels like?
I wouldn't really know. Oh well.

Like I said, "blergh."

And where can I buy origami paper locally? Because that could take my mind off things. It requires focus. And ends up with something pretty. Heck, maybe I could make a cool paper-crane mobile for the kids' room. Or over my desk.
Screw it, I'm going to look up one on Pinterest.

(Aaaaaand, as I say that, all I can think of is George -- "This place is a tomb! I'm going to the nut shop, where it's FUN." Yay for random movie quotes.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

That boy of mine ...

Monday, Bruise brought in a package that was left on the porch.

"Meeesis Alooooooona [Naaeeeeeeme]" (Mrs. Allanna [Name]).
And, his fancy pronunciation was funny enough that he cracked HIMSELF up with it.

Good times, good times.

Condiment Post (It's a Catch-Up/Ketchup post ... Yeah, it's a sucky joke)

So, I last posted a real post at the beginning of the month.

I don't really have a huge excuse for not posting something real since.

So, let's figure out what all I've been up to since the beginning of the month ...

  • I've finally gotten over that sinus/allergy/creeping crud. It's really nice to be able to breathe out my nose and not have to use a bazillion tissues all the time.
  • Bubbles is talking a bit more. She said "hot dog" (echoing Bucket) with very good pronunciation yesterday. She's still pretty awesome with helping with housework. Loves to sing along with Frozen. Can point to most of her body parts. Will fetch me diapers and wipes for her.
  • Bruise is very much into video games.We've completed MOST of his Wolf badge requirements. My goal (and his) is to get his Wolf by summer, so we have summer to work on his arrow points and Conservation badge.
  • Bucket is enjoying the sunnier weather. She and a neighbor girl will play most every day. She's really enjoying Activity days at church.
  • Michael's been busy, busy working on projects. And general EQ duties. Tomorrow, he'll be out for the evening, visiting some families/members of the ward with a member of the Stake Presidency. They do this to check on these families/individuals and to see if there are any needs that the ward can help meet. I can handle being on my own, with the kids, for an evening. 
  • I should be cleaning the house more ... but I'm ... not as motivated this second as I should be. Today, my goals are to finish washing/drying laundry, fold some of it, read the magazines my mom let me borrow before she comes up tomorrow, clean up the kitchen, do dishes, sweep, maybe grab a bunch of plastic grocery bags and fold them neatly ... make dinner, get a shower sometime, clean up my desk and the counters ... the list goes on. It always does. And I also should vacuum. I really, really should vacuum.
  • I should also clean the car.
Okay, and what what's-already-happened stuff:
  • Freyja-cat's been having ... issues. Peeing-on-laundry-type issues. Time to break out the kitty-Prozac again.
  • We had a Ward Social at the beginning of the month. The building was also scheduled for a funeral (HUGE turnout) and a Pinewood Derby. None of which showed on the general calendar. So, if you weren't in the ward hosting the event, you couldn't see that the building was being used for anything else. Yeah ... they're working on fixing that. It was ... interesting.
    Our Ward Social was not very well-attended. We had a handful of people. And it was pretty sad. We had also signed up to feed two sets of (sister) missionaries. Well, they got food, but I felt pretty bad about the whole thing.
  • General Conference was at the beginning of the month, that first weekend. We used our Chromecast to stream Conference from the computer to our TV. It was great. I had my tablet open to the Twitterfeed for #ldsconf while I took notes (on a paper tablet). Good talks. I need to read them again.
  • We also ordered tamales from one of the kids' school's fundraisers. The pamphlet said that we could pick them up between Noon-4PM. When we went about 12:30 to get ours, they were out of one kind already ... I was upset (but I saved it for the car. No crying in front of the school personnel if I can help it). Michael ended up heading back, in the middle of a conference talk, to get our order. And they were really good. I just had wished that things were more organized. Since we had from 11-1 free ... and our order wasn't ready until about 1:30. I know. It's stupid. But, well, I can be nuts about trying to get things organized ... and, then, when my plans don't work ... ugh.
  • We also had Bruise and Bucket's school conferences. They're both doing well. They need to speak more Spanish. Bruise can work on his handwriting ... but, overall, they're doing well. They're on track for meeting all benchmarks by the end of the year. So that's good.
  • We also had the school book fair. Bruise REALLY wanted one book ... that, naturally, was sold out the first day. So he ended up with a Lemony Snickett mystery instead (I helped with that). He also went back and got himself an invisible ink/UV light pen. Bucket got a book about sharks and some scented highlighters. We got Bubbles the newest Pigeon (Mo Willems) book. And I got a great reference (with TONS of pictures) about the elements.
  • My birthday has come and gone. I'm 33 now ... when I remember it. Michael and the kids got me a new iPod, like I requested (my old one was having issues). Now I can have my own singalongs in the car again. ^_^ My mom gave me money towards a new bed (Michael's back's been hurting a lot). Aunt J got me socks and relaxing stuff (bath gel, sleep mask) and a book. Dad and L got me a new popcorn machine ... it even melts the butter as the kernels pop! Mom and Dad C got me a movie theater gift card (Michael and I need to see the new Captain America movie) ... and Cousin Tiff was hilarious. She did say, "Now, when you open your present, remember that you have a sense of humor, okay?", which worried me a little. She got me a little plaque for me to hang at my desk that says "Please don't clean up my mess. You'll confuse me and screw up my world." AND a bath gel dispenser shaped like a nose -- when you squeeze it, bath gel will "drip" out of the nose. So she and I cracked up and started making snot jokes. ... Yeah, we're so related.
  • The kids had the next day off from school, so we went to Mom and C's hotel and went swimming. Bruise accidentally took one of the hotel towels home. We returned it after we washed it.
  • Last week, I spent a day at the school volunteering. It was picture day. There were supposed to be two of us volunteering ... I was the only one who showed up. Another gal (past Student Teacher at the school) came to help for a few hours. But we got through it. And, since I had a couple hours left before the kids were done (and I was going to pick them up) and one of their teachers was having a shoulder spur act up, I helped out in Bucket's class for a couple hours.
    Nothing huge. I just filed papers and folded little booklets for a project. Yeah, maybe I would do well enough as a classified-type school employee (Though we all know my heart belongs to the library).
    I hadn't eaten lunch. Or breakfast. So I did get woozy around 2:30. But, after I sat down for a bit, I was okay again. Stupid body of mine. I was too busy for eating before that.
  • We got to visit with T2, her husband, and daughter. They're having a baby boy in the fall.
    We're all so glad that they've moved back to the Pacific Northwest.
  • The mall had their kids' club. We also went to the opening weekend of the farmers' market. 
  • For Easter, we went to church and then to Mom and Dad's house. Egg hunt, dinner, watching movies. food fun.
    At one point, we were talking around the table (the kids had gone off to watch "The Pirate Fairy"), talking about Ch's sweet potato pie (YUM). Dad was talking about how he doesn't like ginger or nutmeg. And Michael made a joke about it being for nuts or Megs.
    "I don't know any Megs, really ... Well, Meg Ryan," Dad mused, "but she doesn't know me."
    At this, I couldn't help bursting out laughing and stating, "I love my family." Because I do. I married into a great family. I only wish that everyone would be so lucky.
    At another point, Grandma had a friend come over. She wandered into the dining room, where we were still at the table, and started rubbing Ch's neck -- he's not a touchy-type person, so you could SEE him tense up.
    Grandma followed her friend in. "Oh, you know her", she asked Ch.
    "Yeah!" he declared."Don't you?"
    As soon as Grandma's friend left the room, I started to ask Ch who the lady was, since I'd never met her ... and Grandma had pointed out to her who WE all were, but never told us her name or anything.
    "I have NO IDEA who she was." Ch proclaimed, before I could ask.
    Which sent me into giggles again.
    Like I said, I have a great family.
  • The kids' school has an online Spanish program ... I ordered a headset so that, when I get signed up for it, I can start learning Spanish better. Since I really am quite pants at it. I took German in high school and college ... it's not very similar at all. :S
  • Yesterday and Monday were quiet-ish days. Some cleaning ... cooking dinner ... reading a bit. Nothing huge.
So, yeah ... that's most of what's going on in my life. Watching Veronica Mars with Michael in the evenings. Playing some games on my tablet. Reading some books. Loading music on my iPod. Trying to make some good playlists ... small things like that.

So, my goals are to finish washing and drying laundry, vacuum the front rooms, go through the magazines from Mom, clean the kitchen, do the dishes, fold some laundry, get a shower. Yeah, wildly exciting plans, for sure. But they're my plans ... so it'll work.

Mulling it over

So, it's been a night since that latest fiasco ... and, like I told Michael and my mom, I'd bounce back enough.

The good thing about me is that, thankfully, part of being me is feeling things SO intensely (I'd be a good Gothic novel heroine that way) but I can get over it. I burn brightly but burn out quickly.

Of course, I also will deny that things are an issue ... until I end up sobbing over a movie, highlighting my abandonment issues. *humorless laughter*

But, for the most part, I'm pretty over this. I made my way through feeling horrible for making someone feel bad, to blinding rage because I really didn't do anything that wrong -- but my words/actions were quite misconstrued, to being really irked that someone who's known me for the vast majority of his LIFE couldn't give me the benefit of the doubt ... or at least be civil, to being frustrated that he couldn't at least make the decision to be civil, to being resigned and bummed that there's something obviously going on that he doesn't feel that he can let anyone in the ward know about.

I do keep thinking about things that I could have said differently in my response (which I KNOW that he's seen, since Facebook TELLS you if someone has seen it ... or has, at least, left their window open with the chat open).

Things like:

  • Hey, I am sorry that you took what I said/wrote to be manipulative. That was not my intent at all.
    Maybe if that was your first response, you should have balanced out that feeling with your knowledge of me and my character. When have I tried to manipulate you in the past? Ever? No?
    Then why would you assume that I'd start now?
  • Dude, what's up? I'm reading past your hurtful words that something is wrong. This isn't like you.
    The [Name] I know is an easy-going, happy guy with a great sense of humor. Something's up.
    As your friend, I would love to help. I like to fix things. I can't fix stuff (or even give it my best) without knowing what the problem is. Let me in, okay? ... Do you wanna build a snowman?
  • I spent way too much time yesterday feeling horrible (that's my fault) for being a horrible person, since I do my darndest to not be manipulative. However, with some time to distance myself from the immediate situation, I have realized that (1) asking if a visit is convenient is not manipulative and (2) calling it manipulative was quite illogical and irrational. I was spending too much time feeling bad for being called something that wasn't true. Why would you say something that was so hurtful when it wasn't true?
I also thought about saying things like:
  • THAT wasn't manipulative. If I were being manipulative, I'd have told you that you'd better be there for a visit or I'd have an anonymous source make a payphone call to the police that you're running a meth lab in your kids' bedroom. THAT WOULD BE MANIPULATIVE.
    Requesting a response? Not manipulative.
    You could have said "That doesn't work for us.", "I don't want a visit.", "Put us on the DNC list at church.", "My house is a mess.", "Take our names off the church records.", "You can't come over until you bring us a plate with six dozen cookies, including snickerdoodles and chocolate with white chocolate chips.", or a vast many other responses -- none of which resort to name-calling.
    If you would have responded to ANY of the other phone calls or voicemail messages that have been left by people OTHER THAN ME during the past year, do you think that I'd have been requested to contact you to even find out if you're alive? Being perfectly honest, my husband is more than irked that you've blown people off by not having the guts to even text back "I don't want visits. Leave us be." See? You can be cold and callous and impolite -- rude, even! --to people that aren't as close. That distance allows for that. But to do this to me? That's cold, man. And I know that it isn't you.
    Seriously, acting like that towards me is comparable to kicking a puppy. Because you know that I am  not a manipulative person ... at least, I work NOT to be. Coercion is not my bag, baby. 
I know that I shouldn't have let it get to me in the first place. Water off a duck's back, right?
But, well, when you get a response like that from someone you think you know, someone you've grown up with? ... Well, it makes me wish I were a little more psychopathic -- in the way that "Oh, I hurt someone's feelings. I didn't mean to. Oh well. Long hair, don't care"-type way.
(As opposed to plotting his revenge for years and taking that guy DOWN. Again, not my style.)

One of the good things, I guess, is that Michael had a PPI (Personal Priesthood Interview -- a 1:1 meeting with our bishop) last night. He showed Bishop the message I sent to [Name] and let him know what [Name] replied. ... And, well, Bishop M was surprised. So, well, I guess that means that I wasn't being manipulative (yeah, I need MULTIPLE witnesses. I mean, I figure that Michael would try to let me down gently, since I'm his wife and he knows how I can react. I figure that my mom would give it to me straight, but as gently as possible. For Bishop M to agree ... well, that helps, too ... Apparently, I just need lots of validation. I mean, I was about to email my RS President (who I work with a lot) to check. And my "Sis," who has seen me at my bests and worsts. I didn't ... but I really thought about it.) ... I mean, if Bishop read my message and was shocked at the coldly-vitriolic response, then I figure that it's not just me. That I really didn't make some horrible gaffe.

So, readers ... some of you have known me IRL for a while. Am I completely wrong?
If you think that I'm manipulative, I'd like to be aware. And I've asked for this ... I'll do my best not to get miffed if you tell me that I have done something manipulative. It'd be illogical for me to react that way to you. Since you're just giving me honest feedback that I've requested. And, if I'm not aware of my faults, how can I try to improve myself?

But I do feel better this morning ... especially compared to how crap I felt last night. Sleep is a good thing.

I did let his mom (who's known me since I was three) know what's up.
She confirmed that if he's lashing out, it's because he knows that he can't justify how he's not committed right now to anything church-related. But that she knows and I should know that I'm not the person [Name] is trying to frame me as. That I shouldn't waste any time feeling bad. ... And, coming from her, that does mean a lot. She was my main Seminary teacher, so she saw me in the early mornings nearly every school day for about three years. Besides seeing me just about every Sunday for around 15 years.
It does make me feel better ... and lets me know more of what's up. And I appreciate that.
So ... I should just say my prayers. And let this storm blow over.
Since, she points out, love and concern are not the same thing as manipulation.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


So, as the wife of an Elders Quorum President (the guy who presides over the Elders [the guys who are over 18 who aren't high priests ... yeah, I'm not good at explaining it all, since I'm not in EQ or High Priests, but bear with me] ... in simplest terms, a group of guys in a class/group at church), I sometimes am employed as an unofficial EQ Secretary. (I answer the phone when people call the house to ask Michael to arrange some elders to go over and help people move or arrange a couple elders to go give someone a blessing or whatever and he's not already home ... or, since I know a lot of people in the ward on Facebook, sometimes I'm asked to get hold of someone we've had no luck reaching any other way ...)

Which brings me to today .... .... .... Yeah.

SO, there's a family in our ward/congregation. I've known the husband for AGES. We grew up together. I was in Sunday School classes with one of his sisters. He and his family are in our ward. And we've only run into each other at church once.

For the last year (or thereabouts), he won't return phone calls or texts or anything. But I have him as a friend on Facebook.

So, per Michael's request, since he's not returned anyone's calls or whatever for the last few (many) months, I sent him a FB message and a text. This week, the EQ presidency (president, first and second counselors, and their secretary) are getting together with the Stake Presidency to visit some families in the ward. They were hoping to visit this family.

I sent a message and text that pretty much said, "Hey! This is Allanna! Are you and your family up for a visit at date/time? If not, get back to me! If I don't hear back from you, expect a visit! :)"

.... .... ....

Well, a couple hours later, I get a fb message:
I do not appreciate the manipulative manner in which you have attempted to illicit a response from me. If and when I am comfortable having you in my home, I will invite you - not the other way around. Until such a time should occur, please refrain from further manipulative communications. So, since I am not one who likes conflict or irritating/offending others, I figure that I can apologize ... even though I KNOW that asking for an RSVP is not usually classified as "manipulative" behavior. I wrote back:
You're right, [Name] ... I was not my best. I will admit that you're totally justified in calling me out on that. Michael (and his secretary, Brother [Secretary]) have had no luck whatsoever in touching bases with you. I was hoping that I might have better success. And I see that I was wrong.
I'm sorry. I do feel bad that you feel very disrespected. You have every right to your feelings.
I don't want to be a bother or offensive to you. And I'm sorry that I was.
What can I do to make things right? Because I do like you. I miss seeing you around, like when we were in the Canyonville Ward.
Please accept my apology for being a complete dunderhead and all other insults that I deserve. I wasn't trying to be a jerk. ... I just seem to have that talent. Which I will work on not having.
And then I went through feeling HORRIBLE because I've apparently been an awful, manipulative person. I called Michael and let him know what was up. I tried to stop crying, wracking my brain to figure how I messed this up. I called my mom (who knows this other party) ... and she assured me that I wasn't being a manipulative wretch. And, after Michael got home, he told me point-blank that I wasn't being manipulative. That this friend has been blowing off EVERYONE for ... well, nearly a year ... and that this was rather a last resort, since he never responds to anyone else (and, if Michael drops by, they don't answer the door). Michael's frustrated that [Name] isn't being gutsy enough to tell anyone that they don't want visits ... and that he then does this. I took a shower ... and cried some more (better than emotional eating, right? Right??) ... and I passed from being a sad-sack into crossing the threshold into near-blinding rage.
  • Seriously, I've known this guy for over TWENTY-FIVE YEARS. He knows me. He knows that I'm generally a good person. He probably is also aware that I can be a really sensitive person. And that I do my best not to be easily offended. And that I do my damndest not to offend others ... especially on purpose. I try NOT to be manipulative. I CAN be ... but I really try not to coerce others. Because it's not kind or right. And I want to be like Jesus, dammit. (Saying "damn so much is not very Christlike. I know. I'm human ... I'm aware.)
  • He could have JUST AS EASILY written something a heckuva lot more tactful. (e.g., "I'm sorry, Allanna. That doesn't fit our schedule. We're not up for visits at all. In fact, take us off the church records." OR "No, that doesn't work for us. Maybe we could meet up at a park or something in the summer." OR "Nope. Doesn't work." OR "Not ready for a visit. Put us as DNC (Do Not Contact)." ... ANY OF THOSE WOULD WORK AND NOT RESORT TO CALLING ME NAMES WHEN I'M ONLY TRYING TO HELP MY HUSBAND AND A FRIEND.
I mean, I'm not a really violent person. But, if I could quit seeping tears (now of rage instead of self-pity), I almost feel like punching something. Like this guy.

I mean, really ... "Silence implies consent" is a totally valid thing. If guys say it, they're not accused of being manipulative. They're lauded as leaders. When people are doing social things, being asked to RSVP is not out of the ordinary. You don't hear people getting invitations getting all pissy about saying if they can make it or not. Yes, I GET that it's a VISIT to THEIR HOUSE ... but this is NOT something out of the ordinary in our church. In fact, a family SHOULD be getting a visit from their home teachers AND a visit from their visiting teachers ... TWO visits per month! He grew up in this church. His dad (and granddad) have both been BISHOPS of the ward ... As my mom pointed out ... and Michael and I agree ... something is going on. And it's something that makes him uncomfortable ... uncomfortable enough to take it out on me. I mean, if I'm being manipulative, it's like Hello Kitty-level manipulation. If need be, I can TOTALLY pull out the big guns and be all Maleficent-level. But that's not really helping anyone. So, yeah ... I'm just really irked and more irked. I try to do something good. And ... well, THIS. I know, I know ... I need to take it on the chin. To have skin soft as rose petals and thick as naugahyde. I'm working on it. Still, if I didn't feel so blindsided by this, it'd be easier to deal with.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Call this my "Zombie Post," 'cause I'm obvs back from the dead!

Dude, way to fall off the blogging bandwagon, there. Sorry for that.

Let's see, what all has happened since I last blogged?

There's too much. Let me sum up.

  • Took some meals to people. Arranged a lot more meals for people ...
  • We cleaned the church last month. I was the drill sergeant, teaching Bruise and Bucket how to clean the bathrooms. I've got a SYSTEM, you know. It's not the BEST. But it works.
  • We had Bubbles' birthday party ... it went well. We used the air compressor to blow up over 150 balloons. We shoved said balloons into the kids' (clean) room as a balloon pit.
    Bubbles also surprised me by knowing EXACTLY how to blow out the candles. She didn't waste ANY time with that.
  • Michael and I renewed our Temple recommends. Always an important thing.
    (As I'm trying not to snot all over and drinking herbal tea.)
  • Been working at getting over this stupid sinus thing for a few weeks. Fun times!!
    This time, the new thing is that my ear plugged up inside ... so, when I talk, it's like being in a tunnel. I'm not wild about it. 
  • Our ward choir performed for Stake Conference. At one point, Michael had to go sit with our kids.
    Another gal I was sitting next to, leaned over and whispered, "Your kids are so well-behaved!"
    "That's because I yell at them. A LOT." I responded back.
    "I don't yell at [her youngest's name]. That's why she's such a little brat." She concluded.
    I had to work really hard not to snicker like a loon, up there in front of EVERYONE.
    This gal is very sweet and soft-spoken ... for her to say that ... it still cracks me up.
  • We had a local children's performing arts series. We missed all but this last one -- a wildlife presentation. A group brought a selection of endangered animals/wild animals to show the kids ... you know, to build awareness. Michael was impressed when I correctly identified the kinkajou.  There were also a Fennec fox (oh, I would love one!), a porcupine, a baby alligator, and a boa constrictor. I think that was everything.
    Then we took the kids to the local mall's kids club activity. They had an inflatable obstacle course. Bruise was in HEAVEN. Bucket enjoyed it (with a neighbor girl and a school chum) and then decided she was ready to make the craft.
  • My friend, Bri, had a Pure Romance party at her place. I got lost on the way (what kind of a crappy friend am I, not knowing how to get to my friends' place ... especially since they've lived there over a year. *sigh*). It was fun. She's planning another ... so I had to invest in a cute dress (since she wants to do a Breakfast at Tiffanys/LBD theme).
  • I volunteered at the kids' school for a day -- just fetching students for hearing assessments. Nothing huge. There was supposed to be another gal to volunteer, but things came up and she never showed up. It was nice. I ended up with a couple blisters from walking all over the school so much (I'm glad it's not a huge school!).
  • Like I said, I bought a LDB (which I have to wear over a shirt, but it is nice. And for only $18, I'm not complaining!! I also got new sunglasses and a new bag. Yay for Ross and TJ Maxx, right? And, due to a good coupon, I got a pair of (clearance shoes) at Famous Footwear for $10. And they're really comfy.
  • In other coupon-y news, I went to The Body Shop. Between their sale and the card I have, I saved over 50%. Made me happy. More body butters? How can I resist? And I'm liking their lip butters, too. I also got some of those new-fangled curlers over at Sally Beauty ... I had a $5 off coupon, my club card, AND a coupon for 15% off. So it was totally worthwhile to invest in the big pack.
  • Michael and I celebrated our 13th anniversary. We left the kids with Mom and Dad C and headed up to Astoria. We stayed a couple nights at a very nice hotel. We went to museums and state parks. I was not the most fun (stupid sinuses = 2.5 hour POWER NAP, plus lots of saline rinses and decongestants!) ... but it was a great time. It was so nice to just hang with my favoritest ... and to be able to mosey through things ... and not change diapers or deal with gimmie-gimmies. ^_^
    (Don't get me wrong! We did miss the kids ... but it was nice to have a break. And they were being thoroughly spoiled at grandma's.)
  • Once we were back home, it's just been usual stuff -- housework, taking Bruise to the dentist, RS activity, Visiting Teaching, church, birthday parties, ... the usual.
I've been working with Bruise on his Cub Scouts stuff. I'm hoping to keep the momentum that he can earn his Wolf badge by summer break ... then we can work on his arrow points during vacation. That'd be nice.

We've also fallen behind on memorizing the Articles of Faith. I was hoping that the kids would be through the eighth one by now ... but I think we're still on the sixth. My main goal is for them to have all thirteen memorized by the end of the year. Then I just have to have them recite them every so often to keep them fresh. ... After that, I think it'd be in their best interests to memorize the seminary scripture mastery verses. Just so that they actually DO it. I never did ... and I regret that. It'd be nice to be a Scriptorian.
Well, isn't that why we have kids? So that we have a second chance to do things right the first time? ;P

Okay, this house isn't cleaning itself ... so I'd better go do some housework. And run the errands that I need done. *sigh*

Counting ...

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