June 27, 2007
Kickboxing is going great. It's hard; the hardest thing I've done. But I love it. There are times that I'm sure I'm going to have to sit out or I'm going to fall over...but I haven't had to yet. And there are times that I check the clock to see how much longer the torture is. But I love it. I've already noticed a difference in endurance after 3 sessions. I took today off. I wanted to go today (I went Monday and Tuesday) to keep up the momentum and build the habit but my calves needed the break, desperately. My left calf hurt so much last night that I was limping around the house because I couldn't put any weight on it.
I'm better today. Sore, but better. It makes it so much easier and more fun to have people to go with. There are 5-6 of us that go afterwork. They are all encouraging and motivating.
So tomorrow I go back. I'm dreading the muscle cramps but looking forward to about everything else...except maybe for the squat-jumps.
Under the Bus
Today I was thrown under the bus to my client by a director at my company. It wasn't right, it was unprofessional, but it happened.
The client is already not happy with me. Not because of anything I've done, but because of things they think I haven't done.
But the thing is, I have done them...and more. We are behind. We are lacking IT resources. I was not here when the committed to this project or the date. I was not the one who said we could implement a product we have never implemented before in 45 days (in most cases we have at least 3 months).
I have a list of IT things that HAVE to be done. They are not nice to haves, they are NEEDS.
But, I'm the one who looks bad to the client. Everyone internally knows what the problem is....not setting the client's expectations right and lack of IT resources. But, we can't tell the client that. So in the meantime, everyone insists on letting me look bad, even though I'm the one responsible for the client relationship. My boss told me today, "I could have put a veteran on this account and it still would have happened. You'll just have to get a few scars on this one and earn your stripes with the client"
What pisses me off is that it's my name that's out there on the line. The company screwed up before I even got here. I have BEGGED for an action plan of what we are doing to fix things and when they will be done....I've begged up to the top of my business unit. I don't even have that. So meanwhile, I have lost all credibility. It's not right.
And I was upset today when I heard what this director said to the client just to save face. And I'm upset that I still don't have an answer to give to the client and I continue to look like I'm not doing my job. But what I was pleased with and surpised of was how many people, when they heard what happened, came to check on me, tell me what a good job I was doing, what bull shit this is, how it happens all the time and that I need to just let it go because I'll get the relationship back. People asked if they needed to tell the execs what I'm doing (no, they don't, they already know). You would have thought we were in a school yard and they saw someone ready to fight me....they were ready to jump in.
So, it pleases me that in almost 6 months, that I've built some great relationships here and made some good friends...despite my feelings of the job itself.
I just don't know how long it's going to take and all I'm going to have to do to build my name back up with the client.
June 21, 2007
Kiki vs the Laptop
As I was trying to get a few posts in, Kiki was by my side, begging for some attention. We've already been on our walk for today and played a little, but she is especially needy today for some reason.
She started to position herself to sit in my lap in place of the laptop, and I was pushing her to the side. She then was putting her paws on my arm, begging to be petted and I pushed her away. Finally, she put her paw on my laptop, just as I had selected some text to copy and paste, and she pressed delete. I kid you not! Luckily, I was in Word and was able to "undo". Part of me was pissed but the other part of me was laughing.
Happy Birthday Sis #1
Today, Sis #1 turns 19. I'm driving down tomorrow to spend the weekend with the fam. So far, there are 15 Marines from my stepdad's work coming over for mom's lasagna, volleyball, ping pong, horse shoes, Wii and probably some poker. Hell, the 15 Marines is a birthday present enough.
Sis #1 is asking for cash from everyone. Now that she has a car payment to make and insurance to pay. I can't give just cash so she's getting cash and a few other fun things (thank you Victoria's Secret Semi-Annual Sale).
Sis #1 and me are very much opposites. Physically and personally. She's a momma's girl and I'm definitely a daddy's girl. She makes plenty of guy friends and I tend to have a lot of girl friends. I'm the introvert and she's the extrovert. I'm the one willing to leave my comfort zone sometimes, she rarely will. I wanted to get as far away as my parents as possible to build my independence. She say's she'll always live close by. I could go on.
And I love her for doing her own thing. I am proud that she will have her bachelors by the end of this year. I love how carefree she is and how many exciting things ahead of her there are.
And I want to stop her from making mistakes and getting her heart broken, but I can't. And I want to advise her on making good choices and contributing to life, but I can't do that either.
But I get the pleasure and pain of watching. And remembering things like, thanks to me, she thought she was Japanese until she was 10 because I insisted she was since she was born in Okinawa. Or putting her in a laundry basket, tying our jump rope to it and dragging her down the street in the snow. Or teaming up to beat our mom and stepdad at Taboo...we tend to have our own language. And taking her to see N'Sync for her 15th birthday. Or the time she called me old for taking her to a Collective Soul concert.
I watch her mature like watching an intense movie with my hands partially over my eyes. I look forward to the best and cringe for the worst.
But the best part of it, is she is strong and is growing stronger everyday. I'm glad I'm here to watch.
Happy Birthday to my lil sis. May you find something and someone you love and discover what you bring to this world.
A few of us at work are working on a difficult account and the client has ridiculous demands. I get about 10 calls a day from this client and probably around 40 emails from them. It's ridiculous and it has often had me planning their death or how to jump out the window on my floor.
The project manager on the account attends Kickboxing 5 days a week and loves it. She invited 4 of us from work to join her to relieve some aggression thanks to this client.
It started off with jogging a few laps around the mat. Then lunges. Then side stepping. And squatting. And crap walks. Then duck waddles. And over and over and over for 15 minutes. All I can say is holy shit!
Then we put on the gloves and learn to jab, hook, a roundhouse kick and a front kick. Then we did combos. Then we sped up. It was so fast and consistent with no time to let the muscles relax that I seriously thought I might paralyze my arms.
After learning, it was time to get into the high speed stuff. We'd do some combos, then do jumping jacks. We'd do some more combos and then do squats. We'd do some more combos and then do pushups.
After that, we did some minute sessions where it was freestyle for a minute, then freestyle on crack for a minute and then rest for 30 seconds. OMG!
And just as I thought we were done, the trainer says, "everyone on your back". I spit out a little too loudly, "wow, haven't heard that in awhile". Then I realized it was time for crunches. Regular crunches, and legs to the left or right crunches, and legs up in the air crunches and legs raised above the ground crunches, and scissors. My abs saw more exercise tonight than in my whole life!
I got my ass kicked! I have never worked so hard in my life. There were times that I thought my muscles might pop out of my skin and fall to the floor. I felt like I was back in high school, waiting for the instructor to turn around so we could take a break.
Oh, and the handwraps and gloves! Once I took those gloves off I would have sworn someone stuck their sweaty ass in my face and farted. That is the most rank smell. I can't believe that nasty of a smell can come from hands. I already felt like I needed to puke from the workout. That smell definitely tested my ability to swollow the upchuck! I promptly went to the lysol wipes to wipe down my hands.
However, I had a blast. Not only was it a different kind of work out that actually kept my attention, the trainers are hot and flirt with you the whole time. That certainly helped a bit.
So, I'm doing a trial with 2 of the other girls. So, there are a total of 5 of us that will get to go together, to aggravate the shit out of each other to go as we don't want to be the only ones making a fool out of ourselves there.
Wait for the post tomorrow when I bitch about how sore I am. I see it coming.
Scheduled and Ready
I had my consultation today and July 13th is the big day. Friday the 13th I will willingly let someone burn my eyes with a laser to not have to wear glasses or contacts.
I've done 3 consultations before and this one was the one that made me feel the most comfortable. The price is reasonable and a couple of people at work have gone to this place.
So unless I chicken out, in less than a month, I will no longer need to wear contacts or glasses. I can't wait!
June 20, 2007
Are You The Right Match For A Billionaire?
My dad bought a subscription to Money Magazine for both my sister and me.
It's a pretty easy read despite the sometimes difficult topic. However, today's has an article titled How to Marry a Billionaire. Of course, that's the page I turned to first. It is there I also find the following quiz:
Are You The Right Match For A Billionaire
1) What type of relationship are you looking for?
b. Friendship with benefits
d. Meal Ticket
2) Where do you go when you want a little snack?
a. My fridge for carrot sticks
b. McDonald's for fries
c. La Grenouille for quenelles of pike Lyonnaise
d. My room at the Georges V in Paris for beluga caviar (banned in the U.S.)
3) Where's your favorite place to shop?
a. Thrift store for vintage T-shirts
b. Mall of America for imitation vintage T-shirts
c. Prada Epicenter Store in L.A.
d. My living room when Zac Posen comes to fit me
4) What do you like to read?
a. Anything Oprah recommends
b. What the New Yorker recommends
c. Hedge Funds for Dummies
d. Real estate listings for villas on the Cote d'Azur
5) What's your ideal pet?
a. I am not into pets; they could ruin my Nain rug
b. Goldfish (gold-get it?)
c. A stable of Arabians
d. The wild Bactrian camel
6) What's your favorite physical activity?
a. Skiing in Gstaad (St. Moritz is just too crowded)
b. Eighteen holes at St. Andrews Golf Club
c. Weight lifting in my 2,000 square-foot home gym with Jamie, my personal trainer
d. Tantric yoga
7) What do you see as a perfect date?
a. A candlelight dinner on the terrace of a seaside restaurant
b. A baseball or football game
c. Lunch at the Four Seasons, followed by a stroll around Christie's or Sotheby's
d. A flight to New York City aboard a private jet to attend La Traviata
1) c. You want commitment. The big money lies in marriage - ask any divorce lawyer.
2) a. You are a simple, down-to-earth girl (or boy), plusyou will never have a weight problem.
3) a. No way you can keep up with the clothing budget of the regulars on the billionaire circuit. Go for boho chic instead.
4) b. Brains are definitely in. Also good: phrases like "During my internship at the Institute of Advanced Study..."
5) d. Show your philanthropic side with your affection for these two-humped Mongolian natives, an endangered species.
6) d. Let your billionaire imagine the possibilities.
7) b. A billionaire usually owns the team.
June 18, 2007
As I was growing up, my mom wasn't much of a girly girl. The idea of hair, make up or fashion were far from her mind.
Hence why I have a picture of me going to prom in hose and open toed shoes.
And why I thought blue eyeliner was cool.
I'm still a bit clueless in that department. Like walking into my training class, training for about an hour or so and noticing a seam down my arm. I felt behind my neck to find my tag sticking out.
Or like walking into a client meeting the other day and having my size sticker on the back of my shirt.
Or walking out with my hair and make-up done in my work shirt and my pj bottoms.
I think this is all evidence enough that the work day starts way to fricken early!
Pregnancy Scare Update
Two years ago, I wrote the following post about a girlfriend of mine from college.
I got an odd, panicky call tonight from a good friend of mine.
She got married almost a year ago and is quite naive to anything that has to deal with sex.
Well, she called me, panicking, because she was very "late" and had been throwing up. You would think this is the first sign of pregnancy....but not for this girl. She is allergic to everything, constantly nauseous....I don't think she's ever had a clean bill of normal health.
So, she was flipping out and was scared to take a pregnancy test. She actually asked if I would fly to visit her and and be there when she took the test because she didn't know what she was doing. As much as I would love to take a couple of days off of work to make fun of my friend peeing on a stick, I find that unrealistic and hella expensive!
She talked me into doing this over the phone. No, I'm not talking just talking her through it on the phone, I mean step by step doing it with her. After her negative response to my question of her sobriety, I agreed to do this with her. I figured it'd be great laughs, something to tell her kids in the future, and even blog about.
So, on the phone, we both drive to an Eckerds (had to be the same drug store) and go down the the feminine mile. She asks me which test to choose. The hell if I know!! I start reading the packages to see which ones you can use soonest and at any time, and we ended up choosing e.p.t Digital. I told her to buy the dual pack as I knew she would find a way to screw this up!
Still on the phone, we go to the cashier and purchase our experiment.
We get to our homes, I open the box and read the instructions as she is asking all these stupid questions. I ignore her questions and continue my reading until I hear, "I have to stick this inside me????"
Holy shit! No wonder she wanted someone to do this with her!
So I am walking her through my version of Pregnancy Tests for Dummies and she keeps repeating that she doesn't think she can do this. Meanwhile, I am freaking amazed by how advance these things have gotten, as this particular test looks like a digital themometer!
I will spare you the next 5 minutes of commentary.
All of a sudden, I hear a scream...."NOT PREGNANT!! I'M NOT PREGNANT!! IS THIS FOR REAL? IT SAYS I'M NOT PREGNANT! ARE WE SURE? SHOULD I DO THE NEXT ONE?"
Haha, I knew my chance to get her real good....
I remain silent. "S, are you there? Should I do it again?"
I do my best imitation of shock and tears (a scaled down version of shock and awe) "Fucking A! Oh no oh no oh no! Nooooooo! I.can't.be.pregnant!"
She starts to flip out with me and gets into the "I'll be there for you, we'll get through this, you'll be a great mom!"
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't keep it in any longer!
"Girl, I'm not pregnant....I couldn't get nailed in a hammer factory right now!"
And that is how you take care of a friend that is freaked out about being pregnant!
She emailed me today to say that she was "late" again and went to Eckerd to buy the same e.p.t digital. When taking the test, she said it reminded her that she needed to email me as we haven't talked in awhile.
Dear God, is she going to be "reminded" of me each time she has to take a pregnancy test? That is just odd on so many levels.
June 17, 2007
Happy Father's Day
Quotes from my dad:
"Your most prized posession is your name"
"There are only 2 good men in the world; me and one other out there for you"
"Rule #1, plenty of love for dad. Rule #2, no messes in dad's truck"
I love that when people see my dad, they say I am a spitting image of him.
I love wrapping my arms around my dad and just holding on to him.
I love when we are walking into a restaurant or the movies, he puts his hand on the back of my neck as to "lead" me where to go. It cracks me up.
I love when he smiles that his eyes get really squinty and when we embarass him, they get even more squinty with his big grin.
My dad is the hardest working man I know. He is the epitome of integrity. And he expects the same from his daughters.
And one of my favorite things in life is to see my dad's face beam when he has all 3 of his daughters together (which unfortunately doesn't happen very often) and to hear him talk with pride about his girls.
Father's Day doesn't come often enough for my dad.
Banned from Disney?
If you like Denny's Saturday Boobage...
Selfless Act of Heroism
U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Saves The Life of an Air Force Officer During Horse-Back Riding Mishap Sacramento, CA., May 17, 2007
Yet another unselfish act of heroism performed by a man wearing The Eagle, Globe and Anchor:
An Air Force Captain narrowly escaped serious injury recently when he decided to try horseback riding, even though he had no lessons or prior experience. He mounted the horse, unassisted, and the horse immediately sprang into action. As it galloped along at a steady and rhythmic pace, the Captain began to slip from the saddle. In terror, he grabbed for the horse's mane, but could not get a firm grip. He tried t o throw his arms around the horse's neck, but he began to slide down the side of the horse anyway!
The horse galloped along, seemingly impervious to its slipping rider. Finally, losing his frail grip, the Captain attempted to leap away from the horse and throw himself to safety.
Unfortunately, his foot became entangled in the stirrup, and he was now at the mercy of the horse's pounding hooves as his head struck against the ground over and over and over.
As his head was being battered against the ground and he was mere moments away from unconsciousness, to his great fortune a Marine Gunnery Sergeant shopping at Wal-Mart saw him and quickly unplugged the horse.
June 16, 2007
It's been a long ass week. The most I've worked since being in retail...and maybe even more so.
Tonight a bunch of us went to happy hour around 4pm. I just got home. That would be 8 hours of straight drinking. We ALL had a long week.
And all I can say, is checking your missed calls on the way home and returning the call to your mother is probably not the best idea. I'm not quite sure how I will recover from that tomorrow.
On another note, happy hour should be a highly suggested part of work as I feel that I learn more from time spent out of work with co-workers than during work. Life is crazy like that.
June 12, 2007
How do you know when your brain has reached full capacity? I think I might be close.
June 10, 2007
Sis #1 is turning 19 in 10 days. She will have her bachelors by the end of this year.
I need to get crackin'. I have 39 credits left. I have dropped and postponed classes for about the past 6 months. I wasn't focusing and honestly just did not want to do the work.
39 credits equals 13 classes. I might be able to get out a few of those credits by writing a few papers on previous training and work experience.
Each class is 5 weeks long. 5 weeks times 13 classes is 65 weeks, without any breaks. Longer than I want. With employer tuition reimbursement (which I am eligible for next month), I can double up on classes. That will cover 3 classes a year. With financial aid, I cannot double up.
My sister, who is 7 years younger than me, is going to graduate before I do. Ugh!
My goal is to have this done by this time next year. Although, if there was every a glitch in University of Phoenix's computer system that reduces the amount of credits I need, I won't cry over it.
I've had a few people that have had a significant influence in my life. Whether small or on a larger scale, I recognize the value they have added.
This weekend I was able to experience how it felt to be the person of influence. Or at least positive influence.
Ten years ago, I was practically adopted by someone that led a very important role in my life. She had 2 kids, a 7 & 8 year old. I would hang out with them after school and help them with homework until she was done chaperoning one of the sporting events or teaching night classes.
Throughout all of my moves, we kept in touch and visited. Her daughter especially was interested in my going to college, living the dorm life. After college she kept in touch with where I was and what I was doing.
A couple of months ago, I asked her mom when her graduation was and told her I would try to make it.
Well, tickets to Eastern North Carolina are $700+ so I knew I would be making the drive. I haven't been to that part of the country, reliving those memories, for several years.
I had a business trip to Phoenix last Sunday. Thursday night I took the 11:30 red-eye to arrive into Atlanta at 6am. Don't let the time fool you. It was a 4 hour flight that only allowed me about 2-3 hours of sleep. I ran home to pack another bag, got my hair done, and started my 500 mile venture to North Carolina.
I wanted to call and say I couldn't make it. I wanted to send my gift and tell her how proud of her I was through a phone call. I was so exhausted. Red Bull was my friend. Make that 3 Red Bulls.
But I made it; I'm so very glad I did. She was valedictorian and made an excellent speech. She was beautiful and poised, obviously ready to start her next chapter.
After graduation, her mother, her, and I discussed old times. Her mother joked about how I was the only one that was able to help her understand Algebra. She described memories of when I went to college and sent pictures and she told her mother she couldn't wait to do that. And when she was a freshman she told her mother and I that she was going to be valedictorian.
And we joked more about my college boyfriend. The one with the piercings and lack of high school diploma. The one her mother called the big neon sign. She remembers all the good and the bad. And she has plans on how to handle the bad.
Her and I later got some alone time in the car and she told me about her current relationship and how she was smitten with this guy (yes, her word) but that she wanted to stay grounded. She wished that she would have met him later in life because there was so much she wanted to do first and give her attention to. She was open to my advice but I'm not sure she really needed it.
She told me as I left how much it meant to her that I came to see her graduate and that she knew what I went through to be there. I told her how proud I was of her and that I looked forward to the wonderful things she was going to do with her life.
The next morning I left at 11am for the drive home. I drove 16 hours to spend 16 hours there. It was worth it. Very worth it.
June 03, 2007
No matter how much I travel, I never get used to seeing someone hugging another person, not wanting to let them go, often in tears. It's especially hard to see it with children and parents or sibblings. I usually get a bit teary eyed myself. I remember how much it sucks.
So, when will instant travel be invented? Not only would it make my life a bit easier right now, but these families that are seperated would get to see each other a hell of a lot more often.
Wait, that also means you would see more of those pesky family members that you can usually put off for a couple of years.
MANILA (AFP) - A jobless man was shot dead by a security guard for singing out of tune in a Philippine karaoke bar, police said Thursday.
Romy Baligula, 29, was halfway through his song on Tuesday night in a bar in San Mateo town, east of Manila, when 43-year-old security guard Robilito Ortega yelled that he was out of tune.
As Baligula ignored his comments and continued singing, Ortega pulled out his revolver and shot him in the chest.
Senior Superintendent Felipe Rojas said Baligula died instantly.
The security guard was detained by an off-duty policeman shortly after the shooting.
Deaths and violence are not uncommon in Philippine karaoke bars.
The popular Frank Sinatra song "My Way" has been taken off many karaoke bars in Manila after it was found to be the cause of fights and even deaths when patrons sang out of tune.
I guess American Idol won't be going to the Philippines.
June 02, 2007
I ordered dinner from P.F. Changs tonight. In my fortune cookie, I had 2 fortunes.
A dream you have will come true
I can live with that :-) Well, let's hope by dream it means the "goal" definition of dream and not the weird ass dreams I have been having lately. Like the dream I had last night where I went to a friend’s house, went back on their back patio (that wasn't on the water) and suddenly they had a view of the ocean and the whales from Sea World were jumping up in the air.
But I like thinking that the best times of my life haven't been lived yet. That's reassuring.
Red Bull a Plenty
I can tell you one thing, a 1 day weekend is not long enough! I got home from Oklahoma last night. I was exhausted.
Today I ran errands and spent time with Kiki. It's now almost 11pm and I still have not washed clothes, cleaned house, showered or packed for my trip to Phoenix tomorrow.
I have to leave for the airport at 9am tomorrow. I am dreading this flight and this trip. The 4 hours to Phoenix on a packed flight is not the way I want to spend my Sunday. To top it off, I leave here at 11am but get to Phoenix at 12pm their time. Once I get there, I have to meet with our client at the Biltmore (okay, that part isn't so bad) and rehearse for a big production we are supposed to put on for this client. And I believe there is a client dinner Sunday evening as well. Ugh!
Throughout the week I will be in meetings and trainings, both facilitating and listening. And of course there will be client dinners in the evenings.
That's a problem. I need my time away from people to rejuvinate.
Thursday night is the gala and right afterward, I am jumping on the 11:30 red eye home to Atlanta, where I will arrive at 5:30am. I will then jump in the truck and drive 500 miles to North Carolina to attend my friend's daughter's graduation that evening. I'll spend the weekend there and leave early Sunday to drive home.
Please let there be enough Red Bull to get me through the next 7 days!
Tropical Depression Barry
As I checked out the weather today, I saw the status of Tropical Depression Barry. It's bringin' on some much needed rain. And the talk of this tropical depression named after a piece of my past has me thinking back to that time of my life, and that relationship.
The story is below the fold. It's long, very long. But I wrote it for me. I believe it's the first time I've told the story in full and I know it's the first time I've written it. It was a good way to think through it all.
After getting kicked out of college my first year, I moved back home to 29 Palms, CA. I knew I would get a job, or two. I new I would attend the community college. But I didn't know anything else. My original plan of graduating college and becoming a music teacher was no longer relevant.
One of my jobs was working at the Marine Corps Exchange. There weren't many choices in 29 Palms. But who am I to complain? The eye candy was great! While working there, I met a great guy. I could stare at him for hours. Barry and I started casually dating, neither of us wanting anything too serious. This lasted for a couple of months when he said he had to go to North Carolina because his grandfather was ill and was close to dying. He said he didn't know how long he would be, and that he knew that we weren't officially together but he wanted me to wait for him. Despite the choice to not be serious, he was my first, so I couldn't help but want him to come back.
1 week goes by. 2 weeks...3 weeks. And I hear nothing. Not a phone call, not an email...nothing.
Meanwhile, my parents moved to Phoenix and I moved into my first apartment. $300 a month got me a "furnished" 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom place that I believe used to be an old motel.
I continued to work at the Exchange and the night audit shift at the Best Western and take a couple of classes. I met a new guy again while at work and began dating him. That lasted about 3 months before he was stationed in Okinawa.
About 6 months after Barry originally left, he walked back into my life. While at work, I saw him walk into my department, with the biggest smile and looking as good as ever. To say the least, I was shocked.
He admitted to being in Okinawa for the previous 6 months and that he couldn't handle telling me because he had fallen in love with me. I was 19 years old...I fell for it.
At that point, there was no more casual. We were together. He soon moved in with me to a studio rat hole that was the size of my guest bedroom now. It was such an awful, old, nasty place. But with him there, I was truly happy. I could have lived in a cardboard box with him and been happy. We would have fun just playing Spades on the bed, or him showing me how to put a computer together.
There were a couple of times that he had to go down to Palm Desert, where he used to live previously. He had told me he was helping a friend move or some other excuses. I never thought anything of it. He spent 90% of his time with me.
During this time, my grandfather had fallen extremely ill with multiple cancers and was in extreme pain. In November, I was told he wouldn't make it much longer. I decided I needed to go out there before he passed. Unfortunately, even after working for the exchange for a year and a half, they wouldn't let me have the time off because it was in November...retail blackout. Barry told me to quit so we could go and he would take on more financially until we got back and I got another job. He was somehow able to get the time off work to go with me and I just thought that was the greatest thing in the world. I remember at one point he told me he had to tell his 1st Sgt that he was going to see his ex-wife's sick parent so he could go. Again, I didn't think anything of it!
With limited time and money, we made the non stop trip from California to Missouri. As hard and tiring as it was, it was great because it was with him. He'd drive and I'd read one of the computer books he was studying to him. I'd drive and he'd sing to me or tell me stories.
We made it to Missouri, the first time I had been back since I was kicked out of college. Due to being sick and the unlivable conditions they were in prior, my grandparents had moved out of their trailer into an apartment that used to be a motel. With all of the medical equipment and tubes running everywhere, it was difficult to get 2 people in there, let alone move around.
I spent some time with my grandparents. They were so happy to meet Barry and said I looked very happy. At one point when I wasn't around, my grandmother pulled Barry aside and asked him when he was going to marry me. He told her as soon as he could.
I took him around my old stomping ground. We made the trip up to my old college and I shared many memories with him.
We had to get back home so I said my last goodbyes to my grandpa and told grandma I'd visit more often. As we left, Barry would not let me go. As we drove back home to Cali, he would not let go of my hand.
24 hours into our drive, somewhere in the desert (I think it was New Mexico) I got a phone call from my mom. I couldn't understand her through her sobbing. She finally got out that grandma had passed away. Not grandpa, but grandma. And Barry was there. He was there for me for the first time I had a family member pass away. He was the only man in my life to meet my grandparents. The one my grandma left this earth believing I would marry.
We got home to our rat hole and he rarely left my side. I got a job as a vendor for a few consumer electronic companies at the Exchange. And then it happened. A couple days before Thanksgiving, not soon after our trip to Missouri, I came home from work to a 1/2 empty rat hole and a note on the ironing board. Barry said he wasn't good for me and couldn't be with me anymore. He was terribly sorry and that this was the best thing for me.
I was heartbroken. Probably the most heartbroken ever. The feeling of having the earth ripped out from underneath you. The feeling that I would never come out of this gutwrenching pain. Wondering what I did. The shock!
I could not get a hold of Barry. He wouldn't answer my calls, despite that he was in possession of a cell phone that was on my account. Finally, the day before Thanksgiving, we talked. He apologized and just kept saying the same thing he said in his letter. He said he was at a friend's house for Thanksgiving and that he would come see me when he returned the next week.
I went to a co-worker's house for Thanksgiving. I ended up getting the most sick I have ever been. I started breaking out in cold sweats, had a slight fever and couldn't bare the sight of food. So I excused myself from her home and headed back to the painful reminder of what wasn't there. And I hurled. I puked for 3 days. I had the worst body pain and a fever. I was miserable inside and out.
It took about 3 days to get over that and I went back to work the following week. Barry came home to the rat hole so we could talk. I came home for lunch and we talked about what he did and why. He just kept saying he was sorry and didn't want to hurt me. I begged him to stay. At that point, I honestly could not imagine life without him. Ah, to be 20 years old.
He said he didn't want to live without me either and he was going to stay. We made up, and then I headed back to work. All was better in the world. I couldn't wait to get back home; back to the way things were just a couple of weeks ago.
And when I got home, there was another note on the ironing board attached to his key. The note just said I'm sorry. (Hmmmm, I wonder if I can blame my hate of ironing on him?)
At this point, I was hurt and pissed. The calls began and once I realized he wasn't coming back, I started to get more pissed that I was left with his share of financial responsibilities as well. I called and told him he owed me money for rent, electric, the phone, etc. Anything I could think of. I then received 3 voicemails from a man I had never seen. He left all of these hateful words. I was a dirty bitch and all I cared about was getting his money (Sgt's in the Marine Corps have money?) Words came from him that I never knew possible.
So I threatened to go to his command if he did not pay his share of the rest of the month. I was hurt and pissed. (Ah, the mistakes of a 20 year old) Well, the threat of going to his command worked. He gave me about $120 and said he'd give me the rest next pay day.
With the new job not going as I planned and him leaving me with bills, I couldn't make it there on my own. That December I moved to Yuma to stay on my mom's couch. I was left with a $1300 cell phone bill, utilities that still needed to be paid, and the unanswered question as to why this all happened.
Skip ahead about a year. I was 21, living in a slightly better studio rat hole and was working for a retail company that was allowing me to pay for my mistakes in 29 Palms. The past year allowed me time to think, get friend's opinions about what happened. We came to the conclusion that we thought he may have been married. It was hard for me to believe, it just didn't make sense. And I also couldn't believe that the things he did at the end of the relationship were him. I knew him, it just wasn't him.
I then hear from Barry via email. We casually talk back and forth. He said he is sorry for what he did and the things he said and that he knew they were unforgivable. He said he screwed up the best thing in his life. I finally asked if he had been married, and he said yes.
He explained that when we first met 2 1/2 years ago, his wife had cheated on him and had given him "permission" to cheat back. That's when he met me. When he came back from Okinawa, they were supposedly separated and she thought he was living in the Barracks. When he left note on my ironing board, she had found out about me and threatened to go to his command if he didn't return to her.
At this point, he was out of the Marine Corps, they were divorced and she was out of his life. We continued to talk and he asked me if there would ever be the chance for us to be together again. I still had not achieved that happiness I had with him and the thought of having that again was overwhelming. I wanted that more than anything.
I told him that if he was willing to come to Yuma to talk and hang out, we could see how we felt. He talked about moving to Yuma to make things right, to be with me. For 3 weeks before he came, I received a dozen roses at work. Cards that professed his love for me and how he was the luckiest man on earth to have another chance.
When he arrived, we went to dinner and talked. He was the same. The same cheery, funny man that I loved to stare at. His smile was the same; the way he looked at me was the same.
But I had changed. We went out to his car and he pulled me over to hug me. I just stood there while he held me tight. I couldn't get myself to even put my arms around him.
We went back to my house as I had agreed that he could stay with me for the evening before returning back to California.
We laid down on the pull-out couch that I used for a bed. He wrapped his arm around me tight. Tight enough that I couldn't budge. I cried, I couldn't do it. He was sound asleep while I got out of his hold and tried to fall asleep on the couch.
Later in the evening, he woke up and asked what I was doing over there. I told him I couldn't sleep. In all actuality, I just couldn't sleep with him. He asked me to come back to bed and I did. I thought if I could just make it through the night and until he left, I would tell him that I couldn't do this. I wasn't the same. As I was lying there he wanted to be physical, and I didn't. He was persistent. And I continued to tell him I couldn't. He won.
I don't think I've ever been so happy to see daybreak. He left that day knowing that was the end of that. He didn't have to ask. He acted just as he had when he arrived the day before. I was happy to see him leave.
It wasn't too much longer that I decided it was time to get out of Yuma. I faxed my resume to every one of my company's retail locations in Eastern North Carolina. I got an offer to manage one of the locations and took it.