The Way Things Are






two stories that really go nowhere
2006-02-03, 3:22 p.m.

I have two stories today that really go nowhere: they are long, they involve many rabbit trails, but they illustrate the tangled small-world in which I live, and I thoroughly enjoyed living these stories, so now I’m going to tell them to you, whether you like it or not.

***If you don’t want to read this, just skip on down to the part at the bottom (hee!) in bold caps that says “…AND THAT’S WHY MY ASS HURTS SO MUCH NOW.” Get it? Bottom? Right.

First, I went over to my Big Boss’s office, the Pres of our board, to tell him about yesterday’s proposition, and see if he could make heads or tails of it. He’s a bit more business-oriented, whereas although I have a brain built for business, my bod is obviously built for sin, so he’s able to digest and analyze these kinds of things better without being flummoxed by flattery or distracted by the sexy.

Here’s where things get a little twisty: his business partner (not at all the same business I do – he’s my volunteer board Pres and has his own business, life, world, etc) but where was I? Oh yeah, I dated his business partner about 6 years ago. I was pretty angry at him when I broke up with him after 3 months of dating, but I got over it quickly and while we are not like going-out-and-getting-a-drink or calling-each-other-on-the-phone kinds of friends, I see him when I go to my Pres’s office, and we have a friendly relationship, full of all the wise-cracking and bullshit that defined our dating relationship, but alas, none of the hot sex. Which I guess is good because he and I are both married to other folks now, and that would be wrong, very wrong, but while it was going on, let me say DAYUM.

(fanning self)

So, onward! I knew that he had gotten married this past summer, but I never really had an opportunity to talk to him about it or anything because we don’t have long drawn-out conversations – just quick drive-by wisecracks mostly. But today, he and I were left in the office together for a few minutes, while Pres went to do who-knows-what – maybe go poop or something – and I happened to notice a photo of his new wife on his desk, so I started prying. Here’s how that went:

Me: So who did you marry? What’s her name?

Him: Molly. I married Molly.

Me: Hmm. Molly. I don’t think I know Molly.

Him: Yeah, I, uh, kinda dated her off and on and then uh…

Me: OH! I remember Molly! You dated her right before we dated. You really liked her.

Him: Yeah, obviously, but it took me, what? Five, six years to finally figure it out?

Me: Yeah, and to get a grip on the fact that your ex-wife WAS NOT GOING TO COME BACK TO YOU.

Him: I never thought that!

Me: You had an awfully hard time reconciling yourself to that.

Him: I was definitely the winner in that situation, though.

Me: Yes you were. I’m glad it worked out.

It was fun prying, and then gently ADMONISHING him for what was some pretty bad behavior on his part when we were dating. Because I knew something was going on whilst we dated: the man was so noncommittal that returning a phone call made him break out in hives. I spent a lot of time trying to interpret what he was saying, and what this meant, and what that meant, and you know? When you have to dedicate much time to interpreting what your boyfriend says and does, that’s a pretty good sign that things are not working out. Smart & Sassy, y’all feel free to use that bit of insight.

Oh, and then Pres and I had a long conversation about the proposition and how to approach it, and what I want, and blah blah blah, and long story short, he’s going to meet with the propositioner and tell him some things.

The End. Of that one.

Next story:

Last Monday, the phone rings. I answer it, and it’s a little voice asking for Lil Guy. I couldn’t tell whether it was a boy voice or a girl voice, because at 13? Who the hell knows? So he took the call, and here’s how his side of the conversation went:

“Hullo? Hey. I dunno. What did he tell you? Well what did he say? I dunno. Well, you’re going out with him. OK, I’m confused and I don’t know what to do. Well, you told me to put myself in your shoes, and that’s what I’d be saying. Why don’t you just ask him? Well what did he say? I dunno. OK, I’ll ask him.”


Me: Who was that?

Him: Jill.

Me: What’s going on?

Him: She’s trying to figure out if Jack likes her. But they’re going out. I would GUESS he likes her.

Me: Well, you’re nice to talk to her. And it’s cool that she thought of you to talk to about it. But you sounded a little impatient with her. Let me give you this advice: when the girls call you to talk about their boyfriends, be very nice. Because when things go bad with their boyfriends, they are going to remember that LG was very, very nice to them. And then you can swoop in.

Him: *shrugging*

So then this past Wednesday night, I’m driving home, and my cell phone rings. It’s Jill again, asking for LG – she tried our house and “some guy” (that would be my HUSBAND, Jill) told her to call my cell phone, and so I gave her LG’s dad’s number, and I assumed she called him with more “what does my boyfriend means when he says this?” angst.


LG got out of school early, and although he’s at his dad’s this weekend, I dropped over at his grandma’s house to say hey. There’s a big 13th birthday party tonight for one of the girls in his class (good lord, the money some of these parents spend on their kids’ birthdays! This one is at a country club!) (!), and I was giving LG my typical advice: “the invitation says “dressy casual” so wear either jeans with a nice shirt, or khakis with a t-shirt. And brush your teeth. And use deodorant. Remember! TOOTHPASTE AND DEODORANT!”

And then “Who’s your 7th grade girlfriend?” (I ask this on a regular basis, and he usually rolls his eyes and says “NOBODY”. But today?)


Hoo boy! I laughed my hyena laugh, and hugged him, and said “How in the world did this go down?”

Behold the hyena laugh. It’s not just for bowling anymore.

“Jill and Jack broke up.”

“See? Do you see? Do I know my stuff? That’s awesome. See? Being the nice guy pays off.”

Are you guys waiting oh-so-patiently for the twist in this one? OK, here it is: it is that Jill’s mother and my ex, Mr. Surly, dated for a while after we separated. For a while there, LG and Jill were more than just school friends. Ever since, they have had a pretty relaxed, casual relationship – different from a lot of boys and girls, none of the weird awkwardness – and I just think it’s funny now that they are “going out”, whatever that means. Maybe it means that they’ll do some kissing at this birthday party tonight.

I know that the thought of this – the kissing - might make other mothers shudder a bit, but I’m thinking just get it over with. Experience the kissing, get over the whole mystery of it, and move on. It’ll make him happy. I wish I were the one picking him up tonight from the party, because my Mom-Senses would totally be able to pick up kiss vibes.



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