A Minute to Myself (174)
A Minute to Myself (175)

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Here I am, after a four-day trip to LA during which I did too much driving through too much traffic amidst inconsiderate drivers (even taking into consideration New York drivers) and in full-view of too many accidents. The car that careened into the dividing wall after, I assume, the driver pressed on his brakes too hard was far too much drama for me. Older daughter’s response a few moments later was: “Why are you driving so slowly?” And younger daughter’s response when I told her about the accidents I saw was: “Maybe you’re bad luck.” You do have to love those girls: they are committed to not being a support to their mother all the time but becoming their own people with their own thoughts and causing me no end of concern as to their compassion… or lack thereof.

I was free of thoughts of ex-husband, which was good because the moment he noticed my return this morning he was back in slime mode. As I sat down to a plate of too much matzo brie (matzo that is softened in water, then mixed with an egg, heavily salted, and then fried) he took his egg carton out of the refrigerator and said: “Excuse me, these are my eggs.” Yes, he refers to me as “Excuse Me.” Lack of class cannot be made up for by using a term like that when it is dipped in bile. And since my daughter finished my eggs (I guess he knew this because he keeps tabs of things like this) and I knew what response I would get from him if I touched one of his eggs, I calmly responded: “I bought a container of 18 this morning.” And off slime went, leaving behind his dirty and clean dishes for someone else to take care of before more people were supposed to see the house, but didn’t show up.

I shall not dwell on seeing the university where older daughter wants to go except to note that she really wants to live in the LA area and study at this one school and is not concerned about going into massive debt to study there. In my role of mother I have tried to talk to her, but she will be 18 very soon and is very smart and confident. Grandma will try to talk to her tomorrow. It is true, I am not one of those mothers who sets down the law but have tried instead to make my daughters independent women. While I am sure that is the right way, sometimes I wish they would just do what I say!

Dinner with my blogging friend and her family showed me that blogging friends can be real friends. If I had met her in “real” life I am sure that we would have been friends. Dinner, then talking and meandering in a bookstore, and then ice cream—that’s the way to spend some time together away from a keyboard.

Even while ensconced in a hotel room that was formerly part of a silo (with round cement walls to prove it) and the rails of the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe a few yards from the room so that I could hear and feel the trains rush by I was not disturbed into thinking about men or the men who are either not that into me or who are not that into keeping up email correspondence at a Laura-suitable pace. This was good, very good. I was focused where I needed to be.

But just in case you were wondering, I had two emails when I returned from Chemistry-related gentleman: one who seems to be illiterate and the other who is taking too darn long between contacts. I had written him off, and oops, there he is. Oh, and there is a Craig’s List gentleman who seems to be more of a gentleman even though he has no degrees than many of the men who have graduate degrees. No, you cannot be my "pronce charming" whoever you are. And if you start every sentence with “I” in your profile I will archive you. And no, I don’t trust you when you say you want a faithful woman—not with my controlling-man experience. And if you say that a woman should never be in front or behind I will question you too (it was the never in front part that was a real turn-off, why can’t we take turns leading and following?). But we shall see, and if nothing comes of these, then c’est la vie, or c’est ma vie.

I walked a lot. I drove a lot. I didn’t eat too much. I adhered to Passover restrictions except for a couple of self-granted leniencies (I tried not to eat too many of the dry noodles in my awful Asian chicken salad that I didn’t know would be there, and I pretended to be Sephardic one day and had some pinto beans with my rice-less, taco-less Mexican lunch). While I am still not drinking coffee I have not been as good on the chocolate ban. How I wish the cashier at Trader Joe’s in Pasadena would not have wished me a “good evening with your chocolates” on Thursday night. Who says things like that? Besides, I bought the small box of truffles (only 30) and not the big box (50) and there are still some left.

My daughter and I got along most of the time; there were a few snips from her, but she’s really not used to being with mommy so much (or anyone or that matter), and even she said what a good time she had. That would be (as in the good time) except for my repeatedly bringing up the subject of the cost of tuition and her wanting to say “I do” to indebtedness.

And on the subject of meaning of life I decided that I need to do more and think less. So even walks during which I mull to myself need to be supplemented by real action. I’m not quite sure what, but perhaps hiking with other people would be a start. Maybe take a crafts class; I’ve wanted to learn how to throw clay (on a potter’s wheel) for more reasons than creativity.

Which brings me to a discussion of my writing and blogging. I think that I will be cutting back on the number of blog posts I do—that would be daily, and focus more on the questions and then one or two posts a week. This would enable me to start the book that I decided that I need/want to write. I’m not quite sure what shape it will take since the words “fictionalized real-life,” “philosophy of life” and “funny” are battling for control of my mind. I want to keep my connection with my readers, with the blogs I read and with the wonderful world of immediate communication but I also want to explore my depths even more, hence “the book” project.

Lastly. Happy Passover! Happy Easter! May happiness emerge from within us all.

This should be an interesting week: another mediation session.



Welcome home. Sounds like it went well. Step by step...we get it together and live life, despite it's diversions.


Glad you're back safe and sound. Too bad your egg exchange had to happen so soon. What a way to remind you that your vacation's over.


I'm so bummed I didn't get to see you. Ex husband's-nightmare huh? Seeing an email from my still gets my heart pacing as 9 times out of ten and often ten times out of ten, it is something that makes me so pissed off, it's ridiculous. Every time I feel at peace, I have to deal with him and his nonsense and I just wish he would go away but alas, we have a kid together and that will likely not happen. I'm just so tired of it. I know it will end in that my kid will grow older and one day make her own decisions about him but for now, it really can feel so oppressive. I can't wait for you to sell that house and finally live a life away from your ex.


Welcome back from your well-deserved break/vacation. (Right back to the same-old, same-old...)
Glad you decided to continue blogging - I'd miss your words of wisdom.
Best of luck with the writing - and with the mediation!


From what I know, a vacation away from your X would be heaven! I'm so bummed that I can't access your blog from work - I would've loved to have met you while you were here. And I agree, most of the drivers here are total inconsiderate jerks. Except for me, of course.

Liz A.

So glad you enjoyed your weekend. Craft classes can be great way to connect and do. I continued one knitting class "to learn more complicated stitches" years ago just because I enjoyed it all so much.

Unless your daughter is leaning towards an undergraduate degree that has high potential for a job after graduation, then I would try and explain to her how waitressing and paying bills really, really don't go together. If she wants to major in liberal arts, she should do it as cheaply as possible. I understand it can lead to graduate work, but a lot can happen in 4 years in college. I wish someone had given me a real life lesson in what it takes to pay bills, interest is an uncomfortable burden, you're going to change even more in college than in high school, that cliche of changing majors really happens. Maybe you can compromise with a trasfer afer two years if she has a solid plan for graduation and repayment.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Gwen, as always a conversation with you is worthwhile.

JC, too bad that there's never a truce, it would make life so much more bearable.

Jessica, the only bright spot is that older daughter is finally seeing into her father. But, as always with me, it makes me even more aware of how stupid/naive I was when we met. Hopefully she won't make the same mistake I did. Maybe next year in LA?

Beth, thanks for your kind words. This should be some week, and we're starting Romeo and Juliet in school and I just don't seem to have the energy to get all excited about deciphering Shakespeare, I mean reading Shakespeare.

April, the $10 a day invest in a GPS was so worth it. What's with all the freeways? If I saw a "Freeway Entrance" sign I just did a u-turn unless it was commanded by the GPS lady. Next year maybe I can do a blog buddies trip.

Liz, I just found out that her college fund has lost much value, which I should have known before we went on our trip but didn't. It's so hard to tell them COLLEGE COLLEGE COLLEGE and then when it gets here OOPS you're basically on your own. GUILT that's where I have been placed by myself and her. I don't know if she will listen to me anymore. She did do a year of community college this year and plans to do more classes that way. I'm hoping that she really is smarter than me and manages to figure her way. But she can always come back after a year and do state school here. I'm just hoping that she realizes that decisions are made for changing. Thanks for your good advice.


Welcome back! Student loans suck. I'll pray that your daughter finds her way through it all. I'm sure she will.


A belated welcome back. Actually one to two blog posts a week is not bad at all. The book idea sounds great. I have been AWFUL following Passover restrictions this year. Just awful.

The college debt thing was bad in my day so I imagine it only got much worse in recent years. It's hard to see the implications of debt at 18. I sure did not see it.

Every woman needs a pronce charming.

Laura of Rebellious Thoughts of a Woman

Constance, the push for her to find her way is a little early since she'll get no help from exman but that has perhaps made her tougher--and more determined.

Ricardo, in my house Passover ended at about 3:00 yesterday afternoon--not quite sundown. My excuse was the travelling this year, but I think that the whole horrible home atmosphere has pervaded me, making it hard for me to care about some things.

Apparently I's supposed to worry about my retirement and let her fend for herself at 18, but I just can't do that. So I work until I'm 80, what else would I rather be doing at 80 than teach kids who are three generations younger than me?

Okay, now you have me laughing again at "pronce charming." Maybe I should take him out of the archives I sent his profile to, just to potentially see what a pronce is.

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