Archive for the ‘daughters’ Category

As a parent, we cry many tears.If we’re lucky, most of those tears are the joyous kind; the kind that come when they take their first step or the day you leave them at the door to the kindergarten room.

As a parent, we often think it is a thankless job.If we’re like most other parents, we don’t get that “Thank you, Mom” or the “I love you” very often.It often makes us think that they don’t care; they don’t need us; they wouldn’t even notice if we dropped off the face of the earth. (more…)

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Room Mates~Part 4

I did not intend to write a part 4.  I thought I was finished with part 3.  However, life has a way of doing what it wants.

At 7:30 on Wednesday evening, my daughter dropped me off at home and headed for the house she moved into with the last load.  Because of her work schedule it has taken her the entire week, since Monday of last week, to move.  So today we thought we were finished and as I walked in my house, I breathed a sigh of relief that we were all finished.

At 8:30 my daughter called me.  She was crying so much that I couldn’t understand what she was saying.  I told her to IM me.  The IM said that she needed to find a new place to live because her room mates wanted her out by midnight.  The rest was pretty much incoherent but I got into my car and my youngest got in her car and we went to go start bringing her things home.

When we arrived she filled us in on the problems.  She was getting two different excuses from the room mates.  One was that one of the room mates was allergic to cats.  They knew my daughter had cats well over a month before she moved in and she had been there for a week with no complaint about a cat allergy then tonight it was so bad that they had to have her out by midnight, less than four hours away.  The other story was that one of the room mates had mistakenly told my daughter that she had until November 2 to pay rent and deposit but the other room mate wanted money now and my daughter only had enough for the rent but not the deposit until November 2.

So we spent the next three hours moving things in four cars.  All women.  And me with a bad back.  I basically drove while my daughters loaded and unloaded the cars.

Now my daughter is so upset at these so called friends that she is not sure how she will be able to deal with seeing them at work.

So she is with me tonight.  The problem is that I rent too and our lease specifically says only two people in the house and they don’t want any cats but the one we have.  It is very specific.  So she can’t stay here.  We have to find a place for her as soon as possible, preferably by the weekend.

I’m hoping she’ll find a place all on her own.  I don’t think room mates are a good idea any more.


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Room Mates~Part 3

When my daughter moved here last year, she didn’t know anyone but she did have a couple of people to look up from her LiveJournal and MySpace pages. A few months after moving here, she was able to meet both girls and begin a Real Life friendship. Last May, one of the girls (I’ll call her J) began a new job and within a few weeks, she told my daughter T about some openings at the same place where she was working. My daughter filled out the application, had an interview and was hired in no time at all. Now the two girls work at the same place doing the same thing and although they have conflicting shifts most of the time, they do get to see each other briefly at work. They share a lot of the same friends.

J has begun dating one of their co-workers. However, her parents whom she lives with, don’t like the young man she is dating because he is not good enough for her, in their words. While I know all parents want the best for their children, J’s parents’ reason for saying he isn’t good enough for her are racial. The new boyfriend, M, is part Native American, part Puerto Rican, and part this and that. J’s parents went so far as to not allow her to have the keys to her car if she was going to see M. Then they forbade her to see him. J answered by moving out of her parents’ house and moving in with M. (I will also note here that J’s parents refuse to talk to her or see her since she moved out of their house. J is 24 years old.) The house they rented has a couple of extra bedrooms. My daughter, T, was invited to move into one of them.

T and I went to go see the house before making the decision to move there or not. I’d like to note that I did not invite myself on the house visit. T asked me to go with her. We got to the house and J showed us around. I hadn’t met her before and I thought she was acting a little strange; kind of removed from the whole situation. My daughter liked the house and the room that would be hers and especially the fact that she’d be paying about half of what she was currently paying for one room in a small apartment. She decided to move there but was putting it off until her room mate (E from Part 2) had someone to share the rent with. (E’s boyfriend was coming back from Iraq in a few weeks and planned on moving in with E.) However, they had a falling out and T ended up moving last week.

I helped to take a couple of loads of T’s things to the new place. J was there to let us in and again acted kind of detached. I said nothing until the next day. I asked T if J was always “kinda weird” and she said no. Then she told me that she had called her to have a talk with her and offered to not move in if J was having second thoughts about having her there. J apologized for acting cold and so unfriendly. Then she told my daughter the reason. The reason made my heart go out to J but also made me feel bad for T. J’s explanation was that she was having some problems with the fact that I accompanied my daughter to see the house before my daughter even moved there and her parents hadn’t even seen the house and she’d been there for over a month. She was feeling jealous that my daughter and I have a good relationship.

It’s a sad reason and a very emotional one. I can understand. My daughter can understand. However, it is not our fault that J’s relationship with her parents has collapsed. So how do they proceed? Will they be able to get past this? I sure hope so. I’d hate to think that this “problem” will end their friendship and that my daughter will have to move again. I also don’t want my daughter to feel anything but excitement about her new place and a new start.

Room mates can be a god sent, but they can also be a nightmare.

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My twenty-two year old daughter, T,  moved from the southern California area to northern California in July of 2006.  She knew no one up here except me and her little sister.  Well, she also had a boyfriend that moved up here at the same time.  Not knowing anyone here, she posted an ad on Craigslist.org, looking for a room mate.  After corresponding and meeting with several people,  T and I met with one young woman for breakfast.  She was a bit immature but very independent, resourceful, and friendly.  They found an apartment in August and lived there together until last week.

In the year they lived together, both of the girls went through many changes.  First, less than a month after moving up here, my daughter’s boyfriend of four years broke up with her because “there are so many girls at college”  that he didn’t want to “limit himself.”  T also ended up withdrawing from the college they both attended for a variety of reasons, mostly academic.  Since then she has struggled with a couple of part time jobs that gave her such few hours of work that I had to pay her rent and mine, as well as most of her expenses.  Last June she got a great full time job that pays her a very nice hourly wage.  For her room mate things have been changing too.  She has changed boyfriends a number of times, applied for transfer to another college 400 miles away (she begins in January), turned 21 and discovered booze big time!  She is also a local girl who has a lot of friends here.  She’s pretty much become a party girl.  We’ve also discovered that she is quite self-centered.  She rarely thinks to thank anyone for a favor.  Last spring we took her along with us on a one week driving trip and changed our trip plans to accommodate her desire to visit the school at which she has been accepted as a transfer.  I paid for all expenses.  Not once on that trip did she say “thank you”.  She makes plans with my daughter then gets a better offer and dumps my daughter.  When we were on our trip last spring, we’d all be sitting together and a guy would walk by and E would say something like, “Did you see how he couldn’t stop looking at me?”  Of course there were three of us that he could have been looking at but it was always E they were ogling, at least in her eyes.  (In actuality they were looking at either E or T or both but not me.  I’m far too old for them to have been looking at me, unless it was while they were thinking something like, “Wow what are those girls doing with such an old lady?”)  My daughter has her “ways” too.  I know she is not perfect but she always calls E to include her in her plans.  She changes her own plans to include her room mate.  T is quite thoughtful toward E.  Last summer the two planned on moving out of the apartment house they live in at the end of the lease (August).  However, E decided at the last minute that she did not want to move in September and then again in January to go to the new school up north.  So my daughter stayed there at the apartment, even though she doesn’t like it there and they pay too much rent, just so E would not be stuck without a room mate.  That was pretty thoughtful of her, I think.

Although the plan was for them to stay put til the end of the year, T became increasingly unhappy staying there because she never gets to see E or speak to her.  They leave notes for each other and send emails.  E spends a lot of time at another friend’s house and works different hours than my daughter and she also goes to school full time.  T’s job is also 28 miles away from their apartment and she sometimes ends up getting home after 1 AM because of the commute time.  Some of my daughter’s friends from work were moving in together and invited her to move with them.  It would be much closer to work and about half of what T pays for rent at the apartment she shares with E. Being thoughtful, T turned it down so that E wouldn’t have to find a new room mate or get stuck with the extra rent for the coming three months. Then E announced that her boyfriend was planning on moving in with her when he got back from Iraq in a few weeks.  In the end, my daughter’s friends rented a house without filling all the rooms and invited my daughter to move in with them in December, saying they’d keep a room open for her.

Over the past month I have listened in as T has left E voice mail after voice mail asking if she wants to do anything or just sit at home and watch a movie together so they can get caught up as they haven’t seen much of each other.  E never even answers the messages.  Last week, my daughter called me on her way home to say she needed to pick something up and would I have it ready because she and E were going out and E was waiting for her.  When she arrived ten minutes later, I could see she was on the verge of tears and said she wasn’t going out with E after all. She tried not to cry but as she told me what had happened, the tears came (which is really difficult for this mother to handle).  Apparently after T called me, E called her back.  This is what happened:

T:  “Hey!  I’m almost at my mom’s and I’ll be home in fifteen minutes at the most.”
E:  “I was just wondering  if you’re going to drink tonight because I don’t feel like playing babysitter if you do.”
T:  “Forget it.  Go without me.”

E goes out drinking about three to four nights a week.  My daughter hadn’t been out with friends in a couple of months. T interpreted the remark, and more so the tone, to mean that E didn’t want to share the spotlight with T, as has been in the past when they’ve gone to the karaoke place they were going to go to. And, she  had just had it with E’s self-centeredness.  She said she was moving out right away.  She went out to the garage and looked for boxes and went home and started packing.  She knew E’s boyfriend would be home from the Navy in less than a week so E would be without a room mate for two or three days at the most, if that.

T called the girl who was holding a room for her in the house they’d rented and told her she was moving in right away.

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On Thursday, I remembered the days my oldest daughter would make me cry with her hurtful words and disrespectful attitude; the days I thought would never end and that my daughter and I would never get past the “teen angst” stage.

Tina is now 23.She lives near me and works about a half hour from me.My house is between her apartment and her work so every day she stops by after work and I feed her.Sometimes she stays and watches a DVD and other times she runs off after she eats but I get to see her and spend quality time with her.Since her cat died, almost two weeks ago, she has been depressed and has had to hurry home to keep her other cat company because he’s lonely without Noisemaker so I’ve missed spending time with her.

She had two back to back days off this week, Wednesday and Thursday.On Wednesday, she took me (well we went in my car but she drove because she says I drive too slow) to Kendall-Jackson to pick up my wine club shipment and we did some tasting, too.Afterwards, we went out for dinner and she treated me.That was nice, for a change.I usually pay and she knew that I am really short on money this month so she told me not to worry about the bill.She’d take care of it.We had a nice dinner then we came home and she took a nap before going home.On Thursday, we went to Napa to the Clos du vin winery.I had a card for complimentary wine tasting for two (it normally costs $10 per person).The drive out to Napa was nice and leisurely.A lot of the trees are changing color, yes even in California this happens.Vines are heavy with grape clusters.The air was fresh and crisp.The wine at the winery was much better than anticipated.Normally, Tina likes only white wines but at that winery, she liked the reds, too.In fact, she bought a bottle.

We drove around a bit and visited a couple of other wineries before getting really hungry.She announced she was taking me to the Big 3, which is one of the restaurants at the hotel where she works, in Sonoma.We headed there and when we got there, it was nice to have her introduce me to her friends from work and to see her enjoying the people she works with.She just started that job less than three months ago so I hadn’t been there with her before.The food was delicious.I had roasted salmon and she had a meatloaf sandwich.Then she ordered a dessert for us to share.It was delicious (brownie topped with whipped cream, caramel, bananas, and vanilla bean ice cream).She was so proud to pick up the bill and put it on her employee discount (50 %).She encouraged me to select something from the gift shop but I really didn’t need anything so I told her “another time.”

On the way home, we decided to see a movie at the theater where my other daughter works (family gets in for free, any time).We called her and she said there were several movies we could catch if we came right over.We got there and waited a while before seeing Two Nights In Paris.While we waited, Susie (my youngest daughter) brought us free soft drinks and popcorn.Her co-workers stopped by to talk to us.Finally, it was time to see the movie.I truly enjoyed it.The movie.The dinner.The wineries.The drive time with Tina. The time spent with my girls.

Years ago, I thought these days would never come.

Clos du vin winery, Napa


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Last week my youngest daughter was leaving on a trip to New York and Washington, D.C. I was supposed to take her to the airport (about an hour and ten minutes from home) but I wasn’t feeling well. I called my older daughter at work and she left work an hour early to drive us. However, the younger daughter, Susie, wasn’t ready on time. She was so late getting ready that we left home a full hour and a half later than we had planned. Were it not for my older daughter driving, Susie would have missed her flight, but because her sister drives fast, we made it to the airport in under an hour. Although it was twenty minutes til take-off, Susie made it through check-in, security, and to the gate before the flight left.

Tina, my older daughter, was good about it and only complained once, saying that had we known Susie was going to be so late, she could have worked the extra hour. I agreed. Once we got the “okay call” from Susie and we knew she was on the flight, Tina and I needed to eat. Because it was late, after nine, we knew there would not be a lot of choices open to us in the Oakland area, at least not in any neighborhoods we wanted to visit. I suggested that we take the Bay Bridge into San Francisco instead of the Richmond Bridge toward home. I joked that at the very least, I could get us to the 24 hour Mel’s Diner on Lombard or the 24 hour IHOP. While on the bridge, I noticed Fisherman’s Wharf in the distance and suggested we try Pier 39 where I knew there was a Hard Rock Café. My daughter loves to eat at the Hard Rock and has eaten at about 20 of their international locations. I figured it would be a treat to thank her for leaving work early and driving us to the airport. I knew she had never been to this particular location and that she would love to add one more souvenir glass to her Hard Rock wall.

We found the restaurant easily and the parking lot across from Pier 39. We rushed ahead of a group of slow walking tourists because we only had about 45 minutes until the restaurant closed. I had a funny feeling, you know, the kind that tells you something is wrong but you don’t know what. We were seated right away and ordered our food and drinks. Without much waiting, our food arrived and we ate and had a nice chat. Tina told me about some of the people at work and some of the hotel guests she has checked into the resort hotel where she works. We had a very nice time at dinner.

When it was time to leave, I realized I didn’t have the parking ticket to have it validated.  She said it wasn’t a big deal, I had probably left it in the car so we walked back to the parking lot. No parking ticket in the car. We would have to pay the maximum, thirty dollars.  Not good when I was already regretting having splurged on the dinner! She was stubborn and insisted they would give us a discount or the real rate if we showed them the receipt from the dinner. I didn’t think so. I was right. The attendant, in barely understandable English, said we’d have to walk back to the restaurant and get a validation then come back and he’d talk to the manager and see if they could discount the rate. My stubborn daughter insisted that she wasn’t going to walk “way back to the restaurant in the freezing cold” and that there must be someone she could talk to about it. Yes, she got part of her stubborn genes from me but she also got her father’s stubborness so she has a “double stubborn whammy”! She kept arguing with the attendant who finally told her to park on the side then he left. We assumed he was coming back. He didn’t. We waited twenty minutes. He didn’t come back. Tina was really upset. She tried to pay the maximum with her credit card but we didn’t have a ticket so the machine could not process it. She wanted to drive through the arm across the exit and just leave. Not a good idea, I told her. It was my car. There were police around. I told her “don’t do it” because we wouldn’t get more than twenty feet away without the cops following us and then we’d both be in trouble, not to mention my car would be damaged. She drove around the lot hoping to find someone else’s lost ticket. She even tried pushing the button at the entrance to get a new ticket. No luck. I finally convinced her to let me walk to the office to get some help. She drove me to the office where we ran into a police man and we explained we needed to get out but had no ticket. She was all smiles for him! He got an attendant to come out and we paid the maximum (my cash which we really couldn’t afford at the end of the month) and left. She didn’t speak to me the rest of the way home except to mutter under her breath, “Next time give me the ticket.” Actually, it is common practice for someone else to carry the ticket because they get lost in my huge purse. I didn’t dare tell her that for fear she’d bite my head off or drive the car over the Golden Gate Bridge!

At least we both now have fresh San Francisco Hard Rock Café souvenir glasses. Not all was lost.

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Yes sir!  My daughter was born to the wrong mother.  I don’t know how it all happened.  I was sure that was far beyond the realm of possibility but I have been wrong all these years.  Now, just two weeks shy of her seventeenth birthday, I have realized, and so has she, that she got the wrong mother!

She meant to be born to the mother that would buy her the $345 Diane Von Furstenberg dress that she put on hold when she was at Nordstrom’s the other day.  She took me to see it today, only telling me that there was a dress on hold for her and failing to tell me the price.  I looked at it and agreed that it was beautiful and that it would be a great addition to her wardrobe.  It is red.  Not a bright red but a deep, rich red.  It has classic lines and a lot of possibilities as far as accessories are concerned.  However, I took a look at the price tag and nearly dropped.  She has expensive clothes.  Her favorite designer is Marc Jacobs and she owns about ten Marc Jacobs pieces.  However, all but two of them were bought on sale…deep sales at the end of the season.  One skirt was originally priced at $340 and we paid a mere $15 for it, brand new, perfect condition at Macy’s.  So she has beautiful clothes.  Expensive clothes.  Clothes that I did not pay full designer price for.  But this dress, at this time, is just not possible.  And Nordstrom doesn’t have any kind of layaway.  So it was get it and make her very happy and me very anxious about the next month’s finances, or not get it and make her regret that I’m her mother.  I just could not get it.  Just not possible.

So she didn’t say anything mean.  She was good about it.  However, she lacked the sparkle in her eye and the spring in her step and the beautiful “I love you mommie” smile.   I felt bad.  I still do.  But right now, there is just no way.  And she has to understand that.

We ended up extending the hold til next Tuesday, on the outside chance that we figure out a way to get it.

Maybe she will find the right mother by then.

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