Archive for the ‘daughters’ Category

When my counselor called me in to tell me about tryouts for the Junior Miss Pageant. I considered it for just a few minutes, before putting it out of my mind. But, my sister knew. She was in the first year Journalism class which met at the same time and in the same room as the fourth year Journalism and Newspaper staff that I was in and she knew I had been called to the office for the pageant information. That night my mother asked me about the pageant because my sister had told her. I told her if I wanted to do it, there was an application to fill out and then I would have to show up at a meeting for information and an interview the following Saturday. She surprised me when she said I could go. I had not even thought of filling out the application. So when she said I could, I filled out the application and my mom signed it.

After making it through three rounds of pre-selection, I was officially one of twenty contestants for the pageant and I started to dream. The following month was filled with rehearsals, public appearances, including the Thanksgiving parade through the streets of downtown San Jose. I was also working part time at Sears, after school and some weekends. Luckily, I had committed to the pageant before committing to Sears so when they hired me, I told them up front that I was in the pageant and would need to work around pageant rehearsals. They agreed. My month was very hectic. It was a happy hectic. (more…)

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I discovered Moleskine notebooks about eight years ago. I love them. I love the way they look and the way they feel. I have never owned one. I have purchased them and given them as gifts but I have never allowed myself to indulge in their luxury and utility.

Moleskine notebooks were produced in France and used as the preferred notebook and sketchbook for legendary artists including Van Gogh who made sketches on Moleskine sketchbooks. So did Picasso and Matisse. Ernest Hemingway used Moleskine books to make notes and plot stories for his novels. He describes writing at a café in Paris, using his notebook, in Moveable Feast and in The Sun Also Rises. Hemingway is one of my favorite writers. How could I not be impressed by and drawn to Moleskine notebooks when they were once again produced in 1998, after being gone from the face of the earth for years?

If you’ve never seen one or touched one, you should jog down to your favorite book store and look for one. I know that chains such as Borders and Barnes & Nobel carry them. So do some of the smaller bookstores. I was recently (well last April) drawn to a display of Moleskine notebooks and “city books” at Powell’s Books in Portland. I really wanted to buy one and I did. I got the small pocket sized ones in a three pack. I gave them to my son who uses little notebooks for ideas and notes, even though he now has a great cell phone/PDA to do it on.

I had actually thought to myself that this year I might gift myself a Moleskine notebook for my birthday. I had rationalized it but I’m sure I would have backed off in the end. (more…)

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I had high hopes of having everything set for a smooth transition into this year’s NaNoWriMo (nanowrimo.org). I was going to do my shopping for lots of coffee and tea and things to eat that are easy to fix in twenty minutes or less. I was going to burn a couple of CDs with different music from what I used during my writing sessions during last year’s NaNoWriMo. I was going to sit back and relax on the 31st, saying I was all set for the 1st to arrive.

I didn’t do any of this. Life got in the way.

Some of you will know that my daughter had room mate problems after moving into a new housing situation and her room mates pulled the rug out from under her after a week and told her to move out. She came to my house. This is temporary. This is temporary. This is temporary. Excuse the repetition but this has become my mantra. She has been here for a week. In that week her former room mates continue to be jerks, moving all of her things outside into the carport. Her things include two tv sets which were left outside in full and plain view of everyone and anyone that happened to walk, run, jog, bike, or drive by. We’ve managed to bring everything and put it in my garage, however we don’t have any way of moving her queen size mattress, box spring, and bed frame, her couch or her 1950’s vintage formica table that seats eight. We have had glimmers of borrowing a truck or van only to not have anyone to do the lifting and moving. I can’t help her. I have back, knee, and neck injuries. So those things remain there, in full view of anyone that might want to go and get them. (more…)

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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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