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I’m 52 years old but my hair is almost entirely (well about 80%) white, which makes me look at least ten years older.I’ve been dying my hair for many years.I do it at home from one of those bottles you can buy at WalMart or Target or Big Lots.About two years ago, I realized that if I don’t color it every four or so weeks, it looks pretty bad and I am treated older.This I don’t like so I try to do it often.Earlier this year however, while I was in the packing and moving stage of my out of state move, I went about three months without coloring it.It looked horrible.I felt and looked about 70 (well at least in my book I looked a lot older).When I came up with my final load (well final minus all the stuff I left in storage), the first thing I did was go to Target and get a box of hair color.That was a while ago.I’ve been so busy that I hadn’t even noticed that my hair was pretty white all over again (not “pretty white” but a lot white).It had been two and a half months since I had colored my hair.By then I had gotten some stuff from storage, including three bottles of hair dye.So I grabbed one and dyed my hair.

Now you have to understand that dying your own hair, while very much like shampooing your own hair, is not as easy as it sounds or looks.You need to be able to get every bit of it soaked in hair color.Every strand.This was easy.Before.Like a few years ago.Now it’s not so easy.I can get the hair I can see, in the front, top and sides, but I can’t get the hair in the back.

I colored my hair and two things went wrong.First and most obvious, I apparently grabbed the bottle my daughter had bought for me to put in her hair.It’s black.I don’t ever color my hair black because it’s just too dark for me.It’s too severe of a look, especially for a 52 year old.I usually use a dark brown, which is my natural color.So the first thing I noticed when I washed it all out and took the towel off is that I now had dark, dark, dark black hair.Oops!

The second thing that went wrong was unknown to me for a week.My daughter came over yesterday and we spent the day together.In the middle of one store, she grabbed my hair and shrieked, “You missed a spot!Oh my you missed a HUGE spot!Oh Mom!It’s all white in the back!”

Apparently my hair has gotten too gray for me to do by myself without really messing it up by missing a huge spot.So I either need to go get it done at a salon, find someone to come help me do it at home, or get my daughter to come over and just take a look and make sure I’ve gotten all of it in the back.Doing it at a salon is far too expensive and I don’t know anyone in town to come help me.I guess I will have to trust my daughter to come when I need her to come so she can inspect the back of my hair.I also need to get two bottles of the same color so that I can use two bottles to make sure I get it all, if necessary.

In the meantime, I will walk around with a skunk stripe in the back.Aging stinks!

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This was not going to be my post today. And it was going to be on Saturday. As you can see, this will say that it was not published until Sunday. That means I missed a day for NaBloPoMo. I don’t care. I did yesterday. But not now.

As I was getting my blog post ready at 9PM Saturday, the phone rang. The Crisis Line Counselor on the other end of the line advised me that she was at the hospital with a victim that was requesting a Spanish speaking counselor. Me. So off I went. I just got home. I am still rattled. I can’t discuss the particulars of the interview or subsequent exam but I can tell you a little about the SART procedures. (more…)

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[This story is about something that happened several years ago. It’s true. It’s proof that even I make mistakes. Just don’t tell my kids! ]

It started as one of those absolutely marvelous days, only to turn quite bad!

After a delicious morning of incredibly well-behaved and productive students, at lunch time the Principal complimented me on the day’s writing lesson which she and the Superintendent had observed. Everyone in the faculty room heard her compliments and they gave me a thumbs up! I was feeling very successful, even blissful. After lunch my students brought me sweet notes and pictures they had made for me, along with the healthy parts of their lunches they hadn’t eaten. At dismissal, I let them all go and had a short parent conference then packed my bag with the papers I would have to correct that night. Watching the clock, I headed for my car. (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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Another Kiss?

(This was written from an image prompt.  The image was a pair of chocolate kisses.) 

They had become friends at an art event they had both participated in.  Later in the week he had called her and they spoke for a little bit but she had to get her kids to bed so she asked if she could call him back after ten.  That night they talked on the phone for over two hours.  The next night they talked for another two hours.  He was nice and she looked upon him as a friend.  He was ten years younger than she was and hadn’t ever been married and had no kids.  He had a lot to talk about and after he told her about his bad childhood and about abuse he’d suffered and about the death of both his parents, he wanted to hear about her life.  She talked mostly about her divorce and her kids.  The following week, he asked if he could come over and use her computer to do some research online for an anthropology class he was taking.  She agreed and he came over when her kids were at their dad’s apartment.

She showed him how to get online and a few search engines then she moved out of the way so he could do his research.  She was nearby, reading a couple of poems he had written and brought to share with her.  After a while, he stretched out and said he needed a break.  He handed her a chocolate kiss and popped one in his mouth.  She thought it sweet and ate the candy.  A couple of minutes later he asked her if she wanted another kiss.  She really didn’t but didn’t want to hurt his feelings so she said yes and he leaned over and kissed her mouth…a long slow, soft kiss.  He had caught her by surprise.  That was the last thing she had expected, but she didn’t complain.

After that she saw him at the house he lived at, as a caretaker.  From time to time, she would go out and see him when the kids were gone.  They continued to see each other at readings and he joined her writing group.  Eventually her kids met him as a friend at one of their mom’s readings.  Once, he brought the kids little toys and once he came and watched a movie with the kids.  And soon  it was over.  She didn’t like the ten year age difference between them but she had needed him when he’d come by and he had needed something from her, too.

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Many years ago, when I was married to a man that lived at the office and was rarely home, I learned to do things for myself.  Things like shopping for and buying appliances and carpets and household furnishings.  Things like taking our children to the hospital for their tonsil and ear surgeries all by myself.  Things like making minor repairs and installing appliances.  When my ex left, we didn’t have a computer (1992) because he said it was a fad that wouldn’t catch on.  Then he left and the following week I went out and bought a home computer and a “Dummies” book for Windows 3.0.  I read scanned through it and when the kids went to bed, I opened the box and set it all up by myself.  Then I booted it up and introduced myself to computers.  I had never used one before.  I got an account with compu serve (there was no AOL at that time, or any other ISPs).  I used to set up our TVs and VCRs and telephones and anything that needed to be done.

Then my son reached his latter teens and started doing things for me.  Lots of things.  Everything.  And then I aged.  And was in an accident that left me unable to bend or kneel or stretch.  So I let others do things for me.  Lots of things.  Setting up computers and wireless networks and DVD players and cable boxes.  I hate to read directions.  So I let others do things for me.

But that won’t last for long.  My son lives two hours away and we only get to see him about three or four times a year.  Actually, I go see him a few times in between his visits here but he only comes here three or four times a year.  Some things won’t wait til he comes.  Next year I will be all alone.  My last “child” will be gone.  I will live alone.  I will have to begin to do things for myself again.

My DVD player stopped working a month ago.  The one in my bedroom.  Because of my back injuries, I spend a lot of time in my bedroom, in bed.  I leave the DVD player on so I can sleep.  But when it broke, I couldn’t do that any longer.  For the past month I have been watching movies in the extra room on the DVD player there.  I watch late at night, when I can’t sleep.  I’m hard of hearing so I have to put the volume all the way up.  The extra room where I watch is next to the neighbor’s bedroom window.  She can hear everything.  Or so she says.  So sometimes I sit in there with no volume and watch with no sound.

I needed a new DVD player.  I decided that I would get a DVD-R instead of just a player because I found one for $99 last weekend.  I waited til my check came yesterday.  I went and got it today.  I thought one of my girls would set it up for me.  My younger daughter is out of town.  My older daughter went to SF after work to a concert then she’ll spend the night with friends and go straight to work tomorrow.  I wanted to record my shows tomorrow night because I will be at the airport to pick up my younger daughter during the season premiere of Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters.  So I decided to set it all up myself and record the shows I will be missing.

I did it.   I took out the old DVD player and set up the new one.  It works.  That means I did it right.  Now in the morning I will test programming it to record a show then if all is okay, I will program to record from 9 to 11 PM.

I’m  excited about it.   Not because I will get to watch my shows.  I’m excited because I proved to myself that I can do it.  I can do things for myself, like I used to.  Yes, I’m older and more feeble now but I can still do a lot of things for myself.  I can do this.  I can live alone.  I can.

I did it myself.

I will be okay by myself.

I will.

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