Mamagirl… says it all…

Just a Mama's musings…

Give me a hoop, watch me jump. June 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 7:40 pm

MamaGirl says…

I hate jumping through hoops. I despise red-tape. Red-tape is the devil! The devil, I tell you! I’ve had to deal with rather a lot of it lately. I’ve recently decided that I’m going back to school. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going back to school FOR, but I’m going. On Tuesday, I learned that even though I am 33 years old, and have been to college at least three different times, I don’t know shit about getting into school.

After high school, there was no question about me going to college. I’m not sure that I was aware that there even could be a question about it. I applied to Valdosta State University, got accepted, and when it was time, my parents drove me down to Valdosta and left me there. Of course, I had no clue about how many hours they had spent trying to figure out all of that Financial Aid bullshit that I’m currently dealing with. I’m sure there was more involved, even on my own part, but all I really remember about it is getting accepted, getting pissed off that I didn’t get the dorm or roommate that I requested, doing ALOT of shopping and then moving out of my parents house for the first (but certainly not the last) time in my life. That was all followed very quickly by finding out that I was sharing a room (first and last time I have ever shared a room with anyone but Hubbo) with a Japanese exchange student, coming to the screeching halt of a revelation that I was not ready for college and managing to flunk out in one short semester. Yeah, I probably could have gone back another semester and tried to turn it around, but like I said, I was oh-so-far from being remotely ready for being on my own.

My first semester at VSU was the first time in my life that I was responsible for getting myself up in the morning. It was the first time that I’d ever had to do my own laundry, feed myself, make sure that I got where I needed to be on time… Let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly prepared for it. I would have had much more success if I had stayed home and gone to the local community college, where I eventually ended up anyway. But no, MamaGirl listens to no one, especially at 17 years old. I wasn’t even MamaGirl back then, but if you think I’m head-strong now, you should have seen me back in the day. I’ve managed to temper it a bit with age.

So, here I am. I’m going back to school. I’m trying to figure out which hoops to jump through and what pieces of red-tape to cut up. And I hate red-tape. I despise it. Have I made that clear? I spent this morning in the Student Services building. I had to take my placement test. I also have a raging sinus infection and I feel like complete crap. But I need to get this done and I was feeling the “want to get this over with” more than the sinus pain. So, armed with Sudafed, cough drops and tissue, off to take the test I went. I only had to take the Math portion because I already have plenty of English credits. I blew the roof of it. Duh. The advisor I spoke to after that told me that I did better on it sick than she would have done healthy. HA! However, the entire process is stalled because they haven’t received my high school transcripts. I explain that I requested them weeks ago and that they should be received soon. Advisor lady says:

 “Okay, I’ll write on here that they’ve been requested, go on down to Financial Aid“.

Yay! I’m getting somewhere, right? Wrong. Financial Aid lady says:

 “Sorry, we can’t move forward without the transcripts.”

These two women work down the hall from each other. Really? They have no idea how each others jobs work?? Anyway… so I ask Financial Aid Lady what I’m supposed to do because the lady at my high school who handles that is out for the summer and the lady who does it for her in the summer is on vacation (clearly I’ve already talked to the high school a few times.) And she says:

 “Well, when is she supposed to be back from vacation?”

Now, those of you who know me, know that it took every ounce of power in my being not to scream,

 “I don’t fucking know lady! I’m not her goddamn calendar!”

Instead of screaming that at this poor defenseless lady who simply could not have known how frustrated I already am with this process, I just said,

Can I have them fax the transcripts to you?”

Financial Aid Lady looks at me and says,

Oh, I don’t know if we can receive faxed transcripts. You’ll have to ask someone at the Service Desk.”

Where is the Service Desk?”

Halfway back down the hall from where you just came.”

ARE YOU FREAKIN SERIOUS!!?? Really? I have to go halfway back down this hallway, to ask a question, that it seems perfectly reasonable to me that someone on either end of the freaking hallway should be able to answer. Bureaucracy at it’s finest, people. Truly. So, I go down the hall. Apparently, it’s pretty evident from the look on my face that I’m pissed, because when I snap “Can I ask you a question?” at the poor little guy behind the service desk, he just about pees on himself.

Can you receive faxed transcripts?”

Uh… I don’t know, let me go ask my boss.” He runs like there’s a rabid dog on the other side of the desk. He comes back, “Yes, we can receive faxed transcripts. Do you need the fax number?”

YES!” (No dude, I just know it by heart.)

Uh… let me go ask someone in Admissions.”

So, by the time that I get home, my head is just about to pop off of my body! I am so frustrated and pissed off that it takes 20 minutes of yelling at to Hubbo, a phone call to my mother and a phone call to the best friend, to get me calmed down enough to think about calling my damn high school. But of course, they are out to lunch. An hour later, I manage to get a hold of the person who clearly wins least competent employee at my high school. She puts me on hold three times before she lets me finish explaining what the situation is. So, after I finally manage to get across to her what it is that I need. She proceeds to tell me that she can’t find any evidence that my transcripts have been sent OR that they had received the request for them. Then she hits me with,

Well, I’ll go find them and mail them. What’s the address you want them mailed to?

I don’t know! It’s written on the transcript request that I sent to you!”

Well, you want to call me back when you find that address then?”

So, I said “YES! THANKYOU!” and hung up before I started imagining her head spontaneously combusting!

Within ten minutes, a different, very nice lady called me back and said that she HAD received that request AND that she had sent the transcripts over two weeks ago. Bless her heart, I imagine that the first lady I talked to probably went to her and said something to the effect of “This woman is pissed off and we need to find her transcripts.” (But probably not quite that nice, I’m making myself feel a little better here.) Because second lady was very, very helpful and offered to not only mail them again but to also fax them for me.

So, I waited a while and called the college to see if they had received them. And by Golly!, they have! Wow! Amazing how when you get really pissed off and start yelling at people, they actually jump up and do their damn jobs! So, now I’ve been told that they have everything in hand that they need and I can come back and try to start this whole financial aid/school admissions process all over again. Of course, I’m no dummy, I know damn well that when I get back up there, there’s going to be SOMETHING that I haven’t done or they haven’t received. And there is the distinct possibly that by the time I finally, actually get through this process, everyone in that building will hate me. But BY GOD, I’m going to school, COME HELL, HIGH WATER, OR INSTITUTIONAL BULLSHIT!!

 

Update: I went back to the school because I really needed to get all of this done TODAY. I apologized to Financial Aid Lady for being snappy this morning and explained that I talked with someone who said that they HAD received the transcripts. She pulls it up in the computer and says:

Who did you talk to?”

Uh… someone in Admissions.”

Of course I don’t know WHO I talked to, these people never identify themselves. I assume this is so that all of the incorrect information that they give out can’t be traced back to them.

I’m going to have to go talk to them aren’t I?”

“Yeah. It’s not that I don’t believe you, but we are dealing with the Federal Government here.”

So, I go to Admissions. Guess where it is. About halfway down that same damn hallway. I am appalled by the lack of effort these people put in to their jobs. I’m willing to bet that Financial Aid Lady know Admissions Lady’s extension by heart. If not, I’m sure it’s on a little directory right there on her desk. But I’m determined that this is getting done today and so off to Admissions I go. I explain the situation (yet again) to Admissions Lady. She says:

Yes, they are in there.”

“Financial Aid Lady says they’re not.”

Hang on.”

I wait approximately a minute and half and she says:

“Okay, they’re in there now. Sometimes I forget to push Save & Update.”

Back to Financial Aid. I tell her that the transcripts are indeed in the computer now. She pulls them up, makes a copy, and says:

“Okay, that’s it. Now we play the waiting game. Give us 2-3 weeks.”

Okay, that’s it? THAT’S IT??? I spent all day running around, making phone calls, pleading, crying, cussing and working my butt off to accomplish what amounted to the sending of a fax and the pushing of a button. Bureaucracy at it’s best.

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Birthday Angst June 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 3:56 pm

MamaGirl says…

News Alert: For anyone who is not already aware of this, I am a little bit crazy. Yeah, yeah, we’re all a little bit crazy, it’s what makes us great. But I may be a little more crazy than your average Mama on the street (then again, this is Asheville, and I may not). Don’t get me wrong. We’re not talking like Charles Manson crazy or Susan Smith crazy or even homeless-guy-talking-to-himself crazy. But I admit it, I’m just a little bit crazy. I’m more like slight social anxiety, road-raging, over-emotional, big mouth crazy. I definitely have foot-in-mouth disease. I tell ya, it causes the worst stutter.  (Don’t worry, I’ve got a good man who knows me very well and loves me anyway, so I won’t be let loose on the world anytime soon.)

The particular “crazy” that we’re talking about tonight is my annual birthday angst. The damn thing is coming around again in two days and so I figured we’d go ahead and get it all out in the open so that if I have a nervous breakdown and end up institutionalized for a while, and not being able to write, at least you guys will know why. Because my audience is so vast that surely it would be noticed, right? Okay, okay so I’m slightly delusional and the only people who would notice would be my kids, when I didn’t show up to pick them up on time. [Hubbo says that’s an unfair statement, that he and my mother both would notice within at least a few hours, or maybe a day. I guess that’s something.]

So, back to the birthday angst. It’s something that started sometime in my mid-twenties. I started to really not like my birthday and it seemed to get worse every year. Truth be told, it has been a lot better since I’ve gotten into my thirties. However, the last few birthdays of my twenties were each getting progressively worse. The culmination was my 29th birthday, which I spent, 9 months pregnant, sitting cross-legged on my front porch, sobbing. I was fat, I was hot and worst of all, I was OLD! It was a horrible day, really. Hubby tried to make it better for me. He organized a surprise dinner with friends and tried, unsuccessfully, all day to cheer me up. He bought me flowers, he rubbed my back, he told me I was beautiful. I was nine months pregnant, 200 pounds, sweating  my ass off (y’all know how I feel about sweat) in the mid-summer heat. He could have been telling me that I was not only the most gorgeous girl in the world but that he would rather gouge his eyes out than look at another woman (not that I’d want him to do that or anything) and I still would have hated him. Ladies, if you are sensitive about the aging process at all, I do not recommend being nine months pregnant on your birthday. Especially if your birthday is in the summer.

I was miserable. My arms were the size that my thighs used to be before I got pregnant. I waddled everywhere I went. I spent hours sitting on the floor of the porch, because it was a lot better than attempting to roll my big ol’ round ass back into a standing position. Yeah, it sucked. And it was my birthday. I would have been miserable enough already, without all of the added pregnancy joy. Why do I hate my birthday so? Oh who knows, really? Maybe it stems from some subconscious memory from my childhood when I was disappointed by my birthday present (I’m about to get a phone call from my mother, “What gift were you disappointed by?”), or maybe it’s from some lost long ago asshole who forgot, or most likely it comes from the fact that I am not growing old gracefully. While I admit that there are several things about myself that I feel have certainly improved over the years, pretty much everything on the inside, for example. The outside simply isn’t holding up as well. We’ve already covered my current body issues, no need to rehash them for this entry. So, let’s just say that I work in the Beauty business for a reason and that for most problems there is a serum, cream or gel that will “improve” it. As Dolly Parton once said “If I see something saggin`, baggin` or dragin`, I`m gonna have it nipped, tucked or sucked.” While I am a big wuss who most likely will never voluntarily go under the knife (although we will leave that option open), I can certainly cleanse, tone and moisturize!

**This post was written over two days. From this point in the post, my birthday is now tomorrow.**

This whole getting older thing, it just doesn’t sit well with me. I told you that in my head I’m still somewhere between sixteen and twenty-one. It can be hard sometimes to feel very young on the inside and then look in the mirror and be greeted by your thirty-something year old self. Come to think of it, there aren’t very many mirrors in my house. Hmmm, interesting Watson. Anyway, I don’t know what I expect to see when I look in the mirror anymore. You’d think that I would have gotten used to it by now. Even though there aren’t many of them in my house, I do look in a mirror everyday. It’s not that I expect to see something totally different and am shocked when I see myself. It’s more of just a little surprised. ‘Oh yeah! That’s what I look like!’ I wonder if I will always have that tiny expectation that it’ll be sixteen year old me in the mirror. Or as I age, will my expectation age with me? Like, when I’m fifty will I still think it will be 16-year-old me, or will I start to hope to see 30-year-old me in the mirror? I may have just really freaked myself out with that thought…

So, I’m going to put away my birthday angst for today. We’ll see if I’ll still be able to that tomorrow. I’m going to go get ready for work and have a perfectly normal, thirty-two year old day. Hopefully, this year I will be able to face my fear of age a little easier. Hopefully, this year I will learn to accept my thirty-three year old self with a little more grace and maturity. Hopefully, this year I will remember more often that it is not my outside that makes me who I am. And hopefully, this year I will grow more and more comfortable with the face that looks back at me from the mirror. But if the shit hits the fan tomorrow and I go stark raving, birthday crazy, I’ll be sure to document it so that you guys don’t miss out on any of the fun!

 

The Mommy batteries have been recharged! June 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — mamagirlsaysitall @ 7:31 pm

MamaGirl says…

We all love our children. We all love our children desperately and with such conviction, passion, emotion and force, that every one of us would gladly jump in front of a speeding car or a biting dog. Every single mother in the world, that is worth half a shit at all, would not only lay down and die for her children, but will also gladly and quietly wipe their snot away, fix a glass of water at 4AM, kiss a bloody boo-boo or a freshly vomited face, cuss an overbearing teacher or threaten to beat the snot out of a bullying 4th grader. It’s what we do. We protect, we serve, we mend, we raise, we fix/clean/make okay/smooth over  (damn! We’re way better than the police!) and in general run along in front of our children and do our dead-level best to force the world into a smooth and bump-free place for our babies. That is what we do. We very seldom get any sort of thanks or praise. We aren’t complainers about the mundane in’s and out’s of being Mommies. We gave birth to the little hellions, we knew (at least somewhat) what was in store.

However, even Mommies, as strong and unbending as we sometimes have to be, need breaks. There comes a time for every Mom when it becomes clear that we need to turn off the “Mommy switch” for a while. We tend to forget sometimes that we are women. We not only forget that we’re adults, we sometimes forget who we are, when we aren’t  answering to “Mommy.” I am my children’s mother so completely, that I often forget that there was a time when I was not my children’s mother. There was a time in my life when I was much more of a daredevil, when the risks didn’t outweigh the adrenaline rush by quite so much. Now the first thing I think about with any type of risk-taking is “Will this affect my children’s lives?” It used to be that the only thing I thought about was “When my mother finds out about this, she is going to be PISSED!” Now, of course, I’m mortified by the thought of my children doing those exact same things. The point is, I used to be a spontaneous person, who had no issue with taking off for weeks at a time with nothing but some camping gear and hopefully, a few festival tickets. Who cared if I lost my job, there was another one somewhere else, and besides they weren’t going to fire ME! My how things have changed. Now, taking any type of vacation requires months worth of planning, my parents agreeing to watch the kids, saving up… Good God, how “adult” my world has gotten.

Since my parents live 3 hours away, and my best friend had to move away for school and selfishly go get herself an education, instead of staying here to keep my kids, this Mommy hadn’t had a break since Christmas. I understand now why so many people move back to their hometowns after having kids, it’s for the free babysitting!! But seeing as how El Hubbo and I grew up in a part of the country that we affectionately refer to as the “Armpit of Hell,” and we now live in a truly lovely and inspiring place, we will not be moving back there, not even for free babysitting. Occasionally, I day-dream that Hubbo and I have split up, not because there is anything at all wrong with our relationship, but merely so that I could send them to his house every other weekend. I don’t feel much guilt over it because I know that he sometimes day-dreams about it too. Then I remember that he is the cook around here, and while I would like a break now and again, I do not want us to starve to death. And so, this is how I found myself, around the middle of May, looking completely stoned and dazed, and having been running on auto-pilot and shear muscle memory for a good two months. It was time.

Luckily for me and the state of my sanity, the parents came through and took their vacations, so that they could have my children for a week.  And Hubbo and I were off!! We went to Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and rented a secluded cabin in the woods. I won’t go into how cheesy everything in Gatlinburg is, that’s a-whole-nother blog. Let’s just say that we spent the entire time in the cabin. And it was glorious! It was silent. It was damn-near magical. No one asked me for anything for three whole days! There was no “Mommy, can I/will you/please, please, please.” Not one time. For three days. There was a king-sized bed and a hot-tub and I spent three days going between the two. Glorious, I tell you!

Then, after our wonderful three days in the cabin, we came home for two days. It’s weird to be in your own house without your children there. At the cabin, it was completely natural for everything to be silent, calm and relaxed. In my own home, where I’m so used to the all of the noise that my family creates, it was a little weird. But you know, I buckled down and dug deep and managed to enjoy the hell out of it anyway! Then, it was off to Atlanta for an adult weekend with friends… child-less friends. We were transported back to our early twenties by a party full of people we hadn’t seen in over 10 years, who all still manage to somehow be child-less. We came and went as we pleased, with no thought what-so-ever of car seats, bed-times, school schedules or any of the other things that generally dictate our everyday lives. We stayed up very, very late and then slept even later. We partied like we had no one to answer to and nothing to be responsible for. It was fabulous!!!

And then on Sunday, we drove out to the parents house to see the kids and bring one of them back home with us (the other is too grown to come home… he’s 9) and bid farewell to our week of child-less independence. And would you believe it? I have never been so happy to see my kids in my life! You could hear them yelling “Mommy! Mommy!” from the other side of the door. As soon as the door swung open, they both barreled into me and wrapped their arms around me in the best bear-hug EVER!!! Yay! Mommy batteries have been recharged! I got some rest, okay lots of rest. I did some good partying that made me feel a little younger again. And maybe most importantly, I indulged in myself for a solid week.

Now I’m back in the saddle. I’m fresh and refreshed. I’m ready for summer with my babies. My patience is real again, and not just robotically controlled from some deep, inner recess of my brain that has been programmed by years of “Can I/will you/please, please, please.” I feel capable and willing to pour a  thousand more cups of juice, kiss away hundreds of boo-boo’s, play countless hours of Little People and Strawberry Shortcake and possibly even kick my sons butt at Super Mario Galaxy 2!!!

Here’s hoping that all of the Mommy’s out there get a chance to recharge their batteries soon! You’ll be a better Mommy for it and you might even remember who you were before you answered to “Mommy.”

 

 
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