Waking Up


I dream about my ex-husband from time-to-time and it always does a number on my psyche the next day.  He is, in dreams, much as he was while we were married.  He is always young; always beautiful, always funny and generous. He is also capricious, giving and withholding love and affection in equal measure. I was never sure when we were married that he was consciously doing it as a means of controlling me, though it certainly had that affect.  Time has softened a lot of my memories and it’s very simple for me to remember the good times with him.  But there were so many bad moments.  The week after our wedding, he fell into a deep depression from which it took almost a month to recover.  He thought our marriage was a mistake.  He thought he’d ruined his life by joining his fate with mine, but he advised me not to take this personally.  He gave up a full-ride scholarship to a prestigious university located out-of-state for the flimsiest of reasons.  He gave up on so many dreams and ambitions and, though it wasn’t said in so many words, I understood that it was somehow because of me.   When he rebounded suddenly it was surprising.  He was buoyant, full of energy and life, up, uP, UP until suddenly he wasn’t again.  The pattern would continue for our six and a half years of marriage.  I understand now that he had an emotional or psychological condition that could have been treated, but back then, I owned it.  I wore his mood like an outfit and I took personal responsibility for both his ups and downs.  Neither did me any justice.  I was no picnic to live with, either, given my massive insecurities and phobias, which seemed to magnify with each of his ups and downs.  We fed off one another’s worst traits-the dissolution of our marriage was inevitable.

In my dreams, I revert from the confident, happy, self-sufficient adult I grew into.  I’m young again and insecure and I desperately crave his approval.  Just as before, he seems to blame me for something I can’t even possibly begin to understand, so he withholds.  I still follow him begging, pathetically, and he shuns me while still beckoning  me forward.  When I wake, I am confused and disoriented and for a moment, it feels like it all just happened; like we just barely mutually agreed to stop hurting one another and let go.  I still feel like the only loser even though I know both of us were.  And I still, deep down inside, want it to go back to the way it was before we got married when time together was the only thing we wanted.  And I’m angry, so furious with myself for being pathetic and begging.  For the next few days, I will feel off somehow until the dream fades away and I forget again.

I dreamt of him again last night.  We were up north in a place I’ve never been in real life, not far from the university he would have attended in our original plan.  The dream had the usual hallmarks; the absurd situations, the sense that no time had passed, and I still craved his love and approval.  I followed him in my dreams for what felt like ages.  We lived lifetimes and in the dream we pursued our ambitions together until just before we’d met our last goal through thousands of ups and downs, just before the moment we could finally slow down and just be, he stopped.  He just stopped, like he’d done after our wedding; stopped moving and talking and gave into his despair.  He seemed to revel in it and he took pains to ensure I understood that even though I was not the cause, I was still somehow the cause.  Ordinarily, I wake up at this point, my cheeks wet with tears and sleep will elude me the rest of the night.  But this time, I slept and I stayed in the dream and I felt something that I’d never felt during them before: anger.  I was furious with him; furious that he only wanted to live in the large, expansive, profound moments and had no appreciation for the small, still, and mundane moments.  I hated that he felt a failure for having had an ordinary day and lacked the ability to see the threads of love and family that could have made it anything but ordinary.  I yelled at him for his fear to trust himself and his fear to trust in me.  I said horrible things to him in my anger but it was so satisfying to verbalize my rage, I couldn’t stop.  I didn’t temper my words with compassion or understanding.  I just let loose.  And then just as quickly, my rage evaporated.  We stared at each other in my dream and the words died on my lips.  And then he smiled at me, the way he used to, with kindness and affection and kinship.  He held my hand in his and I could feel it-that once again we would mutually agree to stop hurting one another; to let go.  And then I woke up.

It’s the first time that a dream about him didn’t leave me in tears.  I felt hope.  I felt like somehow, even if only in the dream, we’d finally forgiven each other for being young and terrified and inexperienced and desperately in love anyway.  I felt forgiven for having let go.

I don’t keep in touch with him.  I am not sure we could ever be friends again.  Too many things have happened and the hurts were too much-I don’t know if we could ever get past them.  Aside from that we have both moved on.  Though I have not remarried, I have followed my heart and found happiness and friendship.  He found love with someone else and moved out of state.  I haven’t seen him in almost 18 years and based on how I’ve grown and changed over the years, I am sure he is a completely different person now, one who would be a stranger to me if our paths crossed.  When I’m asked about my one attempt at marriage, I always (truthfully) reply that he’s a genuinely good man who deserves happiness and joy, but I still felt a little hollow when I thought about it.  But I don’t today.  I spoke my mind and even if it was only in a dream, I know I was heard.  Maybe it was the universe or maybe it was the 19-year-old lovesick girl inside of me who finally forgave me but I feel like an old chapter finally ended and a new one has begun.

The Day Izzy Went Nutty in Wal-Mart


It’s been a while I know, but I have this need to talk about something that happened this weekend at Wal-Mart.  I know a lot of people hate on Wal-Mart.  I am one of them but I admit I still go every now and again when I am broke and need to save some money.  This weekend I was in that state of broke-ness and my sister and I moseyed on over to the second closest Wal-Mart.  The closest Wal-Mart isn’t as nice as the second closest one and usually about twice as crowded.  So we made the drive and everything seemed propitious.  We found a parking spot right up front (shopping karma!) and we found exactly what we needed in under 10 minutes.  We even moseyed around a little bit and window shopped for stuff we had no intention of purchasing.  Then we got in line to pay for our items.  And we waited and waited and waited…you get the idea.  Wal-Mart never has enough lanes open but one goes in there pretty much expecting that.  We really weren’t too upset about it.  We were chatting about this and that and if the line moved glacially (ICEBERG, yo) we were taking it pretty well.  Then lo and behold, a cashier opened the next lane.  When I noticed, I immediately walked over and I got there at just about the exact same time as another patron, we’ll call her Cap’n Crazeballs, who’d moved from the very back of the line.  Cap’n immediately went on the offensive telling me that she was there first (she wasn’t actually, given that I was in front of her) and I…I behaved badly.  I really did.

Let me be honest-I was so angry by her abusive words and hostility that I really, truly only remember two things that were said.  First, she definitely called me a fat bitch, and second, I definitely responded by telling her “you ARE the people of Wal-Mart.”  She got louder and more verbally abusive and I got quieter and more Southern by the moment.  Southern on me equals napalm with a super thin veneer of almost civility.  I very rarely go Southern.  I think most people would be utterly shocked to encounter me when I’m Southern as my reputation is solidly in the “super sweet but could be a little more assertive” category.  My sister was so angry by Cap’n Crazeballs that she left in order to avoid a very large scene.  At that point, I had no intention of giving any ground so I took all of my sister’s items and added them to my own pile.  As the checker rang my items up, Cap’n Crazeballs continued her verbal assault.  It was so utterly ridiculous.  Even as it was happening, I knew it was stupid and I should just let it go because haters gonna hate and all that jazz.  She only had like four items and I could absolutely have let her go in front of me.  In fact, if instead of calling me a fat bitch and generally being a ginormous asshat, had she just politely asked, “hey, I’m kind of in a hurry and only have four items, do you mind?” my answer would have been, “not at all, have at it.”  I absolutely would have let her go in front and been happy to do it.  But she started off with fat bitch and I could. not. let. it. go.

Caught in between was the store clerk who couldn’t have been a day over 19 and looked as though she weighed about 90 pounds.  She was terrified and did not make eye contact with either one of us or respond in any way to either one of us.  I was pretty annoyed at her, too, at the time, for not asking to help the next customer in line instead of what became a free-for-all, but once I calmed down after I got home, I felt really sorry for her.  First, well…I kind of was being a fat bitch.  I mean, let’s face it-I am fat and I was also, at the time, super bitchy.  Second, Cap’n Crazeballs was not exactly a petite teeny-tiny slice of Texas pie herself, if you know what I mean.  And then, our checker works at Wal-Mart where even full-time employees-very hard working, industrious individuals-still frequently need government assistance in order to feed their families.  There’s something wrong with that.  There is no way they pay that checker nearly enough to get in between two angry fat bitches.  I probably wouldn’t have taken a side, either, in her position.  And then there’s the fact that even though we had waited 20 minutes, there were still three parties in line ahead of us who’d been waiting even longer.  Had she asked for the next person in line, it wouldn’t have been me.  If one of them had called me out like the Cap’n I would have deserved it.  So I admit I squirmed a bit on the drive home as I reflected over the scuffle.  I was just as bad as Cap’n Crazeballs because it’s not like I encouraged the people in front of me to go get in line.  And I knew, even as I wasn’t backing down, that we were both in the wrong, and I was slightly worse because at least I knew it.

As I left, Cap’n Crazeballs tried to push the empty cart at my back, but I had a pretty good grip on it, so it didn’t really do any damage.  I muttered something like “charmed to have met you, classy one” and then left the store.  My sister had the car started and waiting out front right around the same time I came to the sudden realization that Cap’n Crazeballs was probably pissed enough to run me down if she got there first and I should probably be glad open carry isn’t permitted in Texas.

I got really, truly rage-filled in a store only one other time about ten years ago on the Day After Thanksgiving Shopping Extravaganza©.  Another abusive fellow customer, although that time I just turned around and left the store rather than engage.  Which store, you ask?  Thank you for asking.  It was Wal-Mart.  I think it’s a sign that Wal-Mart and I are just not meant to be together.

I Shoulda Stayed in Bed


There are days like that and today is one of those days.  I can’t even go into detail about why today is the blowiest, suckiest of all days because it’s not my story to tell even though I’m one of the players.  So rather than dwell on why today is blowy and sucky (and I’m sorry for the inelegant prose) I’m going to play a game of Anywhere But Here.  Let’s see…I could be…

On a ship (see Dad, I called it a ship instead of a boat, aren’t you proud??) cruising to ports near lush tropical isles.  I am lounging in a deck chair by the pool, trashy/smutty book in one hand, and something alchololic and blue in the other.  With a teensy umbrella in it.  TWO teensy umbrellas.  There is a salty sea breeze blowing my hair around and a cover band playing some good Southern rock, just because that’s what I feel like listening to right now.  Tall, dark, and handsome pulls up the chair next to mine and in addition to being tall, dark and handsome, he’s also funny and smart and kinda nerdy and thinks I’m awesome…

Share your Anywhere But Here in the comments.  Or at least take a moment and help me wish mine into existence.  Consider it a public service.

Where Izzybella Pokes a Little Fun


I love my students, but I’m gonna rag on them a little bit.  When I send them an email with the statement “You will be taking your exam at X location,” it amuses me a bunch when they reply to me with the question, “Where do I go to take my exam?”  Seriously that first sentence where I tell them where they’re taking their exam is like the first sentence in the first paragraph.  And I had more than one student send me that, so I just had to laugh.  It’s only the first week of school, and they’re already ignoring me!  :)

Where Izzybella Catches Ya’ll Up


Yeah, it’s been a while.  I had stuff to do, see, work stuff and other stuff.  This excuse is lame, is it not?  But it’s true.  Truthy.

So, let me break it down into two parts because I feel like doing that way.

Work: This is my busy season (this and December/January).  For some reason the fall start date kicks my butt.  I think it might be that we tend to accept so many more students in the fall, but we also had some new start-up sites, which I realize means nothing to you, but let me assure you it’s a lot of work.  I also travel with the lead teachers and a few administrators to our distance sites to do new student orientation, which I love, mostly because it’s fantastic to meet the students who have been emailing me for so many months.  Right when they first start the program, they’re so excited and happy to be here.  You have to cherish that because in less than a year, they’ll be bitter, unhappy, exhausted seniors who will hate every single one of us up until the day they graduate from the program.  They usually lighten up again by then!  The prospect of no more classes will do that to a student.  My SR2 students started courses today, but the rest of them start next Monday.  Lots to do between now and then.

Friends/Family/Everything else: My friend R got married this last weekend.  This is fabulous because weddings are always terrific, but mostly because she’s marrying a really nice guy.  I think he might actually be the last nice guy, which means I’m dead out of luck, but I couldn’t wish her more joy than I already do.  We did the bachelorette party two weekends ago.  I won nothing from the various contests.  I think I might have had a chance with some nekkid man artwork, had Chauceriangirl not played her hand at the last minute.  Her nekkid man art revealed nothing, yet everything.  It was genius.  She deserved the win, trust me.  Also, I had no idea my sister could be that filthy.

Wedding was last Friday, followed by reception on Sunday.  Here’s a good reception story for you and by good I mean embarrassing for me, personally, hence my goofy-ass need to immediately post it on the internet.  I wore heels to R’s reception.  Back about 100 lbs ago, this wouldn’t be particularly noteworthy, but I stopped wearing heels years ago because of heel spurs and ouchie feet.  As a result I am out of practice and no longer walk very well in heels.  But I promised R I would so I did.  Enter the Electric Slide.  Enter me trying to dance the Electric Slide.  It was badness and I decided to beat a hasty retreat, at which point I fell hard on my ass.  It was awesome.  Also it was caught on video by a co-worker who is now emailing me to tell me she accepts payment in twizzlers and oreos.  She keeps threatening to You Tube it, but I have decided to hold a hard stance on negotiating with You Tube terrorists.  After all, there are already a million You Tube videos depicting fat women falling on their asses as they attempt to dance.  I don’t think mine would add anything special to the genre.  But if she does post it, I’ll be sure and link you.  I’m a masochist that way.

My parents watched the RNC last weekend.  My parents are hard-core, ya’ll.  My stepmother loves, loves, loves Paul Ryan.  She doesn’t love Mitt Romney exactly but since she thinks Obama is the anti-Christ, he already has her vote.  I also witnessed the Clint Eastwood debacle since, you know, every single television in the house was turned on to the RNC.  I still love you, Clint Eastwood, even if you’d have been better off keeping your opinions to yourself.  This is my new philosophy this election season, starting now.  Unless you are one of the select few individuals who will love me no matter who I vote for, I have political views and I’m officially keeping them to myself.  Feel free to discuss with me, but don’t expect an agreement, disagreement or any other response.  The only caveat:  I am all for differing opinions but stop with all the hatin’.  You can think Obama’s policies are detrimental to the national economy without attacking him as a person, husband or father.  You can think Mitt Romney’s policies are antiquated and out-of-touch without throwing down about him being a filthy rich douche-canoe.  I’m willing to listen to anyone’s point-of-view if they have the intelligence and maturity to express it thoughtfully and in an educated manner.  This means that, yes, when my stepmother called Obama “lazy” over the weekend, we might have possibly had a small screaming match.  A teensy one.  Seriously?  Stop the hate, ya’ll!!  It just makes you look stupid.  Also?  People who hate have bad skin and smelly feet.  It’s a proven fact.

Finally, I saw Bourne Legacy this weekend.  Jeremy Renner?  Is awesome and wears the hell out of a suit.  That is all.

Black Thursday


I really try to be upbeat on this blog, usually-or at the very least I try to be productive about whining.  You know, looking on the bright side, perspective, this too shall pass, I could fix the problem by simply doing this one thing, blah-blah-blah.  But today…is just stupid.  And you know what?  There’s really no good reason.  My life, of late, hasn’t sucked.  I saw Idina Menzel in concert last night and she was fantastic.  She was funny and articulate and super classy.  (Might have had to be there for that one to be funny.)  Even better?  I didn’t have to pay for the tickets.  My friend’s husband won them from a radio station contest and they were nice enough to invite me along.  Work is going well.  At the very least, I am gainfully employed and in this economy that’s saying something.  I have a place to live with parents I love all the time and like about 90% of the time.  If you knew the monster, you’d understand how the other 10% comes into play.  I mean, life is not all that bad.  But today…is just stupid.

First, there’s the dog poop.  Arthur has taken to pooping in the house every morning sometime while I’m in my shower.  I tried locking him up to minimize the damage, but he just poops no matter where he is.  It’s either clean up up in the back of the house or clean up in the front of the house.  Won’t poop outside, no ma’am.  Must poop inside and then look cute and innocent when our people step on the poop with bare feet and let out a tremendous and highly creative slew of curse-words.

Then last night we had a genuine Texas thunderstorm with hail and everything.  On my new car.  Three dings.  Now, they’re small and let me confess fully that if I hadn’t been looking for them, I probably wouldn’t have noticed them, but I am in a BAD MOOD (TM) so I mentally catalogued them and added them to my list of things that make today really stupid.

Then I was just this close to being late this morning, but I was gonna make it on time, only to be stopped in front of the train tracks while an excrutiatingly slow 15-mile long train meandered it’s way down the tracks all relaxed and groovy-like.  I swear to you I could hear Simon and Garfunkle’s “Slow down…you move too fast…gotta make the morning last…” somewhere in the background and I wanted to scream.  In fact, I may have done just that to let off steam but since there was no one in the car with me, you’d have difficulty proving it.  I am not feelin’ groovy.  Just saying.

Oh, and I bought two embroidered polos for work, both of them the same size, one way too big for me, and other way too small.  WTF-ery is this, I ask you???  That’s $60 I’m not getting back any time soon.  And it just pisses me off.

And I have big nasty circles under my eyes and not enough make-up on.  You’re welcome for the visual, Interwebs.

Yes, I know, none of these are big life-altering things.  I’m aware of that.  And ordinarily I’d be sanguine.  Or at least, all perspective-y, because I’m good at that.  But today, I am in a BAD MOOD (TM).  Meh.  I’ll be over it by 2:00 PM.  But as of right now, today…is stupid.