This is another inappropriate post. You probably won’t be interested.
Okay, if I’m honest, I couldn’t resist finding out what a Funko is. I will reveal it further downpost. First, I want to issue a report.
I need to write something kind of funny today, because I had a pretty rough night last night. Arran had his latest chemo treatment and seemed to suffer from side effects. I wrote about it here, for those who are interested. Now I’m suffering a bit. I’d make a terrible nurse. I’m glad Bill is coming home tomorrow.
I’m almost ready to write a new book review. I might even get to it today. First, I want to write about Funkos and other fuckery found on Ex’s Twitter. When last I posted about her, I wrote about how she’s convinced she’s a Scot by blood. Now, she’s back to hinting for stuff. One of Ex’s Twitter buddies posted a GIF from Outlander. Ex added her giddy response beneath it.
This isn’t too cringey, I guess. I mean, it’s definitely icky, but it’s not too bad, as Ex goes. What gives me a fright is the suggested post beneath it. This isn’t one that Ex posted on, but it is related to Outlander. I’m surprised Ex didn’t respond to this, to be honest. She’s into this kind of stuff, according to Bill.
Yikes! I know… some people enjoy this kind of attention. I think I’d probably reflexively kick the guy in the face. I’m very relieved that Ex didn’t reply to this post. I’ve already had one dry heaving session this morning.
The next post is a familiar one. Ex reveals a little about herself, and says she’d “kill” for a pool. Actually, she’d kill for a lot less than a pool. I know this for a fact.
I’d kill for a pool. I love to swim and can go for hours!! Alas, it is not anywhere in my near future!! Sigh but then, neither is a new Peaker subscription. Which is killing me!!
I already knew about Ex’s love of swimming. Bill told me all about it. Ex is also a Pisces, which is the sign of the fish. Hmm… that seems to go hand in hand with the above pic, doesn’t it? I know… that was mean. I’m usually only mean to people who ask for it. As far as I’m concerned, Ex’s conduct over the past 33 years or so have made her someone toward whom I don’t feel guilty about being mean. Anyway, she makes my head swim, so why wouldn’t she be a fan of swimming?
Bill and I had a pool at our last US based rental house. It was nice. I think if I ever have to live in Texas again, I will insist on having another pool. However, I know there is a drawback to that. In our last US neighborhood, one of the neighbors wanted us to let his kids use the pool That was a big, fat, awkward NO, for so many reasons, starting with liability and ending with the fact that I don’t like sharing and feel no obligation to, especially with a total stranger who has the nerve to ask for access to our backyard. The pool was kind of a pain, too, because a pipe broke, and it took the landlord forever to get it fixed.
The next part of her Tweet is a lament that she can’t afford a “Peaker” subscription. This is a reference to Sam Heughan’s “My Peak Challenge”, which I looked up because of Ex. Apparently, it’s a wellness thing. For $149 a year, you get videos, recipes, and a t-shirt. I can’t help but think about how I just ordered a new computer for a couple thousand euros, which I have the money to pay in full for, when the charge posts on my credit card. It wasn’t always like that. For a good portion of our marriage, Bill and I were strapped for money, too. We worked hard to get to where we are now, and we also know that but by the grace of God, we could easily wind up broke again.
For over ten years, Bill sent Ex $2550 a month for three kids, one of which wasn’t even his child. He also spent a long time climbing out of the financial hellhole Ex left him in, due to her outrageous spending habits. For that, she denied him any access whatsoever to his kids, and she tried to ruin his relationship with his own parents. And, she also had the nerve to shame Bill for buying a cheap palm pilot type device, back when they first split up, and she was still trying so hard to control him. Of course, now that the child support gravy train is long ended, Ex can’t satisfy her desires so easily. I’m sure she’ll find a way to buy her subscription for Sam Heughan’s “Peaker” club, though. She always does.
In fact, in the very next post, Ex posts this:
So… she doesn’t have money for a My Peak Challenge subscription, but she DOES have money for TWO signed copies of Waypoints, a book by her beloved ideal man, Sam Heughan. That’s not such a big deal, as I see that the books retail for less than $20. But two of those cost between $30 and $40, which is a significant chunk of the $149 she would need for her subscription. And a Jamie Fraser Funko Pop, which she says she wants for her birthday next month, is not so cheap, depending on who’s selling it.
What can a Funko Pop do, anyway? At least a subscription to the My Peak Challenge might contribute to Ex’s health and well being. This is just a fucking toy… and not even the FUN kind she can use between her legs. I’ve got nothing against buying “toys” to make one feel better about life. But we have it on good authority that Ex doesn’t cover her own needs before she buys this kind of stuff.
Of course, it’s none of my business or concern… except for the fact that all of this stuff is publicly posted. I am reminded of certain other women I’ve known who had serious problems with shopping addictions. They are people who must have what they want when they want it, no matter what. And a lot of them wind up with pretty dreadful credit ratings. Sadly, they often brazenly financially abuse their loved ones, too.
And finally, the last of her latest tweets are about Alexa “wake up” calls by Sam Heughan. I guess #3 isn’t doing it for her anymore… and obviously, based on her newfound interest in Scotch whisky, neither is Mormonism…
Well… that about does it for my latest Ex inspired snarkfest. I feel slightly cheerier now. It’s a dreaded Thursday, which means I get to vacuum. And then I expect I’ll finish my latest book, so I can write something more people will want to read. Have a happy Thursday.
I had kind of a crappy weekend. We had bad weather. Bill had to leave for another weeklong business trip yesterday. Saturday night, I found an enlarged lymph node on Arran, which indicates that the chemo is starting to fail. Arran is still acting like himself. In fact, he let me stay in bed until about 4:15am, when I finally got up by my own choice and asked him if he wanted to eat. He practically leapt out of the bed and danced all the way downstairs. I think we were all hungry, because I didn’t make dinner last night. I was too busy watching Body Cam cop videos on YouTube and drinking beer. I only had two, though, so that wasn’t bad.
I started reading a compelling new book last night. I’m already well into it, because I didn’t sleep well. I woke up at about 2:00am, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I finally dozed off for about an hour, and Bill sent me a private message, which made my watch vibrate. I do love that man… but now I’m feeling kind of cranky and snarky. I see the weather is still kind of yucky, too. So, I might as well rag on Ex again. Why not?
Last week, I mentioned that I found out that I have ties to the Fraser clan in Scotland. Ex also proudly claims to have ties to the Fraser clan. We seem to have ties to different branches of that clan, which fills me with relief. I’m not particularly proud to have ties to the Fraser clan. I don’t know much about them. But, if I have to have ties to them, I’d prefer them to be distant from Ex’s professed ties. She’s not someone I want to share DNA with at all.
Truth be told, according to Ancestry.com, I have ties to quite a few different clans. Make no mistake, though… I am an American. I was born there, and have spent most of my life living there– in Virginia, mostly. Germany is catching up in terms of the number of years where I’ve lived. It’s now in second place. I’ve spent about ten years in Germany– a total of six living in Baden-Württemberg, and so far, four in Hessen.
I’m still an American, though… even though 23andMe has only found a slight trace of Native American DNA. If I were to go only by my DNA, I’d definitely be a Brit… and most likely, a Scot. However, it’s been a few hundred years since my ancestors last lived in Scotland and other parts of the British Isles. Most of them moved to the United States in the 1600s and 1700s. So, I think calling myself Scottish would be impractical, disingenuous, and kind of pretentious.
Sure, I definitely look the part, and I definitely enjoy Scottish humor and libations, and sometimes I wish I could be anything other than a US citizen, especially given the dark road our country has been on of late. But Donald Trump is half Scottish, so that’s reason enough for me to embrace some of my other heritage. 😉
Ex, on the other hand, is convinced that she’s a Scot. And not only is she a Scot, but she’s downright aristocratic. She never misses a chance to brag about it on Twitter, either. She’s a super fan of Outlander, which I just realized is on Netflix. I’ve never seen the show, and before I started watching Ex’s Twitter feed, had never heard of the author of the books or the actors who portray the characters. Ex is apparently obsessed with them, and has now adopted Scotland as her “home”. To my knowledge, she’s never even been there to visit, but she does have an active fantasy life.
A few days ago, she was all excited about Robert Burns…
Thanks for this lovely tribute to Robert Burns!! Sam is a great example of how much we Scots love him and all he does for the heart and soul of Scotland. I for one long to go home to Scotland and just breath… Slàinte Mhath, Tash!! Happy Burns night!!
Um… I’d love to know if Ex even knows the most basic of poetry written by Robert Burns. Oh, maybe she knows “Auld Lang Syne”. I remember the first poem I knew was written by him, but I learned it due to being in a choir. It had been set to music, just as “Auld Lang Syne” is. Below is the version we did in 1991, done by a different university’s choir.
I’d be surprised if Ex even knows the poem, “A Red, Red Rose.” But maybe she’s gotten into Scottish poetry and reads it in bed, after an Outlander watch party. Bill says when they were married, she was obsessed with Ireland. They even had claddagh rings. Older daughter has an Irish first name, too. It was chosen by Bill, but Ex downplays that fact. Now, she’s obsessed with Scotland…
Funny thing about Ireland. Bill’s surname is Irish, and to me, he really looks Irish. But, according to our DNA tests, I’m more Irish than he is. 😀 My maiden name originated in England, and I’d always assumed we were mostly English by ancestry. Apparently not.
I’d barely recovered from Ex’s crowfest about Robert Burns, complete with fake “Scottishisms”, when someone posted another photo of her dream man, Sam Heughan (who looks a lot like Ron Howard, to me). Ex wrote:
I love this pic on the right. He was out and about when he saw a fan trying to snap a picture… so he flashed them his sweetest smile. He loves the fans and respects them… let’s make sure we ALL reciprocate!
But then she is gently corrected…
It wasn’t a fan, it was paparazzi.
So then she writes:
Ohhh that actually makes me sad, then. I’d heard it was a random fan. I wish the press would leave celebrities alone and concentrate on matters that need our attention, dire or uplifting. Extra pics of our favorites can’t make us love them more after all!!!
Um… she wants the press to leave celebrities alone, yet she’s constantly tweeting at them and asking them to give her daughter an internship. See Mark Hamill, Sam Heughan, Chris Evans, and Diana Galbadon… I guess she doesn’t see herself at the same level of peskiness as a paparazzo. Based on what happened to Bill during his relationship with her, I would say she is every bit as damaging, if not more so.
Next, there’s a gushy post about how handsome Sam Heughan is, and another poster writes:
Today, I told my long time husband, “I apologize for never being slender.” It’s not in my DNA. I said it because I see him perk up at women, who I don’t think are attractive, but they’re slender. Then I said, “You can apologize for not being a 6’3″ buff ‘red’ haired young man.”
Ex responds thusly:
It’d be hypocrisy to objectify @SamHeughan (&@ChrisEvans) best looking men I’ve seen, but I don’t think it’s just looks that make me feel that way. I think it’s his heartfelt philanthropy, genuine desire to help others be healthy, the way he lives his best life.
It seems to me that Ex would be best off not ever meeting her heroes. I doubt they would live up to her impressions of them. I also know that her ideas of the perfect man are constantly evolving. She demands that her men play a role, rather than be who they are. What I think is sad is that she had a truly wonderful, caring, willing partner in Bill, but he wasn’t good enough for her. So now, she’s with #3, who apparently never even bothered to give her a wedding ring. See below:
Yeni… I have been married nearly 21 years and do not have a wedding band.
…I’m totally there with you! The teacher should have returned this and apologized. IMHO!
The above comment was in response to a post someone made about a teacher who had confiscated a love note from a 7th grader who had given it to a classmate. The note quoted When Harry Met Sally. “Yeni” had said she never got something so romantic from her husband, and Ex decided to throw shade at #3, I guess.
She did have a ring with Bill, but they were cheap, gold plated affairs. When Bill and I got married, we bought platinum rings from Mervis Jewelers in the Washington, DC area. That was important to him. He wanted good wedding rings for our marriage, so our marriage wouldn’t resemble a country song…
Next, she crows about a new season of the show, complete with a clear indication of her priorities.. Ex isn’t “from New England”, either. She just lives there right now…
I’m from New England, US. I put it on my family calendar so I would NOT forget to watch & share. I labeled it “Mom Unavailable”. When that popped up on my phone I didn’t know what it was for!
Spent all day trying to remember, how could I forget this:
That actually makes me laugh, because it’s as if she ever is available to her kids. I happen to know that her kids were generally expected to take care of themselves, often to criminal levels. They were also expected to take care of her, too… as in doing all of the cooking and housework. Woe be unto anyone who made a dish Ex doesn’t want to eat, either, even if there’s no food in the house.
Of course, now four of the five of the kids are adults, but they mostly raised themselves. It’s a shame, too, because Bill had really wanted to raise his kids. She wouldn’t allow it. And now older daughter is taking care of her youngest… whom Ex describes, after a tweet about Tyre Nichols:
This terrifies me. I’m mother to a large, strong non-compliant autistic boy. If they told my baby to sit down, he would; but he would run away home the second he could. This beating could have happened to my son, anyone’s son. There is no service or protection here just murder.
Yes… and she uses that “boy” every opportunity she can, to prop up her “caring supermom” facade. Meanwhile, instead of looking after her son, she tweets at more strangers with creepy preludes like this:
I’m only 45 minutes from Boston! We’re neighbors! When the cast comes again, let’s go together!
Och aye!!! I want to come and make your acquaintance!! I’ve been doing my genealogy and have traced my mother’s line to the Frasers du Lovat up in the Highlands!! We’d have so much fun!
Oh Cat, we love you so… love your hat #samwho too btw!! Without Claire, there would be no Jamie to swoon over. I’d say, just as many swoon over Claire and the way in which you play her, as swoon over Jaime and the way @SamHeughan plays him.
I wonder if the actors and authors Ex tweets are weirded out by these breathless, gushing, adoring posts?
I was going to ignore all of this stuff, though. I really was. I keep telling myself that I need to find a new topic to write about. Maybe do something more serious and useful to the general public or something… but let’s not kid ourselves. This is just a blog, right? And I’m just the interloper who married her divorced ex husband, whom she totally screwed over on every level. I decided not to ignore it when I saw this. Yet another declaration of her being Scottish by blood…
She can’t just say she’s disgusted. She has to bring up her alleged fancy Scottish heritage again… to a perfect stranger. LOL… Then she moves on to Lynda Carter’s page, where she swoons and sucks up some more. It’s enough to make me want to hurl. 😉
I’m beginning to feel like H.G. Tudor on YouTube, who has made so many videos about Meghan Markle. I think Ex and Meghan have a few things in common, although Meghan is younger, prettier, skinnier, more famous, and much wealthier. H.G. Tudor would tell me to stop paying attention to what Ex does… but he doesn’t really follow his own advice, because he makes so many videos about people he claims are narcissists. But then, H.G. claims that he’s a narcissist, too.
I don’t claim to be a narcissist. It’s possible that I have narcissistic traits, as most people do. But I don’t have that particular personality disorder. If I did, Bill would be long gone by now. I think I’m just a garden variety eccentric, made dysfunctional by alcoholism and neglect on the part of my parents. I have empathy, especially for Bill. I appreciate him for all he does. I don’t even get crushes anymore. He’s absolutely the right man for me, and boy do I miss him when he has to go away for the week. I will always be grateful to Ex for dumping him.
Actually, as Bill and I were talking about Arran and how he will probably be leaving us, soon, we both expressed appreciation for his original adopters. They kept him for nine months, calling him Marley. Then they brought him back to the rescue. He’s turned out to be a wonderful dog for us. We’re grateful they brought him back to the rescue, even though I know it really hurt Arran to be “dumped”.
Likewise, as disgusted as I am by Ex’s spectacles on social media, and the way she gushes at celebrities and strangers, as she abuses people she supposedly loves, when it comes down to it, I feel gratitude, too. Because when she divorced Bill, she gave me a tremendous gift. He’s the right man for me. I’m genuinely glad he wasn’t “good enough” for her.
Still… I totally cringe when she claims to be a Scot… and I kind of wish many more of my people had hooked up with some French and German people, instead. 😀 Then I remind myself that, yes… I am an American, as Ex also is, and as an American, I should try to be a good example of our people to the Germans I live among today. So I think I’ll end this post and do something constructive… play some guitar and maybe cook a roast, or something. That will make Arran happy, and maybe I’ll be less hangry tomorrow. Ciao.
Apologies in advance for yet another post about Ex. Now that Donald Trump is going to be back on mainstream social media, my fixation on her could be coming to an end soon. Or maybe not. After all, I’ve been married to her ex husband for twenty years, and I still can’t seem to move past the awesome fuckery of it all… Luckily, Bill is worth everything and more.
I’ve often said that Ex did me a favor when she divorced Bill. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had. We are disgustingly compatible, except in the mornings and the evenings. Case in point, last night at barely 9:00pm, Bill was sitting at the bench in our dining room, eyes closed, head leaned back, mouth open, and practically in a REM state. I was still quite wide awake.
This morning at 5:45 am…
I wasn’t quite awake at 5:45 am. I had just read a letter sent to an advice columnist in The New York Times. It was written by a second wife whose stepson was getting married. She and her husband had reached out to the bride’s parents, hoping to form a bond. Stepson discouraged her from contacting the bride’s mom. She soon found out why…
My stepson is getting married this year. His father and I embrace our future daughter-in-law and looked forward to meeting her family. I began corresponding with her mother and expressed our interest in flying out to meet them. My stepson discouraged this; he said they would be visiting our area soon. But we weren’t introduced to them when they came. Later, I received a call from his fiancée’s mother, who clearly mistook me for my husband’s ex-wife. She said she loved meeting me and referred to “the new wife” — me! — as “not blood.” At Thanksgiving, my stepson and his mother flew to visit his fiancée’s family and made lots of wedding plans, including for a rehearsal dinner for which we will pay half. How can we get past all these hurtful exclusions, some affecting our pocketbook? (I note: My husband’s relationship with his ex-wife is frosty.)
I hadn’t yet read the columnist’s advice as Bill went off on his early morning tear. I also hadn’t had any coffee, and wasn’t quite ready for Bill’s insane early morning energy. I did, however, see some of the crappy comments on Facebook regarding the situation in the advice column. Lots of people were projecting their own experiences in their reactions to this letter. Some people were downright mean!
I wasn’t focused on Bill’s early morning chatter, because my sleepy brain was still processing the advice column and people’s tone deaf comments regarding the situation. Stepmothers so often get a raw deal… even as I will admit some stepmothers deserve it. But not all stepmothers are assholes. Just like any other group of people, it takes all kinds. I saw a lot of people saying the stepmom in the letter was “whining”. Others wondered about the circumstances regarding how she and her husband got together. I notice that few people assume stepfathers are “the other man”, but stepmoms often get that assumption, especially if the first wife is still living.
I’ve mentioned before that more than one person has asked me if I caused my husband’s divorce. Um… that would be a NO. I had NOTHING to do with it. I didn’t know Bill when he and Ex separated. I didn’t meet him in person until almost a year after their divorce was final. And, thanks to Ex’s extreme parental alienation tactics, I didn’t have a chance to fuck up what was left of his daughters’ childhoods, either. I only saw them once when they were still kids. Meanwhile, Ex got her very generous child support in full and on time every month.
It’s not a secret that I’ve been pissed off at Ex forever for being such a hateful, mean-spirited cunt. Sorry… not a nice word, but in her case, it’s absolutely warranted. And I don’t feel that way just because she severely alienated the children, which was bad enough. I don’t even feel that way because she “invited” me to my own in laws’ house for Christmas. I feel that way because she abused Bill in ALL ways… including the ways that are too horrible and humiliating to mention.
Put it this way. If she were a man, she could have gone to prison for what she did. She absolutely could have gone to prison as a woman, too, but that would have meant admitting to being a sexual assault victim and reporting what she did to the police. It also would have meant seeing what she did for what it really was, which, at the time, was much too horrifying to ponder.
That all being said… and I am being totally serious, here. I do realize that there’s a certain freedom in being so alienated from my husband’s daughters for so long. The wedding scenario in the letter above will never be a concern of mine. Bill wasn’t invited to his daughter’s wedding, which I gather was not official, as younger daughter and her husband are devout Mormons and no doubt did the religious ordinance sans the “unworthy”. Younger daughter did tell Bill she’d wanted to invite him, even though she got married before they started speaking again. I guess she figured inviting Bill would be more trouble than it was worth. I doubt Ex and #3 were there for the temple sealing, as they are reportedly not temple worthy. I doubt they got that way for a religious ordinance.
Because my husband’s daughters were so alienated, there wasn’t too much drama coming at us from them. I remember when we first got married, Ex ominously wrote in an email that she would never want the children to get in the way of our relationship. And then she did all she could to make it so they rejected Bill. That decision was calculated to hurt us, and it did. However, instead of breaking us up, it made us a stronger unit. Twenty years later, we still laugh at each other. We still inspire each other. Younger daughter speaks to Bill, and is now getting to know him again. And, aside from that one Christmas fiasco, I’ve never had to worry about any weird or awkward situations involving weddings, graduations, baptisms or other family events.
It’s hard to think of this as Ex doing me a favor. The truth is, it was all very hurtful. I totally understand the letter writer’s pain. What makes it even worse is that society, in general, has no regard or empathy for stepmothers. We’re often seen as interlopers, at best. While stepfathers are often commended for “stepping in” for bio dads who weren’t there… whether or not the bio dads wanted to be, stepmothers “can’t win for losin’.”
Over the past twenty years, I’ve heard that my husband’s kids are “none of my business.” I’ve also heard that I “must love them as if they are my own children”. I’ve been asked if I broke up my husband’s first marriage. I’ve been told that I should regard younger daughter’s children as “my grandchildren”. I’ve only met younger daughter in person once, and that was twenty years ago this summer.
I don’t think the vast majority of people really stop and think about the many scenarios that cause subsequent marriages. This is a subject that is so personal and painful for so many that people tend to come up with a narrative that they apply to all situations. It’s a type of prejudice. Many people who hear that someone is a subsequent wife wonder how she became a subsequent wife. I guess we can thank fairy tales for that image…
Stepmothers are presented as money grubbing evil shrews with no feelings. The bio mom is always innocent and sweet. The stepmom is a selfish bitch who steals other women’s men from them. It’s laughable, in my case. I barely ever dated before I met Bill. I’m definitely not a man stealing hussy, although sometimes I legitimately can be a bitch. 😉 I try hard not to be a bitch unless a situation calls for it.
In my case, being a second wife has been a weird experience. My parents never divorced. In fact, there’s very little divorce in my family, as a whole. I don’t have stepparents, and never expected to be one myself. So, when Bill and I decided to get married, I optimistically figured I’d just do the best I could. Bill had warned me that his ex wife was a mean person. In fact, he once told me she would “rip me to shreds.” Maybe she might have done that, if I took anything she says or does personally.
I don’t take Ex’s behavior personally, because I know that it wouldn’t have mattered to her who Bill married. She would have been nasty to ANYONE. She saw (and probably still sees) Bill as her possession, even though she threw him away, and she would have resented any subsequent spouse. I’m just glad I can see that for what it is and feel quite free to tell Ex to fuck off. She deserves it. Being nice to her would not have changed the way she would have treated me. In fact, it might make her feel even more threatened. If I was a “Snow White” type, all sweet and kind, she would have probably been even more spiteful and jealous, like the wicked queen in the aforementioned fairy tale. Ex doesn’t like other people showing her up, and being determined to fake keeping sweet for the sake of optics would have probably made her behavior much worse.
My husband’s ex wife is so incredibly dysfunctional that there was never a hope of my having a normal relationship with Bill’s kids. She treats them like possessions, rather than people in their own right. Fortunately, younger daughter claimed her own self-determination. Older daughter, I fear, is going to stay stuck. I don’t think my situation is necessarily the norm. Most mothers aren’t as hateful and selfish as Ex is. They don’t wish for their children to be mistreated or disliked by others. Ex talks a good game about being a good mom, but her actions are opposite to what she says. I was never going to get a chance, no matter what. So, I never had to worry about my feelings getting hurt by being snubbed by younger daughter’s mother-in-law. But we also didn’t have to contribute money toward her wedding.
Of course, now that she’s talking to Bill again, younger daughter does get financial and other help from her dad on occasion. Bill gave his daughter and her husband some money for the deposit on the place where they are now living. To her credit, younger daughter offered to pay Bill back. Apparently, Ex would make her older kids pay her back for things, even as she’d happily take their birthday money to buy diapers for their younger siblings. Bill was horrified, and told her to consider the money a wedding gift. She was very grateful and thanked him profusely.
I think, if I were the stepmother in the above scenario, and my feelings were really hurt, I might consider having my husband go to the wedding alone. Then I’d hit a spa, take a short trip, or do something else fun for me. So many people were commenting that the stepmother should just step aside and know her place. I figure in a situation like that, my “place” might be outside the wedding venue, somewhere where I’ll be welcomed. But that’s just me. And, in fact, this was the approach I took in 2004, when Ex invited me to my in-laws’ house for Christmas. I stayed home, and Bill went to see his kids… for the last time, it turned out, until 2020.
If going to a spa is too self-indulgent or ballsy, then maybe the stepmom should just enjoy the wedding like any other guest. Don’t offer to help in ANY way, unless it’s specifically requested. Let the moms do the heavy lifting. And then, if the wedding gets too boring, cut out and go do something more interesting. It sounds to me like the stepson doesn’t like her very much, anyway. She married his dad, not him. Let Dad handle the bullshit. Stepmom can detach and please herself. Some will say this is a self-centered solution, but it doesn’t sound to me like the stepmom can win in this scenario. Either she cares too much, or not enough. So she might as well please herself.
I am a very lucky woman. My husband is wonderful. He’s kind, generous, reasonable, and adorable to me. He’s his own person. He accepts me for who I am. In fact, he even celebrates it. Bill told me this morning that he enjoys my outspoken personality, because I often say the things he’s thinking. He worries a lot more about offending people than I do, so we balance each other out. If I were more like him, I doubt our marriage would have lasted twenty years. People would be constantly violating our boundaries.
Below is the columnist’s advice… which I think was pretty sound:
I totally understand your bruised feelings. That phone call on which you were mistaken for your husband’s ex-wife sounds awful! I suspect the explanation lies largely in that “frosty” relationship between your husband and his former wife. Visits seem to have been organized to keep them apart and to prioritize your stepson’s mother. (I get that: I happen to be a mama’s boy myself.)
Now, your stepson certainly could have handled introductions more deftly. But ceremonial occasions — like “meet the parents” — can be tough for children of divorce if their parents are antagonistic. So, unless I am misreading this situation, try to forgive your stepson and take the long view: Life won’t end at the wedding! Getting to know your stepson’s in-laws may simply take longer than you expected.
As for splitting the costs of the rehearsal dinner — which I assume was acceptable until you were treated unkindly — I would stick with that plan. If my assumption is wrong or if the price exceeds your budget, speak up. But don’t make a fuss on principle. Letting the small stuff slide in favor of building better relationships is often a wise strategy. I hope it works for you and your husband.
Again… if it were me, I might consider making other plans for the wedding day. It would depend on the level of disrespect shown to me, and my husband’s feelings on the matter. I don’t enjoy getting into conflicts with people or going to places where people don’t want me around. Stepmothers have feelings, too, and I’m not one to show up for things just to promote the status quo. But that’s me… and my husband is the type of person who understands. My focus is my relationship with him, because I married him. The stepson in this case is an adult, and presumably intelligent enough to understand that his perspective isn’t the only one that matters.
I know a lot of people read my rantings about Ex and think I’m the problem. I’m being honest when I say that I married Bill because I love him. I always hoped to have a good relationship with his daughters. I was definitely willing. At first, I was willing to be cordial to Ex, too. She made it very clear from the beginning that she saw me as a competitor and an adversary. She didn’t want her daughters to get to know me, and did all she could to see that we never interacted without her close supervision. I’m not Ex’s ass monkey, so I opted out of the arrangement she unilaterally made for me without my input. I think, as an adult, I have the right to opt out of her plans for handling me. She made it abundantly clear that the kids weren’t “mine”, and she would heavily moderate any influence I might have. So I figured the best thing to do was to let her have HER kids. I had no rights to them, but neither did I have any responsibility.
Now Bill’s daughters are adults, and they can theoretically decide for themselves what’s best. I’m glad that younger daughter gave Bill a chance and is now able to bond with him. Maybe if more stepmothers saw themselves as wives first, there might be some less pain in these situations. But then, sometimes stepmothers really are second moms. Like I mentioned above, everybody’s got a story, and not all situations are the same. The right way to handle any situation depends a lot on the people involved. In my case, Ex is so toxic that it’s best to simply opt out to the extent possible.
I will say, though, that opting out of Christmas 2004 was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. She tried to punish me for doing that… I guess, assuming that Bill would resent me for the way Ex retaliated. But Ex is an adult, and responsible for her own actions. If she wants to try to punish me for not dancing to her tune, she can certainly try. I don’t accept her punishment. And it’s clear that she never knew Bill, nor did she ever love him. I do love him, and because I love him, he probably won’t be alone when he’s an old man. Ex, on the other hand, probably will be. And now that the kids are grown, I’m having a good laugh at her. 😀
I woke up at 5:41 am this morning, after having had a vivid dream about a southern town somewhere near where I came of age. I don’t remember much about the dream now. Sometimes, I wish I had Bill’s discipline, when it comes to recording dreams. He writes his down and sends them to his Jungian analyst. They talk about Bill’s dreams every week during their video chats.
I have vivid dreams, too, but I don’t remember most of them for long. Maybe I’m genetically less inclined to remember my rapid eye movements. It’s possible that this is a family trait.
Several years ago, I submitted samples to 23andMe and Ancestry.com. I started with 23andMe, because it seemed to be the more health focused of the two. It also had no ties to Mormonism. Some people may not know this, but the LDS church is big into genealogy. It’s so that members can “baptise” their dead family members who were around before Mormonism was. That way, those dead people can choose to be LDS in the afterlife.
Living members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go to temples and do proxy baptisms for dead members of their families. Some also do “temple work” for dead celebrities, too, although they’re not supposed to do baptisms for people who aren’t relatives.
I know that, historically, descendants of Holocaust victims got pretty angry with the Mormons for “dead dunking” their family members murdered during World War II. Frankly, I find that practice pretty offensive, especially for people who died in the Holocaust because they were Jewish. These were people who literally died horrible, gruesome deaths for their beliefs. It’s beyond tacky to do a proxy baptism to allow dead Jewish people to be Mormons, as if they were wrong all along.
Faithful church members who do proxy baptisms for non-related people will simply shrug off the thought that they’re being offensive. They say that if the church isn’t true, it doesn’t matter if they “dead dunk” Holocaust victims. The ceremony is meaningless.
If you’ve been following this blog, you may already know why I don’t like Mormonism. These days, I’m somewhat less vitriolic toward the church than I once was. I still don’t like the church’s doctrine because I think it’s harmful to some people. My husband’s ex wife used it as a “reason” to alienate Bill from his daughters. She got everyone to join the church. Then, when Bill realized he didn’t believe in Mormonism, she told his daughters that he wasn’t worthy to be their father. He wouldn’t be going to the Celestial Kingdom because, when he ultimately resigned his membership, he turned his back on the “one true church”. Never mind that she’s not going there, either.
Ex has now apparently given up on Mormonism. It doesn’t suit her purposes anymore. However, Bill’s daughters are still believers. Younger daughter is particularly faithful. I also know that the church, which Ex had once tried to weaponize, was very helpful in helping younger daughter escape her mother’s clutches. I’m grateful to church members for that… and I know there are good people in the church. Nowadays, I try to be less negative about the LDS church, even though I still don’t like the doctrine. In fairness, though, I’m not a very religious person, anyway.
Ancestry.com has no legal ties to Mormonism, but it was founded by church members who, no doubt, tithe. I know that church members can be very persistent in tracking down inactive members. I don’t like to support organizations that make pests of themselves, especially religious organizations. After some time, I changed my mind about Ancestry.com. It probably happened when Bill started talking to younger daughter again, and she proved that she isn’t completely brainwashed.
After I changed my mind about Ancestry.com, I finally did a DNA test with them. The results were very interesting. DNA wise, my results were very similar to what 23andMe found. Both tests have my DNA down as extremely British and Irish. There’s a slight discrepancy on some of the other DNA predictions. 23andMe has me down as having a little Finnish and Spanish ancestry. Ancestry has me with Norwegian, Swedish, and Welsh. However, on both tests, my DNA has me as well over 90% British and Irish. Ancestry.com breaks it down even further, indicating that my DNA is (at this writing) 56% Scottish. No wonder I feel so at home there!
One of the other advantages to Ancestry.com is that there’s a ton of genealogical data there. Recently, a lot more data has become available for my own family origins. I’ve been updating my family tree accordingly, finding little historical twigs from people who came from Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany, and France. Earlier test results on the DNA tests had indicated that I had some origins in those countries, too. The results change as more DNA is added to the databases. For example, at one time, 23andMe indicated that I had Swiss DNA. Then it changed, and the Swiss connection went away. But based on my family tree on Ancestry.com, I do actually have some Swiss family members.
Neither test shows that I have much French DNA, but I’ve found French people in my family tree. Ditto for Germany… I actually know for sure that I have some German relatives. However, when it comes to my DNA, the connection isn’t as clear. Maybe that’s why I’m so short! I think it’s helpful to remember that the DNA analysis traces all the way back… not just within the past few hundred years.
So far, all branches of my family tree go back to about 1500 or so, which may be when people started keeping records. But the DNA goes back much further than that. It’s pretty mind boggling, if you think about it for too long. Bearing that in mind, it makes sense that my DNA would be overwhelmingly British and Irish, even though I can spot random other Europeans in my family tree. That French and Swiss DNA would be a tiny contribution, compared to the huge number of Brits who went into making me. 😉
And now, you may be wondering… what does all of this have to do with my post’s title? Well, now I’ll explain.
As I wrote further up post, I’ve recently been adding new people to my family tree. Some of it has been truly fascinating. I’ve mentioned many times that I was born and raised in Virginia. Indeed, the vast majority of my relatives were also born and raised in Virginia, starting from the 1600s, or so. My family was in Virginia from the very beginning of its existence.
I can see how they migrated from Scotland, England, and Ireland to Virginia, working their way down from Massachusetts or Pennsylvania, and settling in the Shenandoah Valley or further south, near the North Carolina border. Both sides of my dad’s side of the family are mostly from Rockbridge County. My mom’s dad came from Grayson County. Her mother came from Amherst. However, I did have at least one relative from way back who was born in Gloucester County, which is where I grew up.
All of these discoveries were fascinating to me. But then I stumbled across one that really gave me pause… Behold!
I was updating my tree yesterday, when I noticed that my great grandmother’s ancestry connects her to the Fraser family. The Frasers are a prominent Scottish clan. I know this, in part, because a few years ago, Bill and I were on a Hebridean whisky cruise, and there we met a very obnoxious fellow American. Her last name was Fraser. She wore the Fraser tartan at the two gala dinners. When I met this woman, I didn’t know much about my ancestry. I just knew that I liked the Scots. 😉 Anyway, the American Fraser woman on our cruise was very proud of her heritage and never ceased to let us know about it.
A few years later, I started to pay more attention to my husband’s ex wife’s online antics. Over the past year or so, she’s been claiming that she’s related to a certain aristocratic Scottish family. Now, I have no way of knowing if Ex is really related to this family or if this is another one of her fantasies… I do know she was adopted. I don’t know if she’s claiming ties based on her DNA or her adoptive family. But this is what she’s been posting lately…
Hmm…given that, I now have hope that my stories will make it to print. The method you enjoy…works! Please, just keep doing it; you create lives, no small feat! Remember me, though; it would be a delight to collaborate. I’m a Fraser du Lovat, by the way, & that’s fun!!
The above quote comes from a post I wrote May 16, 2022. Ex was trying to engage the actors on Outlander. I don’t watch the show myself. I just know it’s a Scottish historical romance. Ex is so swept up in it that she’s claiming to be related to a well known Highland Scottish clan, Fraser du Lovat, which has origins in Inverness. I don’t know much at all about the Frasers du Lovat, or any other Scottish clan, for that matter. I never claimed to be of particularly noble breeding myself. But, if I’m to believe Ancestry.com, I’ve also got ties to the Fraser clan… although my ancestor is Sir Alexander Fraser, 8th Earl of Philorth, which is a Lowland clan.
I know from cruising on Hebridean Princess, that Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland run right into each other. We visited the Glengoyne Distillery, just north of Glasgow. The guide told us that the distillery is located on the Highland Line. Consequently, Glengoyne’s stills are in the Highlands, while the maturing casks of whisky are across the road in the Lowlands. It’s considered a Highland whisky, even though the Lowlands are literally just yards away.
Again, I don’t know how accurate Ancestry.com’s family tree suggestions are. I also don’t have any reason whatsoever to believe Ex’s own claims about her ancestry. She has a long history of stretching the truth. She also has a very active fantasy life. BUT… I can’t help but be amused that I apparently have ties to the same big Scottish clan that she’s so proud of… which clearly seems to make her feel “special”. She feels so special that she tweets Sam Heughan on Twitter and claims to be descended from the Fraser du Lovat clan. And I… the hated homewrecking whore (which I’m actually REALLY not)… am apparently related to the Frasers of Philorth. 😉
Of course, all of that was very long ago… and I have other family ties that are interesting for other, and frankly better, reasons. I wish I could look at the whole tree at one time. But now it’s gotten very big and unwieldy. My ancestors were very prolific babymakers. It’s a bit mind boggling to realize that when I die, so will my particular branch of the tree. Oh well. It’s probably fitting that my branch got pruned… I also blame that on Ex.
Last night, I was plowing through more of Prince Harry’s “bombshell” book, Spare. As is my custom sometimes, I decided to share a few excerpts from the book for a few friends. I realize that a lot of people are already sharing excerpts from Spare. Now, having gotten through about 80 percent of the book, I know the bits being shared are mostly about Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle. No one seems to be sharing the rest of the book, which I’ve mostly found compelling and enjoyable.
I will probably finish reading Spare today. I might start a review today, or maybe I’ll get to it tomorrow. One thing I do know is that this book is probably going to spawn a few posts. I’m wading through Harry’s relationship with Meghan Markle and it’s very triggering for me. Many of the behaviors he describes– from the rush of the early relationship, to the way he describes frequently finding her sobbing and inconsolable, to the way she bullies him into psychotherapy– are very familiar to me. They make my “N” chimes ring.
What are “N” chimes, you ask? “N”, of course, equals narcissism. Chimes alert us to something in need of attention. Yesterday, I wrote about my husband’s ex wife, whom I think is a narcissist. Actually, I am SURE she is a narcissist, but I’m not qualified to diagnose anyone, so I hesitate to make that statement. I also realize that I could be wrong. That’s one of the many differences between Ex and me.
Likewise, I don’t know for certain that Meghan Markle is a narcissist. If I’m to go only on what I’ve read in his book so far, Harry thinks Meghan is the most wonderful, fantastic person ever born. And if that’s really true, then I am very happy for him. He’s apparently found the perfect woman. But, I think we all know that perfect people don’t exist. So, the fact that Meghan can apparently do no wrong in Harry’s eyes is one of the loudest “N” chimes.
I started to get that familiar feeling as I read about how Meghan and Harry met. Leading up to that point in the book, Harry had written about other girlfriends. In the years before he knew Meghan, Harry dated Chelsy Davy, a lovely young woman from Zimbabwe. Of the women he writes about, Harry seemed most compatible with Chelsy, but they broke up over lifestyle differences.
There were several other women, to include Cressida Bonas, a friend of Princess Eugenie’s. According to Harry, those women either weren’t compatible or were frightened off by the paparazzi. Harry notes that Cressida, in particular, managed to get him to “open up” and cry, following the death of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana. But Cressida apparently wasn’t exciting enough for Harry.
Meghan, on the other hand, excited Prince Harry from the moment he laid eyes on her. The way he describes it, seeing Meghan on Instagram was kismet. Below is Harry’s description of seeing Meghan for the first time…
I was sitting around Nott Cott, scrolling through Instagram. In my feed I saw a video: My friend Violet. And a young woman. They were playing with a new app that put silly filters on your photos. Violet and the woman had dog ears, dog noses, long red dog tongues hanging out. Despite the canine cartoon overlay, I sat up straighter. This woman with Violet…my God.
Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Prince. Spare (p. 267). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Harry sees Meghan on Instagram. Boom! Cupid shot him straight through the heart. That theory makes my “N” chimes ring. It wasn’t an accident that Harry saw Meghan and his friend on Instagram. Oh, I suppose it’s possible, but I highly doubt that’s what really happened. In my experience, narcissistic types are experts at seduction. They seem to have a special talent for knowing what a person wants or needs. Just like the best cult leaders, they figure out what their victim is seeking and they deliver… or, they make it seem like they’re delivering. Harry thinks he fell in love by chance, but to me, it seems like the whole meeting was contrived. And Harry, poor lad, was ripe for the picking.
Just before he and Meghan met, Harry describes being at several house parties in Los Angeles. Harry was at Courteney Cox’s house drinking tequila and consuming certain controlled substances. He didn’t know Courteney before he turned up at her house. He had a “trip” in her bathroom– the toilet and the trash can both turned into “heads”, complete with mouths. The next day, he went to another party, where he was smoking weed and apparently enjoying other substances. He met the man who wrote “Genie in a Bottle” for Christina Aguilera and made lots of money. Then, after yet another party, he went back to Courteney Cox’s house, where he seemingly had another drug induced trip– one that he apparently thinks of as an “epiphany”, of sorts. From the book:
Then I stared directly at the moon. It was speaking to me. Like the bin and the toilet. What was it saying? That the year ahead would be good. Good how? Something big. Really? Big. Not more of the same? No, something special. Really, Moon? Promise. Please don’t lie to me. I was nearly the age Pa had been when he’d got married, and he’d been considered a tragically late bloomer. At thirty-two he’d been ridiculed for his inability or unwillingness to find a partner. I was staring thirty-two in the face. Something has to change. Please? It will. I opened my mouth to the sky, to the moon. To the future. Aaaah.
Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Prince. Spare (pp. 263-264). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Based on the above passage, I know that Harry was actively looking for a woman to marry. I’ll bet he was lamenting to his “mates” about being single, too. Violet was one of his friends. She probably knew he was looking for a spouse. Meghan was single and available, and Meghan was looking, too. And, if I’m right about Meghan, she probably clued into the fact that Harry was feeling undesirable. She’s also from California and has obvious show business ties, even though she was working in Canada when she and Harry met. Perhaps someone who was with Harry at those house parties said something about Harry’s despondency about being bereft of a wife.
It seems very plausible to me that some people worked behind the scenes to make sure Harry saw Meghan on Instagram. He seems to think it’s “kismet”, but somehow I doubt it was. Add in Harry’s liberal use of hallucinogens and tequila at house parties, and the theory of Harry as a target becomes even more plausible to me. This certainly wasn’t a case of “ask and ye shall receive.” Moreover, illegal drug use and excessive alcohol consumption in strangers’ homes isn’t exactly the stuff of good decision making. Being under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and taking it seriously when one gets a “message” from the moon, also seems like questionable judgment to me.
Later, Harry further describes how he felt when he first saw Meghan, and all he got from that first look at her on Instagram. From the book…
But this woman’s beauty, and my response to it, wasn’t based merely on symmetry. There was an energy about her, a wild joy and playfulness. There was something in the way she smiled, the way she interacted with Violet, the way she gazed into the camera. Confident. Free. She believed life was one grand adventure, I could see that. What a privilege it would be, I thought, to join her on that journey. I got all of that from her face. Her luminous, angelic face. I’d never had a firm opinion on that burning question: Is there just one person on this earth for each of us? But in that moment I felt there might be only one face for me. This one.
Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Prince. Spare (pp. 267-268). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Again, it sounds like Cupid shot Harry in the heart. He was smitten by Meghan, gobsmacked by her beauty and “wild joy”. He could tell “she believed life was one grand adventure.” Harry got all of that from an Instagram video! But he didn’t even know her. This was more akin to infatuation than love. He asked Violet about Meghan. From the book…
I sent Violet a message. Who…is…this…woman?
She answered straightaway. Yeah, I’ve had six other guys ask me.
Great, I thought. Who is she, Violet?
Actress. She’s in a TV show called Suits.
Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Prince. Spare (p. 268). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Meghan certainly is an attractive woman. It’s very possible that six other guys really did ask Violet about her. Telling Harry that six other guys had asked about her, especially since he apparently hadn’t asked, seems like a manipulative move to me. It’s as if Violet was warning Harry to act now, or forever lose his chance with Meghan. But at that point, he’d only seen a video of her!
It’s like a salesperson setting up the illusion of scarcity by telling consumers that supplies are limited. I’m reminded of Martha Inc., a made for TV movie about Martha Stewart. Martha was selling pies, but she only had a couple set out on her table. Sure enough, people quickly bought them. She then set out more pies, but only a couple. Martha was pushing the idea that the pies were in high demand and supplies were limited, so those pie seekers had better act fast, or risk losing out!
I sense a similar dynamic between Harry, Violet, and Meghan. Violet works for Ralph Lauren and probably knows a thing or two about sales. Harry was shopping for a wife. Meghan was shopping for a husband. Violet connected them, and told Harry that other men were also looking. It may or may not have even been true. But Harry clearly got the idea that “supplies were limited”; moreover, he’d already lost out on other attractive women. Harry was determined to act fast, so he wouldn’t miss out on hooking Meghan. And Meghan and Violet, being savvy about sales, probably realized that. Meghan, after all, is an actress, and she’s obviously had to “sell herself” to get roles. She’s done commercials. She gets the concept of sales.
Harry implies in his book that, before he met Meghan, he was aimless and despondent. He’d dated several beautiful young women, but none of them were “the one”. He was 32 years old, and had seen his friends find spouses. He remembered how his own father, King Charles III, was 32 years old when he finally married barely 20 year old Diana. People had made fun of Charles for being single for so long. Charles actually needed to find a wife, because he needed to produce an heir to the throne. He couldn’t marry Camilla back then, so he “settled” for Diana, who was completely incompatible. We now know how that worked out for him. Likewise, Harry worried that he would never find a wife, even though the pressure to marry was probably much less for him than it was for Charles.
Harry also explains that in the palace, married couples are more prestigious than single people are. From the book…
Behind all this hand-wringing about me was something more substantive than “tittle-tattle.” It went to the whole underpinning of the monarchy, which was based on marriage. The great controversies about kings and queens, going back centuries, generally centered on whom they married, and whom they didn’t, and the children who issued from those unions. You weren’t a fully vested member of the Royal Family, indeed a true human being, until you were wed.
Harry, The Duke of Sussex, Prince. Spare (p. 231). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
So, based on the above passage, it’s clear that Harry was feeling the pressure to find someone to marry. He wasn’t a “fully vested member of the Royal Family”, because he was single. I hesitate to agree with his assertion that his family didn’t see him as a “true human being” because he was unwed. But obviously, the point is, he felt he was getting too old to be single. He was desperate to find “the one”. Meghan showed up at the right time. Boom! Cupid magically fired his dart. Bullshit.
In my experience, when someone feels that kind of pressure, they become vulnerable to a quick sale. That’s actually how Bill and I wound up living in our last house. If you’ve been following my blog, you probably know that in spite of the little voice in my head telling me to steer clear, we moved into a home in which the landlady was a bit narcissistic. We had to sue her to get our deposit returned. If we hadn’t been feeling so pressured to find a house, we might have avoided that situation. But we settled for a quick sale. Former landlady saw us coming… She told us other people were looking, which was probably a “white lie”. Other people probably were looking, but they’d wisely passed. Under different circumstances, we would have passed, too. Hopefully, next time, I’ll listen to that voice in my head.
Is Harry in a similar situation as Bill and I were back in 2014 (and Bill was with his ex wife)? Obviously, I don’t know Harry personally, so I don’t know for sure. But the signs are pretty clear to me. The “N” chimes are sounding. I’m very rarely wrong when I hear those chimes. I’ve ignored them before and been very sorry. Hopefully, I’m wrong in Harry’s case, because I don’t want him to be unhappy. I like Prince Harry, and I’m enjoying his book, even though I’ve learned more about his penis than I ever thought I would (more on that in a later post). Moreover, I don’t cheer for people to have bad relationships. I just know the signs and symptoms of manipulative behaviors.
Time to wrap up this post, although I am definitely not finished writing about Spare. I’m only writing about my “N” chimes because of last night’s discussion, and because I know I have friends who are apparently offended by my impressions of Harry and Meghan. I don’t mean to offend. I’m being honest about how I feel. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my dealings with abusive, manipulative, narcissistic people, it’s that they want their victims to suffer in silence. They thrive on secrecy. So I’m not going to be silent. If I’m wrong, I’ll say so and apologize. But unfortunately, I don’t think I’m wrong about this.
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