Monthly Archives: December 2010

confused sign

So Confused

While the kid’s away, the mom will play.

“Em” left for her dad’s house on Christmas afternoon. So on Sunday evening I went out with family and friends to my favorite karaoke place, Pineapple Hill Saloon & Grill; it’s always a fun time.

Sunday night was a good crowd: not too many people that you didn’t get to sing more than once every two hours, but not so empty that you sang your songs too close together. And as always there were good performers and bad performers. And some of the bad performers are not too bad and some are just down right awful.

One such not-so-bad performers was a very cute guy (I hate saying man; man sounds old) sitting at the table next to my group. He wasn’t a great singer, but he wasn’t make-your-ears-bleed bad, either. But he was quite the eye candy. After I sang my first song, my friend “Susie” told me that the cutie had been looking at me the whole time I was singing. I, of course, blushed. Then a question went around our table: was he gay or straight? The way he dressed suggested gay, but he was sitting at a table with 2 girls and another guy.

I later asked the other guy at his table if he was single: he was. I asked if he was straight and the guy gave me a blank look, like he didn’t know. One of the girls at the table told me he was straight; the other girl there was his ex. So we’ve got a straight and single guy staring at me while I sing. A straight, single, cute guy staring at me while I sing.

After I sang my second song, cutie approached me and told me I have a great voice and that I should sing “Foolish Games” by Jewel; that I had the range for it. So now straight, single, cute guy is showing me that he knows his music AND is requesting I sing a particular song. I am in heaven.

After I put my name in to sing the song, cutie’s friends told him they were ready to go. Cutie asked the KJ (karaoke jockey) if my song could be moved up the list. While waiting for my turn, I gave cutie my number and told him to call me the next time he comes to karaoke, that I should be able to sing the song with more accuracy next time. He texted me so that I would have his number as well and told me his name: “Mark.”

I totally butchered the song, not having heard it very much before, but he was kind and didn’t seem to care. He left with his friends and I left after a bit as well. On my way out the door I sent him a text, thanking him for putting up with my butchered version and that I hoped to sing with him soon. He replied that I have a great voice and he hoped next time he goes to karaoke to hear me sing I’ll know it’s because I have the vocals for the song. We told each other good night (2:00 AM texts) and he said he hoped to see me for karaoke again soon.


I sent him a text this morning, just wishing him a good morning and that I hoped he was having a good week. He hasn’t replied back yet. And so a part of me is wondering if his attention on me was only because of my singing or because of me. Not that we talked and he got to know me and like me… or that I am even close to being in his league when it comes to physical appearance. But the more I think about it, the more I think there wasn’t any flirting going on. Just compliments on my singing. So is there really anything for me to get all excited about? A guy close to my age liked my voice and requested I sing a particular song. That was it. No winking smiley faces in his texts, no “So what do you do for a living?,” no hint that he is interested in anything more than my voice. There was no real reason for me to assume that he was flirting or hitting on me. He was just admiring my voice. Should I really feel upset or deflated?

I’m just feeling so confused.

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Foolish Games

1. to defer action; delay
2. to put off until another day or time

“Procrastination makes easy things hard, hard things harder.” – Mason Cooley

A few days before Thanksgiving “Jake” called to tell me that he didn’t want to drive down to pick up “Em” for Christmas; he was concerned about the weather. When I was pregnant with Em, Jake and I drove up to his parents’ house for Christmas. The drive up wasn’t so bad; it was the drive back down. It was raining and the wind was blowing so hard that freeway overpasses were shaking and high-profile truckers had pulled off the road to wait out the storm. It took us a day longer than expected to make it back home. So when Jake said he wanted to have Em fly to his house for Christmas, I agreed.

So less than a month before Christmas we split the cost of an unaccompanied minor plane ticket. When we divorced, Jake and I did the paperwork and processing ourselves; we didn’t have much to split up and we had agreed on my moving back to Orange County to be with my family and his visitation with Em. However, because we did it ourselves, when we made changes before filing the paperwork we forgot to make the same changes other places in the documents. So one section shows that Jake is responsible for all of Em’s travel costs to and from visitation with him, and another section says that we split the cost. However, most times I pay for her plane ticket since he has to then buy himself two round-trip tickets for his travel with her on the plane. He doesn’t work very often, so funds are limited on his end. If I didn’t pay for all of her plane tickets, she’d never get to see him. But because the cost of the one-way unaccompanied minor ticket was less than what he’d normally pay for two round-trips for himself, we split the cost.

But we never talked about how she’d get back home. I just assumed that he would drive her down since he never mentioned it.

A week before Christmas he said that he’d be buying her return-flight ticket. It would be done on Monday, December 20th. When I called that night he said he’d do it the next morning, Tuesday, December 21st. I talked to him on Christmas Eve, concerned that I hadn’t heard anything about the ticket. He said that he’d been working on ceilings for a guy and he’d just received a check and would cash it on Monday, as banks are closed on Christmas and Sundays. (My assumption as to why he’s cashing instead of depositing is because he’s behind on his support payments and if he deposits money into his account, the child support folks will send me a good portion of it, leaving him with not enough for the plane ticket. Cashing it means he can give the money to his dad who will likely be purchasing the ticket on his credit card.)

And now it’s Tuesday, December 28th and we still have no ticket for Em. I’ve left messages on his cellphone voicemail and his parents’ house message machine (where he lives). It’s no concern of mine if he pays up the nose for a short-notice flight. It is however my concern if she can’t get on a direct flight (click here for rules on unaccompanied minor travel) because they’re full because everyone else bought their tickets 6 months ago! According to the modification to visitation we did in July, she has to be returned to me no later than 6:00 PM the day before school resumes session. So finding a non-stop or no-change flight before 6:00 PM on Sunday, January 9th that is within his budget is inevitably going to be more difficult the longer he waits. And paying for a last-minute ticket for her to fly home is not within my budget. So he either has to buy the ticket soon (like yesterday) or plan on driving her down and allowing for enough time due to possibly inclement weather to do so in a timely manner.

A small part of me is concerned that he won’t bring her home. NOT that Jake has ever given me any reason to think he might violate the physical custody order we have in place, but it does happen. And Em is old enough now to know what day it is, how long she has left of her visitation with Daddy and she’ll be very upset if she doesn’t come home. And it’s not like I don’t know where he lives, or that he has any way of funding a run-and-hide scenario. But that doesn’t mean the idea doesn’t creep into my mind when he doesn’t return my phone calls. I’m sure he’ll end up buying a plane ticket or decide to drive her down. I just wish I didn’t have to wait for him to get his act together.

Then again, this is Jake I’m talking about. There’s nothing new about him keeping me in the dark about matters that concern both of us. Just because he’s a bit older doesn’t mean he’s grown up enough to stop playing these stupid games.

Em feeding the Lorikeets

Feeling Blessed

As a single parent, it’s very easy to fall prey to thoughts of self-pity and hopelessness. “Poor me, I can’t go out with my friends because I can’t afford a sitter.” “Poor me, I have to work to pay the rent, so I can’t take off a few hours to help out in my kid’s classroom.” I try to keep myself from thinking these types of thoughts and remind myself of the blessings in my life.

One such blessing is our friend “Ronnie.” Ronnie, while a staff member of a different church, is very active in the lives of the kids and youth of our church. He is a great friend of the family and loved by all. Most loved, though, by “Em.” When Em and Ronnie are together, you’d think he was 6 years old, too. They get along great together and the three of us get together often for various activities. Sometimes it’s movies, sometimes it’s Disneyland, sometimes it’s driving around town looking at Christmas lights. And sometimes it’s not us; sometimes it’s them.

Like today. Today Ronnie and Em are at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Ronnie had the day off from work and knowing that I had to be at my office and my mom was busy preparing for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Ronnie asked if he could take Em to the aquarium. Em loves animals, can hardly pry herself away from the touch tanks with the sharks and rays, and jumps at any chance she has to spend time with Ronnie.

So my blessing for today is Ronnie. God bless you.

Em’s new friend Lily

Em feeding the Lorikeets

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