The one about the Nanny and the Delivery Man …. and the scam

I have a Nanny/Housekeeper who works for me.  She told me this story last week.

We were expecting a pest control company to stop by the house and do the spray thing to get rid of ants, fleas, and other unwelcome house guests.

{On a side note, if you are looking for an excellent pest control company in Cape Town, contact Rod Bendix Environmental Care on  021 555 3788 or 082 823 0247 – I have used them for years and they are brilliant.}

I leave the house and tell Priv about the pest control company and they will stop by later that day.  I am out for the day in various meetings, so I will not be able to pick up my phone until after 16h00.

A bit later in the morning guys arrive at the front gate, buzz and ask to be let in.

Priv asks for what.  They explain they are here to install a security system.

Priv explains she does not have permission to let them in.

They start to create a scene and explain they have a receipt.  The job has been paid for and they must do it today, or they are going to go and not come back, and it will be all her fault.

They are really pushy and confident and start to get quite harassed with her, and her inability to see reason.

Priv goes down to the gate, and does not open the gate, so she can see what they have with them –  they are insisting they have a paid and signed receipt, and instructions to be at our home.

The guys start really making a fuss, and waving around a piece of paper in front of her with our details on it and insisting we have paid for the alarm system, and her not letting them in will have all sorts of repercussions.

It is on their booking sheet, and if they do not get in now to install it, then she will need to realise that she will get into trouble.  They are really putting pressure on her to let them in – and being all “we are in a rush, stop monkeying around woman” sort of tone with her.

Priv recalls an article she has read in the recent neighbourhood newspaper, about how people steal your mail, and then use the details on envelopes to create a “receipt.”

They use this to gain access to property via the domestic who usually is swayed by the “official looking document.”

Priv takes one look at this situation and goes: “Well I don’t understand why you need to install an alarm when we have one, and it is working, and it is on.”  She starts asking their names and says she will call the owners to check with them.

The guys carry on insisting, and Priv INSISTS  she will call the owners, and reaches for her phone.

The guys then start to back track and question what the house number is — and they start to make a scene that they have got the wrong house and and  ….. eventually they leave.

We did not get a call from a company about installing anything, that we have paid for.  Nor did these guys pop along to a neighbour as they had made a mistake with the street number.  Our road is so short you can see the top of the road from our house, and our house is the house at the end – so had they made an error, they would have driven to a neighbour.

Priv is a hero for reading the neighbourhood paper, and sticking to the rule of not letting ANYONE in, no matter whom, if she does not have our express permission.

Maybe this incident has been repeating itself at other homes –  maybe these guys are getting access into houses with this simple but effective scam.

It makes sense to tell the person at home about this SCAM, so they are aware of anyone arriving with a delivery/collection or installation and they appear to have the correct documents.

Stealing your mail seems a really easy way to set this one up so that it looks very authentic.

I can’t imagine (I can, but I choose not to) what could have happened had these guys gained access to our property.  Hells bells, too traumatic to think about.

Be safe people, be safe!

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The one where Georgia got slapped through the face ….

I heard from someone todaywho I have not spoken to in years – it appears Reluctant Mom has a farther reach than I realised,who would have known?

Certainly not me.

Anyway, for some reason this post jumped into my head – it is not quite the trolley snatching incident of earlier, but I think it is a good example of how quickly things can happen, even when you are standing RIGHT THERE.

I originally published this post in May 2010, and I think there are some key similarities between this and what occurred to Margo. If you squint your eyes and sort of look at it for a while.

 

It’ll knock your socks off …

On Saturday afternoon I went off to Pick ‘n Pay to do some grocery shopping – we  had friends coming over to watch the game and then stay for dinner, so I needed to get quite a lot of things and it was easier if I went without the entire family.

I left Isabelle and Connor home with Kennith, and Georgia came along with me to the shop.

We moved around the store and got what we needed.  While standing in the queue at the check out, I stepped away from my trolley to look at the soup display and was trying to decide whether we could include a soup course.

Retails often do displays right at the front of the stores, so you tend to impulse shop – appeals to the kind of shopper I am.

I was standing there with a liter of Minestrone in a bag, wondering could I eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?  Would my friends eat a liter of Minestrone in a bag?

I was using my six-sets-of-eyes-that-mother’s-have to watch the trolley, Georgia who was standing next to me, and also to glance at people walking past.  I kept my one hand on her to ensure she was not wandering off as the store was really busy.

This woman walked past – long dark hair, maybe late thirties, and her son trailed behind her – about a metre gap between them.  He had on a dark tracksuit pants, takkies and a t-shirt – quite a solid built guy, I estimate about 11 – 14 years, but can’t be sure, as I do not know many kids that age.

It’s strange that I saw him, as I did not really notice him as my eyes were moving from trolley, to Minestrone, to the contents of the Minestrone, to Georgia, to generally public and back again …  all while wondering if I would use croutons and cheese with the soup and what bowls I would use, and whether I had enough.

But I did see him.

Then I saw him unfurl his hand, which I noted was quite a large hand.

Then in that moment I saw him open his hand.

He pulled his hand back while he was moving past her, and slapped Georgia through the face.  So hard that she lifted off the ground and flew into the vegetable/soup display.

It took me a few moments to register what the hell had happened.   It was beyond surreal.

I was trying to pick Georgia up at the same time emit some sound out of my mouth that possibly showed my indignation and horror at what had just occurred, as the boy and his mother continued walking like nothing had occurred.

I picked Georgia up who was now crying hysterically – as you would be when slapped senseless while perusing soup at the local Pick ‘n Pay.  I managed to shriek loud enough for the mom of the boy to turn around and look at me – and I said “your son just slapped my daughter through the face!”

Her face looked like I had slapped it.  She stared at her son and quickly started saying “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry….” to me.

I glared at her son who was turned away from me.  I was now ready to go over and beat the crap out of this little tosser right there in the veggie aisle of Pick ‘n Pay.

He turned to face me – while walking away from me – and I realized with sinking horror that he had Down Syndrome features.  That is where it got awkward, and my anger turned to shame and embarrassment.  I really did not know what to do.

Georgia was screaming and crying – I have her up on my hip, and I am staring at this situation and every part of me just wishes we all were not here right now.

So what happened?

The mother said sorry – I mouthed it was fine.  She kept moving away from me, and did not actually stop and walk back to me and apologise.   Her son carried on walking behind her not changing pace.

Georgia was hysterical, I had to tell her “it’s okay, it’s okay, it was an accident…” – yes, I realise it was not an accident, but what was I going to say?

I could have gone with …

That boy has a chromosomal disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra 21st chromosome, and for reasons I can’t explain decided to give you a flattie in the middle of Pick ‘n Pay – and me your protecting mother, stood there like a total freak and did nothing to protect you or to stop it happening.

I also felt embarrassed that I was about to rant at a child that clearly had a disability, and felt totally powerless that this had happened and I did nothing to prevent it or to remedy the situation. ”

Instead I comforted her, paid for my groceries and packed her in the car.

I felt that we had been assaulted in full view of a store full of people, and no one (not one) stepped forward to assist me or my daughter.  I realized that the boy could have pulled out a knife and slashed her, and I would have been equally powerless to prevent it.

I really felt traumatized and a bit violated that some stranger had walked up and assaulted my child while I was standing there and I did nothing, and afterwards it was me who felt bad for what had happened.

Georgia was upset afterwards for a few hours, but seemed most upset that the boy did not come and say sorry to her himself  (clearly they teach the power of sorry at her school).

I really do not have a conclusion on what happened.

I really felt totally powerless and immensely angry.  I wish I had reacted differently to the mother, but what would I have said? What could I have done to make it better for me and Georgia, without going totally berserk in the veggie aisle?

It also made me realise how totally vulnerable we and our kids are when we take them out into public.  That some stupid or misguided person could do anything to our child in the blink of an eye, and even with us standing there, we would not be able to foresee it or stop it.  {this is how it relates to what happened to Margo ….. alarming right?}

https://reluctantmom.wordpress.com/2010/05/31/it%E2%80%99ll-knock-your-socks-off-%E2%80%A6/

Another Pick ‘n Pay story …. but not like the other one ….

Georgia – on the top of her lungs : “Mom, look a free magazine!! Don’t you like to collect them in your bathroom, so you can read them?”

{then repeats louder when I acted like I did not hear her}

Me, watching my mystic allure disappear. At Pick ‘n Pay.

Illusions of the body … and ceiling to floor mirrors

I know that at some point everyone comments on body image, what the media presents to us, and what we as women expect/demand from ourselves in terms of how our bodies are, and appear.  And usually how out of whack our self images are with what the reality is.

No doubt I am not going to add anything unique to this discussion.  But I like to put things down that are running around in my head.  It helps me “park” my thoughts and if my thoughts are here, then they are less likely to run around on the hamster wheel in my head.

I have noticed that there is a lot of Facebook status updates with people tackling weight loss, and programmes.  Sleek Geek has proved very popular and is popping up all over my time line.

People are really into starting a weight loss programme.  I am guessing that was pretty high on 2014 resolution list.  Mine, not so much.  I ate two slabs of chocolate single-handedly this week.

I can honestly say that I have a fairly unhealthy relationship with my body.

I really hate what I see.  Not a little, but a great deal.

Unfortunately it does not help that in the bathroom, right next to the porcelain throne, there is a head to foot mirror.  Not quite sure what the people who put it in were thinking.

It unfortunately gives me a really good view of myself taking a morning squat – and my guess is, that it is not the best time to look at yourself under any conditions. Ever.  Unless you are into that sort of that look.

I can’t blame the mirror.  It is not the mirror’s fault for what I see, and my reaction to what I see.

I would like to blame my present weight and how unattractive I feel, but again, that would be an excuse. I disliked my body when I weighed 55 kilograms  (I am 1.73 metres tall).

I hated my body when I weighed 65 kilograms.

And I loath my body now that I am tipping the scales at 75 kilograms.

I have read dozens of articles that tell me how great my body is.  It produced and carried three healthy kids to term.  It gets me through each day without falling over too much.

I know that if I looked at the “bigger picture” I am probably fine.

That is sort of the issue with body image.  You can never see the “bigger picture” because you are focused on the minutiae of your stuff, and everything about what you see in the mirror is a point of loathing.

Right now my plan is to always wear denims, and a black shirt that hangs over the waistband, then I just pray that nothing causes my shirt to flip up.

Today I was collecting the kids – and a mom walked past me in the parking lot. I know her, her daughter is in the same grade as Connor.  She has always had a nice figure, and she was wearing this black dress, and heels, and really just looked great.

Immediately I thought to myself “If I looked like that I would really be happy…” and then I realised I probably wouldn’t be.

I would probably still hate the way I looked, and still hide it behind poorly fitting clothing and uneasiness.

I have also had those moments of deep introspection when I have realised that I would KILL to look like I did at 15, or 20 or 25, or 30 – but the reality is that I did look like that, and at the time I still hated my body when I was 15, 20, 25 or 30.

I never wear shorts. I cringe at short sleeve shirts, and pick them with care.  I never wear shirts that fit too snugly.

Maybe in time, maybe with more self-confidence, maybe with more care I will view myself differently.

Maybe.  My guess is not likely, unless I go through a serious shift in my attitude and my view on myself, which if you would consider the present situation is unlikely.

I saw this great photographer – GRACIE HAGEN – who has a wonderful project on her website called Illusions of the Body.  She is looking at the way someone presents their body and how this changes how their body appears, and affects what we see, what we are jealous of and what we desire.

Imagery in the media is an illusion built upon lighting, angles & photoshop. People can look extremely attractive under the right circumstances & two seconds later transform into something completely different.

Please visit her site and view her work – it may not change the way you see everything, but it may give you a few moments of thought provoking thinking.

This is one of the images from her series ….. which shows what almost appears to be two different people, based on how she is presenting herself, and how this affects how we view her.  Quite incredible!!

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Image source Grace Hagen based in Chicago  : http://www.graciehagen.com/lllusions-of-the-body/

Abducting babies in trolleys at Pick ‘n Pay …..

I heard this mom speaking to John Maytham today on Cape Talk.  It was one of those conversations that makes your blood run cold.

Here is the post Margo13 put on Hellopeter:

I had the most horrific experience in Pick N Pay Capricorn Park Muizenberg yesterday, I was in the vegetable isle I turned around to pick up a lettuce and when I turned back my 4 year old daughter was gone alone with trolley .
I froze and became hysterical I then saw the 2 guys with my trolley , they told her to keep quiet and sped off with her into another isle .

I called security who let the guy go saying they were joking I called manager of Pick n Pay Yusuf who was very abrupt and told me they had mistaken my trolley with my daughter in for theirs

I do not except this I am emotionally wrecked and my daughter scared I went to Muizenberg Police Station and tried to lay a charge only to be told that they did not get away with my daughter so no case

In my view there was intention.

So she was in the supermarket, her young daughter was in the trolley, in the front fold down section – she took 5 steps from the trolley to pick up a piece of merchandise, turned around and the trolley with her child was gone.

GONE.

Two men had taken the trolley and had made their way to an aisle two aisles away, where they were trying to get her daughter out of the trolley.

The woman found them, questioned them, did not believe they had taken the wrong trolley – and called security.  She was trying to apprehend two guys, and at the same time calm her child down who was clearly upset.

The store felt they could not hold the men, as the child had not been abducted, and thus there was no crime.  And then let them leave.  The store.

Clearly there was a crime in progress, and fortunately due to the quick acting mom she managed to find the men, her child and prevent them taking her child out of the store.

Can you imagine how this day could have turned out?

Margo13 had said that after she got her daughter back, her daughter had told her that the men had told her to be quiet, and that this was their secret.

Can you imagine how traumatising this must be to that mom?  To any mom.

I regularly take my kids with me, in the same trolley, in the same position – the nature of grocery shopping is you take a few steps away to grab something, then step back – one assumes your bag will be stolen, not your trolley with your child.

I would like to find how Pick ‘n Pay is going to handle this.

Surely the men should have been “asked” to accompany security to the manager’s office so they could take some information, and contact the police who in turn could speak to all parties and establish the details before letting them go.

Surely.

Pick ‘n Pay can detain someone who they suspect of stealing until the police arrive.  One would think they can detain a suspect or two who are suspected of attempting to abduct a four year old child.

Surely?  Surely!

If you have heard anything more about this incident and know what is happening, please share.

The lesson : Your child is not safe anywhere.  That should feed nicely into all our paranoia.

Happy butt sweat day everyone!

I have tried to start a “tradition” of asking the kids what is the most interesting thing that happened to you today, when we drive home from school.

Partly to avoid them arguing about who is looking out of whose windows, and partly so that I give the impression of being a patient, kind and interested parent.  Something about faking it until you make it.

I have tried this several times, and after many attempts and it always ending in “nothing” …. “so nothing happened today” …. “meh … nothing” … “so I am taking you to a school where you learn and you really learn nothing ALL day … not one thing” … “….{shrug}…”

I am so very glad I get to have the surly teenage phase whilst my kids are 8 and 12 respectively.

Yesterday I fetch Georgia and Connor, and Georgia is really excited.

She is bursting to tell me what happened in her day.

We all get in the car, buckle up, I reverse and I am waiting eagerly for her story.

The story that is going to help cement what a great parent I am, and how much my kids are inspired and learn in the school system I entrust them to each and every day.

Georgia: “Today, my pants and my shorts were wet ….”

Me: “Okay, did you not make it to the bathroom in time?”

Georgia: “No, it was not wet by the front end, it was wet by the butt end.”

Me – really struggling to pick up on the thread of this story – “Did you sit in something?”

Georgia: “No, today is the first day I had butt sweat!!”

She was not announcing this like I would announce that I had a bit of a leak on my pants because I could not get to the bathroom on time, and my bladder’s ability to keep a “tight ship” has started to decline in the last two or three years – she was telling this story like it was a wild achievement. Something to be proud of.

She went on.  And on.  For 45 minutes explaining butt sweat to me.  And her butt sweat specifically.

45 minutes is a very long time to talk about butt sweat.  Sober.  And trapped in a car with no where to go.

Eventually I just nodded and said “ah-huh” because there really is not much else to say on the subject.

She was so excited – it was a bit like Louis Pasteur working out the kinks to the rabies problem, but this was Georgia who was telling me it was so hot that she had made butt sweat.

I decided that it was the best story of the day and “high fived” her!

Seriously what were my options?

Strange thing happened at McDonalds ….

craziness

Strange thing happened at McDonalds recently.

I popped in for a meal at a local McDonalds, and it was quite busy.  As I walked in I recognised this guy at the counter – the client side of the counter, not the “will you have fries with that?’ side of the counter.

It took me a few ticks to realise how I knew him.

I had spent a few weeks at a psychiatric clinic and he was a patient there at the same time as my “stay”.

He had some severe problems, and I chatting to him a few times.

+80% of the people at the clinic had issues that still allowed them to function in society – sure they may be a bit weird, and say all sorts of crazy shit, but who doesn’t?  Even in crazy land, you find people on your level of crazy and befriend them.  Then silently judge the people who are further down the scale in cray-cray land.

This particular guy was THAT guy.  His problems were severe in comparison to the “norm” of the clinic. {even crazy has a level of normal … who would have thought!}

I can’t recall what his diagnosis was, as it has been a few years, and really it is none of yours or my business.

Unfortunately psychiatric clinics are not dissimilar from high school.

The cool kids rule.  The kids who can’t keep their shit together get picked on.  Relentlessly.

My experience with psychiatric clinics is that there are a lot of young patients.  They form clicks. and make the kids who are on the lower rungs feel even more shitty about their existence.

Alcoholism and drug addiction trumps schizophrenia and depression any day of the week.  Much cooler stories with addiction than hiding under your duvet, and being too afraid to face the day.

Agoraphobia sufferers are clearly never invited to the cool kids table.

Let’s call this boy-man Roger for the purposes of this story.  He was ostracized and really “hated” by the other patients, and several altercations broke out at the clinic.

I felt really bad for him, and made a point of sitting with him at meals as no one else would.  I would sit with him at TV time, and then he would tell me the same story, word for word, over and over again.

I realised he had no memory past about three minutes when he was in a “bad state.”   When he was angry it was because he was confused or disorientated, and no doubt scared.

The best thing to do was speak to him, reassure him, and not get worked up when he got a bit “worked up” – many of our discussions followed this sort of format:

Him: “Nice pen”

Me: “Yes it is”

Him: “I have a pen just like that.”

Me: “Maybe, but this one is definitely mine.”

Him – searches through his pockets of his chinos.

Him: “I have lost my pen” looks at mine “it looks just like that” puts his hand out “give me back my pen….”

Me: “Maybe you have lost your pen, but this is definitely my pen – you can borrow it for a few minutes, while you are sitting here – but it is my pen, and you need to give it back, okay?”

… repeat conversation a few times …..

Though he really was very offensive when he was screaming rants, he was not a mean person.  He was just a young boy whose brain and chemical balance was just not right.  He really was struggling. His demons were far greater and louder than mine.

I could be him.  What if my son was him?  What if you were him?

Back to McDonalds.

Roger looks at me, and I can see his mind trying to place me.  I am silently begging him not to place me.

I can see he is agitated. I can see he is starting to do that body movement that is telling me that “all is not quite well over in Roger Land.”

Reunions are great, but reunions from the cast of “One flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” are less so.

I just wanted my McRoyale Meal (with a Coke Zero, because that will cancel out the kilo joule count quite nicely.) I wanted to sit quietly, shove the chips in my pie hole whilst reading my book and try not to be pulled into this confrontation.

I order my food, and step back to wait for them to prepare the order.

Roger meanwhile is scratching in his McDonalds paperbag, and starting to get a bit twitchy.  I believe he wanted 10 sachets of tomato sauce, and they gave him 5.

He might have asked if there was 10 and the teller answered in the affirmative.

My guess is she is probably thinking “what NUTSO is going to eat 10 tomatoe sachets with one burger?”

Clearly she has never experienced quite this level of “please give me exactly what I asked for.”  She figured she’d just pop 5 sachets in the bag, and send him merrily on his way.

Teller at McDonalds did not get training in how to deal with a Roger customers during teller orientation week.

Roger went off – screaming.  Asking for names, explaining that no one should fuck with him and so it went on.  In full scream and going off at the counter.

He was beyond upset about the fact that he had requested 10 sachets, and he had received 5.  His mind just could not grasp how she had confused this request, and how she could not understand how 10 sachets were really really important to him.  Vital in fact.

I got my meal and went to sit down.  He screamed and ranted and used really really offensive language.  No amount of smiling and nodding was going to placate him.

He was really upset about the sachets.

I looked at him and realised that when you are all sitting in “morning ring” at a clinic of your choice you are all sorts of crazy.

Varying degrees of total whack-jobs being kept in check by close guidance of a medical professional and medication.  The reason you are there is because odds are you have either lost your shit at a McDonalds or are on the road to.

Roger finished his rant – and he was actually quite frightening.  I ate my chips and sipped my cooldrink.

I knew that by the time he got to his car, and drove home, he would forget that he had even been to McDonalds.  Let alone that he had screamed all sorts of shit at the staff and the random assortment of customers who stared at him slack jawed.

After the incident was over, the customers were talking, as one does when someone goes a bit shit faced in a crowded space.    One of the women who had been standing next to Roger came to talk to me and tell me how offensive he was, and that he was probably mad – not sure what is is about me that is inviting comment, when I just want to read my book and eat my stuff off a tray.

Seeing Roger made me remember how far down my “bottom point” had been.

How much it had affected me, and how afraid I am of ever hitting that “low” again.

I am lucky that the “bag of shit” that is my set of problems, are my problems.   I do not have to deal with what other people have to deal with on their average day.

And maybe before you/me/we jump to an assumption about someone losing their shit, you give some thought to what might actually be going on there.  Maybe.

What did you get for Xmas? I got a divorce. You?

{I have changed the settings, so you will need to click through to the site to read the full post …… }

Kennith asked/made it clear that he wanted a divorce.

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On 20 December 2013.

I thought we were talking about the fact that I had got a dog (Parker, the French Bulldog}, and not really taken his thoughts regarding a new dog into consideration – and had gone ahead and got a dog.  That is actually what I thought the issue was about.

It appears I was mistaken.

This is Parker, this is not what the disagreement was about.  This is not what we are getting divorced over.

Parker_9179

Parker_9069

It was an evening that proved I was far off the gist of the conversation.

It also proved I had absolutely zero SPIDEY senses.  None it seems.

I did not see it coming.  At all.  No idea.  I still had not grasped we were talking about divorce until about 30% into the conversation – I kept thinking well this is about Parker.

Talk about a slow learner.

You know when you brain is going “kehhhhhh ……” {said in the accent of the waiter from Fawlty Towers} and not quite getting what it is that you are actually talking about?

Just like that.

I really would like to say that I took it like a real trooper, but I would be lying.

I felt like a truck had side-swiped me.  I still do.  I have given up looking for the truck registration.  I have chosen to just lie on the road and go “aaaahhhhh fuck!” in the hope another truck will come along and just finish it off.

I walk into rooms and wonder what the hell I am doing there, because I had forgotten.  Brain = blank.

I cried the ugly cry.  When your mouth does that shape that it is not meant to, and you cry so hard that the tears actually can no longer get out because your eyes are scrunched so hard.

Just like that.

I went on to convince myself that I had somehow heard wrong and Kennith did not actually mean he wanted a divorce after 20 years of being together.

We had not had an argument.  There was no screaming “fuck you” down the passage.  As far as I knew no one had “stepped” outside the relationship.

Well I am convinced that is actually how it is.  I was being broken the news whilst I was thinking we were maybe arguing about something totally different.

Xmas day came and went.  We had a lovely day with his cousin, and I was exhausted by 14h00.  I felt there was this elephant in the room that I could not mention, and was screaming inside – every minute made me die a bit more.

I took the kids and headed out to my mom in Hermanus on the 26 December.  I tried to take the time to digest what was happening – and just to have some quiet time in my head.

My mom let me sleep late.  I could spend time just staring into the distance.  She just let me be.  Bless her cotton socks.

My brain still told the rest of me that I was sure that Kennith did not mean it. He was just having a moment.

I would get back and things would be okay.  Strained but okay.  I had convinced myself.

My mom kept asking “but why?………..” and I did not seem clear on why, so she kept looking at me like I had confused the shopping list, and just needed to really get a grip on things.  I just sat on the couch and sipped wine, and stared into the distance.

She let me.  And for that I will be forever grateful.

I realised that Kennith had not suggested divorce as a conversation starter.  He had told me we were getting a divorce.

He explained his reasons, and though I did not agree.  They were his reasons, and I need to respect them.  I guess that is why it is called a divorce, and not a pleasant picnic discussion at Kirstenbosch.

I returned from Hermanus and was sure that if I walked in with a certain swagger and confidence, then this entire “divorce” thing would disappear.

It seemed no amount of swagger would do the trick.

He moved to the spare room.  He took the large screen TV.  I was left wondering what the hang was happening.  Having to tell myself in no uncertain terms that THIS WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING – then have a bit more of an ugly cry into my pillow.

Divorce I was told was still the plan.

Then we started talking about child custody, and where we would live and all sorts of things that are without a doubt, what I would call a “fucking nightmare!”

My head is screaming.  I tried to look like it was all well within my grasp of things to absorb.

It wasn’t.  It isn’t.

This entire thing is an absolute nightmare.  NIGHT freaking MARE.

It seems however it plays out when I am awake, which is less than ideal.  When I sleep I dream of other things, so it is a nice getaway.

I am beyond the point where one goes “so how are you otherwise?” – I am a wreck.  There are no buts, there is no silver lining – I am fairly sure the time for unicorns and them farting rainbows is just about over.  This people is the time of hard decision, pain and anguish.

2014 is going to be a very challenging year. Winding a 20 year relationship down, has got to be challenging.

I don’t know, I have never done it before.  I am thinking that it must be “less than ideal” – my guess is it will be less then ideal. no matter how we much we set out not to “be ugly” to each other.

Translate hard as “what the fuck” – I just do not know how I will find the strength, the resources, and the mental and emotional power to make it through.

But one must.  Mustn’t one?  What are the choices?

Lots of difficult decisions to be made. Lots of anguish.  Lots of screaming. Lots of crying.  And lots of things that make me want to have a saline drip on wheelies with wine pumping in my veins 24/7.

But that might not present well to the lawyer when chatting about child custody.  So I may need to go and delete and few posts off this blog.

I will be the villain one day. Kennith can be the villain on other days.  And so it will go.

If we are lucky we can get to the other side without totally destroying our children, and maybe having a smidgen of respect for each other.

And a thin layer of sanity.  Granted zero bank balance, and my guess is a fairly low sense of self esteem.

I cannot do cliches.

I cannot do silver lining.

I cannot do “things will work out” … I just cannot.  If you tell me things aren’t over until …. oh, you know the rest, please please please try not to.

I know you think they will make me feel better, but the only thing that may make me feel better is if I was not having to go through a divorce in 2014.

Be there for my rants.  Be there for my silences.  Be there for my epic breakdowns and when I question sanity, and my place in the universe.  Just be there for me when I need bolstering and when I need a “quiet in my storm.”

It is all a bit of a cluster mind fuck right now.

Now you know.

Excuse me. whilst I have a long lie down.

Tune in again a bit later, normal broadcast will resume.

I wish that this was my sentiment – I really wish it was …… but maybe later …. or maybe never.

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How was your Xmas?  Did you get anything that surprised you as much?

{rules of engagement – it needs to be respected that both Kennith and I are going through this – I would really appreciate if there were no slandering comments, and just being a bit of a dick comments.  I am sure that both of us are to blame, in different ways, but at the end of the day we have three children, and though there might have been a decision on to be with one another, we need to respect that we are trying to do the best that we can.  And survive the day.  So, no shit talk!  ‘kay?}

Takealot you sure have the goodies ….

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I received a voucher for Takealot when The Reluctant Mom won the Kidzworld SA Mommy Blog of 2013.

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My experience with on-line shopping  has been limited to book purchases.

I like to smell my purchases.  No really.  I walk around Woolworths sniffing clothing.

No I am not sure exactly what I am hoping to smell, but there we go that is what I do.  I usually touch the item first, sort of rub it between my fingers, and if it passes the “rub test” then it moves to the “smell test.”

Unfortunately on-line shopping lacks a “scratch and sniff” patch.

I was less than excited by the prospect of shopping on takealot, but it was a late night, a large amount of wine was consumed, a slab of chocolate was scoffed, and at that point I was pretty much willing to give anything a go.

I lurked around takelot, and though my initial plan was to purchase books.  I tried to be loose and cool and browse all the categories.

I will confess that things that had a price that had been crossed out, and then there was a new flashy “cheaper than before” price, really had a large appeal.

I bought a few things, and my voucher was for R600.00 – I had to pay just over R100.00 more as I had added a few things that were above the budget, and then waited for delivery.

Delivery was marked as the 15 January 2014.

I received two emails, one to confirm that my order was processed, and a second to confirm that my payment had been processed.  All very efficient.

I placed the order on the 2014/01/09.

Delivery was scheduled for the 2014/01/15 which seemed fair enough – I was not in a real rush.

I got a call after 15h00 on the 2014/01/10 to confirm I would be able to accept delivery today, and delivery would take place before 18h00.  It did.

I received my box this evening – it was neat, and well packed, and all the items were individually wrapped, and well cushioned.  The courier was friendly, professional and overall a really good experience.

I do love receiving things!!

I was really happy with this entire takealot experience.  The prices were good.  I liked the website, there was a good selection, and it was simple enough to work well.  From purchase to cart it was simple, clean and easy.

This is my box – Die is my does – translation for my Afrikaans readership of 3.

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I bought fragrances I had wanted to try.

I must confess that the  DESEO by JLO was much nicer than I remembered.  I really liked all three that I ordered.  I purchased another Tangle Teezer, I think I should just get these on a stop order every two months.

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Well done takealot, and thank you again to KIDZWORLD.

It’s not you … it’s me …..

Dear Blog Land

I must apologise to not writing to you more often.

I have missed you – desperately.  It’s not you, it’s me.

I know the excuse of the “busy season” is a good one, but I am not really that bus.  I would be less than truthful if I used that as a “get out of jail free” card.

I have dozens of  “draft” posts I just can’t publish, and there they sit in limbo, a bit like me.

I have a few things going on that have well and truly been a case of someone walking over and driving a construction nail through my ear, and then asking if we could chat about the fit, and whether it can be hammered in a bit more every other day.

I am strangely not depressed.  I know the denial is a sign of depression.  I am fine in that arena.  I think.

I am even more strangely not in a case of high anxiety or stress.

I just have some things going on in my personal life that give the phrase “total and absolute mind fuck” a really bad name.

I am not at liberty at this stage to blog about it, but it is an issue that has well and truly taken over every thought and every breathe, and I feel blogging without being able to share what is really going on makes me feel like I am being “less than” and I am not a fan of being “less than.”

I beg your indulgence for a little while.  I can’t blog about the stuff that is actually going on, and the result is that I feel unable to blog about anything else.

I will really appreciate you not, at any stage, telling me “things happen for a reason” and more importantly to “everything will be okay in the end ….” promise me, we will never say those things to each other!

Okay, so this note is to tell you that I am still alive. I have not quite run off to Mexico with my takealot R600.00 voucher …. I tried, but it seems that shall not be.

I am still very much here – but not actually “here” if you take my meaning.

Okay peeps, unicorns, rainbows and happiness to you for 2014 – alternatively a good after school care system, and daily wine deliveries.

Who else in the world is counting the days until they can drop their children off with alternate child care workers and scream “hiddy ho mother f#ckers” as they burn rubber exiting the parking area?

Or is it just me?

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What you’re really saying ….

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Black Lab

“I’m generally a pretty normal guy.”

Chocolate Lab

“I’m generally a pretty normal guy…with an edge.”

Jack Russell Terrier

“I grew up in the 90s! I still collect Pogs!”

Pit Bull

For the last time guys, my penis is totally normal sized!”


Bloodhound

Homosexuality is a sin!”

Australian Shepherd

Homosexuals need our support!”


Shih Tzu

“I’m gay!”


Standard Poodle

“My son’s gay.”


Puli

“I go to surprisingly great lengths in the name of irony.”

Old English Sheepdog

“My imaginative, latchkey-kid son is in need of a best friend.”


Mutt (Adopted)

“You bought from a breeder? Oh I guess I just like to be part of the solution, that’s all.”


Mutt (Purchased)

“I’m very easily swindled.”

St. Bernard

We call our basement ‘the rumpus room!”

Rottweiler

You kids wanna see a dead body?”


Chihuahua

“I bought it for my daughter to teach her responsibility but…well, you know how Chelsea is.”


Chinese Crested

Fuck it!”

Happy New Year …. and stuff

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