Category Archives: Relationships

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 10: The Guitar Player

The Guitar Player…

After college I dated but no one stuck. I will be honest I was why. I might have still been hung up on Captain of Sport I don’t understand. AlsoI was picky. Silly picky. Maybe unfair picky. I also had a bad habit of stacking the men I was dating. I’m not proud of it but it was not uncommon for me to break up with someone and have someone waiting in the wings.

I was young – I had some pretty set rules to date me. Contrary to popular belief I was a pretty tame dater. Which was not a deterrent.

The guitar player almost wasn’t. I originally was set up with the lead singer of his band who forgot to tell me he had a live in girlfriend. The exact quote “maybe that’s his sister, nope you shouldn’t kiss your sister like that.”

Lead singer is now a famous movie director- you have definitely seen his movies. I stand by my choice.

The night that all went down the guitar player who had never talked to me asked me to hang out with him after their show.

“I just want to know you.”

He had this incredible voice. I have a thing about voices. His is one of my favorites. He also has this smile not smile he does. There are so many things.  Some are too precious to share. Sorry not sorry.

No one had never said that to me. That they want to know me. He meant it. I was shyly grilled for several hours. He was older and I would find out later he and the lead singer played a game of Horse to determine if he could ask me out.

Aww romance.

We would date on and off for two very rough years.

Not because he was a bad guy. But I was not ready for what he brought to the table. I was 22 and trying to find my place in the world dating an incredibly handsome, incredibly talented older man dealing with crippling anxiety.

At that time there was no name for it.

Therapy was limited and the solution was lots of medication.

Our relationship became one where I felt I did all the work. 80% I did. Financially I pulled the weight. Emotionally I pulled the weight. At least it felt that way.

We loved each other.

I still love him. But when you struggle with your own self worth and want what everyone else has it’s hard to hold together a relationship with someone who is t healthy enough to be what you need.

When he could though… and if he had god damn I would have married that man.

But he couldn’t and didn’t.

We gave up.

I gave up.

My heart very broken. Still is  now.

The guitar player will be back- but unfortunately I spend the worst year of my life with the one that should have never been.

~~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 9: Big Leagues

If you have been following along I’m not exactly a confident person. I haven’t let on to what I look like. Then or now. It’s a hard thing. Describing yourself. Especially when  you’ve been conditioned that speaking to your looks is conceited.

This is what I will say. I’ve always been awkward but I have a big heart and bigger blue eyes. If I love you I love you with my whole heart as guarded as that is.

So when Captain of a sport I don’t understand decided I should be his girl. I was floored.

In your life there is always a human who defies all things. They really are the total package. Funny, sweet, smart. Hot. I’m going to say it, hot.

When your at your SO’s sporting event and other women comment on what they’d like to do to him you can be jealous or celebrate the fact you know where he’s showering after his match.

I chose celebration.

The Captain also set the tone and the bar.

He celebrated my quirkiness.  He wrote me love notes. He sang to me. Read to me. Watched movies with me. Gave me back pieces of me.

Except he was on borrowed time. He was not quite over his first love.

Whose name he called me during a fight.

Whose pictures I started noticing in his room.

Who he helped move

Visited over break and didn’t tell me

His Dad did in the world’s most awkward phone conversation

While he hurt me he also taught me…

Who I was wasn’t a bad thing. Smart is good. Love really is layered and making up can be fun. Fighting it happens and it’s ok. Maybe just don’t throw your beer in your loved one’s face. Although it may not matter.

Our mantra was no cats, no dog, just you and me.

He actually has all those things.

He’s still hot.

He would wander in and out of my life until I graduated

Giving me hope

Breaking my heart

Thankfully I would graduate college and meet the Guitar Player.

~~~~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 8: The One

Your first love isn’t always the right one. I’m going to go out on a limb and say sometimes because they’re your first- they became something they’re not.

This was the boy in yellow. Here I am 25 years later trying to erase the imprint he made on me. He set the tone for what I accepted. For how I looked at things. I didn’t know that. Until I met my real true love. Who you will meet too.

We started out pretty great until we didn’t. He did everything a first boyfriend should. He was attentive and sweet. He showered me with presents. All the time. He went home every weekend to work. Every weekend he came back I got a new piece of jewelry. To this day I don’t like getting jewelry as gifts from men.

He would buy me clothes. Took me to his hair salon. I thought it was sweet. I was too young to figure it out. Thankfully my friends were jaded just enough. His parents tolerated me. His siblings didn’t get me at all.

Also he wasn’t great about keeping secrets.

While for me he was my one and only and I even had the promise ring he gave me to show his devotion. His commitment. We were one step away from marriage.

Except…I was his college girlfriend.

He had another girlfriend back home. Then he started sleeping with women on campus. Bragging about it.

I found out.

Broke up. Took him back.

Here’s the thing as a society we do an alright job with Sex Ed. But honestly we need to educate our children on relationships.

Seriously.

I needed someone to have a “Come to Jesus” with me and help me get my head right.

Instead I put up with his bull**** for almost two years because I thought since he was my first … I had to.

No I did not.

A wonderful group of guy friends intervened. I broke it off.

He would paint me as the one who did him wrong. Full disclosure in the middle of an on/off time in our relationship I met someone. I didn’t pursue it, but I didn’t hide it either.

He shaped how I trusted

How I shared

How I loved

How I saw myself

It wasn’t great, it wasn’t bad but you should love someone for who they are. He never did. He let me know all the time. In his defense he was shaped too.

Years later he would find me on social media and every year at the same time ask for my forgiveness and for me back.

And every year I would say the same thing- no. I’m happy. I will always love you because I will, but no. You broke my heart.

Two years ago a few months after our yearly exchange I found out he killed himself.

This is easily the hardest chapter to write and I skimmed a lot. Because…because…

My heart is still breaking

 

~~~~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

 

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 7: The Boy In Yellow

The boy in yellow…

The universe doesn’t always get is right when it picks your first love. And to be honest I’m not even sure if he was.

What I do know is after that party for weeks this extremely tall, blonde guy would stand by our table on the good hall and just look at me.

He would say nothing.

Just look.

I find out later he was pledging and he was not allowed to speak to girls.

I won’t give him a name.

I can’t.

Out of respect for what I’m about to share …

For him

For me

How do I even say all of this

How about the before?

The weeks before he was free to talk to me when I met not one but two men who  in rapid succession would introduce me to things I didn’t learn in high school and also in doing so break my heart.

They didn’t know.

I think there  is an assumption if you’re in college you come with experience.

Not all of us do.

So to my Kiefer Sutherland look alike. I had never spent a night at a hotel before. I had never really made out. You get the idea.

It was a night but you armed me with a little knowledge then disappeared.

Then there was my sweet brown eyed boy. You and I would break each other’s hearts on and off for four years. You never thought you were good enough for me. I never believed someone like you could want me. You tried so hard to impress my Dad and I will love you for always for that. You were a heartbreak but you don’t count because you were worth it.

I think I’m ready to introduce you to the boy in yellow….

~~~~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 6: My First Party

Cherie squealed with excitement when we got back to our dorm. Not only were we going to a frat party, apparently my friend’s fraternity was pretty popular on campus.

Us going there gave Cherie a head start on her pledge journey.

I on the other hand was petrified.

I did not drink.

I did not date.

Oh and guess who had never been to a party? Maybe a little too much freedom at once. Cherie to her credit which is why she is still my friend saw my face.

“Oh Caprise…you’ve never been to a party before?”

“More than that…” I squeaked.

I rattled off all the reasons why I was afraid to go.

“Oh no, you’re going. But effective now- buddy system. No girl left behind.”

Scott encouraged me to invite a few ladies from my floor because of course he did. LOL.

From that night on we really did not leave anyone behind. It got wicked sometimes and ugly and feelings were hurt. But we stuck together. Except for one. And we will get there and it changed things.

Not a heartbreak but a disappointment that I have never let go because if it were me… well … will get there.

Sadly

My first college party was kinda of crazy. How could it not be? However, when your big brother – yup I became a little sister introduces you as knowing your Mom. My experiences were very tame.

As I’ve alluded to- the people who break your heart aren’t the ones you expect.

Poor Scott the one and only time he tried to kiss me- I got incredibly sick. God bless him he was one of the best nurses I ever had. Our paths cross once in awhile and everyone assumes we got together in college. We just chuckle as we both know he really was my big brother.

I know this was a bit light … but we are gearing up for my first big adult heartbreak. It’s tendrils still reach out to me years later so I’m trying to figure out how to write about heartbreak number five.

~~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

Don’t Let Dating Burn You Out

I have been divorced for almost 6 years and single for over two, if you get what I mean. After my last relationship I took a yearlong break from men, and what I literally mean by that is no dates, no random sex, the celibate life (well, except for some self-care, don’t judge, a woman has needs!!!)

People always say work on yourself, when you are happy alone, you’ll be ready to be with someone. So after the year, I was calm and happy so I decided to jump back in.

As a divorced woman with children and a full time job, is no lie that time is very limited. Since most my friends are married and none of them are jumping to introduce me to anyone, I had to turn into dating apps to find that special someone.

I have tried virtually every app out there, which I can compare and contrast for you next time. I honestly had to sit down last night to figure out how many first dates I have gone on, and how many turned into a second or third. I have to sadly report that my batting average is pretty low and for sure none have turned into a relationship.

I’ve tried dating older, my age, good looking, not so good looking, being flexible with my “must haves”. The end result is the same, I’ve struck out and I’m out.

So, I have decided to go back to my single “semi” celibate life. Call me a quitter, but a player needs to be able to know when to retire.

So for all of you still looking for “the one”, I give you some pointers so you don’t get burned out like I did:

Set a time to look at the apps – Looking at these apps can literally turn into a full time job ugh. Looking at profiles, messaging people, etc. It can also become addicting. Set a time to just do that once a day and then stop and live.

Date more than one guy at a time – I know for some of us that seems weird, but the truth is, until you are exclusive, men are probably doing the same. Also, this helps not to become so obsessed with one person and know that there are other interested men out there, he is got competition 😉

Do not be result oriented – This is a really hard one for me. I’m a successful career woman and I got there by setting goals and working towards them.  Dating does not work that way, trust me. So just meet these people and have fun and don’t fantasize about the future. If you start
putting milestones on your dating, you will not enjoy the experience.

Next time I will follow my own advice as I do believe dating can be fun, however for now I am going to bench myself for this season, perhaps I am not ready to retire after all.

See you in the trenches,

Mythologywoman

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 5: The College Years

College…Have you seen the movie Animal House? Well let’s start with John Belushi spent a very short period of time at my alma mater. Some of Animal House was based off his experiences on campus in a fraternity.

I was a little sister for a Fraternity on the same campus. 

Let it begin…

I knew the very first day of college it was the place for me when during move in day my roommate who I had known since I was five struggled to move her boxes up to our third floor and I somehow had the bulk of the football team moving me. 

In the infamous words of Matthew McConaughey – alright, alright, alright.

Not only was it the day I realized I could get a guys attention, it was the day I met my first college friend. Who would be one of my closest friends 25 years later. Cherie was my Mom’s moving day present to me. 

Move in day they ask you to keep your doors open so you can meet people. While I was excited about starting college,at my core I was still shy. I still stayed close to my parents and my roommate did the same. While we were unpacking my Mom went across the hall and introduced herself. Five minutes later this girl with an amazing head of black curls and red lipstick came into my room.

“Hi I’m Cherie. Your Mom said you are Caprise. I am from Milwaukee and am majoring in business. I am going to a party tonight – want to come?”

What? A college party? Me? Who was this woman. A f@#$ing saint that’s who. She saved me from a night spent with my roommate who actually suggested we go to the evening orientation instead. 

“Umm ok. Except I don’t drink.”

“No biggie. But we should go build a base first. When our Moms leave let’s go get our chow on.” 

I fell in love with this woman. Not in that way. Geesh. Not every woman who went to college went through the girl on girl phase. For the record when you live in an all girl hall that allure gets lost fast. Don’t ask. For the benefit of all we will leave it there.

Cherie was everything I wasn’t. As a college freshman she was incredibly confident. She had this voice with this accent I couldn’t quite place. She had an amazing sense of style. Her hands always moving when she talked. She also would randomly burst out into song.To this day when I hear George Michael’s Freedom I think of her. Let’s just say it was our theme song pretty much anytime we had to walk anywhere.

Our floor had a pretty big group of girls who all went to various Milwaukee schools and all knew each other. Which again thanks to Cherie they became my people. Let’s just say there is a reason why the Chili Peppers wrote a song about Catholic School girls. The Milwaukee girls made up the bulk of our floor, then a spattering of girls from small farm towns, Chicago, locals and the randoms me and my roommate Carrie.

Who sadly we will get to. 

I gotta take a pause. Jealousy is an ugly thing. Especially when it’s not warranted. But here is what I will say. You can wrap yourself up in morals and pretend you are more than what you are but if you are a shitty person no amount of pretty packaging will hide that.

Even worse is the shitty person who blames everyone around them for their shitty behavior.

Like I said we will get there.

So my new tribe and I made our first venture to the food hall. Sitting outside the halls were tables of various frats and sororities who were looking for pledges. Cherie was all about being in a sorority. I humored her and talked to the tables. I am going to go out on a limb and say my love beads and Black Bart t-shirt declaring we should fight the power made me not your ideal pledge. (My kitchen co-workers gifted me with both my last day of work)

We were wrapping up when I heard someone yell out “Caprise!”

Sitting at table was Scott. Remember the guy I had hoped would volunteer to take me out.

BOOM

Suddenly that night I was going to a frat party

Let the games begin.

~Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date

Unicorns and Daddy’s Girls

It is mid-July. I stroll through Wal-Mart picking up supplies for the office, and I see the table of mix and match outfits for little girls. I realize haven’t started shopping for school clothes and supplies. With three daughters, all now in school, it dwells on me that I am as behind on this as the IRS processing refunds this past year.

My youngest is five and headed into big girl school. She loves unicorns. I pick up a coordinating, sparkly, and sure to wow the fellow Kindergarteners, unicorn outfit.  Leaving the store, unicorn sass attire in hand, I am Super Mom and feel confident I may win the heart of my Daddy’s girl daughter (if only for a few moments).

That evening I come in with my imaginary Super Mom cape flowing behind me and announce to her, “Mommy picked out something special for school!” Wait for it………………….

The avalanche of tears that begin to pour down her face were reminiscent of the time I forgot I was filling up the sink to thaw out something for dinner until, yes you know it, my kitchen was flooded. In between sobs, she finally gets out, “But Daaaaaddddyyyyyyy was supposed to to to to to (insert stuttering cry rambling) take me shopping!!!!!!”

Aaaaahhhhhhhh, now it makes sense. If I bought her an outfit, in her mind, Daddy would not take her shopping. Myself and my older daughters (9 and 14) attempt to explain she can pick out other things with Daddy too. Still to no avail, the tears fall.

Remembering what it was like to only have a few things and time exclusive with my own Dad, and how invested I was when looking forward to my time with him, I chose to eliminate the issue all together. I asked her, “Would you like for me to just take it back to the store?”.

If those tears didn’t dry up faster than the gas stations in Houston when a tropical storm turns into a hurricane in the gulf, I tell you what! My older daughters carefully eyed my own face for evidence of hurt feelings and water works. I shrugged my shoulders and giggled a little, gave them a wink, and the world was at peace again.

So, I hid the bag from the store, and I probably won’t remember to take it back within the allowed time. I’m predictable in that way. So are my girls. The youngest, more than all of them, knows exactly what she wants and how she’d like to obtain it. I am ok with that and I am ok with some things just being off limits to Mommy because she’s reserved them for her Daddy.

What did I learn that day? Unicorn outfits are restricted to shopping with Dad. My daughters are growing up to be independent, strong willed, and more and more patient than needing to be instantly gratified. Oh, and it is OK if they’d prefer to do something with Dad over me. I still make “the best pizza rolls there ever could be”. I’m good with that.

-Ellen in Texas Y’all

Dinosaurs Divorce

We are sitting under the glow of fluorescent bulbs, and I notice the book “Dinosaurs Divorce” on the play therapist’s wooden clipboard, an item on the evening’s agenda. “We have this book as a resource,” she says as I thumb through it. The book depicts Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs arguing with loud noises. Mommy and Daddy dinosaurs stewing silently. Daddy dinosaurs packing dinosaur boxes and placing them in the back of dinosaur moving vans. The therapist’s voice brings me back to reality: “Would you like us to go over this with Brennan? Or is it too overt?” Brennan is my 3-year-old son who isn’t familiar with the word “divorce” but has come to understand that he lives at “Brennan’s house” with Mama. I glance again at the glossary in the front of the book that explains the family law system to children in the way a biology textbook delineates the parts of a cell. My heart is beating fast. “Well, what do you think? Is this what he needs?” I ask her. I’m on foreign soil. She pauses and peers at me over thick-rimmed glasses: “You seem hesitant,” she replies. “Follow your instincts.” “Then, no. Not now.” No to “Dinosaurs Divorce.” No to pushing my kid off the cliff of childhood innocence with brute force.

It’s right after the Ash Wednesday service, and I am meeting my mom in front of Charming Charlie for the usual toddler trade-off. I climb cold and red-nosed into the front seat of her black SUV to sit a minute and turn to grin at my baby boy in the back. “What’s that?” Brennan says, staring intensely at the ashes on my forehead. “It’s in the shape of the cross…” my mother starts. I interject- “It’s just…it’s a religious…” my voice trails off. We move on to different subjects, and Brennan seems to adjust easily enough to the idea of a mother with an inexplicably dirty forehead. “Mom,” I say as we’re moving him and his accoutrements to my car, “I’m not ready to tell him about Jesus yet. I mean, I tell him that Jesus made us, and He loves us but not about His death. Not yet. Let’s just let him be happy. Let him be a kid.” “Of course,” she agrees.

His blue eyes stare up at me, long lashes blinking. “Is Da-Da home?” “No…remember, Da-Da lives at a different house now. He drives a big truck, and he lives with his friends. You’ll see him soon though!” I try to say it with cheer. “Oh yeah,” he replies with disappointment. I regret trying to say it with cheer.

As we drive, I glance back in the rearview mirror at a kid who is excited about driving over a bridge, and I pretend to get excited too. I know life’s not all bridges, but I want it to be. I want it to be happiness and every one of his favorite things. I want to shield him from the grisly deaths of Saviors and families.

I linger in these moments: they are uncomfortable places, sure. I think back to my first trimester of motherhood when the doctor called Brennan an impending miscarriage. In my fear and desperate longing, I spoke to him often. With a hand on my belly and a fierce whisper, I begged him to stay. “Life is not always easy, but it will be good. I’ll be a good mama to you, I promise. Please stay.” He stayed. And I try to stay true to my word, the best I can, here in this messy in-between. Even at three years old, life is not easy. Maybe all of life is a messy in-between. But still, I know: it will be good. It is good.

We get out of the car after another long day of work and play and commuting. It’s dark outside, but the sky is brightly lit. “Look, Mama!” he says. “The moon and the stars and the sky!” “Oh yeah! I LOVE the moon and the stars and the sky!” “Me too, Mama! I love them too!” And before we go into the house for another night of supper and bath time and bed, we stand for a moment and look up together at the big wide world- wild, uncontainable, beautiful.

~Mallory is a Mississippi mama who has been broken by life and softened by grace. She loves pine trees, poetry, and her friends.

The Fixer of Broken Boys Part 4: The Awkward Years

 Jason quickly took Jack’s place for the remainder of the summer as my poolside cheerleader. He became one of my very first guy friends. I think it is true when people say friendships start out between men and women, boys and girls because someone likes someone. In our case I think we liked the idea of each other but two hangs in we realized we were better friends.

Or it could be because I realized I played for the minors and he played for the majors. Or it could be shortly after he met the most popular girl in our school and she decided she had to have him as hers. When someone who previously didn’t acknowledge your existence suddenly invites them self to your neighborhood pool, it could be because of your hot new guy friend.

It really didn’t matter to me. This is what I knew- Jason was always sweet to my brother and kind to me. Again maybe because Jason had a much older sister he liked the idea of having a little brother. As for me – to this day I don’t know and I don’t care.

He was there when I needed him and was on and off until we were done with high school.

He let me cry when we ran into Jack and that horrible girl at the end of the summer cook out in our neighborhood. Jack looked uncomfortable she held onto him tightly and gloated. Making a point to walk past us more times than warranted.  Jason through my tears kept telling me I would find my way this would not always be how it was.  Other guys would get wise to what he knew.

He was kind of right.

We will get there.

Some side notes.

Jack married that horrible girl immediately after high school and joined the army immediately after the wedding. They are divorced but have a sweet looking daughter who has her Dad’s freckles and brown eyes. Jack wears big cowboy boots, big belt buckles and big cowboy hats. I am pretty sure he is a Republican. So even if we HAD worked out, we WOULD not have worked out.

Jason to his credit remained one of my closest friends until he moved out of state with his family. He also married the popular girl. They also have a beautiful daughter. We talk once in awhile. Jason teases me because he says he lost all his looks as he’s aged and my beautiful insides finally oozed to my outsides. Time has been kind.

Every girl should have a Jason in their life.

I started high school with a broken heart but a hot best friend.

Life didn’t seem too bad.

Except when it did.

Being shy can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing because it gives you that instant out. A curse because you find it extremely hard to be able to hold solid conversations with anyone. Much like Jason – most boys that got to know me loved the fact that I blushed. I think every high school year book I have someone who has written,”I hope that you don’t blush when you get into college.”

Guys I am almost 46 and I still blush. 

The only difference is now people find it endearing. 

Rather than a literal beacon of how uncomfortable I am.

And yes some still like to make me blush. But I like them and they make me happy.

We’ll get there…

Shyness got the best of me my first high school dance. I was really lucky because contrary to what the movie Footloose would have you believe our small town encouraged dances and dancing and even our friends not very good punk bands to have shows.

All of which shockingly my parents encouraged me to attend.

Imagine if you will 15 year old me.

Not even 5 ft tall. Maybe 85 pounds. An attempt at mall hair. Stirrup pants and a baggy sweatshirt. Awkward. So very awkward. But I had those family doe eyes.

Standing with a group of my equally shy, equally awkward, equally smart baby posse of girlfriends we waited together until the right song came one. Shy girls still love to dance and it was when we all let go. We didn’t care and honestly we didn’t need to. We were good dancers and we had so much fun. 

While waiting for an excruciatingly long slow to end. I caught him staring at me. He was a senior and the quarterback on our football team. There was absolutely no way he was staring at me.

Yet he was. Poison’s Talk Dirty to Me came on and my friends squealed and started dragging me out on the dance floor. He came and stood in front of my group. We all froze.

“Hey, what’s your name?” “ME?!” “Yes.” “Are you sure?!” “Nice to meet you are you sure.”

He chuckled and walked away with his cronies.

My first week on the gymnastic team I had to go to the Senior hallway to give my team older sister a good luck flower. He saw me and yelled out “Hey are you sure?” I blushed. “You look more like a little monchichi to me” 

There are worse nicknames a girl can have.

Trust me – we’ll get there.

Aww man will we ever.

Side note time: Big popular football player went onto have a pretty successful college career and marry a woman who would have an incredibly successful career as a writer. Not me, sillies. We did cross paths a few years ago. I am waiting in an airport to fly to see my person and I hear a guy yell “Monchichi” 

Oh god no. There he was. Time I think is kind to people who are kind and he was a kind man. I knew it was him immediately. After the world’s clumsiest hug. I’m still short, so hugging a 6ft 3in man is tricky. “Monchichi! You glowed up girl”

Thanks. “How are you?” “Good – off to meet the wife at one of her book stops. I always liked the shy, smart girls. Lucky for me she knew her name when I asked her. And you? Wait a minute – you’re with that guy. The one…”

Oh no my friends.

Not yet.

As they say. You have to work for it.

Whether he knew it or not that very 80’s nickname guaranteed for quite awhile that my high school years were not too horrible. He had given me the gift of coolness. All because I was too shy to say my own name.

I also still lived in a neighborhood full of mostly boys. Who I got stuck carpooling with daily. I spent the first two years of high school wading through girls who really liked me or just liked me to get closer to those boys who I carpooled with. While again that odd relationship made sure I didn’t have any issues in high school. It also prevented any boy who might be interested in me or vice versa from asking. It’s hard to ask a girl anything when she is constantly surrounded by Motley Crue wannabes. It is also hard to be interested in a boy when said wannabes enjoy yelling out open car windows the name of your latest crush.

You learn fast to keep that information to yourself.

Don’t feel sorry for me though ok?

I did go to all the important dances.

Homecoming. Check

Twerp. Check

Prom. Check

Unfortunately I ended up getting a huge crush on my Twerp/Homecoming date. Who I found out later only asked me because he was the emcee, needed a date and knew as his buddy I’d say yes.

You win some you loose some.

I feel lucky in that I never experienced the angst and heartbreak in high school that my friends around me seemed to.

This might be because my parents were extremely honest about  their situation. Graduated high school in June, married in October, baby in November. I am not great at Math but…

Besides I had the eyes on the prize.  I was going to college. Away. No one was going to mess that up.

Except someone almost did and it isn’t even who you would think.

A caveat to going to college was trying to figure out how I was going to pay for it. My Dad worked in a factory. My Mom was a waitress. What I wouldn’t find out until months ago is they’re still paying off my third heart surgery well into my 20’s.

Which meant money was tight. The minute I could make money babysitting. I started doing that when I was 11. When I turned 16 I got a work permit and immediately started working in the same restaurant as my Mom. My poor zoo date worked there too. We will get there. I had a really small nest egg started. A thousand dollars. Which at that time and honestly even now was a lot. 

Not long after getting my acceptance letter.

Side note: I got into every college I applied for. Why I settled on Whitewater, the world will never know. This one could have been learning about marine biology in Hawaii. I am part hippie after all. Insert smirky emoji here.

I get a frantic phone call from one of my friends.

“Caprise I’m pregant and I don’t know what to do.”

I met my friend at McDonalds- her mascara running down her face. “The guy won’t help me. I can’t tell my family. You can’t tell your family” 

I’m going to take a pause here. Normal world that statement would cause me to tell my parents. However my world and my relationship with my parents was tight to say the least.  

“What can I do?” “I need your college money.”

I didn’t mean to but I started crying. 

“Caprise I will pay you back, please you have to help me.”

I would like to tell you she would pay me back. I would like to tell you from there on out money was never a constant point of contention. I would like to tell you when my ex husband kicked me out of our paid off house making $75k a year and me making $8.50/hr and with a  21/2 year old and no insurance and nothing.

Please guys, it is ok. This works out. It really does. I will tell you how. But first how about that infamous zoo date?

His name was Charlie. He legit looked like Opie from Andy Griffith and was about to start college at a Baptist college. So many things that did not check the boxes for me. The story goes my Mom who BTW not only forbid me to eat sugar (bad teeth) would not allow me to have a boyfriend. Yes a few brave souls tried. However, when the story got out about how my Dad broke his ankle running down icy stairs to go beat the shit out of two neighborhood boys  who called me a series of unfortunate names and later pulled the stitches out of his hernia chasing after a peeping Tom… let’s just say I am just as surprised as you I went to any dances with boys.

There were times in not too far from then I wished my Dad was around. But he wasn’t.

I am not sure if we will get there.

Back to the story. My Mom worried about me going away to college wasn’t sure I would know how to go on an actual date. Asked her waiters/hosts if someone would take me out. Later I would find out the one I wanted to take me out offered and was told no. 

We WILL get to him later.

Sweet. Kind. Very holy Charlie said yes. I still don’t know if Mom paid him and honestly I really, truly don’t want to know. He picked me up we went to the zoo, it was fun, I tore my pants getting out of his car. Nothing really great. 

Charlie to his credit is still very sweet, still very kind and is the Deacon at some church down South. His wife is also a red head and they have four equally lovely red headed children.

We are about to enter my college years. Which means yes I figured it out. Not without some help. 

I think every person deserves a champion. Several if possible. Mine came in the form of my Dad’s parents. Who lived down South which to this day seems like a foreign country and home at the same time.  They have supported me my whole life. The first time I got drunk was with my Grandmother. I was 16 and we were on a cruise. We had docked on some Caribbean island I was in a room with them. She introduced me to rum and cokes. She also was the one who told me about sex. Not at the same time. Later that summer before I went to college over several glasses of red wine.

Before you judge don’t. She was amazing and I am crying while I type this and I can’t put into words how many times in the last 10 years I wish I could have called Duchess Three Sheets to the Wind. Princess Running Mascara misses you so much.

Heartbreak number four…

My Grandparents made sure I went to college. Ever since I was little they have made sure there are pockets of time where it is just us. I sometimes think it is so they can check up on my parents. When I was 2 they had to intervene to prevent me from living on a commune. I think to this day they still don’t trust them. 

So every visit they would take me somewhere just us. Sometimes out for food, sometimes shopping, sometimes fishing but just us three and we would talk.  Before they could even ask I started sobbing. I told them about my friend borrowing from my college fund. How it happened more than once. Now you know too. My Grandfather clicked his bridge. His tell as I call it when he had something to say but wouldn’t. My Grandma hugged me and said we will help. 

They did. I still graduated with student loans but I think I only had to use laundry money a few times for party money. I did work during college but luckily and thanks to my Grandparents it wasn’t as much as some of my friends. 

To this day my Grandfather finds time for just us. The conversations are sometimes harder. Sometimes they aren’t. Lately he is particularly interested in a certain young man in my life. Although in your 40’s it is pretty funny and fantastic to have your Grandfather ask how is that young man of yours in my most favorite voice.

I am smiling as I type this…..

`Caprise
Single Mom of the amazing Dbl G
Teacher
Sometime DJ
T-shirt collector
Henry Rollins Middle Aged Punk Prom Date