Yesterday didn't go according to plan. After church I ate lunch with my daughter. I had picked up individual containers of soup and chili for lunch at the health food store. They were both disgusting. I tossed mine after a few bites and told my daughter she didn't have to eat hers. It seems like whenever I try to buy ready made food as a treat for myself and others it disappoints more often than not. We ended up splitting our coconut tart, it's loaded with fat, but hardly a meal replacement for a growing girl. We both agreed we preferred the lime tart, Jane likes the chocolate mint one, personally I think it's horrid. A couple days ago I bought blueberry muffins. I'm eating one of the last two halves wishing I didn't feel like tossing it would be wasting money. The texture and flavor are both off, I understand that it's difficult to recreate the perfect muffin when it has to be gluten and dairy free, but this thing is atrocious.
After lunch Jane and I watched the movie Cyberbully which I felt was pretty well done despite a couple of weaknesses. Like Mean Girls the main theme is that a small group of powerful people can intimidate and undermine their less confident peers. The main character meets a guy online, tells him all sorts of personal stuff, and the guy (who is really one of her best friends) retaliates by posting about the sexually transmitted infection he picked up from her. The rumor at school is that she's pregnant when she misses the next day of school, someone posts a parody video of her with an exaggerated stomach trying to pick up a guy who is grossed out by her, everything comes together and she decides she has no other option than to try and kill hersely. I felt that part was particularly well done with the best friend calling her mom in a tear stricken panic and the days afterward where she sleeps, goes to therapy, and attends a group session with other people who have been bullied online.
While Mean Girls wasn't bad, Cyberbully is subtler and therefore more realistic. Mean Girls star Cady Heron is an only child blessed with beauty and two fairly clueless parents who are supposedly zoologists that lived in Africa for however many years. This character is cute, but she's not drop dead gorgeous, her parents are recently divorced, her dad cheated on her mom and she told him she never wanted to speak to him again which I felt was an accurate portrayal of what a teen girl would say in a situation like that. Her annoying little brother hacks into her computer, I may be mixing up the best friend who created the fake guy and her brother's hack, but you get the idea, someone is bullying her online. She has an overly protective mom who is also portrayed as alternatively steeped in guilt and too harsh. Again, I feel like that is more real life type stuff than Cady Heron's mom who is worried about fertility vases.
The love interest is better in this movie too, giving him a chance to come forward and speak up at the end of the movie. In my opinion the best character is the token gay guy who is a member of the main character's group therapy sessions. We see how the main character (I really wish I could remember her name) is told by him that he's being called names like fairy and worse, but in typical teen fashion she blows it off since he is gay and therefore presumably deserving of such derision. The love interest is supposedly forced by his mom to take her best friend's daughter to a dance instead of the main character. The movie piles things on her until eventually she snaps. While Mean Girls is designed to be funny, there's not a lot to laugh about in this movie. Another thing I really liked was the group sessions where the kids can talk about their online experiences and how to speak out.
Another super realistic part of the movie for me is how the mom keeps getting shut down when she tries to get the school, the police, and an elected state official to do something so kids like hers will have some protection and recourse. She's a tall thin blonde whose shadowed eyes and quiet determination make her very believable. I've seen her before, perhaps you know someone like her too. Single mom working hard to give her kids the best life she can, work is full of stressors, they seem to be living comfortably, but it's nothing like the house she pulls up to where a single father who is an attorny informs her that his daughter hasn't broken any laws and that freedom of speech is a constitutional right. Other characters in the movie tell the mom how hard it is to monitor this kind of thing and mete out punishments when kids are at home on their own computers and hiding behind online profiles that may or may not be them.
I was bullied when I was in school, fortunately I escaped without too many internal scars. My coping mechanism was embracing what made me weird and different. I was loud and obnoxious at a school full of conformists. My girlfriends were wearing New Kids On The Block shirts while I had a collection of black t-shirts and a pair of ripped jeans. My hair wasn't like theirs. I was outrageous, disrespectful, sarcastic, cynical, and willing to do just about anything anyone dared me to because I felt like no matter what I tried I wouldn't ever be like the other girls in my class or the rest of the school. Now that I'm almost 41 I want to go back and give that girl a hug and some reassurance that she's just way ahead of her time, and high school boys may be too intimidated of her, she's not going to have any problem relating to them as she gets older.
I'm really glad I saw this and that my daughter was able to watch parts of it with me because it gave me a chance to talk to her about suicide, bullying, and some of the other issues raised in the movie. She said she thought once or twice about killing herself. I was so happy to hear that she prayed instead of going through with it. Whatever your thoughts on religion are, it can be a great comfort in times of desperation for those who believe. I liked the psychiatrist in the movie even though I'm not a huge fan of drugs and feel as if many are overprescribed. Drug therapy can be an option for people who are struggling with depression, I've never had any luck with anti-depressants, but my anti-anxiety medication has helped me tremendously when I take it. For a while I didn't, but I took one the other day and I'm going to take one now. I don't know why I'm such a bundle of nerves, maybe this high school talk and memories are reminding my brain of the traumatic experiences I had back then.
After the movie I got a text from my friend in Tennessee. He wondered why I hadn't called, I told him I had been waiting for him to call me. He said he was trying to be respectful of my time with the girls, I told him I didn't feel respected, I felt like he was ignoring me. I cried for a while when we were on the phone. I told him if he was too busy to make five or ten minutes in his day for me then maybe he was too busy for a girlfriend and to my shock he agreed. That was so unexpected I didn't know what to say. He has a crazy busy week this week since Vetaran's Day creates extra work for him with the parade and other events that require him to take pictures and write stories for the paper. He said it will be like this until after Thanksgiving and then there won't be anything to write about. We talked about his job for a while and then got onto the topic of his footwear which I said needs to be replaced.
He made the comment that 'socks are socks', in many ways the footwear conversation was a carbon copy of many I had when I worked full time, and it especially reminded me of how adamant my ex was that I was wasting the family fortune (haha) on socks that weren't any better than the ones we had been buying before I started working in shoes. This conversation was beyond disappointing after he had been so helpful and supportive of my career efforts earlier. I hate it when people want others to do something they aren't willing to do themselves. He has a pair of shoes in his closet that he's had since approximately 2003 that he won't get rid of, he has a bad back that required surgery, I think that was in 2005, I said I bet his chiropractor would be happy if he got some new shoes and I repeated my chiropractor's comment about people who go to the chiropractor without addressing their footwear problems are like the proverbial dog that chases its tail.
I stayed up later than I wanted, but I'm happy that I told him I needed to go spend some time with my youngest before her dad picked her up. He ended up having her spend the night here anyways, but that's a different story. Yesterday I got a call from my oldest who was at some conference down in Chicago. She told me that she felt like if she did (or didn't do) one thing than I wouldn't let her do anything. I asked if I was not letting her do things because she did, or didn't do one thing, or if she consistently failed to meet my very miminal expecations on a routine basis. I could have pointed out all the times I had let her go to things anyways, but I wisely chose to let her think about her actions. She agreed that she wasn't doing her chores and that her sister got to do more than she did because she tended to be a more responsible person. I was really glad she called even if it wasn't the most fabulous conversation ever.
I have to decide what I want to do with this guy. He's all about the money. My ex was like that too. I have sisters who are like that. I used to be like that. It's a factor, but sometimes I feel as if it's an excuse and a fear based mentality instead of it truly being about the money because I pointed out that if he would buy groceries and make food at home he could save money not going out to eat every day. I don't care if he goes out to eat, but I wanted to show him that he was making some costly choices that weren't doing much for his health either. We talked about his circulation, I don't think it's great and he agrees since sometimes his pinkie fingers go numb. I have a problem with wanting to try and fix people. I know that about myself and I try to recognize it, but I'm not always successful.
A lot of the books I read say that the best thing you can do for others is to be the best person you can be. I can't go see him this week and now I'm kind of glad. There's about five to ten things that I could be doing, or stop doing, that would make a huge difference in my life. So I'm going to sit down and write them out. Every time I go to the grocery store I spend about a hundred dollars. Food is my biggest expenditure, most of what I buy is good, but I could be making better choices there and sticking to a budget instead of just walking in and walking out with a cart of some expensive indulgences that end up not making me happy with what I've done with my money, or what's in my mouth. The muffins are a great example. I bought twelve dollars worth of gluten free muffins that really sucked.
In the grand scheme of things the muffins aren't a big deal, but I could make muffins at home and they would actually taste good. Or I could pass on the muffins and start sticking my muffin money in a jar or my purse. For a while I tried putting money into this tall glass container I have, but I kept going in there when I felt like I needed money so now there's only a few coins left. Writing is something I can do for myself, but I need to be careful to limit myself and to make time in my life for socializing outside of the house. I can't expect someone with a crazy job and schedule to be there for me whenever I want to talk. I gave him some ideas on how to make me feel like I was appreciated and on his mind during the day. I send him cards, he doesn't have to write to me, but that's a very cheap and easy way to make someone else feel loved.
In the past I wouldn't have spent money on cards. I felt like they were bad for the environment and good for a moment, now I can see the value of going into a store and searching through the selection of cards in front of me to find something that I think he would like. I feel like the eight dollars I've spent on cards isn't too extravagant. I'm going to send him a pair of socks for his birthday along with a card. My package won't make it there in time, but that's okay. Going out with someone after you get divorced is hard because you keep comparing them to your ex, you still have issues of your own, and now you have to deal with whatever they're bringing into the relationship that wasn't a problem with your ex. Lots to think about today, but I want to get some things done around the house too. Wish me luck even if I don't believe that it exists...