So my friend Caroline's son, who happens to be friends with C & J, is having surgery tomorrow. On his eyes of all things. I don't know all the details, but the basic story is that he was a preemie, something is up with his eyes, and they have to snip the muscle between the eyes. She is freaking out, and broke down in front of him the other night, which of course made him freak out. She's a very strong woman, so I know she will be ok, but I'm still worried about her.
We stood around talking for a bit this morning. Somehow, in talking about surgery, school, teachers, and bullies, the conversation came around to the fact that D & I are planning on moving in together. In the course of this conversation, I mentioned that D is a truck driver and has just changed companies. Someone else joined our conversation, but at the worst possible time. She joined just in time to hear me mention how much money D hopes to make (thankfully I gave a lowball figure, lower than he actually gave me, or I'd be in even bigger trouble right now), but not in time to hear all the whys of changing companies.
You see, he changed companies partly because they were just screwing him over in general...or I guess maybe that's the most basic explanation of everything. He was getting crappy loads, not making any money, and frequently owing them money for the "pleasure" of hauling their loads. He was buying his truck, which meant he had a truck payment to make, and was responsible for any repairs and problems the truck had. Basically, he was broke, working pretty much for free and miserable. There was no way we'd be able to get a place together, even if I found a great job.
So, he found another company. One that he could be a company driver, which means no truck payment, and no responsibility for the repairs and problems. He'll make more money, because driving their truck means they will make sure he gets a load.
But...the person who joined our conversation simply heard what D hopes to make and saw dollar signs. Now, in my defense, I DID try to tell her why she shouldn't get so excited. She was determined to go home and tell her unemployed husband to go to trucking school. I tried to tell her that D has several years of experience, and therefore gets a higher pay rate, but she didn't want to hear that. I tried to tell her that as a new driver, he's probably going to get stuck working for a crappy company (like the one D worked for), and he'll make no money, be miserable, and gone a lot. Didn't want to hear it. I told her how he'll be gone for weeks at a time, and only home a few days, and that if she thinks he doesn't help with the kids now (she complains he's lazy), just wait til he's gone 3 weeks, and home for 3 days, 3 days during which he wants to sleep, and has to clean out the truck, take care of things that he can't take care of on the road, and is not really in the mood to go do anything. Her response was to tell me that I deal with that.
Which was when I tried to explain that D is not my kids dad, and therefore is not responsible for helping me take care of them. Yes, he does help me when he is here, but that is his choice, not something I asked him to do. I am glad he does it, I appreciate it, I'm glad he wants to take on a role in my kids lives, but it is not something I forced him to do. And I don't push him to do anything when he's home, except to spend some time with me, and naturally, the kids, since locking them in the closet is illegal. :) In seriousness, though, I also tried to tell her that yes, I deal with it, but not as well as she seems to think. I told her if she asked D, he'd probably tell her that I drive him nuts with all the "I miss you" and "I wish you were home". And I go in and wake him up a million times and get frustrated when he doesn't want to get up. I understand he's tired, but that doesn't mean it's not a little frustrating.
I also pointed out that I did a considerable amount of laundry for him, much more than you would do on an ordinary basis if he were home everyday. Now, don't get me wrong: I offered. He tried to refuse ("You're my girlfriend, not my slave." I know that, silly, now hand over the stinky socks). I did it because I love him, but it's still a lot to do, especially when he's only home for X long, and you have to hurry up and get it done otherwise he's screwed and leaving with stinky socks and dirty underwear. I'd rather not think of my boyfriend wearing yucky undies, thank you.
Again, she says I'm dealing with it, so she can too. Gritting my teeth, I at this point try to remind her that this is how my relationship with D has been from the very beginning: I knew even before we started dating that he would be gone much more than he was here. I made the choice to move forward anyway, because I love him and I want to be with him, even if that is only a couple of days a month. I can live with that, because I've never known it to be different. Do I wish it were different? Of course. But D wishes he could win the lottery. We both have wishes that will probably never come true. That's life.
She's lived with her husband the entire 10 years they've been married. According to her, they've never spent a night apart. And...she thinks that her hubby can be home every night. Uhhh...did you miss the part where I mentioned how this last time D was gone for 5 weeks? While admittedly, that was longer than usual, it wasn't longer by much. But no, she thinks her hubby will be different. I tell her that if he wants any shot at all of making the kind of money D hopes to make, he has to be over the road, and that means being gone at a minimum of 2-3 weeks, but she doesn't want to hear that. Whatever.
She somehow came to the conclusion that the reason I don't work is that D takes care of me. Ummm....nope. I don't work cause I can't find a damn job. D and I have discussed the possibility that if he makes enough, I might not have to work. But it is not something I am counting on. Frankly, I feel weird even considering letting my boyfriend support my kids and I like that. Tried to tell her all that. Didn't do any good. She thinks she can get her hubby on the road and be able to quit her job.
I give up. I tried my best to get her to see reason. She only wants to see $$$$. So, ok, send your hubby off to trucking school, let him hire on with a really crappy trucking company that doesn't pay for crap, treats him like a slave and leaves him sitting at truck stops for hours, or even days on end. And when you come to me, months from now, to say I didn't warn you, I'm grabbing Caroline, and we're both going to stand there and say that yes, I did tell you so.
I did have one good thing happen this morning though. Well, good for my family, not so good for someone else. There was a little boy that C was friends with back in Kindergarten. A little boy that C often got into trouble with. Fortunately, it didn't take long into first grade for C to realize that this child was trouble. And the school assisted me in separating them.
I just found out this morning that this little boy has become quite the bully. Pushing kids, hitting, smacking, tripping, yelling, making fun, teasing, anything and everything. You name it, this kid is doing it. He's been suspended a couple times.
I'm so grateful that C has realized that this kid is not the kind of kid he wants to be friends with. When I think of what kind of trouble C would be in right now if they'd stayed friends...well, I'd rather not think about that.
I think I'm off to bed now. Hoping to hear from Caroline tomorrow afternoon that her son came through his surgery without a hitch.