Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Something rare, something special

I remember riding in the car with my mother several years ago. It was just the two of us and we were traveling on the winding road heading down to the Buffalo River, where I spent most my summers during my childhood. The windows were down, the wind was blowing our hair all around, and Nanci Griffith was blaring on the stereo. The meaning of the song wasn’t particularly important, but the chorus was “once in a very blue moon.” I remember asking my mother what that meant, and she told me that it was a rare, special occasion. I learned later that it was really nothing more than a second full moon in a month. Either way, I grew up hearing my mother echo the phrase “once in a blue moon.”

Tomorrow is the last day of 2009. This year began with me being broken down to the very center of my soul. I rebuilt my life. I survived the absolute worst thing that has ever happened to me, and I’m a better person for having gone through it. Now, I will spend the last night of this year- and the first night of the next year- with a man who made me believe something that I had turned my back on. When I met him, I didn’t want to be in love. Not then, not ever again. I was determined to stay standing on my own 2 feet. But then, he walked into my life. He made me believe that I could be in love again. He made me believe that I could rely on someone to be there, and to stay. He’s proven it, too. I’ve shoved him away twice now. Each time was because I had the potential to be hurt badly. I figured that if I pushed him away, he couldn’t just walk away from me and leave me behind brokenhearted. But something strange happened. Both times, he came back. He came back and he didn’t leave. And now, I’ll be ringing in the New Year with him tomorrow night. And this year, something rare and special will happen. The New Year will be born under a blue moon. So, cheers! Here’s to faith, love, and hope.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

[Title Pending]

I survived my first Christmas as a single mom. Although, really, I’m not sure how much of a single mom I am anymore. I guess a more appropriate description is “unmarried mother” because I’m not alone anymore. Truth be told, I haven’t been for a while. He’s there. He’s been there almost every day and every night for almost 3 months. Even before he was physically there, he was still there. I could call him any time of the day or night, and if he could, he would stop whatever he was doing just to listen to me when I needed to talk. But now, he’s really “for real” there. I used to go to bed alone and lay there for hours until I fell asleep. Now, I snuggle up next to him, with a huge dog lying at the foot of my bed, and I fall asleep feeling loved and cherished. I don’t know the last time I felt that….or actually, if I have ever felt that at all.

I still have my moments, though. Sometimes, something is said, or a word catches my attention, and I feel myself snapping back to reality. I feel kind of like an animal in the woods when they hear a sound that startles them. Their head pops up, they look all around them, and every step they take is taken with purpose. They keep going, but they do so with extreme caution, and they continue in that manner until they feel safe again. That’s what happens to me. My focus sharpens, I make no moves or sounds without purpose, and I hear that voice in my head that says “be careful, because this could be monumentally painful.” I have another voice, though. That voice says “It’s ok. He loves you, and like he’s told you, love is giving someone the power to destroy you, and trusting them not to.” And I trust him- and love him- completely. Eventually my fear subsides and I slip back into that comfortable feeling, and I have the courage to look into his eyes and see how he loves me...and then all is right in my world once again.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ball suckage alert

I suck balls. Not because I mean to. (I mean, this is all figurative, of course. If you are literally sucking balls, generally you DO mean to. But, in this case, I don’t mean to.) Yeah, so I haven’t written anything meaningful in, like, months. Whatthefuckever. Get over it. I don’t mean to suck balls. I have excuses, I’m just too lazy to bust them all out at the moment, so, deal. Mmmmkay? Grrreat. Thanks. Anyway, anyone who read and knows my life knows what’s up. Boyfriend, in love, shitty non-child-support-paying ex-husband, school sucks, that’s about as much of a recap as I can manage at the moment. I’ll do better, I promise. In the meantime, pet a kitten or something to make yourself feel better. Loves ya. Fo’ reals. (And yes, a lot of old posts were deleted. Some stuff I just wanted to leave alone for a while. So, fresh start and all that junk. Peace, foo's.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

All about the EFF!

I recently relived my first single mom survival story for a fellow blogger. I told her about how my husband left, and one day later, I watched the weather report in horror as an ice storm made its way to our area. I knew that I had firewood, although it was in the yard and wet from the rain. I told her about how I took off work early that day, picked up J and then went home, spending the next 2 hours hauling firewood by myself in the ice rain. I don't know what that selfish bastard was thinking, but my daughter would be safe and warm, period.

Many of my friends have commented on what an incredibly huge fucktard Tha Ex was for leaving me in that situation. (yes, I said fucktard. More on that in a moment.) I could be angry at him for being so selfish, but if you’re at the point that you’re willing to walk out on your family, what’s just a little more icing on your cake, right? You might as well leave them high and dry too. (well, not so dry, but you get the point.) One thing that I take pride on is learning from my experiences. What I learned from that experience is this- I CAN. Yes, by myself. I learned that I can be successfully independent, and out of that, my mantra was born. “FUCK YOU, I CAN DO IT MYSELF! I DON’T NEED YOU!”

The past 8 months have taught me that the power of the F word is UH-MAY-ZING. There is truly nothing that satisfies me more in my time of anger and frustration than pulling out the good ol’ F-word, or any variation thereof. (Such as fucktard, fucker, fuckin’ A, fuckity fuck, or, when little ears are around and you must edit out of necessity, you can substitute with “FAAAARKLE!!!”) It’s all part of letting it out. It’s like a fart (another F word. Coincidence? I think not.) Anyway, as I was saying, it's like a fart. You have to let it out, or eventually, you will literally explode.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tray tables in their upright and locked position, reality will be landing shortly.

There are times when the reality of being a single parent comes crashing down with a devastating weight. Yesterday was one of those times. The [old] boyfriend got his first experience in “showing up” for J when we went to watch her program for VBS. After she was done with her part, the parents went up to the stage to collect the little ones, then back to sit down for the rest of the program. I got J, we sat down, and about that time she catches a glimpse of her dad. For the next 10 minutes, I had to argue and wrestle with her because she wanted to go back and see her dad, although she should have been sitting still watching the rest of the program.

Rewinding just a bit, J was with her dad this weekend. I got a call at about 10:30 a.m. Sunday that she was ready to come home. I was at The [old] boyfriend’s, so it was no big deal to walk up the street and get her. I arrive, and she is wearing jeans (when it was 90 degrees outside) and tennis shoes with no socks. I get her back to Josh’s and ask her what she’s had for breakfast. The answer is nothing. It was 11:00 a.m. and she hadn’t eaten anything all day. Later that day it was time to get her cleaned up for the program and I asked her if she had a bath this weekend. Nope. No bath, and hadn’t brushed her teeth all weekend. Basic necessities that are not being met, yet he did take her to the racetrack where he exposed her to yet another random girl, and this one even painted my child’s fingernails and toenails green. Awesome. So she’s filthy and hungry, but she got a mani/pedi out of the deal.

So back to the evening. J’s dad does as little as possible for her, yet she gets one look at him and begs to be with him. I take care of her 99% of the time and make sure her basic needs are being met, and she remains focused on missing her dad. Needless to say, The [old] boyfriend got a bit frustrated at the situation. We talked about it later and he says that he knows what’s coming- the day when J realizes that her dad is a total shit, and it’s going to break her heart and I’ll be left there to pick up the pieces. I listened to what he said, and my heart broke a little more with every word. Not because he was saying it, but because it’s all stuff that I’ve already thought about, and hearing someone outside of the situation say it made it real. I felt that all-too-familiar knot come back in my chest, and his words began to fade as my voice became louder in my head, with one word. ALONE. I’ll pick up the pieces of her heart, and I’ll do it alone. I rarely cry anymore, but as I drove home that evening, a few tears managed to escape. I felt overwhelmed yet again. I never asked for this, but it’s my reality. I didn’t choose it, and I don’t know why any man in his right mind would want to be a part of this.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fuck you Friday

I have had pretty much the same commute to work for 4 years now. It gets to a point where you recognize some of the cars that roll with you every day. You tend to know who is going to cut you off, who will let you in, and who you can roll with when traffic clears up enough to give you a straight shot to the next bottleneck. One of the vehicles I have come to recognize is an SUV from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s office. He’s a dick. Fo’ real. I don’t know what makes him think he can police the entire rush hour mob on his way to work, but that shithead sure does try. This morning, he was in the lane beside me and I was in front of another SUV. We were rolling about 68 in a 60. He comes up beside me and “boops” his siren! YES! On the interstate. He knows enough to know he can’t pull me over (I mean, he’s not even a patrol car! He’s like, a detective or something. I don’t think he even has a radar) but he still has something big enough up his ass to where he thinks he needs to be my daddy. He does the same thing to the SUV behind me. After another mile or so, the other SUV ends up beside me. The driver gets my attention and points at the sheriff’s vehicle and raises his hands in the air, as if to say, “did he just BOOP at us? O-M-G! What a fucker!” I nod my head back, mouthing the words “Ye-us! I know!!” We laugh, and roll on. So, consider this Fuck You Friday, Sheriff. You and your booping can kiss my ass.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Trespasser

I woke up on time this morning, but it took a lot of motivation to get myself out of bed. I was cuddled in the mass of blankets, and I felt my baby girl next to me. She has developed quite a bad habit of waking up during the night and sneaking into my bed. On one hand, I don’t like her in there. Ever since she was an infant, she has been an aggressive sleeper. She moves around a lot, she commands a lot of space, and she is completely unaware of the discomfort that it causes for the other person in the bed (which, of course, is me). However, on the other hand, this morning made me smile. I climbed out of bed to hit my snooze button, and when I crawled back in bed beside her, she reached for me. I felt her tiny, soft, warm hand reach for my arm, slide up to my shoulder, and cling to my neck. She was seeking comfort, and she easily found it. I smiled, and I said a silent prayer of thanks to God for giving me such an angel.

As I drove into work this morning, I thought back on the little scene from this morning. I was remembering how her hand felt on my skin, and how overwhelmed I felt by how much I love my little girl. Then, I realized that I’ve been on my own for 6 months. Beyond that, it’s been considerably longer (at least 2 years) since I had someone in my bed that I could reach to for comfort, knowing without a doubt that I was loved and cherished. I expected to feel sad, but I didn’t. I felt empowered. Six months ago, I didn’t feel like I would survive 6 DAYS on my own, let alone 6 weeks or 6 months. But I have. I’m a survivor, and I’m proud of that. And now, I need chocolate…

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The crap end of the fairy tale...literally...

So it’s Wednesday, which means I’m recovering from school night. (insert guttural noise of disgust here) I got home last night at about 10:30, to a second night of cleaning up canine diahrrea of my walls. Yeah, Weenie has the squirts. Still. If I have to clean that shit up again tonight, that little effer is getting a dose of immodium. I’m not even kidding.

I made a comment to someone yesterday that cleaning up dog shit didn’t make me feel much like a princess, and boy, ain’t that the truth! Straight up. Except….maybe if I had some old crotchety lady bitching at me all the time (the evil stepmother), I could totally twist this into a Cinderella thing…

But for now, I’m ok living in my 2 bedroom, 1 ½ bath castle sans prince. It’s not awesome, but it’s ok. There are things I miss, but things I don’t… For example, SPACE. I have alllllll the closet space I want. My shoes are not competing with high school football letterman jackets. That part is kinda nice. But, not having a dude to swoop in to clean up said dog poo and save me from the unpleasant chore is a bit of a bummer.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I’m tired of writing about all the boo-friggin-hoo crap. So, I think it’s time for some blogiahrrea. Randamninity. Get my shiz all straightened out.

Dating blows. But hanging out with rad guys who know how to throw down is awesome.

I need a happy place…preferably on a beach…in Hawaii…with cabana boys who bring me margaritas.

Singing along with Fred all the way to work = :)

My car is a POS, but I like driving it. Something about downshifting and bustin’ ass on 630 is just wicked awesome.

I love people who can’t speak their own language. There’s just something about people with shitty grammar skills that gives me great laughter…

It’s pretty awesome to know when someone’s thinking about you… The random IM’s, texts, emails, facebook comments…I just like it. It’s nice.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Time is the enemy, time is the friend.

Over the weekend, I took some time to reflect on how much my life has changed in such a short time. Only 5 months ago, I was planning the final details of J’s 5th birthday party. I was still recovering from Christmas, and my life seemed normal. I was nervous, but it was normal.

This time last year, I got a call from my best friend, Peas. The ex had sent her a text and needed to talk to her. We speculated about what he wanted to talk to her about, finally deciding that he was trying to make plans to do something really great, just the 2 of us. Things had been crazy lately, and he knew that I was feeling like we were disconnected, and I was really needing us to be back in touch with one another. She sent me a text a while later telling me to call her when I was on my way home. I did. I could hear it in her voice. She had something to tell me, and she didn’t want to. She stumbled a few times, and I finally told her to just let it out. She did. He wanted out. He wasn’t happy, he wanted to focus on work and he didn’t want to feel guilty for not being at home. He wanted to leave, he just didn’t want to be the one to tell me. I was driving down 630, and I felt like I just wanted to throw up. I felt more sick than I ever have in my life. I remember the feeling of my jaw as it locked and I tried not to cry. I remember the feeling of sheer panic, fear, confusion and overwhelming sadness. The thing is, I never saw it coming. The ex and I talked that night, and we made a list of things to work on. He said he wanted to try.

I kicked it into high gear. For the next 6 months, I cooked every night, our house stayed clean, I didn’t turn him down for anything, no matter what he asked for. SIX months. Things calmed down, we didn’t talk about it, and I began to feel like things had blown over. Then, one day in January, I was at work. I looked at the ex’s facebook page. I wish I could remember the words…well maybe I don’t…but either way, there were a few status updates that I hadn’t noticed. They exuded unhappiness. I called him and he said he was just in a bad place…that he didn’t know what to think, and we would talk later. The rest is kind of a blur. I walked on pins and needles for a week. Then, he left. He did it. He packed his things. He sat on our bed and explained to our daughter what he was doing. I held her as she cried, and I cried right along with her.

The 2 or 3 weeks that followed that night are becoming a distant memory. I can remember crying myself to sleep every night, wondering why he didn’t want me. I remember feeling forgotten, left behind. Gradually, of course, I crawled out of that hole.

When I look at myself today, it feels like it’s been a lot longer since that night. Maybe it feels like longer because I expected it for so long…but either way, my life is so different now. I’m alone, but I’m happy with who I am. I’m not spending every ounce of my energy to please someone who doesn’t appreciate it. I’m living for my daughter, and for myself. I’m living in a way I can be proud of. I’m standing on my own 2 feet, and I don’t see what was so scary about it…

I’ll get back to talking about the ever-changing basket, maybe tomorrow….but for now, I’m just reviewing, and reflecting. Things do change…I’ve been on my own for 5 months. In 5 more months, I’ll be 32. I’ll be approaching my first holiday season as a single mom. I hope I’m not still alone…

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I was out of town...

Have you ever gone to a restaurant while you were on vacation in another state? Somewhere very different from where you, Illinois or something. You look around, and you see an unusual shortage of people wearing red GO HOGS shirts. You don't hear anyone saying "ya'll" and you don't hear any talk of how the Panthers are looking this year. It makes you acutely aware that you are not in your normal element, and that you are not the "norm."

Friday night, J wanted to go out to eat to celebrate her graduation from preschool. Of course I said yes, and I gave her the pick of where we go. She settled on Dixie Cafe. We were led through the restaurant, towards a table in the back. As we walked, I looked around and noticed an overwhelming absence of people like me. There were at least 2 adults at every table. So I sat at my table in the back, and I looked around at the families that surrounded me. It made me painfully aware of what I was missing out on, and it made me angry. And sad. And resiliant, all at the same time... Maybe I'm not permanently in my position...maybe I'm just out of state, and I'm temporarily out of my element. And someday soon, I'll be back in my comfort zone. I'll have a protector and a provider. And I'll be right back at home, comfortable and familiar...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who wants a Vera Wang gown, when you could have roadside daisies?

It’s hard to stay sad when everyone around you is so happy! With the Arkansas boy taking AI last night, everyone around here is just plain giddy. That’s awesome! I’m surrounded by smiley people, and I like it! My work spouse just brought me a fresh diet coke, and I have my heater on under my desk keeping me nice and toasty. Life’s good.

A friend of mine told me yesterday that my “man hunt is like a good book that you can’t put down.” Apparently, I have several friends that are living vicariously through me, and are thoroughly enjoying my daily updates of the men circling my single mama camp. I’ve been reading Ms. Single Mama (MSM)’s blog for a while now, and I’m constantly amazed at the men who actually prefer women who are mothers over childless single women (CSW).

At first, I had the same mentality that Peas had when she was newly single. I wondered “Who is going to want THIS?” I mean, having a child consumes a HUGE part of a woman…her time, her heart, her resources…and it was baffling to think about what man in his right mind would want a part of that. However, the more I date, the more I find that men are not put off by that at all…in fact, MSM is right. They seem to prefer it. Single mothers have a lot of qualities and mannerisms not found in CSW. When a man calls a CSW, he has her undivided attention. She can talk all night about herself. When he calls a single mom, chances are, he’ll hear:
Kid: “MOOOOM!”
Mom: “um, can you hang on a second?”
Him: “Uh, sure.”
Mom: “What, baby?”
Kid: “I’m thirsty.”
Mom: “There’s juice in the fridge. You know where it is.”
Kid: “I know, but I want YOU to get it.”
Mom: “Ugh. Ok, but for real. You know how to help yourself next time, ok?”
Kid: “Ok mom. I love you!”
Mom: “I love you too!”
Mom: “ok, sorry, I’m back.”
And if he has any amount of heart at all, that whole little detour didn’t annoy him, but made him smile. He regularly gets a glimpse into the most important part of her world, just from listening to her go about her life, while he sits, watches, and waits. It’s like watching something so beautiful that you just can’t look away. And she won’t talk all night about herself…without a doubt, less than 5 minutes will go by before she mentions her kid, or she’ll come up with a story that she just has to share because it’s just too precious not to. When she’s talking about her kid, the sound and inflection in her voice changes. She softens, she relaxes, and she gushes about that one little person who makes her world go round. He sees her strength, her courage, her endurance…and what he doesn’t know is that she’s sitting, patiently waiting to be swept off her feet by someone who wants to make her life easier because she really is just THAT amazing… A CSW dreams of a man who will buy her a new house and watch her walk down the isle in an amazing Vera Wang wedding gown. A single mom dreams of a man who will do the dishes and take her kid for a walk, returning with a bouquet of hand-picked flowers. So yeah…what man wouldn’t want a woman like that?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Testosteroni with a pickle on the side...

I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to fully understand testosterone. I mean, really. That stuff makes guys do crazy things…like, play sports that make them sweat, kill animals, and chug frosty brew for bragging rights. I’ll admit that the sweaty stuff is pretty hot, but the other effects are just plain strange…being a girl seems to be SO much better.

The Surrogate Moms

The environment where you work is probably very unique and different from any other place you’ve been…I haven’t had an overwhelming number of jobs as an adult, really only 5 since I was 19. Today, I was reflecting on the dynamics of how a work environment can be so drastically different from place to place.

My work environment here is different from any other that I’ve ever been in. I have the big boss, who is like my dad. He pesters me, but clearly cares about me as a person. Then, in my immediate area, I have my Moms. Yes, my moms. I work with 5 women who have literally worked here longer than I’ve been alive. Each of them could feasibly be my mother. I’m the young ‘en in the roost. So, if someone needs help figuring out their cell phone, email, or other tech gizmo, I’m the go-to gal. (not that I know much about them, but I seem to help them out…) At any rate, my Moms take a very active interest in my personal life. Every few days, they get an update on my Basket Cases.

Today, we talked more about Mr. Starfish. I spent most of the day with him yesterday, and I’m thinking that maybe he’s not such a wrong match after all… I have no doubt that he would treat me like a princess, each and every day. I know he thinks about me all the time, and he knows how important the little things are. One example is Tuesday. This past Tuesday, while I was in class, I got a text from Mr. Starfish. Out of the blue. All it said was “Has anyone told you today just how beautiful you are.” I mean, wow. It totally melted me. I have always wanted “that” guy, and now that he could be possibly dangling right in front of me, I don’t know what to do!

Part of the job of being a Mom is taking care of your young and trying to make sure they do what is right. One of the Moms is very vocal about the fact that she thinks Mr. Starfish and I should just spend time together, but that I should keep my distance. The other Moms haven’t really had an opportunity to give me feedback. I know he wants me to be his girlfriend…all I have to do is get there myself. It means that I have to trust again, and that’s effin’ hard to do.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tulips, piano bars, and stuntwomen.

So I survived my first single Mothers Day. I had my moments where I had to change the radio station after hearing a story written by a husband to his wife about what a phenomenal woman she is, and how she’s a great mother to his children…but for the most part, it was very nice. I will go ahead and give kudos to the ex, though. J wanted to see him yesterday so he picked her up, and when he returned with her, she came with a homemade necklace for me (although his mom made it because J was busy making a card), and a vase full of my favorite flowers.

I went out with my best friend Saturday night. It was the first time we had gone out since I became single. When she was single, we went out several times, so I remember feeling excited for her, yet happily secure in my relationship. I danced with guys, but only in fun, and it never went any further. So, it was interesting to be on the other side of things. It was different this time, however, because her husband came with us. We’ll call him Mr. Peas. I used to like Mr. Peas. I really, really did. But now, Mr. Peas has become an irrational, insanely jealous bastard. Case in point came Saturday night. Apparently, we were “checking out guys” and he got all pissy and walked out to sit outside until we were ready to go. Talk about a buzz kill. Nice job, Mr. P. What makes it even more ridiculous is that we were at a freaking piano bar. No dancing, no shaking any tailfeathers, nothing. I seriously want to kick him in the junk for sucking the life out of my best friend and making her life so fucking miserable. I mean, really. Who wants THAT? Not I.

The situation with Mr. Peas really made me wonder about my next phase. I mean, right now, I’m in my “whoring around” stage, as Joy calls it. But, what next? I don’t want a serious relationship, but it would be nice to just hang out with one dude and settle in to really get to know him. Girlfriend is tired, mmmkay? The dating thing was fun, but it gets old quick. I am not even sure now how many times I’ve gone through the interview. (Yes, the interview. You know it. “So, what do you do? Uh huh. And do you have kids? What about pets? What do you do for fun?”) I think I may start trying out new personas, just to see if it changes the equation. Here’s one I’m thinking of trying next. “I’m a stuntwoman! Yes, really! I mean, I specialize in the less risky moves, like folding laundry and walking the dog, but you would be surprised at the adrenaline it produces! I have six kids, all with different dads, and for fun, I like to ride roller coasters topless. Um…wait…where are you going?” Yeah, maybe not the best idea, but the look on the poor guy’s face might just be worth trying it once…

Thursday, May 7, 2009


blog*ar*rhe*a [blog-uh-ree-uh] -noun- The uncontrollable urge to write about trivial things that matter to nobody except the writer, yet are oddly entertaining to the morbidly curious.

I have a self-diagnosed case of blogarrhea. Now that I’ve decided to write, it seems that I just can’t control myself. So, today is lovely randomness. Release the hounds!

~ This weekend will be my first Mother’s Day as a single mom. The meaning behind this holiday is changing for me. To me, it used to be a day for moms to relax while the rest of the family kicked in to take care of things and show her how much they appreciate her. However, the sheer logistics of being a single mom just don’t allow for that. In reflection, it’s now more about the bond. Jayna and I are tight, and I like it that way. So, it’s not all about what I do to keep our little machine running, it’s about how we hold on to each other.

~ I learned something new last night…I’m a catch…a great buy! However, I may have been found in the clearance aisle. I'm not sure yet. I’m still getting used to the flow of attention that comes with on-line dating. It’s more challenging than I thought! I’ve gotten better at weeding out the creeps, but managing conversations with those that I’m potentially interested in remains a skill that I have yet to completely refine. I still don’t like saying “we met on-line”…I mean, that just sounds pitiful. Eww. While I think it’s completely acceptable, especially with the lack of feasibility in meeting men the “conventional” way, some people do not. You say you met on-line and the eyebrows go up and the creep factor immediately and exponentially multiplies. So, I think I’m just going to develop a code system. On-line=Wal-mart. “We met at Wal-Mart. We were both reaching for the last bunch of bananas.” Sounds completely redneck, but you get to side-step the creep talk later. People don’t question your love for bananas, because, well…that would just not be right.

~ I’m wondering what to do about my basket. A few (3 to be exact) new prospects have surfaced over the past few days. Pretty good prospects, too. I don’t really want a bigger basket, though…I’m thinking I might just need to downgrade from a shopping cart to one of those baskets you carry through the store when you only need a few items and want to avoid the cart traffic jam. I will probably be meeting 1 of the 3 in the next few days, and I’m not sure about the others. It would be pretty sweet if I could work like the DMV…have a counter, with one customer at a time, while the rest take a number and wait patiently. Sadly, real life doesn’t work that way. Hmm…what to do, indeed…