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Life & Events > Single Moms Gone Wild

Single Moms Gone Wild

This is really a blog post about nothing. While I set out to dedicate a blog to raising my three children, on my own, in particular my special needs son, the truth about single motherhood is that there isn’t always something to report. That’s not entirely true. There is usually something to report but it’s not always (rarely, in fact) interesting to other people. And this weekend was my alone weekend, the kids spending the two days with their Dad and giving me a welcomed break.

So while my ear crackles and pops (have I mentioned that I have Meniere’s Disease? Or so the doctor thinks? I won’t bore you with a detailed account of what exactly Meniere’s is…a simple Google search would inform you if you were bored enough. For me it means that my ear sometimes blocks up, I suffer from vertigo which is no fun at all and I take expensive little white pills to correct my balance and return the fluid in my inner ear back to where it belongs when I have a break out. I’m having a break out. Hence my half deaf state…no really, I’m half deaf…and crackling, painful ear) and the sun sets I will distract myself from missing my kids with a post about nothing.

It’s funny…I’ve been at this single parenthood thing long enough one would think I would be used to the kids leaving periodically. In actuality they were gone last weekend too, to celebrate Thanksgiving with their Dad and his huge, extended family. He took them two weekends in a row because he will be working next weekend and the following weekend will be Halloween and the kids and I want to be together for that. It’s rare that I have a break from them two weekends in a row like this and while the novelty did wear off a long time ago, I don’t stop missing them when they’re gone. We can be having the worst week together ever (and we were) and I can truly think that when Troy gets to my house I’m going to dump them in his car within minutes. I can be ready to pull my hair out at the roots, completely insane from the constant fighting and screaming but when they pull out of the driveway, I am always, ALWAYS, fighting back tears.

And while I do relish this down time (sweet, sweet SLEEP!) I miss them from the minute they leave until they’re safely back in my house. Yes, I am a nerdy Momma.

On a completely different note…you know who I love? Nicolas Cage, that’s who. My separated at birth sister, Amy (you remember her…she’s Walking With Grace, Amy), and I were talking about men on Friday night. More specifically, what we would want in a man. Amy hit the nail right on the fucking head (as usual for her) when she said she wanted a man who is stronger than her. I agreed, most enthusiastically. And while I was watching “It Could Happen To You” (guilty pleasure… something about that movie that I just love…and yes, it’s on VHS because I am that far behind technology) I realized that I wanted Nicolas Cage. That was my big epiphany this weekend. I love Nicolas Cage and until I can have him all to myself, I will settle for anything breathing.

I am NOT filling this blog post with rambling about men, I swear to Dog. Never mind the fact that I’m practically celibate at this point. Okay, okay…scratch the “practically” part. I * am * celibate. This is probably not the time for me to get really picky about what I want in a man, right? But the thing is, I can’t find one. Anywhere! I’m a reasonably attractive gal… who happens to have three kids. One of whom is special needs. Oh. Okay. That’s why…And maybe also because when I have a weekend alone, I don’t really leave the house and spend my Saturday watching old VHS movies and re-runs of the Jersey Shore (DON’T judge me! I love that show. I like to watch it in my jammies and pretend that I’m not a grenade and that the Situation or Pauly D would want me… jeepers creepers…this celibate thing has got to end…)

Onto other matters! No more celibate talk! No more man talk!

I can tell that you’re sitting there, thinking, “I can’t believe she likes the Jersey Shore! Yegads! That is the worst show on television and she actually admits to liking it!” so I’m just going to go ahead and tell you why I like it so much (not that I have to justify myself to any of you people!).

First, let me tell you a little story. A few months ago, during one of my alone weekends, I decided to rent a few movies. I was feeling a tad sorry for myself and felt like having a good cry so I decided to rent some chick flicks…more specifically, romantic movies written and directed with the intention of making the female audience cry and then fuck their boyfriends. I don’t have a boyfriend, so obviously I was just going to cry. I picked “Dear John”. It looked good and cry worthy and the dude in it was pretty darn good looking (my apologies to the actor himself since I didn’t think he was good looking enough to remember his name). So I put it on, grabbed a box of Kleenex and a bar of chocolate and settled in for the night.

Not more than a half hour through this movie and I realized it wasn’t the escape I was hoping for (those of you who have seen the film will know what I’m talking about). That’s right…the little boy who lived next door to the chick. I can’t remember the chick’s name, either but I do know that she plays the daughter of Bill Hendrikson on Big Love, one of my favourite shows. The little boy who lived next door to the chick had autism. So did the dude’s Dad. I caught it long before they actually said it and I threw my Kleenex across the room in frustration. Here I was, sitting down to escape my everyday, ready to enjoy some Hollywood magic and that kid had to be autistic!

My point? That will NEVER, ever happen on the Jersey Shore.

I love that show because it’s so stupid and so far removed from anything even close to resembling my reality. It is my weekly escape. And if I ever have the chance, I will personally thank Mike the Situation and Pauly D and Vinny and Ronnie and Sammy and Jenni Jwoww and Nicole Snooki and even Angelina for giving me something ridiculous to look forward to each and every week. Drinking and fighting and drama and hook ups… nothing could be more different than what I go through every day. And for that, I thank them. Thank you Jersey Shore people!

Now that I got that off my chest…where was I?

Oh yes.

Saturday was a good day. A peaceful day that started out with my parents in the backyard with their huge truck. The thing about being half deaf is that you don’t notice these things until someone is banging on your locked door while you’re putting mascara on. Sometimes not being able to hear scares me, I admit it. For instance, someone’s car alarm was going off in the WalMart parking lot and I had to walk back to my car to see if it was mine (I have been known to hit that little red button on my keys by accident more than a few times) because I couldn’t tell where it was coming from. That and the fact that I walk like I’ve had a few beers for breakfast. My balance is for shit and I bang into walls constantly. I shouldn’t be driving but that can’t be helped until Olivia turns sixteen. Of course, at the rate Julian is going, he’ll likely be able to take a car apart by the time he’s ten so maybe he can drive me around.

But I digress…

My parents were in my backyard, covering the septic tank hole. It was an elaborate scheme they cooked up after they dug out the hole last week (I was too sick… not lazy) and decided they didn’t want to do it again next time. Watching them figure out a way to cover the hole without using the pile of dirt that had been removed would make anyone wonder if the effort was actually less than digging. The truth is, while I was watching them, I was really only thinking of how relieved I was to be fully dressed with make up on and clean hair styled reasonably well. I might be over thirty years old but I still don’t want my parents to know how late I sleep when the kids aren’t here. Pathetic? Yes. And I was a bit annoyed because they decided to use the top of my patio table to cover the contraption they built to cover the septic tank hole. I was using that table. Gr.

I spent Saturday doing nothing in particular. Watching old movies and creating bad art. I love making bad art. This weekend, I got into the oil pastels and ended up creating something that looked an awful lot like tye dye. I would post a picture of it but I don’t want anyone else to see it. That’s the thing about my art…I don’t make it to please anyone else. Just myself. My house is full of my paintings and weird creations and I love them, even if nobody else does. One of my favourite ways to spend a Saturday alone is on the living room floor with half a dozen canvases spread out all around me and a pile of paints. The lighting is shit which somehow makes the whole process better. I put on old movies that nobody will watch with me (hello! Nicolas Cage!) like nineties movies I used to watch as a teenager or Angela’s Ashes for the millionth time but with Frank McCourt’s voice over (I simply love his voice. It’s so soothing. I’ve been known to sleep on the couch with his speaking voice turned down low to put me to sleep. I didn’t know he had passed away until a few months ago. I’ve read all of his books and miss him even though I didn’t know him. There is just something really sad about a favourite author dying, isn’t there? I guess it’s knowing you’ll never read anything new by them again. I sure hope that Wally Lamb isn’t being called by the creator or feeling suicidal. That might put me over the edge…). And then I just let my hands run wild and paint whatever comes out of me without much rhyme or reason. The result is sometimes really ugly and sometimes not too bad (I have a set of three paintings in gold and black that I did a few months back and nearly every person who enters my living room comments on them. One of Julian’s workers asked me where I found them or who the artist was) but that is sort of irrelevant. I do it because I love it.

This is really why I can’t find a man, isn’t it?


The budget was really tight this weekend. Like super, super tight. As in, I returned some stuff to WalMart just so that I could have a little something (and I do mean little!) so that I wouldn’t spend the whole weekend drinking tap water and never leaving the house. My budget is often really tight, especially when it comes to kid-free entertaining mostly because I don’t like spending money on myself. So instead of sitting around and bitching and moaning because I don’t have any money, I take a twenty dollar budget and stretch the fucker to the very limits.

Hello Dollar Store!

The Dollar Store is one of my favourite places on earth. You can buy just about anything there and since the stock is ever changing, you never know what you’re going to find. I still can’t bring myself to buy actual food from there (when the ingredients aren’t listed in English, I get worried)…candy and chocolate don’t count…but everything else is fair game. So I took my twenty dollars and made it last and ended up with some new art supplies (paint and canvas and stickers and sticky mirrors) and some sticky butterflies that went up in my living room and some socks for Julian to try and some mittens for all three kids to tide them over until actual winter. I also got myself a mouse pad with Dora on it but it fucks up my mouse so that was a waste of fifty cents. They can’t all be winners, I guess.

And then there was more pastel on canvas and more bad art and more Jersey Shore. But no more Nicolas Cage. So, I need your help. I need a list of Nicolas Cage movies. If you can think of any, please list them in the comment section. And if you know Nicolas Cage…tell him I love him, okay?

posted on Oct 18, 2010 6:13 AM ()


I half-fell in love with Nicholas Cage in the City of Angels movie.
I feel your pain with the Meniere’s. I lost hearing in one ear, had BAD vertigo for 2 weeks, drove despite it because I had to, have tinnitus and popping in that ear, hear strange noises I can't place or figure out the direction it came from...
comment by crazylife on Oct 23, 2010 10:43 PM ()
It is so amazing how many people have this and I had never even heard of it until my great doctor told me. My Dad is half deaf...a lot of hearing loss on his side of the family. I had symptoms for ten years but didn't know what was happening and I only got worried when the vertigo and blocked ear happened about a year ago.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 24, 2010 12:21 PM ()
I understand much of this, as you know chica I too love the $ store. I also usually don't eat when nobody else is around and turn the heat off or down when it's just myself home (to save pennies). As much as I too love alone time, it hasn't completely stopped hurting to share the children and watch them leave. xo
comment by firststarisee on Oct 23, 2010 5:29 PM ()
I turn the heat down, too! And drink yucky tap water instead of the good stuff I buy. Good thing we don't spend alone time together, eh? We'd freeze and starve.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 23, 2010 6:27 PM ()
My, you do go on--and on and on! I guess it's therapeutic, eh? Have you ever seen "Moonstruck" with Cher and Cage? GREAT movie! I own 5 movies and that's one of them.
comment by solitaire on Oct 19, 2010 5:35 AM ()
You're right...I'm *far* too wordy.Maybe because most of the time I can't hear myself think and nobody in my house full of kids listens to me?So once I get going I can't stop...
reply by juliansmom on Oct 21, 2010 9:37 AM ()
sometimes I feel like a single mom! seriously, anything to do with Kota is left up to me. Which is cool since I love the little guy so so much. never watched jersey shore but I am addicted to House M.D. There is this Nicholas Cage movie where he is getting out of prison and he is on a plane full of convicts. will have to check what it's called, it's one of my favs.
comment by elkhound on Oct 19, 2010 4:26 AM ()
Mary!I have missed you and your Kota stories so much. And facebook rarely works for me I think because of my computer and Internet connection. They both suck. A lot. It is completely possible to feel like a single mom with a husband...I know I did for a long time before Troy left.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 21, 2010 9:38 AM ()
I think we may be soul sisters-lol. I love NIcholas Cage, not quite to your point of obsession, but he really is a cream cake .
I am a single mum of three as well and my guilty pleasure is America's Next Top Model (even though I am from the UK), I have downloaded all 15 season's of it and it is my pure escapism and guilty pleasure in my life.
I have to admit to having a bit (!) of a crush on Dr House-Hugh Laurie, he is just so, so damn sexy. This is the other show that I have watched until the cows come home, in fact I watch an episode every night to go to sleep to. Love his voice.
I feel your pain of the seperation with the children. My ex husband has the two little ones every weekend, they are very close in age, little monkeys, run me ragged but when dad comes to get them I am missing them within half an hour and can't wait for them to come home the following weekend.
Great blog, really enjoyed the read.
comment by cornishlass on Oct 19, 2010 2:24 AM ()
I'm really going to have to check out House.I wasn't really that much of a Nicolas Cage fan (I haven't seen him in much) until this weekend past. Celibacy will do that to a gal.It's always great to "meet" another single mother, especially of three (that doesn't happen often, does it? And other single moms have a hard time realizing the full impact of three to one). I hope to see more of you.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 21, 2010 9:41 AM ()
Janet, my husband has tinnitus and Meniere's. The first thing the doctor did was put him on a low salt diet. I have never heard of the medication Betahistine Dihydroc but will definitely look into it. Once he was diagnosed I was amazed at how many people have it. Since you are under so much stress, don't overlook the fact that shingles might play into this. Stress makes the shingles, tinnitus and Meniere's flare up with a vengeance.
comment by gapeach on Oct 18, 2010 7:54 PM ()
Shingles?!I wonder if the Beta Histine isn't availble in the US and only in Canada. I don't think I have a high salt diet but it's something I will definitely check out. Does your husband have break outs often? I seem to have clusters of them and then none at all for a long time which my doctor said is par for the course. The Vertigo was worse this time and that's what's really scary.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 21, 2010 9:45 AM ()
Pamper yourself any way you can. Since Linda has raised Eric for eighteen
years, I will get her email address for you. She might have some tips.
We don't e mail, we talk so I don't h ave it.
comment by elderjane on Oct 18, 2010 6:32 PM ()
That would be very nice of you.Thanks.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 21, 2010 9:35 AM ()
It's always interesting to read about what's on your mind. My two favorite Nicolas Cage movies are Red Rock West and Leaving Las Vegas.
comment by troutbend on Oct 18, 2010 2:32 PM ()
Thank you! I will look for those movies to rent on my next alone weekend.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 18, 2010 5:10 PM ()
My brother has Meniere’s Disease... what kind of meds do you take for it? He's not on anything, they recommended a low salt diet.
I hafta admit I have watched Jersey Shore and it DOES suck ya in - no harm no fowl on my account!
I think your weekends alone sounds great... While I am sure you miss your kids, I really think every mom needs some down time!!!
Nicolas Cage - He was in that movie with Meg Ryan, something about Angels - have you seen that one? I liked it.
And Wally Lamb - I am still trying to finish The first hour I believed... I looooved She's Come Undone, I don't think anything he's written since compares, but I do like him!!!
comment by kristilyn3 on Oct 18, 2010 1:17 PM ()
And I do know which Nicolas Cage movie you're talking about...City of Angels? Doesn't Meg Ryan die in that? I think I've seen it but it's been a while and is now on my movies to rent list for my next weekend off.Thanks!
reply by juliansmom on Oct 18, 2010 5:21 PM ()
She's Come Undone is probably my favourite book ever. Sometimes when I'm in between books, I re-read it.The Hour I First Believed is my second favourite by Wally Lamb and definitely worth finishing. It kind of picks up after all of the Columbine stuff (which I found very difficult to read).

I have never known anyone else with Meniere's! I know I shouldn't be excited about this fact because it sucks but most of the time people just look at me with a "huh?" expression because they've never heard of it. I take Betahistine Dihydroc (the brand name is Serc), 24mg, when I have a break out and it really does work. The pills aren't covered by my drug plan and cost a little over a dollar a pill (at two a day, it's a pricey habit!) but they do make a world of difference. Nobody ever told me to try a low salt diet...I think I'll look into that.

And thank you for not judging me about the Jersey Shore.I do love the Situation.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 18, 2010 5:17 PM ()
Sometimes we just need an escape like you have the Jersey Shore. Nothing to serious. Something to just sit back and enjoy.
I have so much respect for single parents. I was raised by a single mom (she was widowed), and I am amazed at what she was able to do for us.
comment by lunarhunk on Oct 18, 2010 8:08 AM ()
I didn't realize you were raised by a single mother, AJ. It's a tough, but rewarding road to hoe. And I can't imagine being your Mom and never getting any kind of break at all.

I am not sure anyone would look past the Jersey Shore addiction if you all knew that it's not the only thing I watch on MTV.I'm also addicted to Teen Mom.
reply by juliansmom on Oct 18, 2010 5:20 PM ()

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