Monday, April 28, 2014

So, you want to date one of my girls...

So, you've met one of my darling girls and now you think you want to take her out on a date. Maybe even more than one. I feel I should warn you. Dating one of MY girls may be a little different than what you would expect. You should also be warned that I consider my daughter and my niece equally important to me, so before you go any further, you should really take at look at these helpful little tips.

1. Fear is good.  Ah, fear. A parent's best friend. You might already know that Mr L is a Marine. He loves all his girls very much and he is just as protective as you think he might be. He also knows how to permanently remove you from the equation, make it look like an accident, and he already has a nice, long list of places to hide a body.

2. Make sure your fear is well placed. Mr L and his specific set of skills is certainly something to keep in mind, but he's not the one you should fear, yet (unless you've already done something to hurt one of our girls.) No, the first threat you should fear is Me. I am the first line of defense against little creeps who are up to no good. If I don't like you, you don't stand a chance. I won't ever come right out and say, "You're not allowed to hang out with so-and-so," but I have lots of other ways to make my disapproval known. Believe me when I say, if I don't want you around, you will know it.

3. Trust is better. If you want to spend time with one of my girls, it will be much easier if I trust you. I have to trust that you will protect my girl from any harm from others, and also that you will not ever be the one to harm her. Trust is not something that is given easily or quickly. You will have to gain my trust slowly, over time by showing me that you always have my girl's well-being forefront in your mind. If you are serious about wanting to see one of my girls, this lengthy trust-building will not be a problem for you because you already understand about things like trust and respect.

4. Respect is best. Respect is one of those complicated things that is hard to define, but is easy to recognize. You might say it is a combination of fear and trust. You should trust that I will make you fear me if any harm should come to one of my girls. There's more to it than that, though. Treating my girl as if she is the most important thing in the world is part of it. So is making sure the world knows that you value her in the only most respected way.

5. Show the right kind of affection. PDA (Public Display of Affection) is a fast lane to either earning my respect or losing any chance of seeing my girl again. When you are together in my presence it's ok to let my girl know you like her by holding her hand, for instance. Is is NOT ok to attempt to paw her like an animal or kiss her like they do in romance movies. That doesn't show respect for her as a girl or me as her parent. Even thinking about anything else beyond the kissing is clearly a bad idea (see rule number one.)

7. Value her as a person. Your actions and words will tell me very quickly if you truly value my girl the right way or if you are the type of person that objectifies females in the wrong way. I will not suffer the latter to hang around. My girls are all super smart with lots of unique interests. If you want her to like you, be prepared to ask about one of her many hobbies. Share your own with her. If you want ME to like you, be prepared to do the same. If you think that this is unnecessary, see rule number two.

8. Value her as a female. I know she is beautiful. She knows it too because I have been telling her that since the day she was born. Reminding her of this is perfectly fine, when done in a respectful way. For example, "You look amazing!" is good. Remarks referring to "sexiness"  or how "hot" she is are decidedly not good. Also, make sure to show that you respect and value your own female family members.Your comments and attitudes about your family are usually a reflection of the way you feel about women in general.

9. Value your relationship with her. Another way you will show her (and me) whether you value her is how you treat other women in your life and in public. Being disrespectful of other girls is a red flag for mothers who want the best for their girls. Ogling and and making crude comments falls into the "disrespectful" category. Participating in actions that don't support the idea that you are 100% devoted to my girl will get you a long walk down a short driveway.

10. I don't care what you look like or what parts you have. All I care about is how you treat her. Truly. This isn't a trick. Tall, short, tattooed, pierced, dark, fair, American, foreign born, baggy pants or tailored suit - it really doesn't matter to me. If one of my girls happens to prefer girls over boys, who am I to judge? I have taught my kids that people are people, and all people are valuable. However, regardless of your gender, the same rules still apply. Be yourself and be good to her, and we will always get along great.
After all, THE most important thing to me is my girl's happiness.

Deb "The Momma" Lollar

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Wall

I haven't written ANYTHING in a month. Since losing my job, I just haven't had the motivation to do anything. I KNEW it was coming. It wasn't a surprise. You would think that I would be a little more...desensitized to getting fired by now. But no. You might also think I would have learned a better way to deal with the depression that always follows, but I haven't got that figured out either. The last six weeks have been a long string of uninteresting days followed by unremarkable nights. My brain feels like a cross between jello and oatmeal without all the interesting bits of fruit floating around. I haven't followed followed my routines hardly at all. I'm showering whenever I get around to it, getting dressed sometime during the day, going to bed later and later, and sleeping in most mornings. The weather has been cooperative so I haven't needed to get up early to drive the teenagers to school, thank goodness. Most days I let everyone walk home as well. Budgeting, meal planning, routines... whatever. Stuff just isn't getting done.

I'm sure I will get everything together and figure out what I'm going to do soon, but not today. This can't last forever, right? The very fact that I am sitting in my closet-turned-office (affectionately referred to as the Cloffice) is a sign that I am doing better. Just being in here before now has been a reminder of the fact that I used to work from here, but I don't anymore. My brain keeps wanting to beat me up for being a total failure, and so I've been doing my best to avoid anything that triggers that kind of thought.

All I can do is be so very thankful for the understanding, patience, and hard work of my husband. Since his promotion at work he's been working his tail off. Thankfully, that also means more money so my lack of job isn't as big a deal as it once was. Also, I just finished paying off my car, so that makes a huge difference as well. Things balance out.

So far, I haven't used my free time to catch up on the laundry, or scrub out the refrigerator. I've only gotten a few pieces of bead work done in the last month. The days are pretty much spent sleeping or reading or doing other things that are a complete waste of time. The evenings are better, because I have the kiddos around. I might be spending the majority of the days in bed, but the evening hours are making up for it. Still, there are so many things that really need to be done. I'm walking a fine line between feeling guilty about not doing anything, and forcing myself to do too much at once and burning myself out.

I think I might have reached a turning point tonight, though. Nothing huge happened. No major epiphany or kick in the pants has occurred. Suddenly, I just felt that I had rested enough. I'm not making any big plans for tomorrow or anything, but there is a spark in me that has finally made itself known. I guess the last six weeks or so was my time to heal and recover. Now it is time to begin to build my strength back up. I won't be back to normal for awhile, but I believe I will finally start to get better. Sure, it's almost bedtime, but that's ok. Instead of feeling like I'm wasting more time, I'm going to think of going to bed as a way to recharge for tomorrow.

Tonight, I'm going to feel proud of myself for doing as much as I can. It isn't as much as I want, but I have to be satisfied that it is all I am capable. Tomorrow will be better.
It always is.