Thursday, January 19, 2012

How Do You Deal?

Bad drivers.  We've all seen them.  It's not unusual to witness one.  Some of you might even be one.  Shh,  I won't tell.  Some are the pushy drivers who get right on your tail or swerve around you at breakneck speeds cutting within inches of your bumper and barely squeezing between you and the car in the lane next to you in the attempt to save a few minutes.  Some are the bad drivers who change lanes without looking, can't stay in their lane to save their lives, or are attempting to eat, put on their makeup, or talk on the phone while driving, sometimes all three.  Some are the inconsiderate drivers who don't use their blinker as they cut across four lanes of traffic, won't let you in when you need to merge or change lanes, or cut in front of a line of cars who are stopped simply to avoid waiting in line.  All of them piss me off for various reasons, but most of the time they are just nameless drivers I just grump and grumble at and move on with my life.

My dilemma today comes from a bigger problem.  What happens when they are no longer nameless faces?  What do you do when you get next to a car with a woman in it who is driving ten miles under the speed limit in the fast lane, is putting on her makeup and talking on the phone, and has been driving with her blinker on for five minutes and you realize she lives around the corner from you?  Or when the guy who needed so badly to get in front of you instead of pulling in to the large empty space behind you that he almost took a chunk out of your bumper and gave you the finger in the process and then he turns in to your work and you end up walking in the building at the same time?  Or that lady who needed so badly to get that parking spot that was one row closer then the rest of the parking spots that she didn't yeild at the end of the row and came within millimeters of side-swiping your car?  What do you do? 

I've considered all of the usual impluse-related options.  Sending the neighbor a message on facebook telling her that I'm willing to provide her with free driving lessons.  Hitting the co-worker in the face with the door on my way in to the building.  Slashing the tires of the idiot lady in the parking lot.  None of those seem like good options, and all could prove to be disastrous in their own ways.  So how do I deal with it?  I come home and blog about it.  Productive, yes?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chivalry Is NOT Dead

Cory will probably kill me for posting this story.  Unfortunately for him, this is my blog to share my thoughts and I don't think he has the password.  Tee Hee.  Maybe I should change it just to make sure.  I would like to preface this story by thanking Cory's family for raising him the way they did.  He amazes me every day with how thoughtful and kind he is to everyone, regardless of if he knows them or not.  He is always holding doors open for other people, picking things up for people who drop them, and pretty much just awesome-ly helping people in need.  Today I saw just how far he was willing to go to make life better for someone else.

I don't know about other people, but standing out in the below freezing cold and wind we had today for half an hour was NOT my idea of a good time.  There was some malfunction in the sprinkler system in one of the outlying sections of our building at work and it triggered the fire alarm.  We evacuated, the fire trucks came, and we got to stand there and listen as they painstakingly cleared each floor of our massive building.  Lucky me, however, I was not one of the approximately 75 people who had been in the cafeteria at the time and didn't have time to go back to their desks to get their coats.  Cory and I had just been debating going to lunch, but decided to wait.  I am SO glad we did. 

One of the not so lucky people was this cute little newlywed on my former team who has become good friends with Cory and I.  We ran in to her outside the building, and she had turned a quite scary shade of purple in just the few minutes we had been out there.  I felt bad for her, but I knew if I gave up my coat I would be trading situations with her in a matter of minutes.  I am a big wimp when it comes to cold.  Cory didn't think twice about it.  He took off his coat and wrapped it around her, convincing her to put it on as she protested.  He said they could share it back and forth and she could keep it until he got cold.  He then proceeded to jump up and down and move around so that he wouldn't get cold.  He let her keep his coat the whole time we were out there. 

I know he didn't do it for any kind of recognition.  He would have done the exact same thing if it was just the two of them out there.  It's just the kind of guy he is.  It made me fall in love with him all over again which is a pretty regular occurrence and I was amazed all over again at how great of a person he is.  I love him so much, and I'm so lucky he's mine. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Little Things

It's amazing the little things that can make life seem so perfect.  Lately, I've been focusing more on paying attention to these things.  Waking up every morning with Cory next to me.  Cooking dinner for my family and having us all sit down together to eat it.  Watching Phillip and Lexie take turns "flipping" with Cory and watching him wrestle with them and tickle them until they can't breathe.  The last couple of days, the best little thing has been something I thought I would never get to experience.

I knew from the time Phillip was very little that he would never be a typical "little boy".  Play time with him was something that normally has to be forced, making him come out of his world and working to get him to interact with ours.  I remember when we first started play time therapy and thinking "yeah, right" when they said we needed to attempt to get him involved in a game with us.  Things as simple as rolling a ball back and forth or playing together with toys normally ended with one or both of us crying in frustration.  For all purposes, Lexie has pretty much been an only child.  She hasn't really had anyone to play with, and she's pretty much left by herself when it comes to play time.  Lately, this has changed.

It all started about three days ago.  Since we cleaned Lexie's room on Christmas she has done an excellent job of keeping it clean.  As a result, there is hardly anything in there that Phillip can destroy.  She has started asking if Phillip can come in and play with her.  I was worried about it at the beginning, a fear that ended up being justified as he pulled down one of her shelves with all of her breakable treasures on it, but she has learned what to keep him away from.  More importantly, she's learned how to PLAY with him.  Yesterday they played on her DS for about an hour, and she said he was actuallly able to score some points.  For the most part, he was happy to just be cuddled up with her watching her play.  Today, they danced to her music for about half an hour, and then had a picnic with the plastic set Cory's mom got his kids for Christmas last year. 

The sounds coming from her room warm my heart in a way I can't even describe.  Phillip's joyous shrieks as they dance around; Lexie singing along to her music and Phillip attempting to mimic her; jumping, bouncing, and playing in ways that are completely foreign to this house; and real, good, belly laughs from Phillip as he enjoys getting to play with his sister.  He is happier then I have ever heard him, and Lexie seems to be too.  It's so amazing to hear them play together, and to watch them both trot up the stairs after dinner with no hesitation from either.  I know this phase probably won't last forever, but I am going to take advantage of it for as long as I can.  I couldn't ask for a better play-time "therapist". 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

One in the Win Column

After months and months and months of countless hours spent in courtrooms and lawyers offices and nothing turning out exactly the way we thought they would, we finally have one case that we can officially put in the win column.  Tuesday, Cory and I met with our lawyer to go over some paperwork that Lovely Ex's lawyer had sent, and while we were there we handed over all the evidence I've gathered on when and how Delinquent Ex and I separated so he could continue on in my garnishment case.  Apparently, it takes a lot to prove that.  I had gotten everything I could think of.  It turned out to be harder than I thought it would be to prove. 

When we separated everything was in my name.  Delinquent Ex didn't have a job and hadn't for way longer of a length of time then I should have let him get away with so everything was in my name.  Bank accounts that had been massively overdrawn, the mortgage on the house we almost foreclosed on, the car that got reposessed, absolutely everything we had showed me as the one responsible for it.  As a result, my credit score was so low I couldn't start over at all.  I wasn't able to get an apartment, a cell phone, a bank account, anything that would be MINE.  My parents let me move in with them, and my dad signed for everything I would need to be able to start over.  It wasn't  much, just a bank account for my money to go in to and the support of having a place to live while I got back on my feet.  But, as a result, I had no bills or bank statements or anything for the first two years after our separation showing that I was living at that address.  All I came up with to provide to the lawyer were sworn and notarized letters from my dad and Delinquent Ex's mom, the registration papers for Phillip's school he started going to right after we moved in, and the change of address form I submitted at work.  Luckily, it was enough.

Our lawyer had a conference call with the lawyer from the collection agency on Thursday, and afterwards his receptionist called to give us the good news.  The other attorney had not so graciously agreed to remove my name from the case as I should not have been financially responsible for what turned out to be dental work Delinquent Ex had done over a year after we separated.  It was a HUGE relief.  He agreed to give us back the remainder of the money that had been garnished out of my paycheck, and I don't have to worry about it coming back on me again.  Lesson learned, I will now pay attention to all collection notices I receive, even if they don't have my name on them. 

Hopefully, our good luck streak continues.  We have a scheduling conference at the end of the month in Cory's case with Lovely Ex.  This is the BIG one.  We filed a petition to modify to have our child support, visitation, and a lot of the other useless crap that she put in the divorce papers examined.  I'm really hoping this one can move quickly and we can have good results in this case.  We figure it really can't get any worse when it comes to what we are paying, so even if we only win a little of what we are going for it'll be a big help.  We will be keeping our fingers crossed.