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Are You There Santa? It’s Me, Margaret… A Holiday Round Robin

Preface: This is a holiday parody story, to be told Round-Robin Style. I’ll start us off. Please add a paragraph as you see fit in the comments. Let’s make each other laugh for the holidays!

A gift from Kate, Becky, and Stacey for the Holidays.

Happy Holidays

“Dear Santa, it’s me, Margaret” she said on her knees, prayer style because she already couldn’t understand, at 12, how a letter addressed, by snail mail, would reach the North Pole at all – with no zip code or anything, let alone by Christmas (only a week away). Why didn’t Santa publish an email address or have a website anyway? That’s what normal people do..

“Anyway, Santa, if you can hear me, cool, because I’ve been super good this year and only yell at my little brother when he deserves it and I really want a new tablet for Christmas with at least 1 gig of RAM and some Bluetooth headphones that will drown out my mom yelling at me to get off my tablet. Thanks Santa, Amen, or whatever…”

Having been raised a Secular Agnostic by college professors at Bryn Mawr, Margaret knew that the likelihood of Santa existing was probably nil but she *wanted* to believe so badly, she was willing to try anything….Plus her little 7 year old brother had gotten a light saber last year that made whooshing noises and everything even though she knew her parents hated Star Wars so maybe it *was* Santa? The movies all said so anyway.

She went out into the snow and made a snowball directing it at the nearby tree, when out popped something totally unexpected….

I leave it to you, Band, let’s make each other giggle by telling hilarious nonsense regaling Margaret’s belief or non belief in Santa…

6,217 Days

We were married for 17 years, 6 months, and 2 days.

Up until day 6,217, when he told me he wanted a divorce, I thought we were the happiest married couple ever. I said those exact words to my best friend when she tearfully called me to tell me she was considering leaving her husband. I told her that she deserved to be happy.

So, when my dear husband told me the same thing shortly after, I knew he didn’t deserve anything less.

Up until the last day of our marriage (day number 6,394), I thought the divorce wouldn’t actually happen. I couldn’t process the concept that WE – my husband and I – were not going to be married.

Even then, when I was sad and broken-hearted and disbelieving, I nutshelled it all

. I do that sometimes when I have trouble recollecting events – I pare the story down to basic facts and repeat it until it sinks in. In this case, it made me realize what a shocking and kind of hilarious story it is.

This version is a little more than the nutshell – context is important – but it’s still hard to believe. Plus, some parts were left out for too long and it’s important that I’m honest about them.

So, right – back story.

I met him on my first day of junior college and we became inseparable. A year and half later, he enlisted in the Army while I was moving to continue my education. I couldn’t stand to be apart from him, so I broke up with him.

Kids are stupid.

He showed up out of the blue, all crazy and romantic, two weeks later. I agreed to get back together with him. Two weeks later, we got engaged over the phone. We planned a wedding for eight months later – that April.

Happy, happy day! Huge family event. It stayed a huge family event for more than 17 years. We had three kids, one failed business, somewhere around a dozen moves – including one cross-country and back.

This is where I leave out one part.

Well, where I used to leave out one part. After child number three, our beloved baby girl, things went south.

Meaning, The South wouldn’t rise again. He started having trouble getting it up.

Then, it didn’t come up at all.

I thought we were strong. We were best friends. I really thought we’d be together forever. I even had his name tattooed on my ankle in a big flaming heart. (It’s covered up now. No worries.)

If we talked about our intimacy issues, he just told me I didn’t do something enough. I didn’t initiate enough. I wasn’t there for HIM enough. I wasn’t enough. We tried Viagra; it didn’t work. We had sex a total of four times during the last seven years of our marriage. I gave up.

I’ll skip ahead to tell you how this turned out.

Between leaving me and marrying her, he visited a doctor. For her.

It turns out that years of untreated diabetes shredded certain blood vessels. He had liquid Viagra injected into his penis (OUCH!) and it still didn’t work. He’ll never have another erection without surgery. I have no idea if he got it or if he intends to.

But bottom line there is, it wasn’t – and never was – my fault. I never told ANYONE about his situation downstairs until I had to.

It’s important.

That brings us to Year 16; two months shy of our 17th anniversary.

In February, he found his high school girlfriend on Facebook. She requested him as a friend. He was perplexed and flustered; he asked me a million questions.

Should he add her?

Was she still mad at him for breaking up with her?

Could they be friends?

I was calm. “Honey,” I said. “Oh honey. We’ve been married almost 17 years. We have three kids. We live two states away. She’s married. It’ll be fine. Be friends.”

Hahaha.

See how funny this story is already?

The emails, texts, and phone calls started immediately. At one point, I asked him to stop texting her. Emails were fine, stay friends on Facebook – just don’t text.

But I wasn’t built to be the text police.

So, you want to text? Fine. I trust you.

April was our 17th anniversary. We talked about having more anniversaries, staying married. I pushed for a quick answer; he said he wanted to stay together.

In May, there came a day he couldn’t stop pacing. Over and over I asked what was wrong. He couldn’t give me a clear answer.

I kept at it until he said the words, “I want a divorce.”

We both cried.

He moved out of the bedroom to the couch downstairs.

I cried. I howled. I screamed. At one particularly low moment, I was on my knees, sobbing, before him on the floor, while that stupid Sugarland song, “Stay,” was on the television.

divorce

He told me to stop; Just get up.

He didn’t want to talk. He didn’t want counseling. He was just done. Wanted his Facebook girlfriend.

At that point, he said she was still married; they were just friends. She “helped” him through this rough time.

In June, he took trips to meet her, the first in the city where we had our honeymoon because it was “more convenient.”

In July, I saw he’d been tagged in photos from a high school friend. We were still friends on Facebook. (I told you this story was funny.)

These photos were for his birthday party, to which I wasn’t invited, but there they were, arms around each other. Someone commented what a cute couple they were.

About that time, SURPRISE, I started dating. I’ll admit, I wasn’t just dating; I was down to fuck. After only having sex four times in seven years, I wanted some.

And I got some.

Never anywhere near my house – no one came over. He was still sleeping downstairs on the couch. He moved out in August.

At one point before our divorce, after he followed me to a park and took pictures of me partially naked and in an obviously sexual embrace with another man, he said, “You’ve got your get out of jail free card.”

At the time, I didn’t feel like our marriage had been a jail.

Of course, now I see that it was – we were both unhappy for a long time. Now, I’m thankful he gave me the card. When his business failed, we had to start over again and I didn’t see him the same way.

I lost respect for him, loving him a little less each day thereafter. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for him.

Our divorce was final in October.

At Thanksgiving, which our divorce decree states is always his holiday with the children, he took his girlfriend, her kid and our kids to his family’s holiday feast and announced their engagement.

They got married in January on the beach with our children in attendance. I made arrangements for him to take them out of state for the event. I bought clothes for them to wear. I spent hours convincing our eldest, then 16, to go with them. I thought I was helping our kids through the transition by accepting the situation and being positive about their relationship.

They’re still together. I don’t say negative things about them, not around the kids. Of course, I hate them.

If I could explode people with my brain, they’d be first on the list. Clearly.

Sometimes I look around this house we shared – our last home together – and it’s hard for me to think that he’s not here, that he’ll never set foot in this house again. That loss has left a scar on my heart. A sensitive one.

I’m still shocked. I don’t know that I’ll ever get completely over it. I’m taking a break from it right now, but I have happily dated A LOT.

Four guys I’ve dated have left me for their high school girlfriends. I started asking men if they were still in touch with their high school squeezes because if they were, they’d soon find those bitches irresistible.

I laugh about it – to hide my pain.

I’m broken, yeah. I’m working on doing better, on being better.

But now, I’m the one who’s laughing.

State of The Band Address: 2/4/19

Holy crapballs, it’s 2019 already. Kinda was feeling like January lasted at least 5 months – it just dragged and dragged.

Okay, so it’s (Aunt Becky) rocking the mike to tell you allllll the stuff that’s been going on since we resurrected The Band in June of 2018. It’s a lot: take what you need and leave the rest.

First, let’s start at the beginning:

With the help of Jess Green and now Rosalie, we managed to pull about 2000 posts from the Wayback Machine, to add to our archives. See – we lost any access to the old backend while I was homeless, so the only way we can get stuff added from the past is to copy and paste them into a new post. That’s why they’re all anonymous and may have comments from ages ago.

We’ve also been working to create a stable Board of Directors to manage this nonprofit properly, which means a whole ton of writing different (read: boring) things so that we’ve got our ducks in a proverbial row. I only wish we had REAL ducks, but alas, Nathan said no to my idea.

Ducks or none, I’m working on the page for the board of directors so you can meet us as well!

The resource pages are still my big baby, so I’ve been working on them as I can. I think I’ve done maybe a hundred so far? The reason this is draaggggiiiing on is because I’m auditing them and filling them with more information, and I’m still working with The Board to get our volunteer framework created.

Speaking of that? If you’d like to help out on and around the site, we really really do need your help. If you care to, please sign up here on this google document and you’ll hear from us soon.

Things worthy of note (that we’re in the process of fixing):

  • Links within the pages/posts – I know they don’t work. I’m thinking about possibly changing to a Wiki Plugin, but I’m PRETTY sure the name’s the beginning and the ending of my knowledge.
  • A new landing page and a more easily organized and intuitive way to use the site
  • Moving server hosts – we currently have three – I’d like to be down to one quite soon
  • Our developer is working to create a different layout with a new theme so that we can just paste it on up when we’re done
  • Getting our social media team sorted and organized
  • I personally am working to get gsuite for nonprofits for us, but it’s taken me 3 weeks so far, and nada
  • Forums for the site

And about a zillion other things I can’t quite remember.

This month, we have a bunch of different prompts for you guys (you do NOT have to use them – we accept all submissions. If you’d prefer to be anonymous, that’s fine, please go here.It’s also Black History Month, and we at The Band support diversity. We would appreciate any stories about discrimination (of any form) and anything else you’d like to discuss.

It’s heart health month, so we’d love any stories about any cardiac issues you or a loved one have been through, or maybe just a “here’s how I stay heart healthy.”

It’s also, on Band Back Together, Mood Disorders Month. I know a lot of us struggle with these (raises hand) and along with being isolating, mood disorders can make us feel alone. Let’s show everyone that they’re not alone.

Here are the resources I have created thus far for Mood Disorders (this will be added to this post as I eke out time for it):

Mood Disorders

Major Depressive Disorder

Living with Major Depressive Disorder

Bipolar Disorders

Living with Bipolar Disorder

Still Missing Resource Pages:

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Postpartum Depression

Dysthymia

It’s teen domestic violence month, which means that we’re asking for stories about those affected by teen violence.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD)

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder (Formerly Childhood Bipolar Disorder)

What else do you think the site needs?

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