By Melissa Mensavage
For the last few months I’ve felt stretched very thin. No solid focus on any one thing. No completion of a task fully.
I hate unfinished projects or tasks. I mean literally, I’ll wash half of the dishes. Or get one of three loads of laundry done.
Is this motherhood in general? Or is this single motherhood?
Either way, its driving me crazy.
A perfect example is the due date for my writing. It comes every month and its on my mind, but a three year old and an 18 month old suck the life out of me playing referee. Mind you, we are getting better at playing together, but that is only roughly 15% of the time.
I love this task. This lets me take what is on my mind and in my life and put it into words. LOVE IT!! Brandy has been very kind, and I swear I will do my best every month to be on time. I know as a mother she gets it, but as an editor … she has a responsibility to get content published to keep her readership.
They say raising a child takes a village … or whatever the saying is. I’ve been trying to do it all on my own lately because I feel like I rely too much on my village. I don’t want to burn that bridge for when I REALLY need them. So here I am doing all of the doctors appointments with two kids, referee, illnesses, parties, household chores, etc, all on my own. And I guess that is why I am stretched so thin.
Will this burn me out? I am pretty sure of it. When? Don’t know. I do know that I am seeing the signs – I’ve been yelling at the kids quite a bit lately. I hate that I yell. Or I get frustrated with the fact that they don’t know everything. (I mean how stupid is that? They are kids, babies still and they shouldn’t know everything!)
As you can see this post is short this month because I am multi-tasking my passion for writing with my passion-less job. Need to cut it short so I can make sure I still collect a paycheck and have insurance.
Maybe someday in the near future I’ll be able to focus again, or maybe this is the new way of life. I am so unfocused right now I cant even come up with a closure to this jumbled post.
Happy Holidays everyone.
(Where’s the egg nog?)
At the end of this month I will have what I hope to be my final appointment with my doctor for my post-partum depression diagnosis I had received after I gave birth to my youngest son, Theo. Eighteen months of periodic check-ups with my primary care physician, bi-weekly therapy appointments and countless mornings where I forced myself out of bed.
I had no clue I would ever suffer from such severe depression. I had mentioned previously that I had situational depression episodes throughout my life but nothing a night out with friends drinking my sorrows away didn’t cure. Or a few weeks time of eating and watching sappy romantic comedies. Though neither of those solutions would have worked in this case.
My world was black. My thoughts were fuzzy. I couldn’t comprehend too much. I was in care-taker mode of an infant and a two year old. I didn’t sleep. I cried. A lot. And then I cried some more. I hated myself. I hated my kids (oh do I have guilt for that). I hated the world. I hated that I wasn’t married.
My mother and I fought constantly. She was trying to help me, and I was being a perfect bitch. She comes from an era where you either just deal or you brush it under the rug. She didn’t get it why I was so crazy. So when I showed up at her house, sobbing, to drop off Max so I could go to the doctors, I think she might have gotten it then. I know she was concerned.
And during this whole time – this first 4 weeks of Theo’s life, all I said to myself was, ‘What have I done?’. What had I done to my family dynamic? What had I done to bring this kid into the world – who is not perfect in my eyes (yes, of course he was he just wasn’t what I knew – Max.).
About a year prior to this I sat in my fertility doctor’s office saying to him with confidence I wanted to try for another baby. He smiled and said, ‘fantastic!’. I smiled knowing in my heart this is what was right for me and my life. I got pregnant after the first try. I was shocked, I had expected it to take a bit longer. I was then excited and felt SO blessed beyond means. Little did I know about the change that would occur when I brought Theo home from the hospital. When people ask how it went, or how it was going, I was honest. It was hard. It was a huge change for all of us.
Yet, we made it. We made it through the tough parts. I started taking an anti-depressant after my initial appointment. I started feeling better about three days after that. Therapy helped. Getting some sleep made it even better. I started to research this diagnosis on the internet. (A big fat no-no.) Women die from this. For some reason they couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I pray for them. I pray for their children. I am thankful everyday that those types of thoughts NEVER crossed my mind.
Its been a rough October for us. We were plagued with illness after illness. The boys are finally healthy. Though I had a pretty bad case of bronchitis, and now an ear infection, I feel great. I feel happy. I am SO thankful for my two beautiful boys. Life is good.
I never could comprehend why people would take their own lives. I never understood why they didn’t think they were worthy of living. After the black period I experienced, I now get it. It breaks my heart to know that people don’t feel worthy. I wish a hug would help. And maybe it does in some situations. So to anyone who might be feeling this type of pain or know of any one, you are worthy. You belong here.
By Evie Peck
Have you ever run into someone you used to know and they aren’t nice to you?
My friend Marie just told me that happened to her. She ran into someone she had known for a period of time who pretended she didn’t remember her and at first I was like, “Ugh, what a bitch.” And then I remembered… ooops. I did that, not too long ago. It had nothing to do with the woman I ran into – it was all about me.
I was in my baby class, feeling a little nervous about being the only single pregnant woman in the room. I tried to exude confidence and security. Fake it till you make it. I reminded myself how excited and happy I was and it didn’t matter what any of these expecting couples thought of me.
As I was relaxing a bit, a very pregnant woman came up to me. “Evie! Hi, remember me from high school? I’m Tanya Lester? I was a few years younger.”
OK. First of all, reminding me that I’m so old was off putting and second of all now I’m reminded how high school Evie didn’t have a boyfriend, didn’t really even date and felt weird about it – it was as if I was the same single person. When I was 17 assumed I’d have a conventional family and a successful acting career…. Would Tanya think I’d failed at both? Was I a failure? I felt like a total freak.
All of a sudden, I felt defensive, like I had to prove that I was better than old high school Evie… except, was I?
“Oh, hi,” I said, in a distant, bitchy tone, as if I didn’t remember her but I was humoring her and being friendly to a stranger. So many levels I was playing – (I was such a good actress.) I remembered Tanya. I didn’t know her well, but under other circumstances, I certainly would have been more friendly. My instinct was to act cool and I guess, superior – like I was so awesome and successful, I didn’t have room in my brain for old high school acquaintances. I needed to feel stronger, so I was a bitch.
She introduced her husband and asked me when I was due. We were due days apart. I was distant and well, bitchy. I just really shut it down. I just kind of nodded and didn’t say much and let her feel foolish as she tried to bring up ways I might remember her.
I didn’t want her to see I was scared or think I was a failure or feel sorry for me.
For the strangers in the class, it didn’t matter so much what they thought of me, but this girl knew me in high school. I wasn’t prepared for that.
Maybe I missed an opportunity to have another playmate for my son.
I guess the real point of this story is if someone you know is rude or bitchy to you – it’s probably not about you… it’s about them.
That was over two and a half years ago. I was a different person back then; so excited but also scared and nervous. I was learning how to be a Mom Solo and what that meant to me.
Being solo isn’t such a huge scary thing anymore at all. I don’t really give it much thought – except when I blog.
Now, it’s all about my son. It’s all about being nice, setting a good example and making the world a wonderful place for him to live in. I don’t have too much time to worry about what people think of me. I like it like that!
Photo credit: www.maracaseyshoots.com
By Melissa Mensavage
Since I was eight, I’ve split my time between my mother and my father. My parents divorced and we had the standard visitation schedule – every other weekend and one night a week. And to this day, I still get a pit in my stomach when my dad leaves from our visit.
Over the weekend Dad was in for a visit with me and the boys. I loved having him here with us, spending together and more importantly he and the boys building a relationship. So when he left on Sunday to head over to my brother’s, I teared up. I didn’t want him to go. I wanted to tell my brother, go home and Dad is staying here. But of course, out of fairness to Dad, I let him spend time with my brother and his family.
Today is his actual departure day. I texted him to see how he was doing and say I miss him. Its been on my mind all day that he is leaving. The pit in my stomach has been here. I am teary. I hate this.
I think its been around 35 years my parents have been divorced, maybe 34. I don’t know…who cares at this point, its just been a long time. I had no clue this feeling would stay with me into adult life. It could also explain why I am not a jovial person when he is here because I know he is going to leave and it’ll be a while before I see him again.
Now, I know as an adult, and a traveler, after so many days of not sleeping in your bed, living out of suitcase and interrupting routines (not intentionally), its time to go home. And you want to go home. I totally get it. Someday I will share the public meltdown I had as an adult in the middle of Singapore because I was exhausted from traveling. Quite embarrassing but reality.
This pit in my stomach solidifies my decision of being a single mother by choice. I don’t want my boys to have to choose. I don’t want my boys to have this sinking feeling of sadness when they cant be in both places at once. I see families in my neighborhood do the Sunday night drop-off and I am quickly reminded of mine.
I would get so stressed out about the drop-off, I started this rocking thing in the backseat of the car. I would sit and rock back and forth, almost in a manner of personality disorder. While doing this I would escape. I would think of everything but what was going to happen – the hugs goodbye, the sadness in my dad’s eyes, the I love yous. Killed me.
So yes its been killing me lately with the ‘Where’s my Dad?’ questions from Max. But honestly, I’d rather say ‘We don’t have one, its just you, me and Theo’, than have them go through that drop-off, sharing, torn experience. Its not fun, whatsoever.
Neither situation is perfect – divorced with children, or conceiving children with an unknown donor to raise by yourself. But I had a choice, and luckily I am able to break the sadness cycle.
… Summer comes to a close.
I usually write about the struggles or experiences I have as a single parent, but this time I want to show you that we are a happy family. I tend to forget this when in the thick of parenting, when I am the bad cop and I am walking around the house like a screamin’ meamie because the house is a disaster or if one more fruit fly comes out of the kitchen sink drain I am putting a bomb in it. (kidding of course)
So in between all of that, and even as I sit here and write this on Labor Day morning I can hear my two boys upstairs talking to each other in bed, we have a lot of laughs, smiles and fun. Here, have a look.
We went to the local pool with a giant sandpit, where I learned I need to work on my sandcastle building skills. We explored a local park with our cousins. Then we went on our first hike together (man I missed this activity!). We enjoyed fresh fruit smoothies almost every day and learned that Theo can photo bomb with the best of them! Theo’s choice dessert was teddy grahams and left over blue frosting. And finally we had a sole flower in the yard so Max made an End of Summer Wish. It was a good summer indeed.
And you can see we do a lot of things together. When I am away from work I hardly ever spend any time by myself unless its 4:30/5:00 in the morning where I get up just to veg and plan my attack on the day. And maybe this contributes to the screamin’ meamie but the guilt of being away from them kills me. Just yesterday Max got dressed all by himself. I stood in the kitchen and rewarded him and had a little of relief but it hit me, he is growing up. No more little sweet boy. Now he is a boy who likes to wrestle and play with trains, can go to the bathroom all by himself and get himself dressed.
I will be honest, its great that the boys are gaining their independence, frees up time for us to do fun things. This internal struggle I have I am pretty sure does not go away, hence why I rarely do anything now. I figure when they are older and I have much more time to myself I’ll be able to date, have dinner with friends, read a book, etc. And I will know when we do our seperate activities we will all be happy.
By: Evie Peck
The other day we went to gym class. I LOVE our gym class and more importantly, so does Spenser.
During some structured (yet unstructured) play with blocks, a more aggressive boy kicked Spenser after S knocked down his tower. Spenser’s favorite thing to do… knock down stuff. ANY stuff! I’d told him not to knock down the other kids’ towers, but the teachers were building towers for the kids to knock down and… well, it was confusing. And so he got kicked. Not hard, but still, it was not good.
Spenser looked at me with that what just happened? expression and my stomach dropped and I panicked. I looked at the boys mom and she was talking to someone else, and had missed it.
I thought of my wonderful readers Madgew, Jebhow515 Dean B Naima who gave me such great comments on MINED - giving me support, encouraging me to push through and not worry about my son becoming an aggressive kid from these interactions.
It’s funny, but I nannied and babysat and taught kids for 16 years. The girls I nannied – five different girls over 13 years- I really didn’t deal with much of this kind of conflict. Is it because I was dealing with girls? It was more about bruises and bumps than aggression. This is new to me.
Thinking of my readers, I said, “Spenser, he shouldn’t have kicked you.” I wanted to say something to the boy, but instead, I passively said, “He should say he’s sorry.”
“Yeah,” Spenser said and turned back to blocks.
The boy ran away.
I leaned over and told one of the teachers what had happened. “You can tell his mom,” she said. I looked over and all the boys were playing happily. I felt like the opportunity passed me by. The teacher didn’t witness it so she couldn’t intervene.
I thought about my lovely reader Naima’s comment on my entry MINED: make friends with the parents. Yes! If only I had made friends with the mom I could have said, “Hey Sue, Justin just kicked Spenser,” instead of me freaking out like a scaredy cat. This group is usually on top of their kids, but sometimes they aren’t.
I knew I should have taken charge of that situation a little better. A kid kicked my son and I didn’t know what to do. Maybe I handled it alright. I know that this is part of growing up. Me growing up, I mean.
After the class, I talked to the owner of the gym. She encouraged me to speak up to the other parents and to keep empowering Spenser with the right words – “Don’t kick me,” or “I don’t like that.” I know this. Why didn’t I remember this? She also encouraged me not to have Spenser just avoid these aggressive kids – “You don’t want him to feel like a victim.” she said.
I agree. I don’t want to leave this great gym class just because of one boy. So… I started up a friendly conversation with his mom, after class.
Today, it was one of those perfect times to go to the aggressive kid library. I decided to go and not be victimized. I walked in, armed with the phrases “Tell him you are still playing with it” (in case of a grab) “Tell her you’d like a turn next” (in case of a non sharer) and “Tell him you don’t like to be pushed.” etc. I took a deep breath and we went in.
Kids pretty much left S alone and he did his own thing and we played with puppets a bit.
There was one indecent of a boy not playing with a truck that S wanted and then grabbing it when S touched it. The boy was like 7. “Tell the boy you’d like a turn, please,” I coached.
“I turn pweeze,” S repeated.
The boy reluctantly handed it over. He wasn’t using it anyway. I was elated even though Spenser played with it for 10 seconds.
There was one girl who grabbed a pretend pretzel out of S’s hand but the mom was right there and told her not to grab and gave it back to S.
It was good. I felt better… but I know it’s still a process.
Thank you for your comments and help. You guys are awesome!
By: Melissa Mensavage
Is this career burn-out, just plain ol’fashioned boredom or a midlife crisis?
I sit here at my desk in an office cubicle that has beige walls. I hear the pounding of keyboards all around me. People are huddled by the coffee machine, moreso now that the company has decided to offer free coffee, albeit crap coffee. The world is gray in my eyes. People are overweight here in corporate America because they sit all day long. People are grumpy for having to do the same thing day in and day out. People are always rushing in from being late due to traffic or oversleeping, and rushing to leave to get to their next activity whether its with kids, parents or the couch.
I started in corporate America right after college because I needed a job and health insurance. And things just evolved since then. Being so ‘I need to find Mr. Right’ focused, I never took an interest in my career. Then my thirties hit and still no Mr. Right, though one failed marriage was behind me, I threw myself into my job. However, I still viewed it as a job, and not something I was passionate about. I traveled the world, something I was passionate about. Then I became a mother, still with no Mr. Right around.
So I sit here today, most likely bored out of my mind with the mundane of corporate America. I am done sitting at a desk. I am done with staring at a computer for eight hours a day. Yet, I am locked to this desk and computer because of my chidlren. How can anyone make a career change with children? And on a sole income?
I bet people do it all the time. I bet people throw caution to the wind and jump. My analytical and practical self cannot do that. I chose to be a single parent on my own without a partner. That means no breaks from the boys, as in every other weekend or one night a week. That means I am the sole provider for the boys. That means I need to make sure I have health insurance for them, and myself, and other benefits to keep everyone safe and secure.
That also means, corporate job for now. It is here that I can get those necessities.
Yet, every day as I drive to work I feel an empty feeling in my stomach and my heart. This isn’t what I was meant to do. Recently I had a conversation with my sister about jobs and what I was meant to do kind of slipped out. I wasn’t expecting it, it wasn’t something I was hiding, but it just surfaced.
Early childhood education, preschool or working with the elderly in senior centers or nursing homes.
Working with people.
I Googled salaries for those types of careers and estimated starting salaries would put me in a poverty situation. I wouldn’t make enough to cover my necessities, especially with two children. And I am torn, why cant I have the job I love? Why cant I be doing what I really want to do? Is it true that things find a way of working out when doing something you love?
I don’t know the answers to those questions and I am not sure if I’ll ever find out – probably by choice because I am too chicken to jump. Knowing at the end of the day when I leave my desk and I get to walk to the other side of the company campus to pick up the boys, this is worth it. My commute home with them in the backseat and we talk about the day or what we are going to do when we get home, worth it.
As a parent, you have to make hard choices all day long. For me, one of them right now is to be in a job that I am not passionate about. A sacrifice I am willing to make for my two boys.
By: Evie Peck
I was at my friend Kelly’s party; mostly moms and kids. I didn’t really know anyone there. Spenser was the youngest kid by far so I watched him as he played happily by himself.
Kelly introduced me to some of the moms and at one point told them, “Evie has a great blog.” The moms seemed interested, “It’s a single mom blog,” Kelly told them.
“Oh! Terrific! I should tell my single mom friend about it,” a woman named Anna said, as she walked over to me.
“Yeah, great,” I said, expecting her to ask for the name of my blog.
“I’m a single mom… only for a few months, anyway,” Anna said with a laugh. “I know that’s not the same.
I smiled and shrugged. I didn’t really care if it was the same or not. If it feels hard to her to be on her own for a few months, who am I to tell her she doesn’t feel “single” … because I don’t actually feel single. I forget all the time that the norm is to have two parents. And also, I’m not a martyr about it; I really don’t need people saying “you’re so brave,” or “I admire you” or “It must be so hard” or whatever.
I CHOSE this because I wanted to be a mom.
“My friend just adopted a baby,” Anna explained. “She adopted as a single mom.”
“Yeah, I chose to be a mom on my own too,” I told her. I said it with enthusiasm, to encourage her to pass my blog along to her friend. I expected her to ask for my blog name now, but instead, she said:
It took me a few moments to register her tone; sarcastic.
Not like: “I can’t have toppings on my frozen yogurt because my teeth are too sensitive to chew them… What fun,” kind of sarcastic.
More like: “My house burned down, I’m filing for bankruptcy and my dog is lost… What fun.” Like the worst.
As soon as her judgment sunk in, I responded as calmly as I could… “Well, you know, I’ll bet you at times, it’s easier than having a partner.”
She seemed taken aback, “Well, huh,” she laughed in a it’s not funny way, “I guess… But you have nothing to compare it to.”
Weird. Why did this woman need me to know that she thought choosing to be a single mom was so horrible? I had to assume Anna was having some kind of struggle with her husband; maybe she was secretly jealous of my freedom.
“True,” I said. I said it as cheerily as I could. “I’ve got nothing to compare it to.” I’d had lots of boyfriends but I’d never co parented.
“It’s nice to be able to hand your child off once in a while,” Anna said… in kind of an angry way.
“I guess,” I smiled, walking away. Why get into a thing with her? I never really felt like I needed to hand my son off. I figure out ways of getting stuff done.
A few minutes later I overheard Anna talking to the other moms about their friend’s new boyfriend, “Where did they meet?” Anna asked.
“At a bar,” a woman answered.
“Oh. Well at least that’s better than on the internet.”
WHAT??? I mean, yes, I had no luck on the internet but some people do. It’s not a whorehouse. It’s just OK Cupid.
So judgy, that Anna. I didn’t understand her need to critique single people and their choices. Maybe she was just very angry at her husband for leaving her alone with their child for a few months.
I decided to let her have her judgment and to not care about it. She didn’t need to understand why I love my life, and why it actually, it IS fun.
By: Melissa Mensavage
Will this ever end? Or is this cyclical like the seasons? Because when this started up again, I became rather annoyed with it.
I’ve written about sleep training with my oldest, Max, a couple of times previously. He was just a baby and a toddler and we had a bad habit of sleeping in my bed. I did break it. Then we had this awesome long stretch of him sleeping all by himself in the crib.
Then my youngest, Theo, came along and I took Max out of the crib and put him in a twin bed. Thankfully I was smart and transitioned him before the baby arrived, though it was a rough month or so. Once Theo arrived, we had some adjustment issues altogether, so I was patient (or as much as I could be with post-partum depression).
Fast forward a year and now that Max is potty trained he’s gotten the idea of getting up in the middle of night and going to the bathroom – KUDOS!! to him for recognizing that while sleeping. However he has to come into my room and tell me. Then there are the nights when he doesn’t make it to the bathroom and the bed is wet. When I check it I am so tired I just tell him to get in my bed and go back to sleep.
I should be changing sheets at 2, 3 in the morning??? I probably should be. But I don’t. Any maybe I might start. See, I can’t even make a decision on this.
Have you noticed that Theo has not even made an appearance in this conversation about sleeping? In his crib by himself, without waking throughout the night? Yeah, he’s my sleeper, has been since he was 7 weeks old. (Is it bad I called him my favorite in my PPD?)
What kills me is the crying. It killed me back then, still kills me now. And I know why they do it, they just want to be with me, but I need my rest. I cant be a happy single parent who handles everything possible – job, chores, parenting – if I don’t get my rest. I do send Max back to bed most nights and he will cry or stall (saying, ‘I have one question.’) and then I get annoyed with him. Then I get annoyed with myself for getting annoyed with him.
All the waking up makes Max a very tired boy, so he takes a pretty decent nap during the day. This then causes a later bedtime. Another vicious cycle. Just thinking about all the changes I need to make makes me want to go back to bed and pull the covers over me.
I can do it. I can get back my evenings to myself. I can have a peaceful bedtime routine (did I ever mention that bedtime is almost a nightmare and I dread it?). This is tough for any parent – single or married. I think its just a bit harder for a single parent because there is no one to trade nights with or basically help. Did I know about this when I became a single parent? No. Would it have swayed my decision? No. These two little people are the absolute joys of my life – sleeplessness and all.
Time for another cup of coffee.
By Evie Peck
When I was about 29, my best friend from high school, Tia, set me up on a date with Bradley, a guy from her husband’s work. Tia was obsessed (as only a best friend can be) with the fact that I wasn’t close to finding a husband and starting a family. She had a one year old son and she was very happy with her new family. “What are you going to do when you are older and single and want to have kids?” she asked… like she was some kind of fortune teller or something.
We decided we would double date. We all met at a Bandara; Tia and her husband, with a sleeping child in a car seat carrier and me with my best game face and Bradley.
So Bradley arrived. He was a short, curly haired blonde, in a tight, black, short sleeved, nylon t-shirt that accentuated his biceps. “Hey,” he smiled at me. He and Tia’s husband shook hands. “I didn’t know you had a kid,” he said, pointing to my sleeping one year old godson. I realized then he didn’t know Tia’s husband very well. It was a nice summer night and it was still light outside at 7pm.
We all followed the hostess into the dark, atmospheric dining room. Bradley and I walked behind, slowly. “I had a lot of shrimp last night,” he said to me. Good opening line.
“Oh, wow,” I said. “I love shrimp!”
“No, I don’t think you understand,” he said, “I ate a LOT of shrimp.”
“OK,” I said, “I get it, because shrimp is delicious.”
“No. But I ate A LOT of shrimp.”
“It’s OK. It’s good protein.”
“No, no, no,” he said, dismissing my efforts to be agreeable, “I ate… SO MUCH shrimp. I mean SO MUCH!”
“OK,” I said.
We approached the table. “So I probably won’t eat much tonight,” he said, “because of all the shrimp.”
“Right,” I said softly. Was there any way this guy could turn things around and become someone I wanted to hang out with, let alone, love?
The waiter came over and Bradley informed the rest of the party that he wasn’t going to order because he’d eaten so much shrimp last night. I sat quietly.
“Get something,” Tia said, trying to be encouraging.
“OK,” Bradley relented, picking up the menu. “Come back to me.”
We all ordered and I wondered if Bradley really didn’t want to eat because he felt sick from the shrimp or if he thought he’d eaten too many calories. Like maybe they were fried shrimp?
“I’ll have a side of mashed potatoes,” Bradley announced, happy with himself.
Butter, cream, potatoes…. that’s how you make mashed potatoes. Bam. this guy had food issues.
The conversation flowed as I noticed Bradley eyeing the table bread. He played with the cloth napkin in the breadbasket.
“Where do you live? Do you live alone?” Bradley asked me.
“I am living at home with my dad, right now,” I said.
“Evie’s mom died 3 years ago,” Tia told Bradley.
“Oh wow,” Bradley said, “You’re so lucky. I hate my mom.”
We were all silent. That could have been the moment I got up and left. Was he joking? When he started ranting about his awful mother, we had our answer.
Then Bradley thought of something really important he needed to share with the whole table. ”I used to be really fat.” He ate his mashed potatoes with delight.
Muscle flexing, tight shirts, food issues, mirrored elevators, a side of mashed potatoes, too much shrimp… made sense.
“Wanna know how I lost all my weight?” he asked.
We did. I was guessing there’d be a story of exercise and eating right, but I was wrong.
“Besides being fat, I also used to have this really bad under bite.” Bradley pointed to his now well aligned jaw. “Most of my teen years I begged my mom for jaw correction surgery, but she was too cheap to get it for me.” Bradley’s disdain for his mother was sharp and unapologetic, “But when I was 19, she took me to a medical facility at the Army base near our house. She got some kind of deal, letting medical students do the operation. After the surgery, it got infected and I had to go back. Turns out they’d left a surgical sponge in my sinus cavity! My fucking mother. And they had to shoot this blue Windex-like stuff up my nose. It was the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced.”
I ate my BBQ chicken salad, horrified and also riveted.
“My jaw was wired shut for about 2 months and I had to eat everything in liquid form, out of a straw so I lost a ton of weight.” Bradley was so proud.
We Oooed and Awwed.
But his story wasn’t over.
“About five years later, I was over at my girlfriend’s parents house for dinner and as I opened my mouth to take a bite of food, my jaw unhinged and my chin dropped to my chest. I looked like I was giving a blow job to Godzilla.”
Bradley wiped the remnants of the mashed potatoes, out of the dish with his finger and sucked it with a smack.