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His 13 yr old gave him an ultimatum
July 6, 2009
1:52 pm
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Hepburn
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To Ma, autumn, atalose, caraway, MsG, Fire, thanks you guys.

He and I have our good days or weeks and we have our bad ones. BUT he's at the point where he's going to have to un-paralyse (is that a word?) himself. Things will be quiet for a few weeks, then she'll pull something. It's how he handles these things that he's working on, because she will always do something.

I'm not going to abandon him. And there isn't a lawyer on the planet who can MAKE a 13 yr old see her father if she doesn't want to. Especially when she's been told her father doesn't love her over and over and over again. You can send the x to jail, but what will that accomplish? She'll just come out even more bitter then she already is. And the kids? They'll hate him even more. Yeah, I'm caught up in it. Despite his weaknesses, he's very sweet, and although it doesn't seem like it, he does actually fulfill the emotional side of me.
AND he doesn't LIE. No, he doesn't make as much money as I do, but that doesn't bother me.

I think what really needs to happen is he's got to get his own place. Stand on his own two feet. He's been paying me rent until he finds a place. But I've noticed he hasn't been looking too much lately.

We started our relationship backwards, so it's time to turn it around.

(((Thanks everyone)))

July 6, 2009
2:12 pm
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fantas
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(((Hepburn))),

As much as he needs to develop a backbone and create a healthy relationship with his daughter, you also, like you have realized need to draw a line for him. There really is nothing you can do about those other relationships what you can demand is a relationship devoid of their drama. Right now, you are enabling him to remain stuck in the drama by listening and getting emotionally evolved. You can empathize but let it be know that you do not wish to be in a relationship with his wife.

Besides as long as there is this drama, you guys aren't looking at your own relationship and what it needs. You are both not present in your relationship. You need to be with a person who is present. From what you say, it sounds like you are dealing with an addict who keeps stopping and relapsing and you are busy anticipating the next relapse.

Are you in some sort of therapy or CodA group?

July 6, 2009
2:51 pm
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caraway
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Hepburn and MA,

I am not in a stoning mood MA (lol);unless Dr. Laura shows up! Now, that is one person I can live without.

I actually agree with MA that it would be best for the child if both parents could focus on raising them to adulthood, but it isn't very realistic. (I am guessing they would stay married if it weren't for someone else, or that they just didn't like being in the same room with one another.)

I know that my life changed dramatically when step-fathers began to show up and the abuse started. Our house changed from one of music and laughter to one of drinking and fighting. My Mother completely checked out on me as I was the youngest of 4; guess she was just too tired of the struggle.

On the other side of the argument; I believe that children have learned from their peers to work their parents guilt to get what they want. In my situation, they have simply grown up and continued to be spoiled brats (their Father did not date until they were graduated) he was divorced from their Mother for 10 years and kept all of his activity to himself. He was available and present at all of their school events, took them to school, church, movies, helped with homework, and provided everything they wanted and needed... and now as adults they don't want to pay their own bills, they want dear ole Dad to continue to bail them out.

In return, they rarely come to visit without it being expected, they are rude and short on the phone, etc.

Tough situation, but no 13 year old has any right to give her/his parent any sort of ultimatum.

Cary

July 6, 2009
3:13 pm
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Hepburn
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Hey fantas-That's exactly what I told him the other night. I don't want to be in a 3 way relationship. And he isn't present. At least he's not when things like this happen. Then things will settle down and he'll be present again. And it will be great! So that's what gets me caught.

I used to be in a coda group. Every Thurs night for almost a year. I stopped going when I didn't feel safe in that group anymore. It sounds weird but there were a lot of lesbians in that group, which normally I really don't care what anybody's sexual preference is (some of my best friends are lesbians, HA), but 2 of the women kept trying to hit on me. And they knew I was straight. Plus there was a lot of eye rolling....etc. Anyway, obviously it was uncomfortable. There is another meeting which is a lot farther away, but since I'm not working at the moment, I had been thinking of checking that one out.

My bf wants me to go with him to his therapist. She told him that if he wanted to bring me he could. I'm open to doing that. But I told him that he's going to have to arrange it with me. I'm not going to suggest which Wed. Know what I mean?

Other then that, this site is my therapy.

You are right. I find myself waiting for the next shoe to drop.

It's very difficult to stand by and watch someone go through so much pain and not try and help. Especially when you care and love them so much. I do realize that it has come to the point of enabling. And being a codie just adds that much more to the mix. And of course, he's a codie too.

I've gone through so much in my life. Things waaaay more difficult then this situation, (as has everyone here), this should really be easy for me.

Maybe I'm just tired.

July 6, 2009
3:31 pm
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Hepburn
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Hi caraway,

People and relationships are so different, it would be nice if they could all be put in compartmental boxes. Here's what you do if "this" is happening, here's what you do if "that" is happening. Funny thing is, THAT is how *I* deal with things. But most of the people I "live" with and work with, don't.

I hear about a lot of people who had to grow up with step-parents who were nightmares.

I do believe that we are all entitled to be happy. I have tried to instill that in my own children. If we don't take care of ourselves, how can we take care of anyone else? And that includes children as well.

July 6, 2009
3:31 pm
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PreciousG
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This not the childs fault people. This the parents fault. That is if yu want to find fault here.

The way I see this situation is the ultimatum that the child gave his/her father is a SERIOUS CRY FOR HELP! This is not about control in the sense that he/she is trying to ruel the father's life. Instead it is an attempt/test to prover his/her mother wrong! If my dad leaves this lady then my dad loves me and my mother is wrong. This child is trying to can some sense of control over his/her situation yes. But is not trying to control the others.

The cnhild needs both parents yes. Unfortuanately, the mother is manipulately everyone to her will. The child has not where to turn. The Mother will not allow the child to attending much needed counseling, or visit his/father. What other option does this child have? Umm mom gets dad's attention by acting out I think thaqt I will give that a try. The child has zewro positive role model in his/her life. Of course he/she is going to scream and buck and kick as lolud as one can to get any type of attention.

LNF could use this opportunity to teach the child how to properly/healthly resolve conflict. He could use the opportunity to reassure his child that he loves them no matter what and there other ways to talk about how you feel i.e., this childs fear, the sense of being out of control. the need for comfort and reassurance. I know that you are gloing to say the the Mother does not allow him any contact with the children but the counselor, judge, lawyer could see that the child gets a letter or speaks with the children.

Also, as somone above said lnf needs to try harder to contact this lawyer or find a new lawyer.

Again, please do not take this out on the child. The statement that the child made is nothing more thana cry for help. Keep the lack of and destructive communication and interaction that the mother and father seperate from the child's saddess and confusion. You can't treat a 23 year old like an adult nor can you realistically expect that a he/she would act any other way given the role models in his'her life. THis child simply knows n ot other way this is all he/she knows.

I know this may sound harsh but someone has to speak up for the children that are clearly hurting more than anyone knows.

Best of luck to you Hepburn

PreciousG

July 6, 2009
3:40 pm
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FireFighter
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Hi Hep,

I have 2 boys that live with their mom .

I can understand this guy being torn. I allowed myself to be used by my ex as she pulled my strings on seeing or not seeing the kids.

She has manipulated conversations and the kids themselves to try and turn them against me. She highlights when I go away to see my GF especially if she thinks I should be doing things for her/them.

It was only after many months (16) did I realize that I was giving hewr this power over me by either jumpingthrough hoops or reacting to her. Only when I stood up and said - No did things change.

She now realizes that I do not jump at her command.

I do what I need to do to be a good father when I am with the children. I cannot control what happens when I am away from them. I tried being nice, a pain, a diplomat even being an ass... And all resulted in the same outcome. I could not control what she said or did. Only when I figured that did it all change.

So is all in the world great... heck no... She's still a pain in the neck. But now it doesn't affect me as it once did. I talk with my kids , I tell them how much I love them. I do things with them. And I make sure they see me as a good parent. It has taken time but that is what is important.

July 6, 2009
4:05 pm
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Hepburn
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Thanks PreciousG, and I agree with you. This has been the main reason why I abhor this woman so much. These kids are in survival mode. I don't care what his x says to HIM. But what she's said to the kids is just sick. SHE is sick.

For the record, he does not have a lawyer. Nor does she. The KIDS have a court appointed lawyer. He has left numerous messages with the lawyer and the kids counselor. They do not return his calls. So all he can do is keep trying.

July 6, 2009
4:24 pm
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Hepburn,

Do you ever feel that if you were not in the picture he would go back to her just to make his life easier?

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

July 6, 2009
4:24 pm
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Hepburn
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Hi FF,

Thank you for posting as a father who has been through this. I am going to break my rule and let him read your post.

Children need both a mother and father. If the biological ones are too messed up or unavailable, at least role models that can fill that.

I'm glad you figured it out. He just told me last night that he's tried everything, (just like you) and now he doesn't know what else to do.

Unfortunately I think he's got to go through it the hard way in order to get it and that's where I end up getting dragged through it with him. I don't want to do that anymore. I have to stop.

July 6, 2009
4:33 pm
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You are welcome Hepburn.

Sorry about the lawyer thing, I foregot. It is sick what she is doing to the kids. It si too, what the courts are doing or in this case not doing. I just really feel the kids in all of this mess. They innocent, ya know.

I had to witness my sister go through this stuff with her EX and her child. It was a huge sick mess. Eventuall though the child did figure out that her dad was not healthy and chose to let him go. But boy did ever try to munipulate the child and my sister. God it was awful. Today the chilkd is grown with a family and her dad still to this day tries to manipulate, guilt, and whatever else he can to the child. Fortunately, the beautiful , healthy adult that has emerged ignores his mess and never takes it personaly.

I hope one day that lnf's children can see through their mom and stand own their and have a healthy relatinship with their dad. I also hope that lnf can stand up and the dad that they need him to be. I know that he has his own issues to contend with but now he has to the dad with a serious backbone and try to be there in any he can for his children.

I really wish all of you tyhe best.

(((Hepburn)))

PreciosuG

July 6, 2009
4:37 pm
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Hepburn
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HA! Atalose, I thought about that. So I asked him. About almost a month ago.

I was very diplomatic about it, because I didn't want it to come from an angry place. I didn't want him to be afraid of me or feel like I was asking for myself. That I was asking for him. I wanted him to feel safe to answer honestly.

He said he wouldn't go back to her if she was the last woman on earth. He said just the thought of that actually makes him physically ill. He said his children are the most important thing in his life, and for her to continually turn them against him has made him hate her. And all that he's gone through in his life, he's never hated anyone.

His therapist asked him the same question. He told her the same thing.

I believe him. But I did say, it wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened. Men or women sometimes do go back. No matter how hateful the x was. Even x's that have tried to kill each other will go back.

July 6, 2009
5:15 pm
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Hep,
Here's what I've learned in my trials and tribulations with blended family stuff.

The single best philosophy when dealing with divorce and blended families is to simply focus on being the very best parent YOU can be. You can't control the other parent.

As a step-parent, you have to be very careful never to say anything negative about the bio parent, especially in front of the children. But it's a good idea not to say anything negative about the bio parent at all, even to your mate. The bio parent's issues are your mate's problem and not yours. If you get involved, you are just like lighter fluid on the fire, even when you are doing your very best to cooperate. And when the bio parent wants your mate back, well that's just got to be a freakin hell. I never had to deal with that. It's got to be impossible for you to be cooperative then. I would suggest detachment. Just let it go. If he starts complaining about the ex just listen and offer nothing. See what he does. If he mistreats you, react to that, rather than the ex wife.

Hep,
I have noticed that it can make a man more attractive to a woman if another woman wants to steal him. I am not judging here, just observing. I think some men realize this and try to play one woman off the other. Making each woman think someone else wants him to make him more appealing. I think men do this especially when they have little to offer. I am not sure if your man is doing this on purpose or not. But it's a good idea to step back and think about how much this other woman's desire for him affects your feelings. Is her attachment to him a stimulation for your passion?

July 6, 2009
6:46 pm
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Hepburn
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Hi soofoo,
Yes, I believe in that philosophy as well. And I've had to practice it with my own divorce. My x got remarried 7 years ago and has a step son and a 5 yr old.

I tried to be friends with his wife, which backfired, so he has his life and I have mine. We're civil to each other and even teased one another last weekend about how I don't read directions and how he can't assemble things. Of course it took 10 years to get to where we are now. HA My x has done and said a lot over the years and I wasn't any picnic either, BUT I never put him down OR his wife in front of the kids.

I don't speak and try to avoid seeing my bf's x. She has tried to involve me by cc'ing emails to me that she was sending him. I put a stop to that immediately, by emailing her and saying that I have deleted her emails, to stop sending me them, and that her issues with her x is none of my business. I have not heard anything from her since. That was about 2 months ago.

That was an interesting spin on "the other woman" thing. My bf is not that calculating. HA Actually it would probably serve him better if he had some of that in him!

His x is one of the most unappealing looking women I have ever seen. I can see where maybe at one time she was attractive, but now? Nada. She is so filled with pain and hate that I think it is literally oozing out onto her features. She looks distorted. He on the other hand.......gets hit on all the time, and right in front of me. He doesn't have to do anything. You know how some people just have that energy about them? (And how some women just have no class? HA)

Anyway, he's very handsome and she looks like the hunchback of Notre Dame. I'm no ugly duckling, but I don't think I'm all that either, but people have commented about us as a couple. We definitely have an energy when we're together. I know that makes him feel good. And me too! It's been a long time since either of us felt that way with a partner. Which is one reason why this whole thing is so hard. We feel so connected to each other when we're together. Even at home we are rarely in separate rooms. It's almost magnetic. Ok, you can stop gaging now. lol

HA, so to answer your question, no I don't think her attachment to him is a stimulation for my passion.

July 6, 2009
7:06 pm
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Hepburn
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Thanks PreciousG. I do want to touch on something that you mentioned before about the kids and how his daughter needs to have some form of control. And I agree with you. But I also think that if lets say, he were to give in to her ultimatum, there's a very high chance that something like that will just continue. It might be a quick fix for the moment but it's opening the door for further manipulation.

I know you are not aware of this, but when they first separated, he was only allowed to see the kids IF he stayed in the old foreclosed house (bank hadn't taken it over yet) that had no electricity or hot water. This was an ULTIMATUM from the kids (hmmm, I wonder who put that in their heads). Because the new house they lived in was right around the corner, so he was close. He actually did it for about a month, and realized, what the fuck am I doing? He left that house, moved in with a friend and that's when the visitations stopped. Because he didn't do what "they" wanted. It's been hell ever since. This was way before we started going out.

He's got to teach these children that that is NOT how you treat people. Especially their father. His children are learning to be just like their mother.

So, no, children don't get to give ultimatums to their parent/s.

I think these kids will eventually come around too, but it's going to take many years I'm afraid.

July 6, 2009
8:29 pm
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It must be a full moon, as I can't believe I agree with StrongInHim.

Two men that I care alot for are going through nasty divorces right now. Neither are being appropriately aggressive legally. Its very frustrating. But, I can't do it for them. Their soon to be exs are putting their children through something awful.

Hep, I think you already know that there is no good way for this to end. If he remains in a relationship with his children, then their mother will be part of his life. If he discontinues a relationship with his children, then really what kind of man is he? Can you really be with a man who walked away from his children. Your description of him says alot about what you really think about him and are not quite willing to accept, not ready to hear. I'm not telling you what to do, just what I hear you saying. You aren't happy with how he is handling his life and how that impacts your life.

My niece wrote a hateful message to my husband because he told his mom he didn't want to hear gossip about his brother that was fed to her by his sister-in-law and that he was standing by his brother. She is full of anger, not unlike your SO's 13yo. Surely, no reasonable person on this earth with siblings expects a brother to side against his brother over gossip, lies and rumors that are ridiculous and obviously untrue? Children of a nasty divorce are in a horrible situation. The people who are supposed to provide shelter and comfort use them for their own emotional cruelties. In my niece's case, my husband was the only one available for her to vent to. She did it wrong. She's not emotionally mature and her mother is a raving loon. She isn't allowed to see or contact her father. She has no one on this earth who really cares about her at all. This 13yo is in the same boat. Her mom uses her like a tool. Her dad doesn't care enough to use the law to help her be in an emotionally safe environment. So, ultimatums are inappropriate. But then again, the poor child doesn't really have any parents at all, does she?

My 12yo is almost 13. She is learning how to be an adult. If her dad and I decided to abandon her and focus only on our own desires and wishes instead of teaching her how to be a responsible adult, she'd probably act like that too.

I guess its easier to be mad at the child than the father who is creating this situation. Honestly, I think you deserve better. This situation is only going to get worse. Children with bad parents usually take a long time to grow out of it.

bonni

July 6, 2009
9:29 pm
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Hepburn
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Hi bonni,
He didn't walk away from his children. Sorry, I don't understand what you mean.

July 7, 2009
1:47 am
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He got home a little while ago and he's been throwing up blood ever since.

July 7, 2009
1:52 am
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fantas
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Oh boy, he needs to go to the hospital. Even his body is wanting him to draw a boundary and take care of himself...Hang in there!!!

July 7, 2009
8:28 am
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Hep,
Yes, he has to go to the ER. I hope he did.

I fully understand feeling a strong connection to someone even when things are going very badly and everyone is telling you that you should get out. We love people even when it makes no sense at all to do so.

I do think that he is not as helpless here as he thinks he is. It seems like sometimes you see him as helpless also, and sometimes you don't and you want him to grow a backbone.

I think that detachment would help you. I don't mean breaking up, I mean the kind of detachment Melody Beattie describes in codependent no more. It's where you let go of the situation mentally, back away from problems that aren't yours, and let things happen naturally instead of trying to get an outcome. Just see what happens, even though it might be scary to do that.

Good luck Hep!

I also want to say generally, that I also feel sorry for this 13 year old, but that she still really needs discipline. And to discipline her, is not to blame her for the situation she's in. She really needs someone to stand up and say I love you and I'm in charge.

And also that, it is not always the case that children are better off if their parents do not date until they are through high school. It may sometimes be the case. And it may be so in this case. But it doesn't have to be that way. It is proven that children are benefitted by having a maximum number of adults who care about their well-being. If a step-parent is one of those people, that enriches the child's life.

Also, about parents having a "right" to personal happiness, no one has a right to personal happiness. But everyone has a responsibility to themselves to create a life that they feel is meaningful.

July 7, 2009
1:02 pm
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Hi fantas & soofoo,

Gawd! His old ulcer acted up. He's so stressed out over all of this, well, obviously. Anyway, he went to his doctor this morning.

I hear you about detachment. Sometimes I'm good with it and sometimes not. If I'm involved (like in this case), then obviously it's harder. But I'm trying!

I'm going out of town on Sunday for a few days. My gf has a house in Sun Valley, ID. So it will be nice to get away from all of this.

July 7, 2009
2:53 pm
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Hey there Hep -

I haven't read all the posts above, so this may be a replay of what you've already heard. First of all, hang in there - at least you have some support while you're going through this ;o).

I still go back to the same old thing we were talking about a while back. I think that if you really consider what is best for you, him AND his kids, moving out on his own would probably top the list. I know you love him, but as much as you're trying to help him by giving him a soft place to land, it may be hindering the ultimate progress he could make, by being forced to depend solely on himself. I think it would give you the distance that you need to see this situation more clearly, and set up some healthy boundaries for yourself. I also think it would benefit him in the long run, because it could be the fire that he so desperately needs to have burning underneath him right now. If he's only got himself to depend on, then he may take some necessary steps to improve his situation. His children would then, have a place to go to spend with their dad. Instead of having him choose YOU or them, they may be okay with the separate living arrangements. Who knows. I know the mom is a witch, but kids can be manipulative little jerks too - they're not stupid, and they seem to know which buttons to push to get what they want. Moving out doesn't have to be devastating. It's not complete detachment, just some healthy distance. I think you owe it to yourself to step back and take a breather. I know that care taking is our thang --- but holy shit, we need to take care or ourselves before we can be good for anyone else. :o)

July 7, 2009
3:12 pm
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Shaney
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BTW, is it hotter than hell outside or what? Our air conditioner took a dive on Tuesday and of course, it wasn't repairable. We got a brand new one on Friday, but had to endure the baking heat for a few days. It's COOL now though!

Also, I'm hoping you're not in the Mr. Jackson mess downtown. Have a good day - S

July 7, 2009
3:59 pm
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fantas
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Hepburn,

I also had ulcers and just learned last month that a virus by the name of H-pylori causes not ulcers and others things like stress and certain foods activate them. He should go get checked for this bug. I was put on a 7 day antibiotic regiment and I can eat all sorts of things and take stress and no ulcer.

Enjoy your time in Idaho!

July 7, 2009
4:05 pm
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Hepburn
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Hey Shaney! Good to hear from you girl!

Yup, getting his own place has been on the top of my list for quite a while now. We had agreed on that one ever since his old roommate moved. And that was what, 5 months ago?

Seems like I'm ALWAYS lighting fires under his ass. I'm surprised he hasn't burned completely up at this point.

With all the drama going on, you'd think he was the first person to get a divorce on the planet. The x is going to be what she is, so as long as he keeps playing into her crap, things aren't going to change. But yes, the priority for me is he's got to move. The other thing about that, is, it seems like I'm going to have to find the place for him, since he's not even been looking. So that's pissing me off too. Well, it seems like he's not looking, he could be, he has been on the computer lately, but he hasn't said anything to me. Which is typical........

I hear ya about the air conditioner. It always blows up at the WORST time! Remember the Bell Canyon, Simi Valley fires a few years ago? My air took a dump on that day. It was over a 100 out. So not only was it hotter then hell, there was at least an inch of ash to content with, blowing all over the place.

It's right up there with the time my oven broke on Thanksgiving Day, and the blackout on Christmas! LOL Too funny!

Glad you're COOL now!

I was just watching a little of the MJ tribute on tv. I think he was extremely talented, but I could only watch so much......

I grew up in Encino and my dad still lives there, only a few signals away from their house. I was over there on Sunday, and it's still a circus media nightmare. Throngs of people hanging around hoping to get a glimpse of one of the Jackson's I guess. I have a feeling it's going to be that way for a LONG time. I feel for the people that have to live on that street. Can you imagine?

Is everything alright with you? How have YOU been?

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