I was raised right. I had a wonderful childhood. We moved around some but never over 3 hours from where my parents were born and raised. I grew up with my parents and brother, 2 sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. My family has a law enforcement background. I have lived in towns that were good places to raise kids. We all played outside and went in when the street lights came on. We did not wear bicycle helmets...heck we did not wear seat belts!! Life was way simpler then.

We were not allowed to plop down in front of the TV set except for Sunday morning cartoons. And when we wanted the channel turned, you got off of your bottom and went and turned it. TV was not at all like it is today. We learned educational things from TV like the ping pongs balls were ALWAYS going to drop when Mr. Rabbit was around!! We did not learn about sex on TV. Certain things were not discussed out loud. I never got *the talk*. I got a book to read. I remember it being about all different sorts of animals and a cartoon man and woman in bed with the blanket covering them. My mom whispered to me *I have put a book in your bottom drawer for you to read. Please do not let your little brother see it.*. Before *that time of the month* started for me, I was prepared with the Kotex starter kit that came with the pastel pink brochure about how I was now a woman. There were no sticky tabs or wings. There was those gosh awful belts!!

I moved to small town with college on the hill the middle of my freshman year. It was like SURPRISE I am sure that you will like it here. I was like SURPRISE you cannot make me!!! It was awkward for me. I made friends. I learned to adapt. I never felt as though I fit it. As it is the way with smaller schools, everyone had basically started kindergarten together. I later learned that I was popular but not in a cheerleader way but in a Miss Congeniality kind of a way.

And I met the ex.

How do I describe his family? If you had a portrait of my family, you would hang it in the living room over the couch. Everyone would be dressed right and smiling. The portrait of his family would have lots of people in it and everyone would be arguing and pushing. It would be hung on the men's room wall of the Texaco station three counties over. That is just how TOTALLY DIFFERENT they were/are from my family. The family business was trucking. He was the youngest. All his brothers had already gotten girls pregnant before high school was over. His mom drove a truck and wore a truckers hat with a little pom pom on the top. She ran the family business. She could out cuss, out drink, out shoot and out drive any man. She had gotten a divorce in the 60's when it was taboo and, on top of that, had lost custody of her children.

I graduated on May 21st, 1981. I was 4th in a class of 36. I had a small scholarship to go to little college on the hill and a dorm room. I had that diploma and thought I was so damned smart. Instead, I married ex on September 5, 1981 and moved just about 6 hours away from home. Babygator was born February 24, 1982.

Go ahead....I will wait for you to do the math.

I was young and stupid and very ill prepared for life. Being in law enforcement, you tend to see the seedier side of people and shield your family from it. I had never ever heard my parents argue or raise their voices to one another.

I truly believed that love was all you needed and married life was a sweet little house with a white picket fence.

It isn't and it was not.

Eight months after babygator was born, he feel in *love* with a married woman who lived next door to his brother and sister in law. She was still in high school. He sent me home. She immediately moved in with him and, three months later, she was pregnant. He divorced me and married her. They had a girl. She and babygator are a little shy of two years apart.

I went to work at a little insurance agency as a secretary. I hate insurance work. *spit spit spit* It was a job that I got up dreading to go to. I was not bright enough to realize that I could move from little town. The idea never occurred to me. My boss was a very nice man who suggested that I start taking classes at little college on the hill. He allowed me to take classes during my lunch hour. I would take a class one semester and a class another semester. Life moved on in the little town and it was good.

Then the ex came back.... me, this gets worse........


  1. Hooked. And also, I love you.

  2. It is probably wrong that I love these stories this much. Really glad it happened to you and not, you know, me. hahahahaha!

  3. Our stories aren't exactly the same, but they have enough similarities that I know now why I feel like you're a soul sister. Like Rachel, I'm hooked. And like her, love ya!

  4. This will be a hard, but familiar story. I understand.

  5. This is why we were soul sisters from the instant we met. We've had basically the same life... except mine was moving more than just around Texas, it was all over the country and the world. And I never had time to fit in, usually moving again right smack in the middle of every freaking school year! Military life is rather, thankfully, different these days too.

  6. I think you are an amazing woman. I may never get to meet you IRL, but these stories are priceless and wonderful. I hope writing them will help you go forward.

  7. I just want to give you a big hug. It's funny how the worst things in life can end up giving us blessings (Baby Gator and your son).


  8. Oh, I can't wait to hear more.

  9. I am on the edge of my seat...

  10. I too think you are an amazing woman and nothing you can say will make me think any less of you.

  11. oh stories... the stuff life is made of...

    today in confirmation class, one student mentioned a rape that is in the news... and one 12 yr old boy in utter innocence had to ask me what that was.

  12. Sittin on the edge of my seat waiting for the next installment.

    Appreciating the excellent lemonade you have made!!

  13. I've got a quirky smile on my face and wondering what's next. But I know something the rest of them don't -


    She comes out at the end ~~~singing.

    Hehe! I can't wait for part 2.

  14. You are a star, Mindy...It's a privilege to read this, and there's a large chunk of "there but for the grace of God" in it for me too, as there are more similarities than is comfortable, though I avoided marriage to my ill-matched beloved (and believed that to be a tragedy at the time...)

  15. It gets worse? I KNOW it gets better! Our stories are what makes us who we are. You are amazing.

  16. I know how hard this must be to talk about.
    Hang in there, we love you!

  17. still doing the math...I'm so special.

    Can't wait for the next installment.


    ps. if you subtract x from y how do you get to nine.

  18. Let's graduated from high school three weeks before I did. And I think my mom gave me the same *book*.

    I love the stories of our lives. Looking forward to the next installment.

  19. Mindy -
    Let's just say I made different screw ups. Or what I like to call my "Double cup of stupid" moments...


  20. OMG, I had completely forgotten about the belts, twin bed sized pads, and instructions on 'how to become a woman' - thanks a lot!

    Quite a story. It sucks when it happens to you but it's not so uncommon, sadly.

    You're a tough nut and I'm sure no one doubted your ability to move on.

    As for the 'ex'.....there ought to be a special curb for them to step off of, with a bus conveniently zooming by. LOL

  21. You share your heart in such way as to hook us all both with your writing and with your story. Praying for you as you face your past in order to face your future.

  22. Can I give you my cell number so you can just call me and tell me the rest of this story?
    I love the way you write and I imagine that you write the way you talk.
    Captain Kangaroo? I loved HIM! and Mr. Greenjeans? aw.
    We read *the book* too. In my family, my sister and I read "the little blue book" and that was always a joke like "oh, didn't you read about that in the little blue book?"
    ugh. belts. and safety pins...because if you used safety pins, they didn't move around as much. But, if you got stuck? OUCH. not good. is another thing we have in common...I worked as a secretary in an insurance office, too. For 2 years before Laura was born. And I quit before I started "showing," because the men I worked with were such creeps, I knew for sure they would make some coarse joke out of it. And I was just a nice little girl who wasn't jaded like I am now.
    Can't wait to hear the rest of your story. You are so purty and so smart...and I know you made beauty out of the ashes that the ex left behind. And, just like have two beautiful children. We tried to stay together and had my bebo, but divorced when he was only 22 months old...but I always said "at least I got B out of it." :-)
    love, love to you!
    Cheryl (WHOSYERGURL in IN)
    p.s. ever since we returned from vacay- Oct. 12 and I worked for 18 days straight, I've had trouble getting back into it all.


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