The Story of Sal...

Monday, August 29, 2011
My last post made me realize I need to clarify something just to make sure no-one reading it gets the wrong idea about Sal and the nature of our relationship when we first met...
The story of Sal goes like this - It was the fall of 1992. My best friend just died. The rest of my friends were slowly dropping off (death has a way of making this happen), the first big love of my life married someone else and was having a baby with her and my new boyfriend just left for college. I felt truly alone and was miserable. In came Sal.
I was working at the customer service desk at my local mall at the time. The desk was in the middle of the mall (not in a store front). One day a the most beautiful man I had ever seen up close walked by. As he did he made eye contact and kept his gaze as he walked. He was tall and muscular, he had chiseled features, full lips, long blond hair, and pale green eyes. Later that day, I was on my break when he approached me. He asked my name. He told me his name was Sal and then asked, 'Erren, do you have a boyfriend?' When I said yes, he asked how long we were together. I told him 4 months. He asked, 'Erren, do you want to be friends?' I quickly answered yes.
From that day forward, we spent a lot of time together. I made it clear I wasn't a cheat. He said he knew that and wouldn't try to get in the middle of my relationship. I told myself there was no harm in making a new friend. I told myself his constant attention was harmless and when the day came that my boyfriend met him, I pretended not to notice the panic in his face.
Sal was a model. A romance novel model. You know the kind with the ripping muscles and flowing hair holding a woman with heaving breasts. He later admitted he was also a male dancer. Sal knew he was beautiful and he tried to weaken me with every chance he got.
One day I met him at his house go out to lunch and he answered the door with nothing on but a towel. He acted as if this was nothing. He told me to come up to his room to wait while he went and got dressed. I sat down expecting him to get dressed in the bathroom. Instead, he went into his walk in closet which just happened to have no door. I looked everywhere in his room, but towards that closet. He had a few well placed mirrors that kept me from averting my eyes his way. I scolded him and he enjoyed my flushed face as he did. I made him promise not to pull any more stunts like that again.
All that being said, I felt as if Sal was a gift. An angel sent to me in my time of need. He was there for me when I desperately needed comfort and love. He was attentive and sweet. He made me feel special. He took me out, bought me gifts and was a caring friend when I needed one. I was very naive to what was actually happening. I was 20 years old. Sal was 25. I honestly thought that we really were friends because I didn't think that someone like him would have any real interest in a girl like me. He looked like someone who would date a bikini model not ME. I thought it was all a bit of harmless flirting.
I'd like to say I remember how long my time with Sal lasted, but I don't. It's been a very long time. If I had to guess, I'd say it lasted 6 months to a year. One thing I do remember is when it ended...
One night Sal tried to kiss me. I panicked and quickly pulled away. He pulled me to him and tried again. His size scared me and I said, 'Sal, what are you doing?' as I got myself free. He sat down, put his face in his hands and began to cry. He said, 'You don't understand, I am so in love with you.' I nearly laughed, but saw the his red eyes and pain on his face. He said, 'I want you with me all the time. I want you to come with me on my photo shoots. I want you at my shows. I want you with me for all of it. Erren, when I look at you, your eyes kill me and all I want is to love you.' I was truly shocked. I looked at him and said, 'I'm so sorry Sal. I'm so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. You know I care for you, but you know I have a boyfriend. I can't do this to him.' He put his face in his hands again. With tears in my eyes I told him I couldn't see him again.
I didn't see him again (not for 10 years anyway). I missed him and thought of him often for many years to come, but I was always glad I held my resolve and didn't become the cheat I didn't ever want to be.
I wish I could say the story ends there, but it doesn't. I'll continue the story in my next post...


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Today

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
This is always a tough day for me. Nearly 20 years ago, I lost one of my very best friends. His name was Jeff. At the time, we were best friends. We told each other all the time and every time we left each other or hung up the phone, we said I love you. It doesn't matter how many years pass - it never gets easier. Some years I dread this day the whole month of August. Some years years it takes a bit longer to get to me, but it always hits me hard. This year, it didn't get to me until yesterday. I was moody and down all day (probably dreading today). This morning while having my coffee, I cried. It came like a wave and I was surprised by my tears because it's been so long, but it all came back and I missed him with all my heart and mourned losing him as if he died yesterday.
During my last trip home, I had the closest thing to a religious experience than I've had in a very long time. I was having an awful day. I had a huge argument with my mother, hadn't seen my husband in weeks and wanted to cut my trip short. I had enough. That day, I met my high school sweetheart for coffee. When I left the house, I was a wreck. I started the car and a song came on the radio that reminded me of Jeff. A song I hadn't heard in years. His memory instantly calmed me and I played the song loud feeling better just listening to it.
After meeting my high high school sweetheart, I was emotional again. Our conversation was not lighthearted and I very effected. As I was leaving, my best friend called to see how it went. I started the car and on the radio another song by the very same group came on. This song reminded me of Jeff probably more than any other. The minute the song started, I burst out in tears and hung up the phone telling my best friend, 'I have to go because I think Jeff just came down from heaven to tell me he loves me'. I felt him with me. the thing is, I hadn't felt him with me in many years, but right then it was as if he knew I needed him. My husband couldn't be there and he knew I needed him. Even when he was alive, he did things like this. He'd call me and say, 'I felt like you needed me. What's wrong?'. At that moment, I felt as if he was right there letting me know he was still there for me. I turned the volume up and cried (smiling through my tears). The song was November Rain by Guns and Roses. He loved that song. I was with him when he bought the CD. He played it all the time before he died. It's a long song and I sat there in the car and cried all the way through feeling like he was right there with me. No-one could take that from me and I am still so grateful for the experience. I feel better since then. I feel like he'll always be right there with me if I ever really need him.

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A Great Day

Sunday, August 21, 2011
Yesterday, I felt awful in the morning, but forced myself out anyway and I'm so glad I did. We started with a trip to a place called Paradise Park which is a play park for kids. It has a small science center that teaches kids about dinosaurs (as well as other things), a large botanical garden, miniature golf, playgrounds & a train ride. It has two displays of huge dinosaur models that roar as you walk by. There's one outside & one inside that's dark and the dinosaurs move as well as roar. Ethan is terrified of it and screams every time we go anywhere near it. The outdoor one is near the gardens. He's never gone anywhere near that one either (despite his love of dinosaurs). Yesterday, he was brave and went into the outside display. I was so proud of him and he ended up walking through it 3 times even touching them as he went through.
In the gift shop we bought one of those airplanes that flies by winding the propeller that's attached to a rubber band. On the way home we went to the cliffs to fly it. I got to take some really great pictures of the scenery and we had a really great time flying the plane with Ethan.
Later after we put Ethan to bed, my husband and I sat on our back deck that over looks the harbor (the photo is the view from the deck). We haven't had a great summer and don't get to sit out there very often, but it was a beautiful night so we had our dinner on the deck.
We ended up staying out there for the rest of the night. We drank (got quite tipsy), talked and laughed all night. It was so lovely to have such a great time just hanging out. We're so lucky we still enjoy each other like that. After nearly 8 years together, we still laugh like we did from the beginning. I had such a wonderful day (which was quite a contrast from the day I had on Friday)!





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Miserable

Friday, August 19, 2011
I have an illness called Anklylosing Spondylitis. I've suffered with it for many years, but only got diagnosed about 3 years ago. It's managable with medication (thus far), but my husband and I have decided to try for another baby and my doctor took me off the medication (as you have to stop taking it at least a month before trying to conceive). Being off my meds is awful. I feel miserable. The pain is worse than I remember it being before the diagnosis and I feel like I'm falling apart. Every joint in my body hurts, my back is killing me and the fatigue is horrible. I hate complaining. I hate feeling useless and I HATE feeling sorry for myself. Right now I feel useless and very sorry for myself which just pisses me off to no end. Wayne told me to just relax while Ethan is at nursery school for the morning. I don't want to relax. I want to clean the house and get things done. I want to do the shopping that I need to do and be fine to push it home in the stroller along with my 40lb son the half hour walk it is to get home and still be able to function when I get back, but as a mother, I need to know my limits. The house will not be cleaned today and the shopping will wait until my husband can get to the store. I'll take a cab to pick up Ethan and feel useless doing it. I am miserable.
Living with a chronic illness is a challenge on the best of days, but living with it without being medicated is terrible.
When I told my husband that I couldn't go to the store or walk Ethan home today (which took a lot to admit), he said 'How are you going to do it with two kids?' He said it in a plain way that made me angry. Not because he was being insensitive, but because he said what I have been quietly thinking myself. I sat down and cried. I am worried too. What if it's too much? What if I'll be taking on too much with a second child? It's infuriating to have moments of weakness. I don't want to let this get to me. I want to be strong and feel like I can take what ever comes my way. Maybe I just need more time to adjust to this. Maybe it's just the shock of the pain and I'll get used to it with a bit more time.
I don't want this to change my mind on trying for another baby. I want to feel like I can do this. Maybe I won't be able to breast feed. It will break my heart, but maybe I'll have to do it for a few months and switch to bottle feeding so I can go back on my meds. Ethan will be in school by the time a baby came. I'll have only one at home most of the day. We'll have to get a me a car so it's easier to handle. I'm sure we can make adjustments and I can do it. I'm almost sure anyway. I am miserable.

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Old posts lost!

Thursday, August 18, 2011
I just realized since I moved my blog to this domain, I have been missing a large number of past entries. I've been able to recover a portion of them and re-publish them, but finding out just how many there are and re-publishing them will take a great deal of time that I just don't have. I'm really bothered by this. This blog has been a chronicle of my time here in the UK and also a place where I've stored memories from throughout my life. It's really upsetting. I just don't know where to start to fix it and don't know where I'd find the time. I've already spent way too much time doing it today. How aggravating!

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Robbie Williams and Brad Paisley - Collision of Worlds



My son is a huge Pixar Cars fan. We recently took him to his first movie in the cinema which had to be Cars 2. One of the songs on the Cars 2 soundtrack is a song called Collision of Worlds by Robbie Williams and Brad Paisley. My son asks to hear the song everyday. It's about the differences between being American and English. Anyone in an American/English relationship or an American living in the UK (& vise versa) will be sure to enjoy this song.
I've added the lyrics below:

At the first sign of the morning light, Old Glory's in the sky
Across the pond, it's afternoon and the Union Jack flies high
We're on our first cup of coffee
We're on our third cup of tea
And we can't pretend to live on different planets, you and me

In this collision of worlds
Watch the new day dawn on a distant shore
In this collision of worlds
Oh you can't sit this out no more

Abbey Road, Route 66, CIA, to the MI6
Right lane, left lane, Metric, Imperial
Pounds, dollars, howdy, cheerio!
A v8 growls, to a v12 screams
Hail to the chief, God Save the Queen
Cops, bobbies, tabasco, wasabi, pistachio ice cream!

In this collision of worlds
Well it's too late and you can't stop it now
In this collision of worlds
Yeah find you a place and just watch it now

Well you're a good ole' boy
Yeah you're a decent bloke
I say it's irony, I say it's a joke
When I look around, now I can see
We ain't so different, you and me

Meat and potatoes, bangers and mash
Dollars, pounds, dosh, cash
Autobahn, to the rising sun
The I10, to the M1
Congress, Parliment, President, The Queen!
Petrol, you say gasoline
Now grab your bird, and get your girl
Now its a small world

Collison of worlds
Watch the new day dawn on a distant shore
In this collision of worlds
No you can't sit this out no more
In this collision of worlds
It's too late and you can't stop it now
Collision of worlds
Find you a place and watch it now

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A few of my favorite things...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011
I just read an article about some of the best feelings in the world or things that just make you happy. It inspired me to make a list of some of mine (in no particular order):
* My son has a thing that he does when he's really tired - He climbs up on my lap, puts his face up against mine and lays on me. He makes this noise when he does it that lets you know he's completely content. It makes me feel like the most special person in the world!
* Freshly washed sheets. It's lovely to climb into bed with sheets fresh out of the laundry. Combined with my down pillows and my husband to curl up with - it makes me never want to get out of bed!
* When the cat chooses my lap to sleep on apposed to the couch or a bed.
* Finding the perfect gift.
* The sound of my son's laughter.
* When my husband walks over and hugs me for no reason at all.
* That just after sex, completely satisfied and falling asleep happy feeling.
* Sunbathing on vacation - the feeling of my toes in the sand, the sound of the sea near by, the hot sun beating down on me, a drink next to me, and not having a care in the world.
* The feeling I when I was pregnant and felt the baby move.
* Doing something for someone you know touches them or makes their day.
* Kissing. I love kissing.
* The feeling of accomplishment I get when I achieve a goal I've set for myself.
* Uncontrollable laughter - the kind of laughter that makes me snort
* Falling asleep in my the arms of someone who loves you.
* The feeling I get when people laugh at my jokes. It's really great to make people laugh or smile.
* Cooking a great meal.
* Getting caught in a rain storm on a day that's so hot, you just wish it would rain (not in England though - the rain here is always so damned cold)!
* Watching someone open a gift I bought for them & seeing their face light up when they see what it is.
* Standing in the falling snow late at night (when the air doesn't feel too cold). It's a beautiful peaceful feeling standing there in the silence of the snow falling around you.
* How I feel when I hang out with my best friend - knowing that I can just be me and the comfort that gives.
* The feeling of pride I get when I see my son accomplish something new & how proud he is to have done it.
* Having a connection with someone and knowing it the minute you meet them.
* The feeling I get when my son or husband say they love me out of the blue for no particular reason.
* Being surrounded by friends.
* My son's spontaneous singing or dancing.
* Finding out you made a difference in someone's life.

I could probably go on and on, but I'll stop there. Feel free to share yours...


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Off my meds

Tuesday, August 16, 2011
I've been off my meds over a week now. It's a real shock to the system. I've been on this medication (an anti-inflammatory) for a couple of years now and although I knew it helped, I wasn't aware of just how much.
For the most part, I do okay during the day, but mornings and evening are difficult. My husband keeps asking me why I'm so quiet. Last night, I had to ask him to stop asking. I think he was afraid I was upset with him for something. I get quiet when I'm in pain. I don't like to complain and I'm also quietly trying to figure out how long I'll be able to do this for. I'm hoping I'll get used to it and cope better after a little time.
Today, I tripped over one of my son's toys and made things worse for myself. I jolt like that really makes inflammation worse and I'm really feeling it. When it first happened, it hurt so bad I thought I'd be sick. My three year old son kept saying to me: 'Breathe out' while patting me on the back and then said, 'don't you remember what Daddy said to me the other day? You have to watch where you're walking!' If not for him being so adorable, I'm not sure I would have pulled myself together so quickly. That and knowing he was truly concerned. I didn't want him to worry so I sucked it up and put on a brave face. Now, I'm just wishing there was something I could do to help calm things down.
Last night I cursed my doctor while trying to sleep. I may have called him a sadist. I'm sure there is a very good reason I needed to stop taking my meds before even trying to conceive, but it felt better to curse someone.

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Can't Sleep

Friday, August 12, 2011
It's 5AM. I've been awake since 3:00. I'm still not feeling 100% and had a coughing fit that woke me up and haven't been able to get back to sleep since. There's nothing worse than trying to keep up with a 3 year old on so few hours sleep and I'm dreading the morning.
My husband told me tonight he'll be able to have some time off next month and we'll be able to take a trip home. Maybe that's what's got me up. This trip will be shorter than most which will be hard. I miss it and every time we go back, I wish we didn't have to leave.
During the last trip back, I got to see so many old friends. They arranged homecoming parties for me and we went out to a couple of bars to meet up with everyone. It was so nice to have so many people come out to see me. Some I hadn't seen in 20+ years. I missed my high school reunion which is how the gatherings ended up being planned. Facebook makes the world a lot smaller and the people that wanted to see me came out those nights instead. I had a great time and look forward to doing it again when we go back this time.
I had two best friends in high school. Nicole & Anthony. Nicole is still my best friend to this day, but Anthony and I drifted after a girlfriend of his didn't like our friendship. It happens. It happened to me with many male friends throughout my life. It's just the way it goes.
Anthony and I were constantly together back then. We drove to school together every morning and shared a locker at school. We went to the Homecoming dance together senior year because he didn't want me to go without a date. My boyfriend was in the army and couldn't get home for it so he took me.
There were a lot of rumors about us at school. One drunken night after graduation when we'd both been dumped, he snuck in my bedroom window and we talked all night. That night, we even tried kissing to see if there was something to all the talk, but as soon as our lips met, we burst out laughing and knew the answer was no.
During my last trip, Anthony and I got together. He came out for one of the nights out and he took me out to lunch as well. It was great to see him. He's such an amazing guy. We talked as if we never lost touch and have stayed in contact.
The day we went to lunch he told me he bought a lottery ticket on his way to see me. He said, 'I thought to myself, there's something magical about this girl. I think I'll buy a ticket and see if it some of that magic spreads my way.' It was such a wonderful thing to say. It may have been one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me. He's the the greatest and I'm so glad to have my friend back.

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Flu

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
My son was sick last week and this week it's my turn. I'll be back soon. I'll be updating book talk as well with quite a few books as soon as I'm feeling better.

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