Thursday, January 31, 2013

My tattoo story part 1

My first tattoo (07/20/2010) was the logo for the International Wenches Guild, or IWG. Several years ago, I was going through a rough time and needed support as ExH (then fiancĂ©) was in Florida, a long distance from our home in Ohio. The first place I thought to turn to was my sister wenches in the Wenches Guild. One thing they told me was “You are a wench. You are strong. You will get through this.” Those words really resonated with me and have stuck with me ever since. Whenever I was going through a tough time, I would repeat those words to myself. “I am a wench. I am strong. I can get through this.” The tattoo is a way to help remind me of this.
Growing up, my parents frowned on anything non-traditional, such as tattoos and non-ear piercings or men getting pierced at all. After my brother had turned 20, he got a tattoo without my parents’ knowledge. He told me as soon as it was done and I scolded him for not telling me because I wanted to be there to see it get done. My parents found out several weeks later. They weren’t happy about it but they accepted that they could not do anything about it. He has since gotten four more and as a result I became ok with the idea of getting one if I ever found something meaningful enough.
I remember wanting this tattoo for about a year before I actually got it. Another wench had the IWG logo tattooed on her and had posted about it on our forums. When I heard this, it made perfect sense to me, especially given the events that had happened the year before and the support I received from this group. Months later, after I was sure this was what I wanted; I emailed the owner/creator of the guild for permission to use the logo and asked if he could send me a digital copy. He loved the idea and only asked that I send him a picture of it when it was done.
I had talked to several friends about the tattoo I wanted. ExH’s boss, and friend of ours, recommended a friend of his, Viking M. He showed me several tattoos that his friend had done, including one on himself, and told me that his own mother will be getting a tattoo from him. That sold me right away. If he trusted him this much, I could too.
About five months after I got the image, Viking M walked into the game shop that ExH worked at part-time. ExH told him that he should go to the pirate shop, where I worked at part-time, because I had a tattoo I wanted done (we worked in the same mall, just different shops). So he came down and told me that ExH had sent him. I immediately knew why and I showed him the design and told him the few changes I wanted. He quoted me a price and I told him I would call to set up an appointment after I talked with my husband. ExH knew how much I wanted this and what it meant to me, so he was ok with me getting it (even if he isn’t ok with tattoos in general). So I called Viking M and made an appointment for the next week. My best friend and brother came with me for moral support. They both have several tattoos so it was a comfort having people who had been through it, and could let me squeeze their hand as hard as I needed.
We placed the tattoo on the right side of my back, high enough that when I wear my corset to the renaissance faire, it can be seen above my chemise. He was great. He let me take breaks along the way to catch a breath and when it was almost too much, but so close to the end, we stopped for about five minutes to let me get a drink. That break helped the most. All in all it took about an hour and a half to outline and color the piece. I am so happy with it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things I learned from my marriage

I was going through some old journal entries the other day and I found this entry written Dec 20, 2011. It still stands as true now as it did then and I thought I would share it.

 -Get a prenuptial agreement. It does not mean that you do not trust your fiancĂ©(e), it just means that you want to protect everything you have worked so hard for.
 -Gamer guys can be great guys. Obsessed gamer guys, not so much. If he pushes you to cut an event or visit or anything short just so that he can play a video game, then you might want to rethink things.
-If a guy flirts with other women despite the fact that it makes you uncomfortable but gets jealous that guys flirt with you, watch out.
 -If you are having a disagreement or argument and he ends it with “fine, whatever” the majority of the time and refuses to actually discuss the problem, watch out. Especially if he says that he is always doing what you want to do (no matter how many times you ask him what he wants and he answers with “whatever”).
-If he prefers to stay at home and play on his computer than try to get a decent job, or makes up excuses why he can’t find another job, or gives up searching after being rejected once… then you might want to rethink things.
 -If he screws up once and begs for forgiveness, try and forgive him. If he screws up again, leave him. 
-Sometimes, love just isn't enough.

 I think the biggest lesson I learned was that I am a lot stronger than I realized. That I don’t have to be afraid to be alone. That I am strong woman and a strong mother and I will do everything in my power to protect my little boy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Different types of Parents

In my group of friends, I have realized that there are 3 distinct types of parents: Single Parents, Co-Parents, and Couple Parents. And they all have the good and bad.

Single Parents
The term single parents typically means parents who are not together for whatever reason whether it be divorce or just a break-up. But when I think of single parent, I think of parents who have no help from the other parent. They are the sole provider for their child, financially and emotionally. The other parent may see their child once a month, or not at all. The good thing about this type of parent is that they do not have to worry about conflicting parenting styles with the other parent. They know what is going on in their child’s life. No wondering of the other parent is holding up their end of the responsibility. They know how it is, and what to expect.
The down side is that they have no help from the other parent. Friends and family can be a great support system and a huge help. But in the end, it all comes down to you.

Co-parents are parents that are not together, but are able to still work together to raise their child. I consider myself a co-parent. I may be single, but ExH and I are able to work together to raise Rit. We both take care of our financial responsibilities towards him and we communicate any worries about Rit to each other, etc. The good thing about this is that I have someone I can rely on to take care of Rit, someone I know who loves Rit like I do. On the days that ExH has Rit, I do not have to worry about Rit. If I can’t take Rit to the doctor on one of my custody days, I am able to talk to ExH and he will usually take him. Or in an emergency, I can call ExH to help with Rit and vice versa.
The down side of this is that I have to take ExH’s schedule and custody days into account when I plan anything. I have to try to schedule doctor visits on ExH can come. Vacations or long trips take extra planning between me and ExH and rearranging of custody schedules for that time period. Also, having to share Rit for holidays is hard.

Couple Parents
These are parents that are still together, such as married, engaged, or just dating. They live together and work together to raise their child. The good side of this is that there is someone there to help raise and support the child at all times. There are no custody days to worry about, no dividing of the financial obligations. Everyone is under the same roof. Things are a lot more flexible.
The downside is that it is a lot easier to shift the bulk of the responsibilities to one parent. I have heard a lot of parents say “I do most of the work with the kids”. There are no set off-days when the child is with the other parent.

I do not believe that any one of these types of parents is better than the other. They all have their ups and downs. As parents, we all do our best to raise our child to be the best person they can be. And that is what matters.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Sometimes things just don't work out

About a month and a half ago, a friend started trying to set me up with a friend of his: D-J. We met a few times, then D-J and I texted back and forth for about 2 weeks. We were at our mutual friend's house when D-J asked me out. About a week later, he took me out to Olive Garden for dinner and then to see Rise of the Guardians. It was a delicious meal and a great movie. He also brought me flowers and chocolate, a first for me.
However, that was our only date. We have hung out several times since though since we have a few mutual friends. In that time, I came to a few conclusions: he is a sweet guy and a good friend. However, I also realized that I was not feeling anything for him beyond friendship.Thus started the process of trying to figure out how to tell him. Normally, it wouldn't be an issue for me but because we were friends and had several mutual friends I wanted to make sure I didn't screw any of that up.
Last night we were hanging out and I decided to tell him. Apparently I worried over nothing. He was feeling the same thing and was trying to figure out how to tell me. I giggled a bit and was happy that we were both on the same page. He told me that he appreciated my honesty. The good news is that we are still friends.

On the other side, a little while back, I realized I liked a friend of mine and was interested in dating him. I was really worried about saying anything to him about it, for fear that it may make our new friendship awkward. After some deliberation, I decided to go for it and tell him and just hope that he felt the same way. I could recreate the entire conversation, but in short, he said I was a really nice person but he does not see me that way. I admit I was a little disappointed but I am glad he was honest with me (and he said he was glad I was honest with him) and I am proud of myself for taking that step and saying something. We are still friends, so nothing lost. And now I know how he feels and won't be wondering.

Sometimes, we just have to take that step, no matter how uncomfortable it is. It's the only way to grow.