Can you be cranky and yet smug at the same time?

It was an accident that I found out. I had to add an event into my calendar, and wanted to see if I was linked to AJ's new(er) email address. While I was in there, just for fun, I looked to see what he had put down for his birthday, which is coming up in just over a month.

It was rather disturbing to see that exactly one week after his birthday, which is Gargamel's birthday, was a reminder for "Jonathan F. Smoot's Birthday". <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" />

A quick internet search revealed that the only Jonathan F. Smoot who came up lived oddly close to Gargamel's family, school, etc. He may even be a distant relative of some sort.

Of course my first quick thought was that he was back in contact. That is my bogeyman, and sometimes haunts my dreams yet. But I just couldn't believe he could be back with her, without the old alien popping up. And to put her in his regular email? Very unlikely.

Thoughts of his nearly two years of trustworthy behavior led me to look for another explanation first, and I was able to verify that it had simply transferred automatically over from his previous email, the one he had during the A.

Only a few mouse clicks, and the offending reminder was gone. Thus I am smug at my effeciency, and cranky, well, for obvious reasons.

Still, I have to laugh. Ross....Jonathan.....there seems to be a theme here. It was fleetingly tempting to have all of you send birthday cards to 'Mr. Smoot', lololol, but I am too nice for that. (I will keep telling myself that.)


Moving is in the early stages of proceeding. I am meeting with the realtor this Wednesday, and see where we go from there.

It will be such a relief. One of the things I like best about the truck trips, even the very tiring ones, is that we are breathing fresh air, far from any taint. It feels like that, anyway. And coming home, as I get closer, it feels like there is a weight that settles back in on my shoulders, from knowing that she is here, and now I am too.

One thing that is weird, is although the idea of AJ driving really bothered me at first, it is much easier for me to have him gone far away, and know that she is still here.

By now I worry very little that he will take the initiative to contact her, but still worry what would happen if she tracked him down and ambushed him. (I worry much less after the stellar way he handled all those attempts at electronic C; letting me know when it happened each time. Awesome trust-builder! Still, it would be much harder in person.) Her chances of tracking him down on the road without his cooperation are slim. Not quite zero, but almost. Needle in a haystack. About the only way would be to follow him from the house, and he would notice if anyone was following.

But even though it's easier for me to be here and him gone, it's still hard to be here.

I have mentioned before how hard it was to start taking the kids up to school every day, just down the road from her house. I saw her often, and it was just difficult.

So I went on a campaign to take back my hill. The only way I could make myself do it at first was with a bad attitude. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Think wrestler, not evil person. "I belong here. She does not belong here. These are my towns. These are my stores. These are my roads. That is my hill. I can go where I want, when I want, any old way I want, and nothing she can do will change anything. I am lean! I am serene! I am queen of the hill!"

Honestly, nothing changed on the outside. I still went the same places and did the same things. But in my heart, I stopped skulking around as if I was an intruder, and exuded a confidence I did not feel. At first.

Not that I have it all down pat yet, but it is much more second nature. I go into the bank, and it is not her bank, it is my bank. I go into the print shop, and it is not where her friend works, it is the nice friendly people who print my promotional material for me. My Wal Mart. My Safeway. My gas stations. My roads. My parks. My Taco Bell. You get the picture.

There has to be some other reason, because as I said, I did not change my schedule, only my attitude, but the alien sightings stopped. In the last many months, this last week was the only time I even might have seen her, and I'm not sure about that one. The only times I've seen her car at all have been when I drove to MY doctor's office on MY road, and go past her own property, the one little space of CA that I will grudgingly own as hers. (I would much rather own that a little corner of WI is hers, but we can't have everything......)

I never count those as sightings anyway.

There is only one remaining frontier for me to challenge, since in the above area I have expanded my territory to a comfortable level, and continue to expand with time.

But walking around in the stores, I tend to startle every time I see a female of the right age range, with long brown hair. I think I manage to keep from starting visibly, but couldn't swear to it. "Is that one her?"

It is an instinctive, and thus far uncontrollable response. My logical brain kicks in and evaluates the nose size ("Nope, too small"), and weight ("Nope, way too skinny"), but it still bugs me.

Part of me wishes I had known what she looked like well enough so I would only jump if I saw her, and not all these other poor innocent brunettes, but unfortunately that would involve looking at her. <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/rolleyes.gif" alt="" /> The times I have seen her in profile, she looked nothing like the picture Neaksis found on the internet.

Not sure what the answer is on that one, except to keep gliding royally, and trying not to let it show.

SS, all this is why I said I was not fighting her for the hill, but myself.

Originally, I was fighting her, indirectly, because I saw her all the time.

Once I essentially stopped seeing her (Mr. Smoot, bwaaaaaaa), the battle remaining was only in my mind. It still is. I am battling for which thoughts will hold supremacy.

I just accept that for one hour a day, it will be a little harder, and require more attention to keep my thoughts in line, then life goes on as usual. Which is to say, very well.

My sweetheart just called to say how much he misses me, so I'll chat with him a bit.

How are all of you? <img src="/ubbt/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

A smooth sea never made a skilled mariner.
~ English proverb

Neak's Story