Tantrum Warehouse
Tact Free Since 2003

Day Two

J got a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Itís just a contract job and the money is just ok. But itís something. And itís something that pays a lot more than he makes now. And maybe it will lead to something.

And for the first time since April there will be two paychecks coming in. LET FREEDOM RING!!!!!!!!!!! That grunting sound you hear is me trying not to piss myself.

So far so good.

Ok. On to Day Two of our regularly scheduled nonsense.

So we pulled into Modesto between 11 and 12 after our long nightís drive . Even though I had agreed to Jís compromise of spending Friday night with his grandmother and then moving to a motel Saturday, I totally wasnít going to do that. I bratted out and insisted that we check-in right away. They werenít expecting us until mid-afternoon and we could nap, shower and make ourselves presentable before going over there.

So we do a tour of Modesto trying to decide where to stay. We eliminated all the places patronized by hookers and junkies but had to skip the nicer places too. The place we chose had a smelly hallway, but that was off-set by the clean room, cable TV and generous AAA discount. Perfect.

We checked in. Basically decided that we preferred motel sex and a hot shower to a nap. Spent some time watching Sports center and snacking on oranges and Cokes. This is a surprisingly refreshing combination. My hair looked a lot better after a shower and some good productsómore rock star than maiden aunt with harelip.

J took me on a driving tour of all the places he has lived in Modesto, where he went to school, where his buddies live, etc. Itís not the shit town that he told me it was. Basically, it is just a commuter town. There are still a few farmers around but everyone else commutes somewhere because they donít have a lot of industry. It has a darling downtown and seems like a nice enough place.

We went to the restaurant that J worked in just before he joined the Navy when he was 17. The same exact people work there. His buddy Shannon is still the cook there. The same people own it. It has been more than EIGHT years. One of the owners commented that J ďwas such a man nowĒ and ďSO HOTĒ which I think made him feel good. If a little creeped out that this woman in her forties was openly scoping his ass out in front of his wife.

He got that reaction a lot while we were in town. He really is hot. And he was a scrawny little boy when he left. Only 17, just 130 pounds, a couple of inches shorter. He drank instead of eating then. He looks damn hot now. Especially when I pick out his clothes. I guess he has only been back once since then, for 24 hours in 1998. But still people, was he supposed to be a runt forever?

After he showed me the town we headed out to his grandmotherís house. His Nanny (grandmother, Betty) lives with and takes care of Grandma (his great-grandmother, Bettyís mother-in-law, Jewel). This is not an ideal situation. I adore Nanny. She is blunt and honest and doesnít take any shit. Problem is that Grandma is inches from being diabetic and has a whole host of other health problems that come with age. Nanny makes her stick to her diet. And the rest of the family doesnít like that. They think that when you are that age you should be able to do whatever you want. But honestly, Nanny has Grandmaís best interests at heart. She wants her to live a long and healthy life. And how these people think she can do that while eating an entire bag of pigskins a day is beyond me.

At any rate, my brattiness about the motel turned out to be GENIUS. Because Nanny admitted that Jís Mom (JMom) and Jís brother (JBro) were staying there. So four people. In a three bedroom house. Um. I am not sleeping out in the living room with JBro who stares at my breasts every time he sees them. Creepy. Plus, Grandma and Nanny are like a lot of older people, they go to sleep at like 4 pm. So the husband just about kissed my feet in gratitude at that point.

Fantastic! I am not a brat. I am brilliant!!!!!!!!! And still got my way!

We hung out there for a couple of hours and then headed to Billyís. Now I have talked about Billy before but I need to explain his family situation. Itís complicated so bear with me for a moment.

Aunt Susan (who really isnít Jís aunt because she divorced his uncle a million years ago but they are still close with J) has six children.

Angela (30) with her first husband. Angela is married and has one child (but has lost SEVERAL others). She lives in a manufactured home on a property her mother owns.

Paula (23), Seth (22) and Billy (27) with Jís uncle. Paula is married and has FOUR children. She lives on the same property as Angela in a trailer. Seth is married (no kids) and lives in his grandpaís old house (grandpa now lives with Susan) which is next door to Susan. Billy lives in a trailer next door to Seth.

Jessica (13) with her third husband who had his head run over by his own truck and died and Kyle (10) with her current husband. They obviously still live at home.

These people have money. But their homes look like tenement housing. No grass, just dirt, in the yard. Old rusted cars and farming equipment everywhere. And Billyís trailer. Billyís trailer was purchased used in the sixties and each of the kids has lived in it at one time or another. It has never been painted. Never in thirty plus years. The shutters are falling off. Itís awful. In fact, itís so bad I took pictures to prove it. I just need to get them downloaded on here.

The funny thing is how nice these are on the inside. Susanís house is gorgeous inside. High quality everything. Nice carpet, decorator paint, new appliances. But it looks like ass outside. Billy had goddamn hardwood floors in his fucking trailer. WOOD FLOORS.

But a developer is building luxury mansions across the street. And these eyesores are their views. The developer is paying to have a six foot fence surrounding the property, landscaping all the yards and re-bricking Sethís house. And it will still look awful. First, I could see over the fence just standing next to it, I imagine you would see a lot more from a third story window. And you just canít make this shit look good.

Can you imagine spending half a million bucks on a house and looking at that shit??!!

These kids make me nuts. They have had every advantage. Their parents would have sent them to any school they wanted. None of them have finished college. None of them even work full time. When we got there Friday Angela was in charge of her daughter and their grandfather (who is in a wheelchair because of a stroke and Parkinsonís disease) and she was stoned out of her mind. Thirty years old, a mother and STONED. GROW UP please.

I am adopting Billy though. He is so sweet and so funny. I think he is trying to get his shit together. And better late than never with that.

So we left there for some dinner.

J found a Sonic which is just my favorite ever. After a vanilla Dr. Pepper and a grilled cheese with Ranch dressing this trip became SO much better. It would have been fantastic but they didnít have cheddar bites. Since apparently there is a state law in California against food without jalapeŮo peppers on it. So they have pepper poppers instead. Note to Sonic executives: please have cheddar bites at every damn restaurant. They are excellent. They make me happy. They are fried and cheesy and do not need any peppery assistance. Do not torture me this way. J kept apologizing (because he plans Sonic menus?) and didnít seem to realize that once my food came I was too happy to whine.

40 hours with no sleep to speak of caught up with us then. So we went back to the motel to sleep. Saw a kid almost drown in a canal, but not to worry he was rescued by water workers. J went to go see Shannon and drink beer (and Shannon was SHOCKED that we own our home, and bought a NEW car, and have sold out to the MAN). I passed out after watching ďLegally Blond.Ē

To be continued: the Wedding, the Gay Bar and other events

6:30 p.m. :: comment ::
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