When the Bull Runs Wild

The problem with writing about vacation is that it’s hard to organize little vignettes when you’re still processing the trip overall. I think we should start with the bad stuff and get that outta the way.

We had “beautiful weather.” I mean, that’s how people would see it. It was unbearably hot and sunny most of the time. Temperatures ranged from 80’s overnight to highs in the low 100’s. At no point were our plans ruined by bad weather.
Except on the drive Tuesday. I think it was Tuesday.

You can’t possibly think I kept the days straight. Even one day, I thought there might be a magical extra day in June, squeezed in between the 29th and the 30th. Days sneak by on vacation.

But on the day I think was Tuesday, we hit an awful storm. This particular thunderstorm followed us all night. The gusts of wind blowin Bonnie Blue all over the road, the sheets of rain hitting her windshield, dodging the debris in the road while thunder shook us — all metaphorical imagery for the turbulence in the car.

You see, we spent time with The Mister’s ex. The ex and I can actually get along quite well, going back decades. Obviously The Mister doesn’t get on with his ex very well, but they can be amicable for a considerable amount of time. We’re family. We share a lot of people, experiences, and goals. Also, we all share a common enemy, and as everyone knows the enemy of your enemy is your friend. I told you I can’t explain how tightly my ball is wound, hm? Tip of the iceberg.

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It’s been a long time since we had conflicts. But while we were on vacation, conflicts were thrown at us.
Not all of us have gone to therapy and fetched a psychological toolbox for dealing with this sorta conflict, but I have. Unfortunately, my toolbox is useless against a team of people who are determined to revert to their old patterns when they’re together too long. When two brick walls are pushed together, they create tension until one of them crumbles. Been 24 years and ain’t nobody crumbled yet, but the bricks on the top are pretty loose.

I thought we were having a discussion. I was having a discussion. It would take a few hours to realize that for once, I was the sane one.
I said things.
They argued with me.
Then they argued with one another.
I said more things.
Then they argued with themselves.
Lawd.

The Mister continued to argue with me, and himself, across the panhandle, as the storms raged on. It was super pleasant. As a person who feels everything around me, I cannot tell you how frickin pleasant that was.
“Baggage goes in the trunk! Who told you you can keep your baggage in a carry-on? If you can’t keep your negative aura in the passenger seat, I will hafta roll down my window and my hair will get crazy and you don’t want my hair to get crazy!”

crazy
But don’t anyone go to therapy and get a fuckin toolbox, it’s fine. I’m sure these issues only ever surface when you’re together, and other lies you tell yourselves.

Their crazy brought out my crazy. I got this pretty little china shop, where all the fragile tchotchkes are lined up all neatly and I keep the doors closed real tight so everything stays shiny and I can’t be havin bulls runnin through it! Do you see how fucking poetic and ethereal I am? I’m not a delicate fucking flower, but I feel like one when the bull runs wild. I spent Tuesday night picking up pieces of broken china, and nicking away at The Mister until he bled half as much as I.

On the day I think was Wednesday, the skies had cleared. The bull had slept and fed by the seashore, and his aura kept close to his skin. My nerves were unfettered, my drive, free and easy. By the time my mother put the wine in my hand, The Mister was telling my parents how I was right. Like, he said it. Aloud. Where other people could hear him.

Another storm rolled in. The skies sent lightning and hail, but by then we were sheltered.

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About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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49 Responses to When the Bull Runs Wild

  1. this is an amazing post. seriously.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lbeth1950 says:

    Isn’t it refreshing not to be the craziest one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Benson says:

    Well. Friends with your Mr’s ex? Now that is something I can not relate to. All I can say is if I were ever around any of my exes for more than 2 hours I would be more bat s**t than the floor of Mammoth Cave. You may be wound tight but you do play well with others;don’t you. Or at least it seems like it. Hey what is your instagram “handle”? I want to take a look at your pics. I have an account.of course I haven’t the fainest idea what to so with it,nor do I have a cool name. I sure do like to look at dem pittchers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      I’m just me, jolenemottern, on Instagram 🙂
      I lol’d at batshit Mammoth Cave, hahaha! Funneh!
      Yeah, well, I wasn’t married to her 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. meANXIETYme says:

    I don’t know how you made it through the Tuesday crazies. I can’t even imagine. It’s bad enough dealing with my OWN crazy… Yeesh. (Also, driving through storms makes me really unhappy, so that sounded like a terrible time.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      The Mister drove through the worst of the storms, for the most part. I have that urge to shut down and die when there’s rain and barrels and it’s dark. It is not okay. He tells me, “You’re fine, you’re driving perfectly,” but inside I’m a wreck and I feel like I’m dying. One day I might write about my PTSD origins with that. Hard to say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • meANXIETYme says:

        I hate driving in the rain and bad weather of any kind. I don’t drive in snow at all anymore. I am uncomfortable as a passenger in the car when it’s storming, but I’m normally with Hub, and I trust his driving implicitly so I do OK (not great, but OK).
        And I also HATE those construction barrels (and the concrete barriers). OMG those things give me anxiety so bad…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. garym6059 says:

    Oh that sounds like quite a shitty day, hope the rest of the trip got better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bhatmahesht says:

    “Psychological toolbox for handling conflict” I heard it for the first time. Hope it goes well for the rest of the trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. NotAPunkRocker says:

    So when is the vacation from the vacation? Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. redosue says:

    Anyone who can be friends with their husband’s ex has a helluva toolbox. I reckon it’s a pretty heavy thing because you never know if you’re going to need a wrench, a screwdriver, or pliers. Whatever. You’re amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan Antion says:

    Can’t say as there’s much contact with ex’s but situations vary. I’m glad the storm was short lived and I got a few cool sayings (baggage goes in the trunk) high on the list.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. markbialczak says:

    My ex and I play nice, Joey, with the life our of dear 25-year-old daughter as the glittery object always in each of our vision as the main focus on the infrequent occasions we are in the same room. But that past of which you allude is always there somewhere, something that ain’t going away, ever. My dear wife Karen knows about it. Her husband Barclay knows about it. Fraught with a smile. Yeah. That’s the word that describes it for me. You sound like a most excellent referee for a situation much more out into the middle of the room instead of lurking.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      It’s so important to put differences aside for our kids. Our kids have nothing to do with any of it. Our kids get extra people to love them and care for them. I’m so glad your family can do the same, Mark. The fact that the past lurks only shows how much life can change, how much it can surprise you, how well things can work out 🙂

      Like

  11. Sammy D. says:

    Ok … When you first wrote that you were leaving on vacation and mentioned family, I thought ‘hmmm I love my family-of-origin, but I wouldn’t call that vacation.” Throw in a raging thunderstorm while driving unfamiliar miles and miles, and throwing exes into the mix ?!?! Down South to boot ?!? That’s not vacation, that’s Pat Conroy melodrama novel-cation.

    Next time pack a psychotherapist .

    My God, you are a good writer, Joey. I can’t vouch for you being the sane one, but you sure know how to weave the tale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Thanks for the compliment 🙂
      The ex wasn’t the problem. The problem came from outside the family. The ex is perfectly good company, and we enjoyed our time together. It’s the conflict that was thrown at all of us during our trip. We all handle the conflict differently. He and I can be a team, or she and I can be a team, but The Mister and his ex cannot be a team. I won’t be writing about the troubles, as they are not my stories to tell, although they burden me greatly. Surely you have burdens you carry for those you love? Some of them cannot be avoided.
      Also, the miles are familiar, especially for me. As for the heat, hell yeah, I can always do without that!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Luanne says:

    This. is. my. life. Without the ex because we don’t need an ex to act like that. But who is the common enemy? What did I miss there? Yes, I’m a little bleary eyed. Cat #2 sick all weekend. She’s a little better today, but I was not doing well all weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. reocochran says:

    I have been to therapy and also know some tools in my toolbox work. But, as you mentioned, dear Joey, who is so sweet and I can picture your buttoned down hatches and the way you keep everything organized and clean in that china shop… I am most upset when someone thinks when a person explains something, that it becomes about “me.” In all therapy, they say we need to express how others are upsetting or making us feel uncomfortable. It is a standard process, not to accuse the other but to help let others know what is making us upset. When all heck breaks loose and the bull is in the china shop, I feel that it is ‘the bull’s fault.’
    So glad and thankful the Mr. admitted defeat! Hallelujah!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Haha! Yeah, I was in my right mind, but he was a wild bull, fersure! For hours, I just felt victimized and persecuted until I realized what had actually happened. At one point I reiterated everything he said. Kinda like, “You said it was green. I said okay, right?”
      “Yes.”
      “Then I patted your leg and said maybe it was blue the other day, but now it’s totally green, right?”
      “Yes.”
      “All of that is accurate, right?”
      “Yes.”
      “Then why are you trying to argue when we agree?”
      —–
      “Do you see that you are arguing with yourself?”
      —-
      —-
      —-
      “Yes.”
      “Good. I would not like to be involved in your arguments with yourself, but thank you for inviting me.”
      LOL
      Eventually, I convinced him that he is no longer accustomed to the kind of stress he had experienced that day, and that it was okay to freak out, but not to take me with him.
      I have learned not to dance the drama dance.
      I kinda wonder how the ex was with her spouse when we left. I wonder if they were both just traumatized by the experiences that day. I dunno. It could have been worse. I pray daily that it won’t ever get worse, and with that comes the appreciation that it could always get worse.

      Like

  14. reocochran says:

    Oh, and I have an ex-husband (or two or three…) and I like the wives of my first ex-husband, send Christmas cards and include them in family events. I am grateful for my first ex-husband’s third wife, she is a LOT like me, this makes me happy, Joey! We had a recent baby shower where we were joking and sitting by each other. So good for all, if Peace reigns among your household while they were stuck in a car on the road to Heck. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. DanicaPiche says:

    Have you considered a book filled with these types of blog posts? They’re so engaging and readable. Maybe a screenplay. Your everyday life is more interesting than a lot of TV content. Last I read you were working on a romance book (minus the long hair flowing in the wind)…apologies if I’m not up to speed.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Anxious Mom says:

    And now I see why you’re a therapy pusher (not meant in a bad way, like a drug pusher) 😉 I’m glad things cleared up on Wednesday and didn’t put too much of a damper on the vacation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      YES MA’AM.
      You need the tools. You tell the therapist what kind of problems you have and the therapist gives you tools. I personally think most people need the therapy.
      I’ve never been so mentally uncluttered in my life as I was when I collected all my tools and found out they work. And no one can take my tools! MINE! lol

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Prajakta says:

    I feel nervous already! The vacation in my head generally involves a different kind of crazy… Now just stay in bed for a while 😀

    Like

  18. ouidepuis1 says:

    I could totes hear you in my head as I read. For the record, that’s a good thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. April says:

    My toolbox usually contains wine. Sounds like you had the perfect storm.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Sherry says:

    you remind us that we are all so much alike, sharing so many of the same issues…glad you are safely home and relaxing from another exciting vacation…..lol…somehow staying home always sounds like a better idea….hahah..

    Liked by 1 person

  21. cardamone5 says:

    Funny! I have that same china shop, and it always gets broken into by a big bull when interacting with people I don’t normally see.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. kirizar says:

    I like the tight focus of the journey. One day. One sentence in particular. And yet you give a nice overall feeling of the stress of the situation. “Across the panhandle, as the storms raged on…” That one sticks. It is glue. It has adhesive qualities. Nice china shop imagery. I’m heading out to vacation this week. I will try to keep my china well-padded and weather whatever storms may rise.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Good job you managed to stay calm and sort out that bull as well. Glad the rest of the holiday was less stormy! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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