After getting on my soapbox about Dear Abby saying it is deceitful to check "single" when in actuality you are -- gasp! -- a "divorcee" (geez, that sounds way to fancy for me, and please, picture a big eye roll here) I decided I'd better 'fess up. If you have seen Toy Story at least a million times like me you will remember at one point the dinosaur says "Great. Now I have guilt." I am like that dino, who I suspect suffers with depression, because most of us depressed people have irrational guilt feelings. Anyhoo, back to the subject, 'fessing up. I don't want to be deceitful or have guilt so here goes. My name is not Betsy. I just like it. I never liked my "given" names. Campbell is my maiden name. Back in the dark ages when I divorced judges all but insisted that moms keep the married name to match their children so they wouldn't be scarred (the kids, not the mom). I always wanted to go back to my maiden name, but who has extra money for something as nonessential as a name change, or name reclaim. Oh, Heaven to Betsy, divorce is complicated. I guess that is why I like "Betsy." "Heaven" connected to your name can't be bad, right? But anyway, my legal last name is something else, but Campbell is my maiden name. And the expression "Heaven to Betsy?" Evidently a source can not be found, it is just one of those exclamations of surprise that stuck around, in the south anyway. I guess Betsy is appropriate...I surprise myself all the time. Sometimes I surprise myself about what stupid things I do, or smart things I do, or where I ended up, or how strong I am, or how goofy I am. Mostly I surprise myself about how much I have forgotten, according to what my kids tell me. The "aunt" part? Well, I am an aunt although I have no idea why I added "aunt" to Betsy. I am sure there is a reason somewhere in the gears of my mind, but I don't know what it is. I wanted this blog to be about me as a person, not a momma or gramma (who I think of me as) but I guess subconsciously I couldn't separate "me" from family enough to leave some kind of family title out. I don't know. It just popped in my mind. And I am a baby boomer, and have lived on Route 66, if not literally then within walking distance, my entire life except for 3 adventures in El Paso, Tx, & Albuquerque and Rio Rancho, NM (which was close enough).
I have lived a couple of lives. First I was a kid growing up in a little town in New Mexico who spent a lot of time in the library and all my time reading a book. It was a perfect escape from my real life. I am still escaping, it seems. My 2nd life was as an adult (clueless), married the day after I graduated high school to get away from the life I lived as a kid, also reading whenever possible. I eventually had 4 children (why, yes, they are perfect, brilliant, kind and caring---amongst other things) and I have 6 beautiful, brilliant grandchildren (well, #6 is due before Halloween). I have been divorced forever, but during phase 2 of my life (until shortly before divorce) I was a stay at home mom, and reading. During phase 3 I was a single mom, had a full time job, and was exhausted, often reading at midnight and always while eating lunch. Life phase # 4 -- I was single, most often with that same full time job plus one or two part time jobs to try to support myself. Now, in phase 5 I am retired, too early due to a disability. Have no job. No extra money. No husband. Live in an empty nest (except for 3 dogs---a schnauzer, a beagle, and a schneagle--a schnauzer/beagle mix who is not related to either of the other 2 dogs), and usually having about 20 books checked out from the library. And I wonder, if I can't mother somebody, and I can't do the job I did for 20 years, and I am not a wife, then who the heck am I??? So, I decided I would start writing this blog, try not to mention the kids and grandkids, and see what is left. And no, I am not mad at my family, I talk to them all the time, like every day. They just don't need mothering, I'm kinda tired of mothering, the grandkids have perfectly good mothers, and I just wonder who am I? And besides that, I just want to be somebody else. Carol is poor, depressed (really--major depressive disorder), agoraphobic, anxiety filled. Wishes she could travel but with no money that is not an option. Wishes life were just different right now. I read about some lady who has a Pinterest thing for her imaginary toddler. Or maybe it is a blog. Did I mention I have memory problems? Anyway, if she can have an imaginary toddler I can have an alter ego, right? So, say hi to Betsy. Carol lives in a single wide, cheapy trailer house (wheels removed), drives an eleven year old van with some old age problems & made by a company that no longer exists, gets 3 channels on her rabbit-eared tv, and reads alot. Betsy, if she just had a little money, would live in a small cottage (mostly pale pink, pale mint, pale buttercream yellow, pale blue) with a lush green yard with a veggie garden, flower garden, rose garden, big trees, and a yard man. Betsy would have beautiful clothes--not many, just some, for the size 6 body she would have and she would drive a brand new Prius, which she would drive to every state in the country with her sister or daughter in tow (well, except Hawaii, which Betsy nor Carol will ever see because both are afraid of flying and water). Betsy would have cable so she could see The Pioneer Woman and Downtown Abbey. Betsy would have 3 friends willing to play canasta one night a week, she would be able to afford to put anything in the basket at the grocery store that she wanted to, and would also spend most of the time reading on the front or back porch (yes, her cottage would have both) living in some location where the weather was never humid, never above 76 degrees, the wind never blew 60 to 100 mph, and the few times it would snow would be picture perfect and lovely, without the muddy slush that usually shows up (too often inside the house). And of course, all her children would live on the same block with her, not that she would bug them like that mom in "Guilt Trip" although Carol has heard she is an awful lot like that woman. Well, WHO doesn't wash out plastic water bottles and refill them??