• Jodie Barringer

The Seasons

Updated: Jan 27, 2019


I discuss the merrigo life we live.

Getting to the beach

And the seasons they go round and round

And the painted ponies go up and down

We are living in---the carousel of life

My favorite place to BE is in Boulder, Colorado

The hardest place to BEcome is in your own family.

The hardest people to face with your fears are the people you love the most- who expect the most- and, at the same time, do not want any changes from you or for them. The sameness keeps things in order.

Even, even. Even, if things are not the same.

My Father has Alzheimer’s , and we are falling apart in the heart.

My mother. My brother. Me. We ache to our bones.

Sameness. Sameness. The certainty of the same stories. The same eyes. The same hug. The same joke. That does not come.

The sameness that suddenly shifts into the sameness of sadness every day. The sad that never goes away. All night sad. All day sad. I neverknewwhatabigwordsadwas.

When I dated and fell in love with Richard , I knew that he did not really love me back. I am not sure that he knew how to love me. Quite franklu, I think I drove him crazy , but everyone else was getting married and I asked for his credit card number and told him I was going to buy my ring and told him when to propose. Note to every girl reading this: Do NOT ever do this- if the guy does not ask you on his terms then that means HE DOES NOT WANT TO GET MARRIED.

The marriage did not go so well. Lesson learned.

When you got divorced in Nashville in the 1990’s, you were usually in front of Muriel Robinson who had no love for stay at home moms- even if they were 30 with a 9 month old and a 2 and a half year old. “ You can just go back to work”.

I had a double major in French and English. I had taught high school English at the inner city schools in Memphis, Page High school and Franlin Road Academy I had been head coach for Varsity Soccer at Page and FRA. For me to go back to teaching would net me 300.00 a month. I could not afford to go back to teaching. Richard and I split everything 50/50 of what we had from five years of marriage. I did not have an attorney representing me. Ricihard was an attorney. We used a Named attorney in his firm to mediate.

I had never paid a bill when we got divorced. I did not have a checking account. I gave my paycheck to Richard every month. I made 27,000 a year.

The best thing that ever happened to me was being denied alimony.

Every Saturday when Johhny and I were little, Mose picked us up in a company car and took us to the farm to catch catfish. He had us home by 4 so that we could take baths and get dressed in Sunday School Clothes to go to the Knickerbocker with gram and Pop. I would have Shrimp cocktail and spaghetti and a coke. And gram would give me 25 cents to go buy Andes pintrs for 2 Cents a piece that I would take home and eat during the Mary Tyler MOoore Show and Bob Newhart and Carol burnett.

Gram died before Pop died.

I met Richard outside Rose Hall where we were meeting one of the Senior partners of Richard’s father’s law firm. He would be serving as our mediator.

Smally, I sat with Richard and the man as three sheets of paper dividedmy kids from their dad.

There is no mother in this world who wants a divorce.

What she wants is the man she fell in love with to step up to the plate.

Just step up to the plate.

Men step up to the plate.

I am pretty strong and can pretty much sell myself as knowing what I am doing most of the time. But, sometimes I fake. Because sometimes I don’t know what I am supposed to do. And, I’m scared.

I met Bill Cage when my divorce was about three months from final- so I , technically, was dating while married.

By the time that the divorce was final, I had racked up six months of utlity bills, school bills, and credit card bills. And,, I had spent the child support on babysitters, toys, my mortgage that was 698.00 a month, and clothes. Those vests and skirts form Harold’s hang at the front of my closet and always will. They are Carelessness. I have to look at them every single day.

My first house was 3617 Valley Vista Road. It was so small that I had one phone. The phone cord could reach into every room of the house. My room was a walk through and my girls and 1 and 3 shared a bunk bed that Elaine Finucane put together for me. I did not have to unplug the vaccum cleaner to vacuum the whole house. It took seven minutes.

I sat on the floor surrounded by the bills that Richard had sent me in a thick yellow packet that was delivered like normal mail on a normal average day. Just like normal. Normal change that changes normal.

I did not have any money in my bank account. I did not have savings. I was working at St George’s Preschool. I owned three chairs. Two couches. On e bed. One bunk bed . two chest of drawers . and a high boy. And three rugs. And a corner cabinet. And four trees.

Bill Cage walked into the door. He was a tech analyst and JC Bradford. He could pay for all of these bills with a check. He was supposed to. He was the man , and I needed help. I had screwed up. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was sorry. But, now, Bill was supposed to say, ‘Jodie, I love you. I will take care of this for you.”

But, he didn’t.

He said, “ Jodie, I could pay these bills for you, but you would never get on your feet. I could give you a fish, but you would never learn how to fish. I am gong to teach you how to fish.”

I hated Bill Cage for that. And, I hate that quote. And I do not eat fish . Even now. I hate fish. I even hate fishing rods. And,I hated Bill Cage.

The next day Bill came over to my house with a computer and a disk. And he made a bullet flyer of my talents:

There were three:

I could organize your house.

I could rearrange your house with the things you already have.

And, I could help you move.

Let’s Play House.

I put my flyer on every car in the Target parking lot and in every mailbox of every subdivision I could get to between9 and 3 for two weeks. I got a notice form Homeland Securities that I would be arrested for putting mail in a mailbox without using a stamp.

But, I got jobs. And one job led to the next. And I was furious at Bill Cage . And, I hated that he did not rescue me and I hated that I was not living the life that I was supposed to be living. And I hated that life was hard- I hated that if I had just gone along with things, I could still be married and not know a thing about money, and just be.

The carousel is not that bad. It’s up and down and round and round. But the sameness never changes .the ups and downs becomes the same . and round and round. And around we go. And where we land, we always know. And we know hills follow valleys and valleys follow hills. Up and down round and round the merrigolife we go.



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