Tag Archive: amanda

Jun 07

The Birthday Girl

 

 

Today, June 7th 2017, is my oldest daughter’s 17th birthday.

The next year is not going to be an easy one for her father, Jack. You see, my dear husband still sees Amanda as being a little girl.

Just a few days ago, Jack commented to me that Amanda is tall, slender, and (his words) “…very pretty…” And Jack is totally right…she’s all of those things, and more.

Amanda is smart, talented, and is growing into a fine, strong young woman. I couldn’t be more proud of her, nor could I love her more than I already do. She’s nothing short of wonderful.

I think it’s Amanda’s pretty part that Jack has the biggest issue with. When we go out, no matter if it’s the whole family, just me and Amanda, or when Jack and Amanda go someplace, the guys all stare at her. I have seen boys walk into other people because they are watching Amanda instead of where they are going. At the beach she quickly develops an entourage of males all vying for her attention. In many ways, it’s comical to watch.

Well, not for Jack. He would prefer the boys not even see her. I guess that’s normal for most dads.

The fact that Amanda has been playing Sexy and Seventeen by The Stray Cats on her guitar a lot hasn’t helped one little bit, either. I personally think she’s yanking her dad’s chain.

I don’t worry too much about Amanda. She’s been involved in a number of martial arts for more than a decade now. And she’s caught my way of telling people, particularly men, to take a hike in a socially acceptable manner. Or not so socially acceptable if needed. And, if push comes to shove, her dad is about 6’ 10” and masses about 250 pounds. Jack doesn’t need to do much more than look at someone to intimidate them.

But the fact remains that Jack would prefer Amanda not to notice the boys and the boys not know she even exists.

The only thing I could tell Jack was that while Amanda isn’t a little girl (and hasn’t been for a while now), she will always be his little girl.

He needs to let her go her own way.

I’ll let you know how that turns out. 🙂

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2017/06/07/the-birthday-girl/

Nov 14

On Teenage Daughters and Their Fathers — A Musical Note

 

 

Our oldest child, Amanda, will be seventeen in June. Amanda, and her sister Debbie (just turned fourteen in August) are my adopted daughters and I love them to death.

Over the years, Amanda and I have become very close. Her dad (my darling Jack, the love of my life) often expresses amazement that Amanda and I share no genetic information. We two share a special bond and how much we think alike shocks me sometimes, too.

Amanda’s love is music and she’s an accomplished musician playing guitar, banjo, dulcimer (both hammer and fretted), keyboards (including piano, harpsichord, and synthesizer), drums, she plays around a little with the saxophone and a few other wind instruments, and has in the last year or so been experimenting with the theremin. Guitar is by far her favorite instrument, though.

She does a good deal of original compositions as well as covers of a wide range of songs from all over the page in terms of genres. She’s in four different bands here in Rio de Janeiro that play classic rock, hard rock (and into a little metal), country, and pop.

But the other day, she did something that confirmed her father’s frequent accusations…

Jack will often accuse me and Amanda, as well as Debbie sometimes, of trying to kill him with some of the more, ummm, outlandish behaviors we are partial to. For example, Amanda has picked up on my flirtatious behaviors. This, and other things, make Jack just a little crazy.

Now, let me put this into perspective a little for you…

Amanda is less than an inch shorter than my 5’ 9”. OK…Jack claims I’m more like 5’ 10”, but what does he know? She’s slender and has great legs and, at least from a man’s point of view, a wonderful shape. She’s been wearing my bras for more than two years now. She has blonde hair (a shade or two darker than mine) to her waist and bright blue eyes. Add to this the fact that, also like me, Amanda is not the least bit hesitant or ashamed to show off her looks.

Another of Jack’s favorite sayings is that guns don’t kill people. Fathers with good looking daughters kill people. But I digress…

Jack is very supportive of Amanda’s music. He loves to hear her play and we’ve gone to many of the clubs where she plays with the bands she’s in even though we tend to be about twenty years older than the rest of the crowd in most cases. Jack even had Amanda teach him to play a song for me on our anniversary a few years back.

But last night she came up to the house (she has her own small house on the property) with a video she and her classic rock band made.

Ever heard the song Sexy and Seventeen by The Stray Cats? Ever seen the official video for the song? You can do so on YouTube.

Now…imagine this song being done by Amanda while dressed like “Little Marie” in the video. Even down to the Stray Cat logo body painted on her shoulder.

The whole thing, especially the Sexy and Seventeen part, was more than Jack could take. Her sat there and watched the video, his affect flat, staring at the big screen like her couldn’t take his eyes off of it.

Me, I was fighting the urge to get up and dance while I “listened” through my Bone Phones. It was good old rock and roll with a great beat. And I’ll admit I was proud with how great Amanda looked and sounded.

Jack, not so much.

He sat staring at the black screen for nearly a minute before he asked Amanda, “You’re not going to do that in a show are you?”

Amanda said the band planned to do an entire show of covers of Stray Cats and similar band’s music as well as few original songs she plans to write.

Jack nodded. “And you’ll be dressed…” He gestured at the TV. “Like that?”

Amanda just smiled and nodded. “Yeah, isn’t it hot?”

Jack seemed to shiver. “Sweetie, dad’s don’t like anyone thinking their daughter is hot.”

Amanda turned to me. “Mom, did you like it?”

I decided that discretion is better part of valor. At least for a moment before I changed my mind. “I think it’s great, but I have to make that show.”

Jack frowned. “You’re not really helping.” He shook his head and ran his fingers through his hair. “You two really are trying to kill me, aren’t you?”

Amanda laughed. “No daddy.” It then seemed that Amanda got the discretion I found so elusive. “If you tell me no, I won’t do it.”

She knows her dad inside out and backward. After about an hour of talking, Jack said it was OK for her to do the show.

And he promised to dance with me while we’re there.

Keep Loving!

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2016/11/14/on-teenage-daughters-and-their-fathers-a-musical-note/

Jun 07

Happy Birthday, Amanda

 

I’ve said before that the first half of the year is a busy one around here for birthdays, and I wasn’t kidding.

 

Amanda
Today, June 7, is my oldest daughter’s birthday. Amanda turns thirteen today.

I guess becoming an official teenager is a milestone. I really don’t remember when I turned thirteen…my life was in too much turmoil back then.

Anyway…

Amanda is now a teenager…much to her father’s dismay. Oh, Jack has known for some time now what was coming…also to his consternation, Amanda isn’t just now starting to notice boys. That’s been happening for several years now. Like all fathers with beautiful daughters, Jack would rather lock Amanda in her room until she’s old enough to date. Say around thirty-five or so.

And of course, this is all my fault.

Jack claims that Amanda is simply a younger version of me. It’s true—and I’ll admit—that Amanda and I share a good number of habits and traits. We both like to shop. We both like being the center of attention. We both like to dress nice. We both like to flirt. But all of this needs some point of reference, and that is that Amanda and I are not biologically related. She is Jack’s daughter by his first wife, and I simply adopted her. So we share no genetic material at all. That said, I have “known” Amanda since she was about 2 and we spent a lot of time together before Jack was divorced and he and I came together. For many years, Amanda called me “Aunt Melodee”, but the transition to “Mom” was pretty easy for her.

The fact that she and I are so much alike is proof—according to Jack—that nurture is at least as important as nature. Maybe he’s right.

Adding to Jack’s alarm is that Amanda has matured quickly. That’s a nice way of saying that she looks about 6 years older than she is. All I’m gonna say in explanation is that she can wear my bras. Yeah, Jack doesn’t care for that. Amanda is going to be tall, like her father…and like me. She’s already someplace between 5’5″ and 5’6″. She walks and works out with both me and her dad, so she’s trim and solid. She wanted to do gymnastics but, to be blunt, her boobs get in the way. That’s OK, though…she understands that guys like big boobs more than an uneven parallel bar routine.

While Amanda hasn’t made a clear choice as to what she wants to do with her life, she has the field narrowed down. She’s vacillating between music (she can play anything with strings or a keyboard), literature, and architectural art. I often think that she will probably end up with a combination of at least two of these. She can write stories and songs both, as well as a little poetry, and she’s good at all three. She has recently started writing some music, but that’s still in its infancy for her. And she can draw very nice designs for buildings and the like. Jack can’t blame me for any of that other than the story writing part. I can’t do any of the rest. And Amanda has become a bit of a world traveler, too. She’s made trips to Europe and Asia to study art, literature, architecture, and music the past couple of years.

I’ve tried to calm Jack’s fears. Amanda is the proverbial “good girl”, and I don’t think he has much to worry about. Yes, she talks a good game, but that’s all it is…just talk. At least right now. She does flirt with the boys around here…all right, she flirts with any boy she encounters, but she knows how to shut them down just as well. I’ll take credit for that part. Amanda also practices several of the oriental martial arts, so she can enforce her shut down as well.

But all of this leads me to one very important fact…

I love Amanda with everything in me, and no matter how old she gets or what she does with her life, she’ll always be my little girl.

Happy birthday, Sweetie…I love you.

Mom

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2013/06/07/happy-birthday-amanda/

Jun 10

And So It Goes…

It’s been a crazy few weeks. There has been a lot going on and not all of the stuff makes a lot of sense. Maybe most of it makes no sense at all. Let me explain…

First, the rest of our stuff got here from San Diego…a grand total of fourteen shipping containers. I know that seems like a lot, but remember that between our “everyday” cars and Jack’s “project” cars and other assorted motorized toys, there were seven cars, two trucks, five ATVs, a big travel trailer, and four motorcycles. Those take up a lot of room. All of that makes sense…I get it. The crazy part is how Jack, Amanda, and Maria in particular reacted to the stuff arriving…

They all went nuts. It was like everything had to be unpacked and put away within hours of its arrival. They were all in panic mode. The stuff spent the better part of two months in those big containers…why the rush to get it out now?

The only one that behavior made sense for was Maria…she is a GREAT cook, and like any skill, there are certain tools a great cook needs. Some of Maria’s tools were in the shipping containers, and she needed them to cook the things she wanted to cook. I can understand her needing to find a particular tool…at least sort of.

Jack, on the other hand, had it in his head that the cars all needed to be unloaded and in the garages (he has one for his project cars and there is another for the everyday cars) as soon as possible. Why? He didn’t plan to work on his projects right then, nor did we need the family cars because we have one vehicle here that we’ve been using while waiting for the stuff to arrive. I don’t get it. I do, however, get that he wanted to get inside the boxes and make sure that none of his “babies” were damaged in shipment. I really do understand that he sweats blood over those cars and puts a lot of work in on the restoration. I also gather that a couple of them are extremely rare and so are valuable. Yes, I get that he wants to check on them.

And then we have Amanda…she enlisted her sister and brother to help her carry her stuff from the containers into her house where it was piled up into several rooms. She then spent several days just looking at the piles…not actually sorting or putting it away…just looking at it and smiling. Most of it is still in the piles.

I blame Amanda’s behavior on her hormones playing ping-pong with her brain. See more below. As for Jack, I have no idea.

We have been considering buying some horses. Jack likes horses, as do the kids. Me, not so much. If the truth were told, I’m about halfway afraid of horses. Maybe I’m a little more than halfway afraid of them. An opportunity came up to buy five horses, and we took it. I guess that makes me a rancher now. Oh, joy. Amanda has apparently decided that she is now a cowgirl and has been wearing a cowboy hat pretty much all the time. I guess that’s OK, but there is one problem…

Her dad really doesn’t care for the cowboy hat and bikini combo that Amanda has become fond of. Maybe Jack is OK with her being fond of the look, but the fact that some of Amanda’s male friends are also very fond of the look really irritates him.

I think she looks pretty good in that outfit, and that’s also part of the problem. That makes it all my fault. At least Jack can’t blame me for the way the boy’s eyes rattle back and forth in their heads like marbles in a tin can when Amanda walks past them. He tries, though.

Between helping her sister and sorting through her own stuff, Debbie has something new that she is dissecting. I honestly have no idea what it is, but none of the workers are missing. As far as I know, it might be a chupacabra. I just hope it wasn’t sentient at some point in time.

Not to toot my own horn, but I’m pretty smart. I think Amanda is about as bright as I am. JJ is sharp as a tack, too. But Debbie makes us all look like low-grade morons. Honestly, the girl scares me sometimes. She’s not quite nine, and she talks like she’s in graduate school. Oh, and about 90% of the time, she has no sense of humor at all. Amanda and I will get the giggles over something, and Debbie just stands there and patiently waits for us to regain control while staring at us like an overworked, underpaid kindergarten teacher. When we stop laughing, she will usually ask something like, “And just why did you find that inanity so amusing?” That just sets us off again. She needs to get out more.

JJ has been having the time of his life. With all of the workers for the various contractors around, he has learned a lot of Portuguese and some of the local dialects. He can even translate to sign for me. JJ and Tripper have taken to patrolling the area and checking on things…I guess they think the security staff will miss something. One thing is becoming very clear about JJ…he’s going to be at least as big as his dad. JJ turned four just a while back, but he’s bigger than most of the seven-year-olds around here. The funny part (at least to me) is that he is challenging his dad at nearly every turn.

Every time his dad asks JJ to do something, there is an argument brewing. JJ will get defiant and Jack gets frustrated. Yeah, the testosterone gets pretty thick. Interestingly enough, if one of his sisters or I ask JJ to do the exact same thing, he smiles and does it right away with no drama. I guess it’s a male thing.

Lastly, I want to say just a few words about the passing of Ray Bradbury. Ray was an amazing man, both professionally and personally. I can count on one hand the number of people I have known who were as smart, compassionate, and as likeable as Ray and will have several fingers left over. I last saw him in late 2010, but I have exchanged E-Mails with Ray as late as April of this year. He could always make me laugh and think. I miss him already.

Rest in peace, Ray, and thanks for everything. Love you.

Keep Loving!

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/06/10/and-so-it-goes/

Feb 19

Watching Amanda Grow

A small disclaimer…Melodee and Amanda don’t know about this. The first they will hear of it is when I post it to Melodee’s blog. I am honestly not sure of the reaction I will get. I gave up a long time ago trying to predict the reactions of those two. It’s a game I can’t win. So, I’ll just post it and hope for the best. JD.

A few days ago I went to a Father-Daughter Dance with our oldest, Amanda. It was quite an experience…

I won’t waste your time with details about the event itself. It was just a gathering of young girls (ages 10-17) with their dads as their “dates”. It was billed as being ‘semi-formal’.

Melodee gave Amanda one of her formal evening gowns. While it’s beginning to look like Amanda might soon be as tall as Melodee (Melodee claims she’s 5’9″, but she’s closer to 5’10”), she’s only about 5’3″ now. Needless to say, the gown needed some alterations, but Melodee has a great seamstress who fixed that right up.

Don’t ask me too much about the gown. I have no clue of the maker or even the cost. I know Melodee had the gown for several years, and she never buys evening gowns off-the-rack. I’d bet dollars to donuts that it is a designer gown and cost as much as the GDP of some small countries.

What I do know is that it is a soft lavender color with lots of lace, some kind of sparkly things, and a bunch of buttons and bows.

As for me, I planned on wearing a tie and a sport coat. As you might have guessed, that idea didn’t fly with either Amanda or Melodee. I ended up in one of my good suits and all the trimmings. In retrospect, I’m glad I did wear the suit. All the other dads went full tilt as well, so I fit in much better than I would have in a sport coat.

I have, of course, seen Melodee in the gown before…I think I saw her wear it two, maybe three times to events. But I didn’t see Amanda in the modified gown until we were about to leave.

Amanda will be 12 very soon, but she’s growing up fast. Even to me, she looks more like she’s 16 or 17, maybe even a little older. She acts more like she’s pushing 20. I’ll be the first to admit that I would be more than happy for Amanda to stay a little girl forever. I think that all fathers can relate to that and will understand where I’m coming from. But I also know that she won’t be that precocious kid for very much longer. Just because I know this, that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

The first time I saw the gown on Amanda was when Melodee and her walked into the living room as we were getting ready to go. She was absolutely gorgeous. Again, I want to remind you that Amanda is my daughter, but Melodee adopted her when we were married. When Amanda stood there in that gown, her hair and makeup just perfect and blushing just a little, it really hit me how amazing it is that Melodee and Amanda are from two different gene pools.

I don’t know how much “coaching” Melodee did, if any, but Amanda had the same grace, poise, and charm that Melodee has. Despite the blush, Amanda was totally in control and her self-confidence radiated from her like a beacon in the dark. She moved with the same fluid-like elegance that I find so fascinating about her mom.

And the whole thing made me outrageously uncomfortable.

Amanda and I walked to the truck and I helped her get in, the only time during the “date” where she showed any hesitation as she worked to get into the tall truck with a long gown, and we headed off to the event.

We rode a way in silence, but Amanda finally asked me, “Do I look alright, dad?”

I smiled a little in the darkness, but I doubt she could see that in the dim dashboard lights. “Yes, little one, you look amazing…very pretty.”

She didn’t respond for a while. “This is kind of weird, isn’t it?”

I can never lie to any of the women in my life. “A little, yeah.”

“If you would rather not go, I’m cool with that.”

I hesitated a moment, thinking about how uncomfortable I felt, but there was never any real question in my mind. “No, I want to go.”

“Why?”

I shrugged inside my Armani, but again I doubt Amanda saw it. “Because I want to show off my beautiful daughter to everyone I can.”

Amanda didn’t speak again until we were turning into the parking lot. “Thanks, dad.”

After I backed the truck into a spot, I asked, “Thanks for what?”

“For saying I’m beautiful.”

I had no answer for that, so I helped her down from the truck, and we went inside.

The dance was an odd mixture of old-school things from the time when I—and I assume most of the other dads—was in my teens and more current things that the daughters there could relate to. There was music from the 80s and 90s as well as the latest sounds from the more recent Billboard lists. There were soft drinks, tea, and even a big bowl of punch to drink, and various snacks to indulge in.

As I looked around the room, I saw dozens of pretty young women in gowns and dresses, some looking strangely out of place because I knew them more as tom-boys in jeans and flannel shirts with ball caps. Every single one of the young ladies was pretty in the extreme.

But more, I saw an equal number of adult men in suits and ties—some of them also looking out of place because many are better known and more often seen in the clothing of ranchers, farmers, and self-employed business owners. And every single one of the men looked as uncomfortable as I felt.

While the music was varied, almost all of it was slow, a concession made to the fathers in attendance who would likely be unable to dance to the faster numbers, and for that I was thankful. At least I was thankful until it came time to dance with Amanda.

I have danced with Amanda in the past. In fact, I have danced with her more times than I can even begin to remember. You know what I mean…she would stand on my feet as I moved around, her small arms reaching up to hold my hands as we crossed the floor. I remember what just seems like yesterday when she and I danced at the reception after Melodee and I were married, her little white dress spinning in the air as we whirled about and her face filled with childish happiness and laughter spilling from her lips.

But now, as we walked to the dance floor, things were very different. Amanda was no longer a little girl. She didn’t need to reach up to hold my hands, and the child was gone. As I held my oldest child and we danced to the slow tune, I realized that Amanda really is growing up.

The term “young woman” took on a real meaning, not just words to cover some unclear concept that no one really understands. While at 12, Amanda is still years from being an adult, she is equally as far from being a child. She’s caught someplace in the middle, someplace between the innocence of childhood and the reality of adulthood.

It was at that moment when two very important facts came into my mind…

First, I was thankful for Melodee being there. What do I know about molding a girl into a woman? How can I possibly understand the things that Amanda needs to know about being a woman? How could I ever hope to teach her those things, even if I knew what they are? Melodee is better able to do that than I, and she is doing a wonderful job of it.

And second, I knew that I have to get my desire for Amanda to stay a little girl out of the picture. I am convinced that my desires will get in the way of Amanda becoming the woman she can—and must—become. It is this fact that had been making me uncomfortable all evening. I knew, somehow, down inside that this was the point where I needed to let go of Amanda the child and see her as Amanda the young woman.

No, Amanda isn’t a little girl anymore.

But she will always be my Little Girl.

Jack

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/02/19/watching-amanda-grow/

Feb 03

Life With Melodee — Part 6

People often ask me the same question:

What is it like to live with Melodee?

That’s a pretty big and deep subject, and there isn’t an easy answer. Like the old saying goes, it’s complicated.

But I’m going to try to tell you a little about what Life With Melodee is like in a series of postings here on Melodee’s blog.

Part Six
The Girls

I’ve spent a good deal of time in this series talking about Melodee and my daughters, Amanda and Debbie. This time, I’m going to talk almost exclusively about the three in general and specifically about how they interact in ways that have changed my life.

Mostly for the better.

I’ve already said that Melodee, Debbie, and Amanda all sort of took to each other from the very start. This is especially true for Melodee and Amanda. It’s sometimes hard to believe that they aren’t actually from the same gene pool, and they are so much alike that it scares me sometimes. This is especially true when you understand that Amanda is not quite 12 right now, and she’s already acting enough like Melodee to make me nervous. At any rate…

I really don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point, I started to call the three women in my life “The Girls”. I have to admit that I stole the term from some of Melodee’s books. Those of you familiar with her Immortal Love Universe will know that the Emperor (Jim) refers to his four wives (Marilyn, Janelle, Tanya, and Paige) as The Girls. And yeah, The Girls is always capitalized.

The Girls all love to shop. Maybe it would be more accurate to say that they live to shop. I knew before Melodee and I became a couple that she was a shop-o-holic, and Debbie and Amanda soon followed suit. It still fascinates me, though, that many of the shopping trips The Girls take don’t actually involve buying anything. They all seem happy to just look, try on new outfits, and go through every pair of shoes and every purse in the stores. Except for the jewelry stores.

When Melodee and I got together, Amanda had her ears pierced. That was it. Now, Debbie has 3 piercings in her ears and Amanda has 5. That’s nothing compared to Melodee’s 7 in her ears and a few, well, extras. Amanda has even asked about getting her tongue pierced. The answer was no. I would guess that between my two daughters, they had maybe a total of a dozen rings, necklaces, bracelets, and other jewelry items. Now they probably have 100 or more pieces. Each. But even at Tiffany’s, they all tend to look at a lot more stuff than they buy. Thank God for small favors.

And then there is the food and drink thing. There was a time that the only thing Amanda and Debbie would drink was Coke or Pepsi. I at least weaned them over to diet. On the other hand, Melodee rarely drinks anything other than tea (both iced and hot). Amanda and Debbie absolutely hated tea in any form. Now, The Girls go through more tea than the entire English Navy and Army combined. Amanda and Debbie turn their noses up at soda. The good news is that The Girls have all transitioned over to decaffeinated tea.

As for food, Melodee has, as far as I know, always hated fish and seafood of any kind. It’s funny, but she will eat tuna salad now and then. Amanda and Debbie like fish and seafood. We often go, as a family, to a little diner down the road a couple of miles, and they have nightly specials. On Friday, as is tradition, they have a “Seafood Trio” that consists of shrimp scampi, a hunk of grilled salmon, and a couple of cod fillets. They also have the “Fish Fry” that is three of the cod fillets with slaw and French fries. Melodee has taken to ordering the Fish Fry and she actually likes it. Sometimes, she will steal a few bites of the salmon from Debbie or Amanda. She hasn’t worked up to the shrimp yet.

Someplace down the line, the dress code also changed. Melodee used to have exactly three modes of dress: (1) Jeans and Tee Shirt, (2) Formal Wear, and (3) Super Sexy. Since becoming a mom to a pair of prepubescent girls, Melodee has only changed her style of dress a little. In most ways, she has simply combined #1 and #3 above. She has also added a fourth group that I like to call “Casual Mom”. This style usually consists of The Girls all dressing alike. And that worries me sometimes.

Melodee has a closet full of what she calls her Little Black Dresses, or simply LBD. Now, Amanda and Debbie also have several versions of LBDs. The three also have several other matching outfits. While Debbie is still very much a little girl (she’s only 9 now), Amanda is becoming a young woman. Yeah, I hate that. And while Amanda will not likely be as tall as Melodee, it’s getting easier every day to get them confused.

A lot of the above are things that I admit to having some mixed emotions about. I sometimes wonder if our daughters are growing up too fast, but that is probably just me wanting them to be little girls forever. After all, that whole boy and dating thing really bugs me. But there is one area that is absolutely positive, and that is the fact that both Amanda and Debbie have good ideas of what they want to do with their lives now.

Debbie has always been interested in life science and biology. She loves all that stuff, even if I don’t understand any of it. She’s still undecided on exactly what specific area she wants to go into, but she’s floating someplace between medicine for people and medicine for animals. In other words, she can’t pick just now between being an MD or a DVM. Either would be great as far as I’m concerned.

Amanda on the other hand is also floating between two careers, but maybe not as desirable in the eyes of some parents. She loves the guitar and music in general. Some days, I think she’s decided on becoming a rocker. But, like Melodee, Amanda loves to write and tell stories. I have this feeling that when all is said and done, Amanda will do both and be a songwriter. Maybe a little like Jim Croche or Tom T. Hall telling stories with her songs. As for me, I’m good with that. I think either or both would be good for her. Again I admit that I really don’t care to watch Amanda doing some of the same moves as Nancy Wilson while she plays the guitar.

And that brings me to the real bottom line of all of this.

Melodee has been a great and positive influence on my daughters. No, let me correct that…Amanda and Debbie are OUR daughters. Melodee is teaching them the things that a young woman needs to know. I mean things like respecting and loving themselves, how to pick a good man while avoiding the bad ones, and how to care about other people. Most importantly, Melodee is teaching them that there is nothing they can’t do if they want it and are willing to work hard to get it.

And all three of The Girls are learning how to love from each other.

Jack

 

Permanent link to this article: http://melodeeaaron.com/blog/2012/02/03/life-with-melodee-part-6/

Jan 23

Life With Melodee – Part 2

People often ask me the same question:

What is it like to live with Melodee?

That’s a pretty big and deep subject, and there isn’t an easy answer. Like the old saying goes, it’s complicated.

But I’m going to try to tell you a little about what Life With Melodee is like in a series of postings here on Melodee’s blog.

Part Two
The Early Years

Back in the early days of my life with Melodee, it was very much an employer/employee relationship.

I admit that I was attracted to her from the moment I met her, but as I have said before, I was married and had a young daughter, Amanda. Even though my wife and I had problems, I take a great deal of pride in the fact that I never cheated on her. Not once. I guess one could say that, as Jimmy Carter put it, I did “lust in my mind” a few times, but I never acted on those thoughts.

Melodee and Diana gave me a free hand to set up things as I saw fit on the security side of the coin. I got rid of the contracts with the security companies and hired our own people. Most were old friends and others from the military. Some were special ops people, others were military police types, and a few were new to the idea of security but they had potential. I had teams in place at Melodee’s house and to go along on trips. It was all working very well. Things went smoothly and Melodee was past her fear of going out in public again.

I know it was only because I felt attracted to Melodee, but the fact that she dated other people bothered me. I tried to rationalize that irritation as her being alone with someone was a security risk. That was, and I knew it then, total bullshit. I was envious of her dates at best. I was just plain jealous at worse. There was even a time that I tried to talk her out of going out with a particular woman because I was worried about her being exposed to risks. I even offered to go along to “protect” her. Melodee just laughed and went anyway. Alone.

I don’t think I mentioned that Melodee was bisexual. She had just as many dates with women and she did men. Yeah, that bothered me, too.

I remember one turning point in our relationship, though.

One of the guards at the house had a baby, and he needed a few days off to be with his wife and new son, so I covered for him. Melodee’s property has a fairly large lake, and she was down on the boat dock laying in the sun working on her tan. I used the excuse of keeping an eye on her to tag along. Actually, I rationalize a lot. I couldn’t resist watching her in her bikini. I really was keeping an eye on her.

I had stood up from my chair to get some iced tea, and Melodee decided to stand up for some reason. Being ever the officer and a gentleman, I went to help her up. I had her hands in mine, and as she tried to stand, her bare foot on the towel she’d been lying on, the towel slipped on the wooden dock and she started to fall. Without thinking, I grabbed her under the arms and more or less picked her up and we ended up in what could easily have been seen as an embrace.

So there we stood on the dock, my arms around Melodee’s waist and hers had moved up to circle my neck. Our faces were maybe 6 inches apart as she stared up at me. I imagine that my face was at least as slack-jawed as hers looked to me. We held that position for what seemed like minutes, but it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. I knew I should say something, but I couldn’t think of anything, let alone something neutral.

Melodee recovered first. A smile that was like dawn breaking spread over her face and she said, “Thanks. I could have broken my neck.”

All I could say in reply was something like, “You’re welcome.”

We let go of each other and went about the rest of the day like nothing happened.

A couple of years after I went to work for Melodee, my marriage fell apart completely and for the last time. By then, Amanda was pushing 3-years-old and I had another daughter, Debbie, who was nearing 1-year-old. I didn’t fight for the girls in the divorce, instead settling for a pretty much standard shared custody deal where the girls stayed with their mother. I would often bring the girls up to Melodee’s place for the weekend so they could be outside and enjoy the fresh air out of the city. The girls both fell in love with Melodee and she with them. They called her “Aunt Melodee”. There was no secret that Melodee liked to party. She had some drug issues that she worked hard to keep in remission, not always with great success, but she tried. But she was great with the girls, and I couldn’t help but think that Melodee would make a great mom one day.

One evening, I was again covering security at the house, and we had just finished dinner. Melodee and I sat at the table in the dining room and sipped at some wine. Melodee is nothing if not blunt, and she asked me, “So, Jack, when are you going to take the girls away from your ex?” I told her that a single man who traveled as much as I did to work with her would have pretty much zero chance of getting full custody. Melodee just shrugged. “Maybe. You and I both know that Paula [my ex] is a tweaker.”

I could only nod. I’d known that Paula was using meth, but I’d rationalized that she didn’t abuse the girls. Looking back now, I understand that neglect is just a subset of abuse. I was wrong and I put my girls at risk because of my mistakes. I’ll never be able to make that up to them.

Melodee only smiled at me. “It takes a junkie to know a junkie. You need to get the girls away from her.”

I can’t remember what it was now, but something interrupted us and we wouldn’t return to the conversation for some time.

As time went on, Melodee and I became friends. We shared a lot of laughs and some sad times, too. How could we not? We were together a great deal of the time, and we were deeply involved in each other’s lives.

I thought a lot about asking Melodee to go out with me, but it seems like every time I worked my nerve up to actually asking her, she would find some new flame and I would back off.

When Amanda was 4 and Debbie 2, I finally decided, with Melodee’s support, to get custody of the girls. It was surprisingly easy, too. All my ex cared about was the child-support money. I just agreed to keep sending her the money, and she signed the papers giving me custody and her visitation rights.

But that created a new problem: I had a single bedroom apartment in Alpine, about 10 miles from Melodee’s house, and I needed to find a new place to live.

In her typical offhand manner, Melodee said, “Hell, that house is way too big for me. You and the girls can move into my place. We’ll probably never see each other.”

And so, Amanda, Debbie, and I all moved into Aunt Melodee’s place.

Next time I’ll talk about how Melodee and I fell in love, or at least how we came to know that we’d been in love for a long time already.

Jack

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