Playdate dating

Online dating with a difference. Playdate allows you to meet new people, send gifts, chat on video and join groups all while maintaining your privacy. Make the first move! Start meeting new people, send them gifts and more! Get notified when we launch! Thank you! Your submission has been received! Playdate is alive with possibilities and surprises, future games and new ways to make them. We’ll have even more to talk about at launch. We weren’t kidding about the crank. It flips out from the side, a rotating analog controller that puts a whole new spin on games. PLAYDATE is an online dating site/app that requires members first play a interactive, light-hearted Question and Answer game called “ICEBREAKER” Before they can chat with one another for the first time. Icebreaker game takes the awkwardness out of meeting someone online by requiring both members to answer funny (and informative) questions. Dating again now that you are older and wiser can be exciting, and daunting. Before dating make sure you are at the point where your past relationship truly feels past. You should be in a place where you feel good about yourself and happy in your own space. This self-confidence shows and will make you a more desirable partner for others. playdate top articles High Viral Loads Make Kids ‘Silent Spreaders’ of COVID-19 Aug 20, 2020 Clotting Tied to COVID-19 May Harm the Placenta May 27, 2020 Play and Date are social interactions between characters that have two or more full relationship hearts; in other words, the character has become the player's Buddy. Playing or dating can be initiated once per week per character. Only one character can be played with per day. With the Social Maniac social skill, play can be activated at the Associate relationship level instead of Buddy.

Ex No Contact

2014.04.08 04:48 shinerdawg Ex No Contact

Thank you, next!
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2009.02.23 19:53 NeedAFriend: Let's chat, vent, share, and feel better

Are you looking for a new friend or a kind voice? This is a subreddit for people looking to make strictly platonic friends from nearby or around the world. You are welcome to post and talk, private message others, discuss and share in a supportive manner.
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2014.01.21 05:06 xvvhiteboy NeedAFriend: Let's chat, vent, share, and feel better

This is a subreddit for people who have a lot going on in their lives or for people who wanna share how their day/week/month has been going, personal life, work life, or just to talk and make friends. If you need to vent and don't wanna be judged about it this is your place. In this subreddit, there will be only neutral parties to give advice or to talk to. So tell me how your is day going?
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2020.09.26 16:07 esslyt Puberty problems?

Hi everyone, my border collie mix is now 6mo and I'm noticing he is entering a stubborn phase. He is developing very selective hearing, doesn't react 100% to his recall, doesn't want to enter his crate when it's time to rest (he did this 100% of the times in the past 4 months) and he started resource guarding with his chew treats which he didn't do as much before. He also started just picking up random stuff and refusing to drop it.
What can I do to improve this? We have one walk around 7 30 am (for 30min) and the rest we spend playing fetch, frisbee, tug of war and then breakfast and crate around 9am. 4 or 5 hours later someone comes from work and we go for another walk, cuddle time (he is usually napping in the afternoon) and some playtime, in total around another hour of attention. He gets a stuffed kong for a snack in his crate. Around 5 30, 6pm we usually go for a longer walk or go to a puppy playdate or we just play in the yard for hour and a half to 2 hours, we pet him, cuddle him and just enjoy each others company. Then dinner time and bedtime around 8 30.
Me and my family give him at least 4 hours a day of our undivided attention (we all work so he does spend a fair bit of time in crate - 8 hours in total but someone comes mid-day for a walk, and during the night he sleeps alone in crate). Are we doing something wrong? Is this just a phase? Should we do more with him? I don't want him hating his crate. I'm clueless on what to do, he is socialized with other dogs and people and he is growing up to be a very friendly dog, we do training sprinkled throughout the day, we give him at least 2 hours of physical activity - walking, playing fetch or we make sure he goes on a puppy play date. He has lots of toys and chew treats to keep him entertained when he is alone. Did we spoil him? Is this schedule okay? Are the hormones getting to him? 😭😭 I just love him so much and I want to do right by him.
submitted by esslyt to DogAdvice [link] [comments]


2020.09.25 16:29 AshleighBSB Confessions of a Teenage Celebrity - Chapter 2: Meet the Parents (Part 2)

[Cover] [Table Of Contents] [Prologue] [Book 1] [Patreon] [Discord] [Join my mailing list for a free book]
I slid out of the bench and waited for Melinda to do the same. I took her hand and led her upstairs, towards my bedroom, but only so that we could have a little privacy in the hallway. I ran my fingers through her hair, excited to be close to her again.
“I missed you, Daphne.” I pulled her close to kiss her, but she put her hands on my chest and pushed me away. “What’s wrong?”
Melinda closed her eyes. “So many things.” I could hear the pain in her quiet voice.
I looked around, considering the best place to have this conversation, then led her to the video game room Mom insisted on calling our playroom. I opened the door and Walter jumped off a chair, dropping the controller he had just been holding.
“I’m cleaning. Oh, it’s you.”
“We’re not here.” I glared at him as I led Melinda to the bean bag chairs in the back of the room. Walter sat back down, but turned to his friend.
“What’re you doing here?”
“Your mom thought maybe you’d clean your room if you knew I was here.” I could tell she was trying to sound lighthearted, but there was still some pain in her voice.
“She must not know me. But, why are you here? Like, at our house?”
Melinda looked at me. “Well…”
My brother can be such a baby. He started whining. “Oh, man! You came to see him?”
I wanted to jump in, but Melinda was quicker than me. “No. Your mom called mine last night to invite me over. To have a playdate with you.”
Walter couldn’t quite hide his surprise. “She didn’t.”
“Well, my mom didn’t call it a playdate, but yeah. She pretty much did.”
“So, why did she send me up here and make Pat stay?”
“Because I had already told my mother about me and Pat and she was uncomfortable. So, we just had to have a really awkward conversation with our moms.”
“Okay. Never inviting a girlfriend over. That’s good to know. Who’s up for WTTE?”
I glared at Walter. Melinda was one of his best friends. Couldn’t he see she was upset? “Not now, doofus. Go back to your game.”
I took Melinda’s hand and, sitting in one of the chairs, I pulled her into the one beside me. “What’s wrong, Daphne?”
“Did you get my text?”
I shook my head. “When?”
“Last night.”
I checked my phone again to be sure. “Nothing. I saw you had tried to chat, but when I called back, there was no answer.”
“My phone died.” So, my brother had been right. It irked me he knew my girlfriend better than me. Melinda’s eyes welled with tears. “What’s going on with you and Poppy Sommers?”
I tried to hide my surprise. My first thoughts were the rumors my brother and sister mentioned to me last week. Melinda didn’t need to know about that, though.
“Poppy? Nothing. Why?”
Her face fell. “My mom’s right. You are a good actor. There’s something you’re not telling me.”
Ouch. That hurt. She was right, of course. I wasn’t sure what hurt more. The fact that she could tell I was hiding something or the look she gave me when I didn’t succeed.
“Daphne, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Can you please just start at the beginning?”
Melinda passed me her phone. I glanced at it long enough to register a paparazzi photo of me with Poppy. I passed the phone back to her.
“Poppy and I were together last summer.” I shrugged. “You knew that.”
Melinda replied slowly, as if she were choosing her words carefully. “No, I didn’t. But, this isn’t from this summer. This is from the other day.”
I took the phone back and read through it carefully. I could feel Walter reading over my shoulder. I should have been upset that he hadn’t been minding his own business, but I was so mad with what I was reading, I couldn’t spare any energy for him.
I got to the end of the article and swore. I scrambled to my feet and stormed out of the room, muttering something about killing my agent. I nearly bumped into Meghan.
“Whoa. You okay?” I couldn’t imagine what must have been on my face for her to ask that.
“No, I’m not. Leave me alone.”
My phone was charging in my room. I found it and had nearly dialed Cynthia’s number when I realized I needed to cool down a little. I paced back and forth a long time. Probably a good minute or two.
I had the phone back in my hand, looking up Cynthia’s number again, when Walter came in.
“You okay, dude?”
I swore at him, telling him to leave.
“I’ll take that as a no. Want me to call Cynthia for you?”
I thrust the phone at him and resumed pacing. He might be my little brother, but sometimes I wondered if he was more mature than me. I was starting to calm down when the call went to voicemail. Walter inclined the phone towards me.
“This is Patrick McGregor. Have you seen the rumors going around? Fix this. Now!”
Walter ended the call before I could start the litany of threats that were running through my head.
He returned the phone to my desk. “You realize it’s barely sunrise there, right?” he pointed out as he returned my phone to my desk.
No. I hadn’t. Time zones made my head hurt.
I followed Walter back into the playroom. Meghan was sitting with Melinda on the chairs. Way to go, Pat. Abandoned your girlfriend while she’s upset. Leave your siblings to pick up the pieces. I tried to explain away my behavior.
“I tried to contact Cynthia. She’s probably still sleeping. Stupid time difference.”
Meghan stood. “We’ll call her later. I need to have a few words with her myself.”
Walter sent Meghan a curious look. “About this Poppy thing?”
I held out a hand to help Melinda to her feet, then just held her close a moment while Meghan replied.
“No. Nightshade.”
Walter grimaced, then tried to change the subject “Well, since we’re waiting for LA to wake up, who’s up for a game of WTTE?”
Melinda looked at me quizzically. “What’s WTTE?”
I shook my head. “It’s easier to show you.”

Walter had been extremely upset when he realized he had forgotten to bring Weddas home, so he created what he named Weddas, the Travel Edition, or WTTE. It essentially used paper instead of tiles. The advantage was that we could pick whichever letters we wanted to use when it was our turn.
While we were playing, Walter mentioned running into Mom, who told her Melinda would be spending the day. I felt significantly better after hearing this and turned to Meghan, finally registering what she had said earlier.
“Did you say you needed to talk to Cynthia, too?”
Meghan rolled her eyes. I had no idea what she was trying to tell me. She knows I don’t understand eye rolls. “Nightshade,” was all she said.
Walter and I gave involuntary shutters, but Melinda was obviously confused. “What’s Nightshade?”
Meghan explained, with help from Walter and I, about the inappropriateness of the movie and how Cynthia thinks its time for Meghan to shed her good-girl image.
“But, it’s not an image, right? I mean, I get the impression you’re like your brothers. You really are a good, wholesome girl. And, I don’t mean that to be insulting. It’s something to be proud of.”
Meghan turned to Walter. “Is she this insightful with everyone?”
“Pretty much. Except when it comes to boyfriends. She has a horrible track record there.”
“Ouch!” I tried to mask my feelings, but that one kind of hurt.
Melinda shook her head. “No. Walter’s right. I told you about my disasters.”
Curiosity got the better of me. I put my arm around her and played with her hair. “Actually, you never mentioned why you broke up with Townie.”
“You looked at me.”
Her smile was almost as infectious as mine. “No, seriously. Why’d you break up?”
Walter smirked. “She is serious. He got jealous you looked at her.”
I thought about this a moment. This jealous Townie was the guy she had dated after the guy who made a bet with his friends about kissing her. “Yeah, you really do have horrible taste in guys. What does that say about me?”

When we went downstairs to make ourselves lunch, Mom told us to have some lunchmeat and soup. I was glad she didn’t suggest leftovers. I was done with Thanksgiving food for a while.
Walter, Meghan, and I busied ourselves in the kitchen, and Melinda wanted to help. She can be so adorable sometimes. After a discussion about Walter’s atrocious table manners, the conversation turned to what we should do after lunch. Melinda thought video games sounded fun, so we brought her upstairs and let her pick out whatever game she wanted. After looking around for a moment, she held one up.
“Can you teach me to play this one?”
Walter groaned when he saw the box, but I couldn’t help but smile. She was holding my favorite game. Are we perfect for each other or what? Meghan, who hates video games, decided to join us, and we played some easy rounds for a while. I wanted to let Melinda win, but Walter was ahead of her. One of the reasons he hated this game was because I always beat him. I couldn’t change that now, could I?
I needn’t have worried. At the last moment, Melinda threw her clock power up, which froze the rest of us while she glided past the finish line. We played a few more rounds before Walter put his elf lord game into the console. Meghan died fairly early and realized she could be doing anything else right now. After Melinda died, I realized that I could either keep killing elves or snuggle with my girlfriend. I didn’t need to ponder that choice very long.
I gestured for her to join me in my beanbag chair and held her close, whispering into her ear.
“I missed you, Daphne. I miss holding you.”
She simply snuggled closer. I played with her hair while watching Walter. He was trying to fight hand-to-hand with a dryad, but he had the wrong weapon. I tried to help.
“Dude!” I yelled at him. “Not the arrows!”
“I know, I know!” I could hear the frustration in Walter’s voice. He pressed buttons, swearing at the game until he had a sword in his hand and he could behead the creature.
“That was close.” Walter sighed as he moved on to the next level.
Melinda turned to me, putting her hands around my neck as I kissed her. Electricity flowed through me and I wasn’t sure whether my heart was beating faster or had just stopped beating all together. Either way, I was pretty sure it was about to explode when she rested her forehead against mine.
“I missed you, too.” She smiled at me before kissing me again.

When Walter starting cursing out the game again, it kinda killed the mood and I offered to take Melinda on a tour of the house. Then, we tried to think of what to do.
“How warm’s the pool?” she asked.
I frowned. “The filter’s broken. I wanted to swim this morning, after my run, but Mom said we can’t use it until the filter is fixed. I say we watch a movie.”
“In that theater?” There was something in her tone that made me realize she was a little intimidated by the room.
I shrugged. “Well, yeah. That’s the best place to watch movies.”
“Um, is your mom gonna freak out if you and I watch a movie alone there?” she asked. She was so adorable sometimes.
She was also probably right. Technically Mom said not to go in the bedrooms alone. She hadn’t said anything about any other room. But, I pictured her walking in on Melinda and I sitting alone in the theater. Even if I just had my arm around Melinda, Mom would probably freak out. I went over to the kitchen intercom.
“Melinda and I are gonna watch a movie. Anyone want to join us?”

Not only did Mom decide to join us, but when Melinda and I showed indecision about what to watch, Mom made us watch her stupid Christmas musical. Not one that she was in, thankfully. One that was older than Granny and Pop-Pop. Well, maybe not quite that old, but old. It’s not really that bad of a movie. But, Mom makes us watch it every year.
I used the popper to make some popcorn and grabbed some diet sodas from the fridge. The theater was large enough that we didn’t have to sit near Mom. I was able to at least put my arm around Melinda and she nuzzled close to me. But, I wasn’t about to kiss her with my mother in the room. That would be too weird.
Walter joined us about halfway through the movie. He plopped himself next to Melinda, helping himself to her popcorn, which she had long abandoned. Mom was sitting a few rows in front of us, singing along with the trio on the screen.

Dad came home in time for supper. The band had been working at Uncle Vinny’s house, about an hour away. His house isn’t quite as big as ours, but he also has a recording studio. I was pretty sure they were rehearsing for the tour they’re doing at the beginning of the year.
When Melinda and I arrived at the supper table, the rest of my family was already sitting there. Melinda had met Dad once, so no introductions were necessary, but I could tell she was still intimidated being near him. I sat beside my brother and Melinda sat across from me.
We said our traditional table blessing, which Melinda recognized enough to pray with us, then Mom served the meatloaf and brown rice. Walter took a double helping and Meghan looked at it skeptically.
“Am I allowed to have that?”
“I used whole-wheat breadcrumbs and ground turkey,” Mom reassured her.
I made a face and saw Melinda try to suppress a giggle by taking a long sip of her water.
“Drown it in sauce,” Walter suggested, passing me the gravy boat.
I took his suggestion, eating a bite of meatloaf that was more sauce than meat. It didn’t help. I wasn’t sure if it was the meatloaf or the popcorn earlier, but I found I wasn’t very hungry. I pushed the food around my plate a little, figuring I could raid the kitchen when everyone went upstairs.
Mom turned to me. “Did you get in touch with Cynthia?” I shoved the disgusting meat into my mouth to avoid answering, almost immediately regretting doing so. Did Mom hear about the Poppy thing? By the time I choked down my food, I remembered she wanted me to tell Cynthia about Melinda.
I downed half my glass of water. “No. I left her a message, but she didn’t get back to me. The thing is, I think it’s time for a new agent.”
“Patrick.” Mom sighed. Using my full name usually meant she was angry, but in this case, I think it was more exasperated. “Just because you don’t want to tell her about your girlfriend doesn’t mean you need a new agent.”
“It’s not that.” I could feel my face grow hot.
“Pat has a girlfriend?” Dad looked from Mom to me. “When do I get to meet her?”
Walter pointed across the table with his fork. “She’s sitting right there.”
Dad looked between Walter and Melinda a few times. “But, I thought you were Walter’s study partner. The one whose math homework he copies.” He winked at Melinda and I realized she must have told him about the running joke she had with Walter.
Melinda smiled and seemed to relax a little. “Can’t I be both?”
Dad seemed to consider this a moment. “I suppose so,” he nodded as he took another bite of meatloaf.
I tried to bring the conversation back to the point. “I just don’t think Cynthia’s looking out for our best interests any more. She’s not correcting all the rumors flying around.”
“What rumors?” Mom sat up a little straighter.
I exchanged looks with my siblings. None of us wanted to actually say it out loud. Melinda rolled her eyes. I had no idea what she was trying to tell me, but she picked up her phone. After fiddling with it for a moment, she passed it to my mother, who was sitting beside her.
Mom held the phone between herself and Dad and they read the article silently. I didn’t even pretend to eat my meatloaf. I just pushed it aside. Walter swapped his empty plate with mine and continued eating. Seriously, the guy has a problem.
Mom looked at me. “I agree that Cynthia should have fixed this, but it’s still not a reason to fire her.”
Walter pointed across the table with his fork. “What about Meghan? Cynthia didn’t fix the rumors about her either.”
“And then there’s the script,” I pointed out.
Meghan was shaking her head, but I didn’t see her until the words were out of my mouth.
“What script?” Mom asked.
Meghan glared at me as she sighed. “Cynthia sent me a script. She thinks it would be perfect for me. I read it and told her I didn’t think it was right for me, but she is insisting that it’s what I need now that I’m eighteen.”
“You can’t fire your agent over a poorly written script.”
“It’s not poorly written. Well, it is. But…” Meghan started turning red.
I decided to help her out. “It’s a horrible fit for Meghan, Mom.”
“There’s a lot of really foul language,” Walter added. “And, how do I put this nicely?”
“If she did this movie,” Melinda said slowly, “she would be spending more time with her clothes off than on.”
“Oh.” Mom sounded a little taken aback.
“Definitely not,” Dad agreed.
Meghan rolled her eyes.“Obviously not. I didn’t like it from the first page. The problem isn’t the script. It’s that Cynthia thinks this is a good idea.”
Mom looked around at us. “Well, I’ll tell you what. I think you are all old enough to find your own agents.”
“What about Rita?” Walter asked, referring to Mom’s agent.
Mom shook her head. “She and I have discussed it. She would consider taking you on, Meghan.” Mom nodded her head at my sister before looking back towards my brother and me. “But she’s not really confident about taking on you two. Actually, she flat out told me she’d never be able to find you voice work.”
“Pat found CIAmy,” Walter pointed out. He turned to me. “Wanna be each other’s agents?”
My response was dripping with sarcasm. “Yeah. I’ll just look for scripts while doing my physics homework.”
When everyone had finished laughing, Mom turned back to Walter and me. “Do some research and we can talk about it before you boys go back to school.”

After supper, Melinda needed to go home. I wanted to drive her, but Mom said that now that we were back in Connecticut, I had to follow the laws here, which meant I could only drive family members until March, when my restrictions would be lifted. Meghan offered to drive and even said she would let me drive home if I wanted.
Walter opted not to come with us, since he had to read his scripts for the rest of the week. He didn’t need to memorize anything, but Sammy McSmartypants sometimes had some difficult words to pronounce. The character was perfect for Walter, but he still needed to make sure he was familiar with the material before heading into the studio tomorrow.
About halfway to Melinda’s house, when I pulled her close to me in the cozy backseat, I realized the advantage to my sister driving. Melinda and I kissed the entire way back to her house.

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[Table Of Contents] [Chapter 3 coming October 2]
Want to read more about Walter and Melinda? Check out Boarding School Break: Happy Thanksgiving - Chapter 4: Hanging Out At The Mansion
submitted by AshleighBSB to AshleighStevens [link] [comments]


2020.09.25 16:23 AshleighBSB Boarding School Blues - Chapter 4: Hanging Out At The Mansion

[Cover] [Chapter 1] [Table Of Contents] [Patreon] [Discord] [Join my mailing list for a free book]
This is Book 4: Boarding School Break: Happy Thanksgiving
[Book 2: Boarding School Beginnings] [Book 3: Boarding School Boyfriends]

Big. Enormous. Large.
My friend lives in a mansion.
Huge. Colossal. Vast.
Pat took Melinda to the top of the right staircase and a couple of steps down a corridor before he stopped and faced her. He ran his finger through her hair, saying “I missed you, Daphne.”
He left his hand behind her head as he pulled her towards him for a kiss. Melinda placed her hands on her chest and gently pushed him away.
His face was full of concern. “What’s wrong?”
Melinda closed her eyes, fighting back tears. “So many things.”
Pat looked around, then took Melinda’s hand and led her to the opposite end of the house to the second door on the right. The door was closed, but Pat entered without knocking.
“I’m cleaning,” Walter said, jumping off a chair. “Oh, it’s you.” He sat back down, but did not pick up the remote control he had obviously just dropped.
“We’re not here.” Pat glared at his brother as he led Melinda to some bean bag chairs in the corner of the room. Melinda looked around, noticing a large television on one wall with more bean bag chairs scattered around the room. There were remote controls and games all over the floor, and some plates and cups stacked on a table.
Walter pouted, turning to Melinda. “What’re you doing here?”
“Your mom thought maybe you’d clean your room if you knew I was here.”
“She must not know me. But, why are you here? Like, at our house?”
Melinda looked cautiously at Pat. “Well…”
“Oh, man! You came to see him?” Walter did not hide his whine.
“No. Your mom called mine last night to invite me over. To have a playdate with you.”
Walter raised his eyebrows. “She didn’t.”
“Well, my mom didn’t call it a playdate, but yeah. She pretty much did.”
“So, why did she send me up here and make Pat stay?”
“Because I had already told my mother about me and Pat and she was uncomfortable. So, we just had to have a really awkward conversation with our moms.”
“Okay. Never inviting a girlfriend over. That’s good to know. Who’s up for WTTE?”
“Not now, doofus. Go back to your game.” Pat glared at his brother before turning to Melinda. He took her hand and gently pulled her into one of the chairs as he sat in another. “What’s wrong, Daphne?”
She kept her voice low. “Did you get my text?”
Pat shook his head. “When?”
“Last night.”
Pat checked his phone, again shaking his head. “Nothing. I saw you had tried to chat, but when I called back, there was no answer.”
“My phone died. What’s going on with you and Poppy Sommers?” She could feel the tears stinging her eyes, but she refused to let them fall.
“Poppy? Nothing. Why?”
Melinda saw something in Pat’s expression that she had never seen before and it hurt her. She responded very quietly. “My mom’s right. You are a good actor. There’s something you’re not telling me.”
“Daphne, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Can you please start at the beginning?”
Melinda pulled out her phone and showed him the image Joey had shown her the night before. Pat gave it a cursory glance before returning it with a shrug.
“Poppy and I were together last summer. You knew that.”
“No, I didn’t. But, this isn’t from this summer. This is from the other day.”
Pat looked at the article more carefully, scrolling slowly enough that Melinda realized he must be reading it. Meanwhile, Walter must have been listening to the conversation, because he suddenly reappeared reading over Pat’s shoulder.
Pat muttered a curse under his breath. “I’m gonna kill Cynthia,” he grumbled as he stormed out of the room.
Melinda tried to remain nonchalant as Walter took his brother’s seat. “Who’s Cynthia?”
“Our agent. You okay?”
When Melinda shook her head, afraid her voice would betray her, Walter leaned over to give her a comforting hug. “He’s crazy about you. He would never cheat on you.”
“What’s going on?” asked a voice standing above them. “I just ran into Pat and he looked ready to kill someone.”
Melinda watched Meghan, an eighteen-year-old version of her mother, gracefully fold herself into another chair.
Walter handed Melinda’s phone to his sister, who read the article carefully.
“That twit. I warned Pat she was bad news, but did he listen? Nooo.”
“It says they’re….” Melinda could not bring herself to quote the article.
Meghan glanced at the phone. “They’ve rekindled their romance after a five-month hiatus.”
Melinda nodded. “What’s high-ate-us mean?”
Walter smiled, used to translating vocabulary words for his friend. “It basically means a break in a routine. It’s a common term in Hollywood and appropriate for this article. Except for the fact that it’s a lie.”
Meghan smiled kindly at Melinda. “Lemme guess. You saw this and thought Pat was back together with Crazy Poppy?”
When Melinda nodded, Meghan turned to her brother. “Go. It’s girl time. I suggest you go find Pat. He looked a little unhinged when I passed him in the hall.”
Walter squeezed Melinda’s shoulder before following his sister’s instructions. Meghan took her brother’s seat.
“I’m not about to gossip about my brother’s previous girlfriends. But, I’m pretty sure he’s confided in me about all the girls he’s liked, both crushes and actual girlfriends. He and Poppy were spending a lot of time together when they filmed Romeo and Juliet.”
“I thought they were dating. Romeo and Juliet,” Melinda interrupted.
“Jarrod and Poppy?” Meghan shook her head. “The producers thought it would make good publicity to have a real life romance between them, and they got along okay enough. But, Poppy had her eyes on Pat. And, I think he liked that she was going out of her way to spend time with him. I warned him she’s crazy. Literally crazy. But, he didn’t listen to me. After the movie wrapped, they kept spending time together.”
“How long were they together?” Melinda tried to keep her voice light, even though she was finding it difficult to digest.
Meghan shrugged. “You have to understand. Poppy’s not completely right in the head. She gets these strange ideas and believes they’re true and tries to convince everyone else they are, too. Her mom is her agent and tries to keep a lid on things, but every so often, Poppy’s crazy side comes out.”
Melinda sniffled but held back the tears as Meghan continued. “Pat always insisted he and Poppy weren’t serious. But, they hung out a lot for a few weeks. Despite whatever he told me, I was never convinced Pat liked Poppy, just the attention she gave him. He tried to break it off not long before he left for Hawaii.”
“Tried to?”
“I’m not sure of the details. We were at this party. They had disappeared for a while. When they came back, he told me he had broken up with her. A few minutes later, she walks right up to him, wraps herself around his arm, and starts talking to someone as if she had been part of the conversation all along. It was as if they hadn’t broken up.”
“So they got back together?” Melinda feared the answer.
Meghan giggled. “No! Pat wanted nothing to do with Poppy. But, I’m not sure Poppy figured that out. My best guess? Poppy needs attention so she leaked this story to the media. She probably believes it, too.”
“Does he still care about her?” Melinda asked the question without meaning to.
Meghan smiled. “If he even thinks about her any more, my guess is that he pities her. He has never cared for a girl as deeply as he cares for you. He’s crazy about you.”
“That’s what Walter said.”
Meghan frowned. “Sadly, I think Pat’s starting to confide more in Walter than me. Probably because they’re at school together and I’m not. But, when Walter was still ignoring Pat, he called me. Invited me to come to campus for the day to see a ballet.”
Melinda smiled, knowing she was referring to her performance in the Nutcracker earlier that month, as Meghan continued.
“Pat and I had a long talk the next day. I could tell how much he cared about you. I’ve never seen him this happy with anyone before.”
Walter returned with a still-fuming Pat behind him, each of them flopping into the bean bag chairs.
“I tried to contact Cynthia. She’s probably still sleeping. Stupid time difference.”
Meghan rolled her eyes. “We’ll call her later I need to have a few words with her myself.”
“About this Poppy thing?” asked Walter.
“No. Nightshade.” Meghan spit the word out like she had eaten something disgusting.
Walter tried to change the subject. “Well, since we’re waiting for LA to wake up, who’s up for a game of WTTE?”
“What’s WTTE?” Melinda turned to Pat.
He shook his head. “It’s easier to show you.”
Melinda followed her friends to a room next door, with a pool table, a bookshelf full of board games, and a large octagonal table with a green-felt top. Pat led Melinda to the octagonal table, where he and his brother wordlessly picked up the table top and flipped it over to reveal a wooden surface. Pat walked to the bookshelf and returned with some pencils, lined paper, and graph paper, while everyone else chose seats at the table.
“What’re we playing now?” Melinda asked.
“Weddas, the Travel Edition,” Walter sounded proud.
“Someone,” Pat said emphatically, glaring at Walter, “forgot to bring home Weddas. So, we created a travel version.”
Melinda raised her eyebrows. At the beginning of the school year, Melinda had explained to Walter how she kept a vocabulary journal to learn new words, and that it had become especially useful at her new school when she was overwhelmed by her peers’ superior vocabularies. After his first visit home, Walter introduced her to Weddas, a game his family had invented. It involved using letter tiles to create a crossword puzzle of words.
After returning to school, Pat had often joined their game and Melinda quickly learned the boys loved to play the game daily, sometimes multiple times a day, if they had the time.
“You couldn’t play a regular board game like normal families?” she suggested.
Meghan laughed. “That was my suggestion. My brothers are obsessed with this game.”
“So, how do you play the travel edition?”
Pat held up the graph paper. “Well, when its your turn, you write a word on the page. You can only write seven letters, as if you had tiles, but you can write any seven letters you want. Each letter gets its own square. On this page,” he held up a sheet of lined paper, “we write everyone’s words and keep track of which letters are used. You can only use a letter six times.”
“Wow. That is…”
“Inventive?” suggested Pat.
“Ingenious?” suggested Walter.
“Pathetic,” finished Melinda with a smile as Meghan burst into laughter.

It took a few turns for Melinda to settle into the game, but Melinda was finding this new version a little easier, since she could just think of any word she wanted, instead of trying to make words using the letters in front of her. For once, she found it easy to hold a conversation while playing the game.
Melinda turned to Meghan as she waited for her turn. “So, when are you going back to New York?”
“My roommate went home for Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to stay in the apartment alone all week. I have to go back for a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and I just plan on staying in the city.”
Pat turned to Melinda. “So, did your mom say how long you’re visiting?”
Melinda shook her head.
“She left,” Walter said. “When I left to find you, I ran into Mom. You can spend the day and we’ll take you home after dinner.”
“Sick,” Pat smiled. He turned to his sister. “Did you say you needed to talk to Cynthia, too?”
Meghan rolled her eyes. “Nightshade.”
Pat and Walter both shuddered. When they said nothing, Melinda asked, “What’s Nightshade?”
“My agent passed me a script. She does it all the time and I’m not sure Mom even knows I have it. So, I read through it, and it’s just wrong on so many levels. First of all, there’s a ton of cursing. I don’t swear. Like, ever.”
“She’s like you.” Walter nodded towards Melinda.
Meghan smiled as she continued. “I would possibly, probably not, but maybe, consider the movie if that were its only flaw. But, there are so many things wrong with it. Like, there are multiple scenes where I would be…”
“Naked,” Pat smiled. “The word is naked.” He turned to Melinda. “She thinks that’s a bad word, too.”
“She’s like you.” Walter again nodded towards Melinda.
Melinda smiled. “Does your agent know how you feel about those kinds of movies?”
Meghan shrugged. “I thought she did. But, she still sent me this. When I told her I didn’t think it was for me, she said that now that I was eighteen, I should consider...how did she put it? Basically, I should be in movies that are for an adult audience, not a kid audience. Shed my good-girl image.”
“But, it’s not an image, right? I mean, I get the impression you’re like your brothers. You really are a good, wholesome girl. And I don't mean that to be insulting. It's something to be proud of.”
“Is she this insightful with everyone?” Meghan asked Walter.
“Pretty much. Except when it comes to boyfriends. She has a horrible track record there.”
“Ouch,” Pat put a hand to his chest, pretending to be insulted.
Melinda shook her head. “No. Walter’s right. I told you about my disasters.”
Pat smiled at Melinda, playing with her hair. “Actually, you never mentioned why you broke up with Townie.”
“You looked at me.” Melinda smiled, remembering how her ex-boyfriend was jealous of the time Melinda spent with her guy friends.
Pat smiled back. “No, seriously. Why’d you break up?”
“She is serious,” Walter said. “He got jealous you looked at her.”
“Wow. You really do have horrible taste in guys. What does that say about me?”

Although their game did not take long, by the time Melinda and her friends were finished, everyone was growing hungry. They headed down to the kitchen, where Walter pressed a button on the wall beside the doorway.
“Mom, do we have anything for lunch?”
Mrs. Evan’s voice emanated from the speaker beside the button. “Lunchmeat. Have some sandwiches. I think there’s some canned soup if you want to heat it. We’re having meatloaf for supper, with potatoes. Is that okay with Melinda?”
Walter held the button for her to respond.
“It sounds delicious.” She was unable to recall the last time she had even had meatloaf and decided it was probably before she had attended Hartfield, because she was certain she had not eaten any at school.
Walter began taking meats and condiments from the fridge and Pat retrieved the bread and canned soup from a walk-in closet Melinda assumed was the pantry. When Meghan went to a cabinet to get them all plates, Melinda began to feel useless.
“How can I help?”
Meghan pointed to a cabinet. “Cups. Get drinks. I want water.”
“Me, too,” chorused the boys.
“Tap?” Melinda knew the tap water in her parents’ home was nearly undrinkable.
“Use the fridge,” Pat instructed her. “It’s got a filter.”
So, Melinda used the dispenser in the front of the refrigerator to get four glasses of ice water, which she carried to the breakfast nook. Meghan had set two plates on one side of the table, and a plate in front of each of the remaining benches. Melinda placed a glass at each plate, then returned to the counter where Pat was dumping cans of soup into bowls and placing each one in the microwave.
“Here,” he smiled at her as he handed her a bowl. “This one’s chicken noodle.”
Melinda placed the bowl in the center of the table, finding Walter had selected a seat and begun making his sandwich. When she returned to the table with a second bowl (minestrone), Meghan had sat on the middle bench and was smearing mayonnaise on her bread. Melinda noticed the plates had been rearranged so that she and Pat would be sitting together on the bench facing Walter.
Melinda sat down after bringing the bowl of Italian Wedding soup to the table and Pat joined them a moment later with another bowl of chicken noodle soup. Melinda waited to make a sandwich, mesmerized by the one Walter was building. He had spread deli mustard on a slice of bread, then placed a slice of American cheese, a slice of salami, a slice of cheddar cheese, a slice of ham, a slice of provolone cheese, and a slice of turkey. He then spread mayonnaise on two sides of another slice of bread and layered it with the same cold cuts before spreading more mustard on a third slice of bread to complete the sandwich.
“Where’s the lettuce and tomato?” Meghan asked him.
Luckily, she had caught him before he had a chance to take a bite. He picked up his sandwich. “I don’t want any.”
“But, I do.” Meghan stared at the turkey on her bread. “Was there any in the fridge?”
Walter shrugged as he took a giant bite. “Prob’ly.”
Meghan simply shook her head in disgust as she went to look for the toppings. “Melinda, seriously? How are you friends with him? He’s so gross!”
“It’s not so much that we’re friends. It’s more that we have an arrangement. I let him copy my math homework and he helps me understand my Latin.”
“You also drag me to church,” Walter added.
“Oh, yeah. That’s because I have to watch you eat.”
Everyone laughed as they continued to build their sandwiches. A moment later, Walter asked, “Does anyone else want the chicken noodle soup?”
“There’s two,” Pat pointed out.
“Not for long. Unless someone else wants some.”
“Me!” Melinda announced and gently slid one of the bowls closer to her before her friend could take it.
Meghan chose not to have any soup, so Pat ended up eating both of the others in addition to a ham and cheese sandwich. Walter, meanwhile, had a second sandwich, this time only one layer.
“So,” Walter said as he took a large bite. “Now what should we do? More WTTE?”
“NO!” declared both girls adamantly.
“Melinda didn’t come to play board games all day,” Pat told his brother.
“What would Melinda like to do?” asked Walter.
“I have no idea. I had no plans for today.”
“We could watch a movie,” suggested Pat.
“We could play video games,” suggested Walter.
“That might be fun,” Melinda said.
They finished their lunches, making sure to return all the food to the fridge and even placing their dirty dishes in the dishwasher before returning to the playroom. They sat in the bean bag chairs on the floor while Walter turned on the television and gaming system and passed out the remotes.
The Evans family owned a large selection of video games in all genres, but Melinda examined the boxes carefully until she found one that she thought might look interesting. She held it up.
“Can you teach me to play this one?”
Pat smiled as Walter groaned. “That’s my favorite game. Walter hates it because he always loses.”
Pat put the game into the system and explained the basics. The screen split into four zones, one for each player. Melinda had to select which cartoon character she wanted to be, then select her race car. She could customize the wheels and body, but she elected to stick with the default settings, not knowing what else to select.
Pat told her there were many tracks they could race, but he would choose an easy one while she learned how to play. He showed her which buttons she should press to move and the game started.
As they drove, the players collected special items, which could be used to help them in the race. Walter threw an oil barrel that caused slicks all over the track, causing Melinda to turn around and lose her place. Pat threw bananas that would have had a similar effect, except Melinda was able to swerve around the peel at the last second. Meghan collected a star that allowed her to zoom along at double speed and pass nearly everyone. Melinda collected a clock, which Pat showed her how to throw. It caused everyone to freeze for five seconds while she continued to move, allowing her to pass the finish line while everyone was still frozen, since she had thrown it during the final lap.
Melinda had fun playing with her friends, even when Walter changed the game to one where they had to work together to defeat some evil elf lord. After a while, Walter was the only one alive, but he did not seem to notice. Meghan left, declaring she had something better to do, although she had no idea what it could be. Pat beckoned Melinda to join him in his chair, where he put his arm around her. She snuggled close as he whispered in her ear.
“I missed you, Daphne. I miss holding you.”
Melinda said nothing for a while, but simply watched Walter’s game on the screen while Pat played with her hair absently as he tried to help his brother..
“Dude! Not the arrows!”
“I know, I know!” Walter cursed under his breath as he pressed buttons furiously. His bow and arrow turned into a sword and he was able to lop off the head of a creature Melinda thought might have been a tree, but she really could not tell.
“That was close.” Walter sat back as on the screen his character traveled through the woods to destroy the next creature he encountered.
Melinda turned to Pat. She laced her fingers behind his neck as she returned his gentle kiss. They held each other close until Melinda could no longer endure the warm feeling that filled her entire body to bursting every time she kissed Pat. They sat with their foreheads touching for a moment while Melinda waited for her heartbeat to return to normal.
“I missed you, too.” They kissed for quite a while until Walter began cursing at the screen again.

Walter never seemed to tire of defeating the elf lord, so Pat offered to give Melinda a tour of the house. He explained that most of the second floor was their bedrooms, although the two doors they had passed at the top of the stairs were adjoining offices for his parents. They turned left out of the playroom and walked slowly down the corridor, which was lined with windows to overlook the pool below. The hallway opened into a lounge area with a small table in front of two bathrooms whose lights were off and doors were ajar.
Pat led Melinda through the door at the end of the hallway into what could only be described as a movie theater. The enormous room had dark walls and a sloping floor, with a massive screen mounted to the wall at the bottom of the room. Melinda counted four rows, each containing five cushy red seats. In front of Melinda was an actual concession stand, with an empty popcorn machine, a small refrigerator with bottles of soda and water, and a display case of movie theater candy.
“Wow,” was all Melinda could say.
“My mom designed this room to have movie screenings. Or, we’ll use it to watch Dad’s music videos. But, this is also where we like to watch movies, too.”
“Not, like, regular television, right?”
“Honestly, none of us watch too much tv. Neogenesis is a must in here, though. The surround sound is incredible. Other than that, I’m not sure any of us watch anything else.” Pat shrugged. “Come on. I wanna show you the rest of the house.”
They walked down the sloping aisle to an exit at the front of the room that opened to the pool deck. The indoor pool had four full-sized lap lanes, which were marked on the pool floor but did not have the bubbles floating in the water to separate the lanes. The room was a little too warm for Melinda in her sweater and jeans, but she said nothing.
“There’s a sauna and hot tub in that room over there,” Pat gestured towards to a glass room just beside the theater, “but, we’re not allowed in it most of the time.”
“What are those doors?” Melinda pointed across the way.
“Those are the guest rooms. Their bathrooms open out to the pool. We keep swim suits in the dresser in case people want to go swimming and forgot to bring a suit. Like, you didn’t bring one today because who swims in November, right?”
Melinda giggled and Pat pointed beside the guest rooms. “Over there,” he pointed beside the guest rooms, “is the library. I can show it to you later, if you want.” There were plenty of windows in the library, so Melinda was able to espy bookshelves lining the walls, as well as a couple of study desks and some comfy-looking chairs.
“It kind of looks like the study room at school.” Melinda and Walter did their homework together in the same library room most evenings. Pat had joined them enough times to know the room to which she was referring.
“Yeah, it kinda does. I think that’s why Walter’s more apt to study there than in his dorm. It’s like being home. When we were homeschooled, the library was our schoolroom.”
Pat led Melinda past a glass-walled room, through the sliders into the living area Melinda had seen when she first arrived. Instead of turning left into the kitchen, however, Pat led her through another set of double glass doors into the glass-walled room she had seen from the pool deck.
“This is the gym.”
Melinda was facing a large circular contraption that had a bench in the center and a stack of weights on the side. Melinda had seen commercials for smaller versions on television, but had never seen anything this large or complex. It was too complicated for Melinda to figure out how it worked, but according to the pictures on the poster affixed to the wall beside it, you could use this machine could be used to tone over twenty different body regions.
Beside the home gym was an old fashioned weight bench with a rack of free weights beside it. There was a mirror with some mats and exercise balls beside it. Across the room, there were five cardio machines, some of which Melinda could not identify, all facing the pool, although each had some sort of computer screen.
“Why is there a screen on the treadmill?” Melinda pointed to the one machine whose name she did know.
Pat smiled. “You can program it to any setting you want. So, if you want to take a run through the woods, you would just press this button and voila, you’re in the woods.”
“Whose room is this?”
“We all use it. Mom and Meghan like the machines and the home gym. Dad likes to use the home gym, but he prefers to run outside if the weather’s nice. Walter and I like the weight bench, and only use the treadmill in the winter.”
“Where do you go outside? Your road didn’t look that great for running.”
“Did you see the track going around the house? The driveway is kind of part of it, but it goes around the house itself. The track is about a quarter mile.”
“I knew Walter liked to run. I didn’t realize you joined him.”
“Yup. I created a loop around the campus. I showed it to Walter.”
“But, you’re going to stop that when we get back, right? I mean, it's too cold to run.”
Pat shook his head. “Nah. We’ll keep running outside unitl the paths become too icy. Then, we’ll switch to the indoor track.
Melinda just shook her head. “No wonder you guys are always eating!”
“Hey! Don’t compare me to that gourmand!”
“Gourmand?”
“Someone who really likes to eat. Usually excessively.”
“Oh! That is a perfect description of Walter! I’m gonna save that word for Weddas.”
Beside the gym was Mr. Evans’ music room, which was actually a small studio. In addition to an upright piano and a wall of guitars, it held some music stands and a mixing board. Pat explained that the room was soundproofed and completely wired with microphones, so the band could record in here as they practiced. Sometimes their father would record music as he wrote it, so he could share it with his bandmates later.
“That’s so cool,” was all Melinda could think to say.
Pat led her back to the living room. “That’s pretty much the whole house. There’s a dining room off the kitchen, but we only use that for company. So, what d’ya wanna do now?”
Melinda thought for a little while. “How warm’s the pool?”
Pat frowned. “The filter’s broken. I wanted to swim this morning, after my run, but Mom said we can’t use it until the filter is fixed. I say we watch a movie.”
“In that theater?”
“Well, yeah. That’s the best place to watch movies.”
“Um, is your mom gonna freak out if you and I watch a movie alone there?”
Pat considered a moment, then went to the intercom Walter had used earlier. “Melinda and I are going watch a movie. Anyone want to join us?”

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[Table Of Contents] [Chapter 5 coming October 2]
Follow follow Patrick McGregor's story in Confessions of a Teenage Celebrity - Chapter 2: Meet the Parents (Part 2)
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2020.09.25 16:16 AshleighBSB [Confessions of a Teenage Celebrity] - Chapter 11: Meet the Parents (Part 2)

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[Book 1: Relationships]
I slid out of the bench and waited for Melinda to do the same. I took her hand and led her upstairs, towards my bedroom, but only so that we could have a little privacy in the hallway. I ran my fingers through her hair, excited to be close to her again.
“I missed you, Daphne.” I pulled her close to kiss her, but she put her hands on my chest and pushed me away. “What’s wrong?”
Melinda closed her eyes. “So many things.” I could hear the pain in her quiet voice.
I looked around, considering the best place to have this conversation, then led her to the video game room Mom insisted on calling our playroom. I opened the door and Walter jumped off a chair, dropping the controller he had just been holding.
“I’m cleaning. Oh, it’s you.”
“We’re not here.” I glared at him as I led Melinda to the bean bag chairs in the back of the room. Walter sat back down, but turned to his friend.
“What’re you doing here?”
“Your mom thought maybe you’d clean your room if you knew I was here.” I could tell she was trying to sound lighthearted, but there was still some pain in her voice.
“She must not know me. But, why are you here? Like, at our house?”
Melinda looked at me. “Well…”
My brother can be such a baby. He started whining. “Oh, man! You came to see him?”
I wanted to jump in, but Melinda was quicker than me. “No. Your mom called mine last night to invite me over. To have a playdate with you.”
Walter couldn’t quite hide his surprise. “She didn’t.”
“Well, my mom didn’t call it a playdate, but yeah. She pretty much did.”
“So, why did she send me up here and make Pat stay?”
“Because I had already told my mother about me and Pat and she was uncomfortable. So, we just had to have a really awkward conversation with our moms.”
“Okay. Never inviting a girlfriend over. That’s good to know. Who’s up for WTTE?”
I glared at Walter. Melinda was one of his best friends. Couldn’t he see she was upset? “Not now, doofus. Go back to your game.”
I took Melinda’s hand and, sitting in one of the chairs, I pulled her into the one beside me. “What’s wrong, Daphne?”
“Did you get my text?”
I shook my head. “When?”
“Last night.”
I checked my phone again to be sure. “Nothing. I saw you had tried to chat, but when I called back, there was no answer.”
“My phone died.” So, my brother had been right. It irked me he knew my girlfriend better than me. Melinda’s eyes welled with tears. “What’s going on with you and Poppy Sommers?”
I tried to hide my surprise. My first thoughts were the rumors my brother and sister mentioned to me last week. Melinda didn’t need to know about that, though.
“Poppy? Nothing. Why?”
Her face fell. “My mom’s right. You are a good actor. There’s something you’re not telling me.”
Ouch. That hurt. She was right, of course. I wasn’t sure what hurt more. The fact that she could tell I was hiding something or the look she gave me when I didn’t succeed.
“Daphne, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Can you please just start at the beginning?”
Melinda passed me her phone. I glanced at it long enough to register a paparazzi photo of me with Poppy. I passed the phone back to her.
“Poppy and I were together last summer.” I shrugged. “You knew that.”
Melinda replied slowly, as if she were choosing her words carefully. “No, I didn’t. But, this isn’t from this summer. This is from the other day.”
I took the phone back and read through it carefully. I could feel Walter reading over my shoulder. I should have been upset that he hadn’t been minding his own business, but I was so mad with what I was reading, I couldn’t spare any energy for him.
I got to the end of the article and swore. I scrambled to my feet and stormed out of the room, muttering something about killing my agent. I nearly bumped into Meghan.
“Whoa. You okay?” I couldn’t imagine what must have been on my face for her to ask that.
“No, I’m not. Leave me alone.”
My phone was charging in my room. I found it and had nearly dialed Cynthia’s number when I realized I needed to cool down a little. I paced back and forth a long time. Probably a good minute or two.
I had the phone back in my hand, looking up Cynthia’s number again, when Walter came in.
“You okay, dude?”
I swore at him, telling him to leave.
“I’ll take that as a no. Want me to call Cynthia for you?”
I thrust the phone at him and resumed pacing. He might be my little brother, but sometimes I wondered if he was more mature than me. I was starting to calm down when the call went to voicemail. Walter inclined the phone towards me.
“This is Patrick McGregor. Have you seen the rumors going around? Fix this. Now!”
Walter ended the call before I could start the litany of threats that were running through my head.
He returned the phone to my desk. “You realize it’s barely sunrise there, right?” he pointed out as he returned my phone to my desk.
No. I hadn’t. Time zones made my head hurt.
I followed Walter back into the playroom. Meghan was sitting with Melinda on the chairs. Way to go, Pat. Abandoned your girlfriend while she’s upset. Leave your siblings to pick up the pieces. I tried to explain away my behavior.
“I tried to contact Cynthia. She’s probably still sleeping. Stupid time difference.”
Meghan stood. “We’ll call her later. I need to have a few words with her myself.”
Walter sent Meghan a curious look. “About this Poppy thing?”
I held out a hand to help Melinda to her feet, then just held her close a moment while Meghan replied.
“No. Nightshade.”
Walter grimaced, then tried to change the subject “Well, since we’re waiting for LA to wake up, who’s up for a game of WTTE?”
Melinda looked at me quizzically. “What’s WTTE?”
I shook my head. “It’s easier to show you.”

Walter had been extremely upset when he realized he had forgotten to bring Weddas home, so he created what he named Weddas, the Travel Edition, or WTTE. It essentially used paper instead of tiles. The advantage was that we could pick whichever letters we wanted to use when it was our turn.
While we were playing, Walter mentioned running into Mom, who told her Melinda would be spending the day. I felt significantly better after hearing this and turned to Meghan, finally registering what she had said earlier.
“Did you say you needed to talk to Cynthia, too?”
Meghan rolled her eyes. I had no idea what she was trying to tell me. She knows I don’t understand eye rolls. “Nightshade,” was all she said.
Walter and I gave involuntary shutters, but Melinda was obviously confused. “What’s Nightshade?”
Meghan explained, with help from Walter and I, about the inappropriateness of the movie and how Cynthia thinks its time for Meghan to shed her good-girl image.
“But, it’s not an image, right? I mean, I get the impression you’re like your brothers. You really are a good, wholesome girl. And, I don’t mean that to be insulting. It’s something to be proud of.”
Meghan turned to Walter. “Is she this insightful with everyone?”
“Pretty much. Except when it comes to boyfriends. She has a horrible track record there.”
“Ouch!” I tried to mask my feelings, but that one kind of hurt.
Melinda shook her head. “No. Walter’s right. I told you about my disasters.”
Curiosity got the better of me. I put my arm around her and played with her hair. “Actually, you never mentioned why you broke up with Townie.”
“You looked at me.”
Her smile was almost as infectious as mine. “No, seriously. Why’d you break up?”
Walter smirked. “She is serious. He got jealous you looked at her.”
I thought about this a moment. This jealous Townie was the guy she had dated after the guy who made a bet with his friends about kissing her. “Yeah, you really do have horrible taste in guys. What does that say about me?”

When we went downstairs to make ourselves lunch, Mom told us to have some lunchmeat and soup. I was glad she didn’t suggest leftovers. I was done with Thanksgiving food for a while.
Walter, Meghan, and I busied ourselves in the kitchen, and Melinda wanted to help. She can be so adorable sometimes. After a discussion about Walter’s atrocious table manners, the conversation turned to what we should do after lunch. Melinda thought video games sounded fun, so we brought her upstairs and let her pick out whatever game she wanted. After looking around for a moment, she held one up.
“Can you teach me to play this one?”
Walter groaned when he saw the box, but I couldn’t help but smile. She was holding my favorite game. Are we perfect for each other or what? Meghan, who hates video games, decided to join us, and we played some easy rounds for a while. I wanted to let Melinda win, but Walter was ahead of her. One of the reasons he hated this game was because I always beat him. I couldn’t change that now, could I?
I needn’t have worried. At the last moment, Melinda threw her clock power up, which froze the rest of us while she glided past the finish line. We played a few more rounds before Walter put his elf lord game into the console. Meghan died fairly early and realized she could be doing anything else right now. After Melinda died, I realized that I could either keep killing elves or snuggle with my girlfriend. I didn’t need to ponder that choice very long.
I gestured for her to join me in my beanbag chair and held her close, whispering into her ear.
“I missed you, Daphne. I miss holding you.”
She simply snuggled closer. I played with her hair while watching Walter. He was trying to fight hand-to-hand with a dryad, but he had the wrong weapon. I tried to help.
“Dude!” I yelled at him. “Not the arrows!”
“I know, I know!” I could hear the frustration in Walter’s voice. He pressed buttons, swearing at the game until he had a sword in his hand and he could behead the creature.
“That was close.” Walter sighed as he moved on to the next level.
Melinda turned to me, putting her hands around my neck as I kissed her. Electricity flowed through me and I wasn’t sure whether my heart was beating faster or had just stopped beating all together. Either way, I was pretty sure it was about to explode when she rested her forehead against mine.
“I missed you, too.” She smiled at me before kissing me again.

When Walter starting cursing out the game again, it kinda killed the mood and I offered to take Melinda on a tour of the house. Then, we tried to think of what to do.
“How warm’s the pool?” she asked.
I frowned. “The filter’s broken. I wanted to swim this morning, after my run, but Mom said we can’t use it until the filter is fixed. I say we watch a movie.”
“In that theater?” There was something in her tone that made me realize she was a little intimidated by the room.
I shrugged. “Well, yeah. That’s the best place to watch movies.”
“Um, is your mom gonna freak out if you and I watch a movie alone there?” she asked. She was so adorable sometimes.
She was also probably right. Technically Mom said not to go in the bedrooms alone. She hadn’t said anything about any other room. But, I pictured her walking in on Melinda and I sitting alone in the theater. Even if I just had my arm around Melinda, Mom would probably freak out. I went over to the kitchen intercom.
“Melinda and I are gonna watch a movie. Anyone want to join us?”

Not only did Mom decide to join us, but when Melinda and I showed indecision about what to watch, Mom made us watch her stupid Christmas musical. Not one that she was in, thankfully. One that was older than Granny and Pop-Pop. Well, maybe not quite that old, but old. It’s not really that bad of a movie. But, Mom makes us watch it every year.
I used the popper to make some popcorn and grabbed some diet sodas from the fridge. The theater was large enough that we didn’t have to sit near Mom. I was able to at least put my arm around Melinda and she nuzzled close to me. But, I wasn’t about to kiss her with my mother in the room. That would be too weird.
Walter joined us about halfway through the movie. He plopped himself next to Melinda, helping himself to her popcorn, which she had long abandoned. Mom was sitting a few rows in front of us, singing along with the trio on the screen.

Dad came home in time for supper. The band had been working at Uncle Vinny’s house, about an hour away. His house isn’t quite as big as ours, but he also has a recording studio. I was pretty sure they were rehearsing for the tour they’re doing at the beginning of the year.
When Melinda and I arrived at the supper table, the rest of my family was already sitting there. Melinda had met Dad once, so no introductions were necessary, but I could tell she was still intimidated being near him. I sat beside my brother and Melinda sat across from me.
We said our traditional table blessing, which Melinda recognized enough to pray with us, then Mom served the meatloaf and brown rice. Walter took a double helping and Meghan looked at it skeptically.
“Am I allowed to have that?”
“I used whole-wheat breadcrumbs and ground turkey,” Mom reassured her.
I made a face and saw Melinda try to suppress a giggle by taking a long sip of her water.
“Drown it in sauce,” Walter suggested, passing me the gravy boat.
I took his suggestion, eating a bite of meatloaf that was more sauce than meat. It didn’t help. I wasn’t sure if it was the meatloaf or the popcorn earlier, but I found I wasn’t very hungry. I pushed the food around my plate a little, figuring I could raid the kitchen when everyone went upstairs.
Mom turned to me. “Did you get in touch with Cynthia?” I shoved the disgusting meat into my mouth to avoid answering, almost immediately regretting doing so. Did Mom hear about the Poppy thing? By the time I choked down my food, I remembered she wanted me to tell Cynthia about Melinda.
I downed half my glass of water. “No. I left her a message, but she didn’t get back to me. The thing is, I think it’s time for a new agent.”
“Patrick.” Mom sighed. Using my full name usually meant she was angry, but in this case, I think it was more exasperated. “Just because you don’t want to tell her about your girlfriend doesn’t mean you need a new agent.”
“It’s not that.” I could feel my face grow hot.
“Pat has a girlfriend?” Dad looked from Mom to me. “When do I get to meet her?”
Walter pointed across the table with his fork. “She’s sitting right there.”
Dad looked between Walter and Melinda a few times. “But, I thought you were Walter’s study partner. The one whose math homework he copies.” He winked at Melinda and I realized she must have told him about the running joke she had with Walter.
Melinda smiled and seemed to relax a little. “Can’t I be both?”
Dad seemed to consider this a moment. “I suppose so,” he nodded as he took another bite of meatloaf.
I tried to bring the conversation back to the point. “I just don’t think Cynthia’s looking out for our best interests any more. She’s not correcting all the rumors flying around.”
“What rumors?” Mom sat up a little straighter.
I exchanged looks with my siblings. None of us wanted to actually say it out loud. Melinda rolled her eyes. I had no idea what she was trying to tell me, but she picked up her phone. After fiddling with it for a moment, she passed it to my mother, who was sitting beside her.
Mom held the phone between herself and Dad and they read the article silently. I didn’t even pretend to eat my meatloaf. I just pushed it aside. Walter swapped his empty plate with mine and continued eating. Seriously, the guy has a problem.
Mom looked at me. “I agree that Cynthia should have fixed this, but it’s still not a reason to fire her.”
Walter pointed across the table with his fork. “What about Meghan? Cynthia didn’t fix the rumors about her either.”
“And then there’s the script,” I pointed out.
Meghan was shaking her head, but I didn’t see her until the words were out of my mouth.
“What script?” Mom asked.
Meghan glared at me as she sighed. “Cynthia sent me a script. She thinks it would be perfect for me. I read it and told her I didn’t think it was right for me, but she is insisting that it’s what I need now that I’m eighteen.”
“You can’t fire your agent over a poorly written script.”
“It’s not poorly written. Well, it is. But…” Meghan started turning red.
I decided to help her out. “It’s a horrible fit for Meghan, Mom.”
“There’s a lot of really foul language,” Walter added. “And, how do I put this nicely?”
“If she did this movie,” Melinda said slowly, “she would be spending more time with her clothes off than on.”
“Oh.” Mom sounded a little taken aback.
“Definitely not,” Dad agreed.
Meghan rolled her eyes.“Obviously not. I didn’t like it from the first page. The problem isn’t the script. It’s that Cynthia thinks this is a good idea.”
Mom looked around at us. “Well, I’ll tell you what. I think you are all old enough to find your own agents.”
“What about Rita?” Walter asked, referring to Mom’s agent.
Mom shook her head. “She and I have discussed it. She would consider taking you on, Meghan.” Mom nodded her head at my sister before looking back towards my brother and me. “But she’s not really confident about taking on you two. Actually, she flat out told me she’d never be able to find you voice work.”
“Pat found CIAmy,” Walter pointed out. He turned to me. “Wanna be each other’s agents?”
My response was dripping with sarcasm. “Yeah. I’ll just look for scripts while doing my physics homework.”
When everyone had finished laughing, Mom turned back to Walter and me. “Do some research and we can talk about it before you boys go back to school.”

After supper, Melinda needed to go home. I wanted to drive her, but Mom said that now that we were back in Connecticut, I had to follow the laws here, which meant I could only drive family members until March, when my restrictions would be lifted. Meghan offered to drive and even said she would let me drive home if I wanted.
Walter opted not to come with us, since he had to read his scripts for the rest of the week. He didn’t need to memorize anything, but Sammy McSmartypants sometimes had some difficult words to pronounce. The character was perfect for Walter, but he still needed to make sure he was familiar with the material before heading into the studio tomorrow.
About halfway to Melinda’s house, when I pulled her close to me in the cozy backseat, I realized the advantage to my sister driving. Melinda and I kissed the entire way back to her house.
[Table Of Contents] [Chapter 12 coming October 2]
Want to read more about Walter and Melinda? Check out Boarding School Blues - Chapter 35: Hanging Out At The Mansion
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2020.09.25 16:05 AshleighBSB [Boarding School Blues] - Chapter 35: Hanging Out At The Mansion

[Cover] [Chapter 1] [Table Of Contents] [Patreon] [Discord] [Join my mailing list to receive a free book]
This is Book 4: Boarding School Break: Happy Thanksgiving
[Book 2: Boarding School Beginnings] [Book 3: Boarding School Boyfriends]

Big. Enormous. Large.
My friend lives in a mansion.
Huge. Colossal. Vast.
Pat took Melinda to the top of the right staircase and a couple of steps down a corridor before he stopped and faced her. He ran his finger through her hair, saying “I missed you, Daphne.”
He left his hand behind her head as he pulled her towards him for a kiss. Melinda placed her hands on her chest and gently pushed him away.
His face full of concern.“What’s wrong?”
Melinda closed her eyes, fighting back tears. “So many things.”
Pat looked around, then took Melinda’s hand and led her to the opposite end of the house to the second door on the right. The door was closed, but Pat entered without knocking.
“I’m cleaning,” Walter said, jumping off a chair. “Oh, it’s you.” He sat back down, but did not pick up the remote control he had obviously just dropped.
“We’re not here.” Pat glared at his brother as he led Melinda to some bean bag chairs in the corner of the room. Melinda looked around, noticing a large television on one wall with more bean bag chairs scattered around the room. There were remote controls and games all over the floor, and some plates and cups stacked on a table.
Walter pouted, turning to Melinda. “What’re you doing here?”
“Your mom thought maybe you’d clean your room if you knew I was here.”
“She must not know me. But, why are you here? Like, at our house?”
Melinda looked cautiously at Pat. “Well…”
“Oh, man! You came to see him?” Walter did not hide his whine.
“No. Your mom called mine last night to invite me over. To have a playdate with you.”
Walter raised his eyebrows. “She didn’t.”
“Well, my mom didn’t call it a playdate, but yeah. She pretty much did.”
“So, why did she send me up here and make Pat stay?”
“Because I had already told my mother about me and Pat and she was uncomfortable. So, we just had to have a really awkward conversation with our moms.”
“Okay. Never inviting a girlfriend over. That’s good to know. Who’s up for WTTE?”
“Not now, doofus. Go back to your game.” Pat glared at his brother before turning to Melinda. He took her hand and gently pulled her into one of the chairs as he sat in another. “What’s wrong, Daphne?”
She kept her voice low. “Did you get my text?”
Pat shook his head. “When?”
“Last night.”
Pat checked his phone, again shaking his head. “Nothing. I saw you had tried to chat, but when I called back, there was no answer.”
“My phone died. What’s going on with you and Poppy Sommers?” She could feel the tears stinging her eyes, but she refused to let them fall.
“Poppy? Nothing. Why?”
Melinda saw something in Pat’s expression that she had never seen before and it hurt her. She responded very quietly. “My mom’s right. You are a good actor. There’s something you’re not telling me.”
“Daphne, I have no idea what you’re talking about. Can you please start at the beginning?”
Melinda pulled out her phone and showed him the image Joey had shown her the night before. Pat gave it a cursory glance before returning it with a shrug.
“Poppy and I were together last summer. You knew that.”
“No, I didn’t. But, this isn’t from this summer. This is from the other day.”
Pat looked at the article more carefully, scrolling slowly enough that Melinda realized he must be reading it. Meanwhile, Walter must have been listening to the conversation, because he suddenly reappeared reading over Pat’s shoulder.
Pat muttered a curse under his breath. “I’m gonna kill Cynthia,” he grumbled as he stormed out of the room.
Melinda tried to remain nonchalant as Walter took his brother’s seat. “Who’s Cynthia?”
“Our agent. You okay?”
When Melinda shook her head, afraid her voice would betray her, Walter leaned over to give her a comforting hug. “He’s crazy about you. He would never cheat on you.”
“What’s going on?” asked a voice standing above them. “I just ran into Pat and he looked ready to kill someone.”
Melinda watched Meghan, an eighteen-year-old version of her mother, gracefully fold herself into another chair.
Walter handed Melinda’s phone to his sister, who read the article carefully.
“That twit. I warned Pat she was bad news, but did he listen? Nooo.”
“It says they’re….” Melinda could not bring herself to quote the article.
Meghan glanced at the phone. “They’ve rekindled their romance after a five-month hiatus.”
Melinda nodded. “What’s high-ate-us mean?”
Walter smiled, used to translating vocabulary words for his friend. “It basically means a break in a routine. It’s a common term in Hollywood and appropriate for this article. Except for the fact that it’s a lie.”
Meghan smiled kindly at Melinda. “Lemme guess. You saw this and thought Pat was back together with Crazy Poppy?”
When Melinda nodded, Meghan turned to her brother. “Go. It’s girl time. I suggest you go find Pat. He looked a little unhinged when I passed him in the hall.”
Walter squeezed Melinda’s shoulder before following his sister’s instructions. Meghan took her brother’s seat.
“I’m not about to gossip about my brother’s previous girlfriends. But, I’m pretty sure he’s confided in me about all the girls he’s liked, both crushes and actual girlfriends. He and Poppy were spending a lot of time together when they filmed Romeo and Juliet.”
“I thought they were dating. Romeo and Juliet,” Melinda interrupted.
“Jarrod and Poppy?” Meghan shook her head. “The producers thought it would make good publicity to have a real life romance between them, and they got along okay enough. But, Poppy had her eyes on Pat. And, I think he liked that she was going out of her way to spend time with him. I warned him she’s crazy. Literally crazy. But, he didn’t listen to me. After the movie wrapped, they kept spending time together.”
“How long were they together?” Melinda tried to keep her voice light, even though she was finding it difficult to digest.
Meghan shrugged. “You have to understand. Poppy’s not completely right in the head. She gets these strange ideas and believes they’re true and tries to convince everyone else they are, too. Her mom is her agent and tries to keep a lid on things, but every so often, Poppy’s crazy side comes out.”
Melinda sniffled but held back the tears as Meghan continued. “Pat always insisted he and Poppy weren’t serious. But, they hung out a lot for a few weeks. Despite whatever he told me, I was never convinced Pat liked Poppy, just the attention she gave him. He tried to break it off not long before he left for Hawaii.”
“Tried to?”
“I’m not sure of the details. We were at this party. They had disappeared for a while. When they came back, he told me he had broken up with her. A few minutes later, she walks right up to him, wraps herself around his arm, and starts talking to someone as if she had been part of the conversation all along. It was as if they hadn’t broken up.”
“So they got back together?” Melinda feared the answer.
Meghan giggled. “No! Pat wanted nothing to do with Poppy. But, I’m not sure Poppy figured that out. My best guess? Poppy needs attention so she leaked this story to the media. She probably believes it, too.”
“Does he still care about her?” Melinda asked the question without meaning to.
Meghan smiled. “If he even thinks about her any more, my guess is that he pities her. He has never cared for a girl as deeply as he cares for you. He’s crazy about you.”
“That’s what Walter said.”
Meghan frowned. “Sadly, I think Pat’s starting to confide more in Walter than me. Probably because they’re at school together and I’m not. But, when Walter was still ignoring Pat, he called me. Invited me to come to campus for the day to see a ballet.”
Melinda smiled, knowing she was referring to her performance in the Nutcracker earlier that month, as Meghan continued.
“Pat and I had a long talk the next day. I could tell how much he cared about you. I’ve never seen him this happy with anyone before.”
Walter returned with a still-fuming Pat behind him, each of them flopping into the bean bag chairs.
“I tried to contact Cynthia. She’s probably still sleeping. Stupid time difference.”
Meghan rolled her eyes. “We’ll call her later I need to have a few words with her myself.”
“About this Poppy thing?” asked Walter.
“No. Nightshade.” Meghan spit the word out like she had eaten something disgusting.
Walter tried to change the subject. “Well, since we’re waiting for LA to wake up, who’s up for a game of WTTE?”
“What’s WTTE?” Melinda turned to Pat.
He shook his head. “It’s easier to show you.”
Melinda followed her friends to a room next door, with a pool table, a bookshelf full of board games, and a large octagonal table with a green-felt top. Pat led Melinda to the octagonal table, where he and his brother wordlessly picked up the table top and flipped it over to reveal a wooden surface. Pat walked to the bookshelf and returned with some pencils, lined paper, and graph paper, while everyone else chose seats at the table.
“What’re we playing now?” Melinda asked.
“Weddas, the Travel Edition,” Walter sounded proud.
“Someone,” Pat said emphatically, glaring at Walter, “forgot to bring home Weddas. So, we created a travel version.”
Melinda raised her eyebrows. At the beginning of the school year, Melinda had explained to Walter how she kept a vocabulary journal to learn new words, and that it had become especially useful at her new school when she was overwhelmed by her peers’ superior vocabularies. After his first visit home, Walter introduced her to Weddas, a game his family had invented. It involved using letter tiles to create a crossword puzzle of words.
After returning to school, Pat had often joined their game and Melinda quickly learned the boys loved to play the game daily, sometimes multiple times a day, if they had the time.
“You couldn’t play a regular board game like normal families?” she suggested.
Meghan laughed. “That was my suggestion. My brothers are obsessed with this game.”
“So, how do you play the travel edition?”
Pat held up the graph paper. “Well, when its your turn, you write a word on the page. You can only write seven letters, as if you had tiles, but you can write any seven letters you want. Each letter gets its own square. On this page,” he held up a sheet of lined paper, “we write everyone’s words and keep track of which letters are used. You can only use a letter six times.”
“Wow. That is…”
“Inventive?” suggested Pat.
“Ingenious?” suggested Walter.
“Pathetic,” finished Melinda with a smile as Meghan burst into laughter.

It took a few turns for Melinda to settle into the game, but Melinda was finding this new version a little easier, since she could just think of any word she wanted, instead of trying to make words using the letters in front of her. For once, she found it easy to hold a conversation while playing the game.
Melinda turned to Meghan as she waited for her turn. “So, when are you going back to New York?”
“My roommate went home for Thanksgiving and I didn’t want to stay in the apartment alone all week. I have to go back for a doctor’s appointment tomorrow, and I just plan on staying in the city.”
Pat turned to Melinda. “So, did your mom say how long you’re visiting?”
Melinda shook her head.
“She left,” Walter said. “When I left to find you, I ran into Mom. You can spend the day and we’ll take you home after dinner.”
“Sick,” Pat smiled. He turned to his sister. “Did you say you needed to talk to Cynthia, too?”
Meghan rolled her eyes. “Nightshade.”
Pat and Walter both shuddered. When they said nothing, Melinda asked, “What’s Nightshade?”
“My agent passed me a script. She does it all the time and I’m not sure Mom even knows I have it. So, I read through it, and it’s just wrong on so many levels. First of all, there’s a ton of cursing. I don’t swear. Like, ever.”
“She’s like you.” Walter nodded towards Melinda.
Meghan smiled as she continued. “I would possibly, probably not, but maybe, consider the movie if that were its only flaw. But, there are so many things wrong with it. Like, there are multiple scenes where I would be…”
“Naked,” Pat smiled. “The word is naked.” He turned to Melinda. “She thinks that’s a bad word, too.”
“She’s like you.” Walter again nodded towards Melinda.
Melinda smiled. “Does your agent know how you feel about those kinds of movies?”
Meghan shrugged. “I thought she did. But, she still sent me this. When I told her I didn’t think it was for me, she said that now that I was eighteen, I should consider...how did she put it? Basically, I should be in movies that are for an adult audience, not a kid audience. Shed my good-girl image.”
“But, it’s not an image, right? I mean, I get the impression you’re like your brothers. You really are a good, wholesome girl. And I don't mean that to be insulting. It's something to be proud of.”
“Is she this insightful with everyone?” Meghan asked Walter.
“Pretty much. Except when it comes to boyfriends. She has a horrible track record there.”
“Ouch,” Pat put a hand to his chest, pretending to be insulted.
Melinda shook her head. “No. Walter’s right. I told you about my disasters.”
Pat smiled at Melinda, playing with her hair. “Actually, you never mentioned why you broke up with Townie.”
“You looked at me.” Melinda smiled, remembering how her ex-boyfriend was jealous of the time Melinda spent with her guy friends.
Pat smiled back. “No, seriously. Why’d you break up?”
“She is serious,” Walter said. “He got jealous you looked at her.”
“Wow. You really do have horrible taste in guys. What does that say about me?”

Although their game did not take long, by the time Melinda and her friends were finished, everyone was growing hungry. They headed down to the kitchen, where Walter pressed a button on the wall beside the doorway.
“Mom, do we have anything for lunch?”
Mrs. Evan’s voice emanated from the speaker beside the button. “Lunchmeat. Have some sandwiches. I think there’s some canned soup if you want to heat it. We’re having meatloaf for supper, with potatoes. Is that okay with Melinda?”
Walter held the button for her to respond.
“It sounds delicious.” She was unable to recall the last time she had even had meatloaf and decided it was probably before she had attended Hartfield, because she was certain she had not eaten any at school.
Walter began taking meats and condiments from the fridge and Pat retrieved the bread and canned soup from a walk-in closet Melinda assumed was the pantry. When Meghan went to a cabinet to get them all plates, Melinda began to feel useless.
“How can I help?”
Meghan pointed to a cabinet. “Cups. Get drinks. I want water.”
“Me, too,” chorused the boys.
“Tap?” Melinda knew the tap water in her parents’ home was nearly undrinkable.
“Use the fridge,” Pat instructed her. “It’s got a filter.”
So, Melinda used the dispenser in the front of the refrigerator to get four glasses of ice water, which she carried to the breakfast nook. Meghan had set two plates on one side of the table, and a plate in front of each of the remaining benches. Melinda placed a glass at each plate, then returned to the counter where Pat was dumping cans of soup into bowls and placing each one in the microwave.
“Here,” he smiled at her as he handed her a bowl. “This one’s chicken noodle.”
Melinda placed the bowl in the center of the table, finding Walter had selected a seat and begun making his sandwich. When she returned to the table with a second bowl (minestrone), Meghan had sat on the middle bench and was smearing mayonnaise on her bread. Melinda noticed the plates had been rearranged so that she and Pat would be sitting together on the bench facing Walter.
Melinda sat down after bringing the bowl of Italian Wedding soup to the table and Pat joined them a moment later with another bowl of chicken noodle soup. Melinda waited to make a sandwich, mesmerized by the one Walter was building. He had spread deli mustard on a slice of bread, then placed a slice of American cheese, a slice of salami, a slice of cheddar cheese, a slice of ham, a slice of provolone cheese, and a slice of turkey. He then spread mayonnaise on two sides of another slice of bread and layered it with the same cold cuts before spreading more mustard on a third slice of bread to complete the sandwich.
“Where’s the lettuce and tomato?” Meghan asked him.
Luckily, she had caught him before he had a chance to take a bite. He picked up his sandwich. “I don’t want any.”
“But, I do.” Meghan stared at the turkey on her bread. “Was there any in the fridge?”
Walter shrugged as he took a giant bite. “Prob’ly.”
Meghan simply shook her head in disgust as she went to look for the toppings. “Melinda, seriously? How are you friends with him? He’s so gross!”
“It’s not so much that we’re friends. It’s more that we have an arrangement. I let him copy my math homework and he helps me understand my Latin.”
“You also drag me to church,” Walter added.
“Oh, yeah. That’s because I have to watch you eat.”
Everyone laughed as they continued to build their sandwiches. A moment later, Walter asked, “Does anyone else want the chicken noodle soup?”
“There’s two,” Pat pointed out.
“Not for long. Unless someone else wants some.”
“Me!” Melinda announced and gently slid one of the bowls closer to her before her friend could take it.
Meghan chose not to have any soup, so Pat ended up eating both of the others in addition to a ham and cheese sandwich. Walter, meanwhile, had a second sandwich, this time only one layer.
“So,” Walter said as he took a large bite. “Now what should we do? More WTTE?”
“NO!” declared both girls adamantly.
“Melinda didn’t come to play board games all day,” Pat told his brother.
“What would Melinda like to do?” asked Walter.
“I have no idea. I had no plans for today.”
“We could watch a movie,” suggested Pat.
“We could play video games,” suggested Walter.
“That might be fun,” Melinda said.
They finished their lunches, making sure to return all the food to the fridge and even placing their dirty dishes in the dishwasher before returning to the playroom. They sat in the bean bag chairs on the floor while Walter turned on the television and gaming system and passed out the remotes.
The Evans family owned a large selection of video games in all genres, but Melinda examined the boxes carefully until she found one that she thought might look interesting. She held it up.
“Can you teach me to play this one?”
Pat smiled as Walter groaned. “That’s my favorite game. Walter hates it because he always loses.”
Pat put the game into the system and explained the basics. The screen split into four zones, one for each player. Melinda had to select which cartoon character she wanted to be, then select her race car. She could customize the wheels and body, but she elected to stick with the default settings, not knowing what else to select.
Pat told her there were many tracks they could race, but he would choose an easy one while she learned how to play. He showed her which buttons she should press to move and the game started.
As they drove, the players collected special items, which could be used to help them in the race. Walter threw an oil barrel that caused slicks all over the track, causing Melinda to turn around and lose her place. Pat threw bananas that would have had a similar effect, except Melinda was able to swerve around the peel at the last second. Meghan collected a star that allowed her to zoom along at double speed and pass nearly everyone. Melinda collected a clock, which Pat showed her how to throw. It caused everyone to freeze for five seconds while she continued to move, allowing her to pass the finish line while everyone was still frozen, since she had thrown it during the final lap.
Melinda had fun playing with her friends, even when Walter changed the game to one where they had to work together to defeat some evil elf lord. After a while, Walter was the only one alive, but he did not seem to notice. Meghan left, declaring she had something better to do, although she had no idea what it could be. Pat beckoned Melinda to join him in his chair, where he put his arm around her. She snuggled close as he whispered in her ear.
“I missed you, Daphne. I miss holding you.”
Melinda said nothing for a while, but simply watched Walter’s game on the screen while Pat played with her hair absently as he tried to help his brother..
“Dude! Not the arrows!”
“I know, I know!” Walter cursed under his breath as he pressed buttons furiously. His bow and arrow turned into a sword and he was able to lop off the head of a creature Melinda thought might have been a tree, but she really could not tell.
“That was close.” Walter sat back as on the screen his character traveled through the woods to destroy the next creature he encountered.
Melinda turned to Pat. She laced her fingers behind his neck as she returned his gentle kiss. They held each other close until Melinda could no longer endure the warm feeling that filled her entire body to bursting every time she kissed Pat. They sat with their foreheads touching for a moment while Melinda waited for her heartbeat to return to normal.
“I missed you, too.” They kissed for quite a while until Walter began cursing at the screen again.

Walter never seemed to tire of defeating the elf lord, so Pat offered to give Melinda a tour of the house. He explained that most of the second floor was their bedrooms, although the two doors they had passed at the top of the stairs were adjoining offices for his parents. They turned left out of the playroom and walked slowly down the corridor, which was lined with windows to overlook the pool below. The hallway opened into a lounge area with a small table in front of two bathrooms whose lights were off and doors were ajar.
Pat led Melinda through the door at the end of the hallway into what could only be described as a movie theater. The enormous room had dark walls and a sloping floor, with a massive screen mounted to the wall at the bottom of the room. Melinda counted four rows, each containing five cushy red seats. In front of Melinda was an actual concession stand, with an empty popcorn machine, a small refrigerator with bottles of soda and water, and a display case of movie theater candy.
“Wow,” was all Melinda could say.
“My mom designed this room to have movie screenings. Or, we’ll use it to watch Dad’s music videos. But, this is also where we like to watch movies, too.”
“Not, like, regular television, right?”
“Honestly, none of us watch too much tv. Neogenesis is a must in here, though. The surround sound is incredible. Other than that, I’m not sure any of us watch anything else.” Pat shrugged. “Come on. I wanna show you the rest of the house.”
They walked down the sloping aisle to an exit at the front of the room that opened to the pool deck. The indoor pool had four full-sized lap lanes, which were marked on the pool floor but did not have the bubbles floating in the water to separate the lanes. The room was a little too warm for Melinda in her sweater and jeans, but she said nothing.
“There’s a sauna and hot tub in that room over there,” Pat gestured towards to a glass room just beside the theater, “but, we’re not allowed in it most of the time.”
“What are those doors?” Melinda pointed across the way.
“Those are the guest rooms. Their bathrooms open out to the pool. We keep swim suits in the dresser in case people want to go swimming and forgot to bring a suit. Like, you didn’t bring one today because who swims in November, right?”
Melinda giggled and Pat pointed beside the guest rooms. “Over there,” he pointed beside the guest rooms, “is the library. I can show it to you later, if you want.” There were plenty of windows in the library, so Melinda was able to espy bookshelves lining the walls, as well as a couple of study desks and some comfy-looking chairs.
“It kind of looks like the study room at school.” Melinda and Walter did their homework together in the same library room most evenings. Pat had joined them enough times to know the room to which she was referring.
“Yeah, it kinda does. I think that’s why Walter’s more apt to study there than in his dorm. It’s like being home. When we were homeschooled, the library was our schoolroom.”
Pat led Melinda past a glass-walled room, through the sliders into the living area Melinda had seen when she first arrived. Instead of turning left into the kitchen, however, Pat led her through another set of double glass doors into the glass-walled room she had seen from the pool deck.
“This is the gym.”
Melinda was facing a large circular contraption that had a bench in the center and a stack of weights on the side. Melinda had seen commercials for smaller versions on television, but had never seen anything this large or complex. It was too complicated for Melinda to figure out how it worked, but according to the pictures on the poster affixed to the wall beside it, you could use this machine could be used to tone over twenty different body regions.
Beside the home gym was an old fashioned weight bench with a rack of free weights beside it. There was a mirror with some mats and exercise balls beside it. Across the room, there were five cardio machines, some of which Melinda could not identify, all facing the pool, although each had some sort of computer screen.
“Why is there a screen on the treadmill?” Melinda pointed to the one machine whose name she did know.
Pat smiled. “You can program it to any setting you want. So, if you want to take a run through the woods, you would just press this button and voila, you’re in the woods.”
“Whose room is this?”
“We all use it. Mom and Meghan like the machines and the home gym. Dad likes to use the home gym, but he prefers to run outside if the weather’s nice. Walter and I like the weight bench, and only use the treadmill in the winter.”
“Where do you go outside? Your road didn’t look that great for running.”
“Did you see the track going around the house? The driveway is kind of part of it, but it goes around the house itself. The track is about a quarter mile.”
“I knew Walter liked to run. I didn’t realize you joined him.”
“Yup. I created a loop around the campus. I showed it to Walter.”
“But, you’re going to stop that when we get back, right? I mean, it's too cold to run.”
Pat shook his head. “Nah. We’ll keep running outside unitl the paths become too icy. Then, we’ll switch to the indoor track.
Melinda just shook her head. “No wonder you guys are always eating!”
“Hey! Don’t compare me to that gourmand!”
“Gourmand?”
“Someone who really likes to eat. Usually excessively.”
“Oh! That is a perfect description of Walter! I’m gonna save that word for Weddas.”
Beside the gym was Mr. Evans’ music room, which was actually a small studio. In addition to an upright piano and a wall of guitars, it held some music stands and a mixing board. Pat explained that the room was soundproofed and completely wired with microphones, so the band could record in here as they practiced. Sometimes their father would record music as he wrote it, so he could share it with his bandmates later.
“That’s so cool,” was all Melinda could think to say.
Pat led her back to the living room. “That’s pretty much the whole house. There’s a dining room off the kitchen, but we only use that for company. So, what d’ya wanna do now?”
Melinda thought for a little while. “How warm’s the pool?”
Pat frowned. “The filter’s broken. I wanted to swim this morning, after my run, but Mom said we can’t use it until the filter is fixed. I say we watch a movie.”
“In that theater?”
“Well, yeah. That’s the best place to watch movies.”
“Um, is your mom gonna freak out if you and I watch a movie alone there?”
Pat considered a moment, then went to the intercom Walter had used earlier. “Melinda and I are going watch a movie. Anyone want to join us?”

[Table Of Contents] [Chapter 36 coming October 2]
Follow Patrick McGregor's story in Confessions of a Teenage Celebrity - Chapter 12: Meet the Parents (Part 2)
submitted by AshleighBSB to redditserials [link] [comments]


2020.09.24 16:53 ukeanduet Seeking nesting partner... am I doing this backwards?

I (28F) have been on OK Cupid (which is the only dating app I know of with a nonmonogamous filter) and so far I haven't seen anyone specify that they want a primary-eventually-nesting partner that is open to seeing other people. Most everyone there that I am attracted to is already married or partner and looking for a girlfriend or fwb.
How weird is it that I want to find my primary, that will be open to being open? My ideal scenario is to be exclusive to start, unless our kinks don't match up well- in that case, simply playdates only. Once we've developed a deeper bond, communication is clear and desires are well known, I'd want to move onto seeing other people and dating poly.
I have two good friends - one identifies as nonmonog, the other as poly. The nonmonog one has told me that it was his partner of 3 years (now 5) that suggested they be open while he was working for months at a time in the middle east, and that's how they started. For my poly friend, she had an affair 5 years into her marriage, and she and her husband decided to become open once she identified as poly.
I don't know many other "origin stories." What started your poly journey? Is there anyone out there also looking for their primary companion? Are there any others sites to meet people with my interests? I appreciate your read.

TL;DR - I'm looking for a primary-to-nesting partner that is poly or at least wants to explore the option. What's the best approach to take?
submitted by ukeanduet to polyamory [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 12:49 trishscully Dressing Your Little Princess for Special Occasions

Dressing Your Little Princess for Special Occasions
We as a whole love to feel uncommon occasionally, yet no one on the planet appreciates as much as our little girls do. They likewise value the effort we set up into putting their outfit for each event. In addition, the little ones' skill to show they're glad, and extraordinary girls white dresses sale is ensured to make them grin! Everything necessary is for you to invest some energy into finding a spot that sells VIP most loved garments for girls. Your hopeful diva will look lovable and you win the mother of-the-year grant.
https://preview.redd.it/m06017agnvo51.png?width=681&format=png&auto=webp&s=d6d0c53433ea87b8b4154bcf7e75ad95bec2c3a9
In the event that getting children to dress themselves exploded backward awfully, you must choose the option to keep doing it for them until they are mature enough. Mature enough to build up some fashion sense, that is, and not make you resemble a terrible parent. Then again, in all seriousness, appreciate it while it keeps going. Before you know it, they'll be totally free so utilize your baby girl fashion master time shrewdly!

Figuring out how to cause your little princess to feel like a princess :

We're all happy occasions and fashion has changed drastically. Before, mothers were more on the ordinary side and used to have less comprehension of their little girls' had to stay aware of fashion patterns. Fortunately for your little one, you are a cutting edge mother who understands your little fashionista needs to be stylish.
Also, the greater part of us has those humiliating a minute ago outfit-mother set up adolescent photographs. On the off chance that your baby girl will censure you for anything when she's full-grown, it better not be for having helpless intuition with regards to fashion. In particular, listen to your little one. You don't need her to need to mix in or stick out on the off chance that it conflicts with her desires.
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https://preview.redd.it/49ydbo4knvo51.png?width=669&format=png&auto=webp&s=9b4754c51605264bee8cfae845d735d00f77fd40

How to dress a kid in the winter? Step by step instructions to set up a kid for extravagant dress rivalry :

We as a whole need our little ones to be comfortable and look sharp in any place they go, and winter is no exemption. Additionally, when you see all the delightful little covers, you'll barely have the option to control yourself!
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The most exceedingly terrible thing about dressing your little sweetheart in the winter is that it's more about common sense and less about fashion. She will most likely be unable to wear skirts and dresses as regularly in light of the fact that keeping her warm is the first concern. Fortunately, there's a savvy approach to make up for that – through smart embellishing all girls love!

How to set up a youngster for an extravagant dress rivalry?

Extravagant dress rivalries are the best, regardless of how old you are. On the off chance that your small scale me is going to one, don't hesitate to let your creative mind go out of control – sensibly speaking. Even better, make her own dream work out as expected (regardless of whether she needs to be Elsa, once more) or give the thoughts that will make her stick out.
Your little princess presumably cherishes looking effortless and cultured. Cause her to feel like a real princess by assembling inventive yet rich glamorous dresses for girls for her to wear to the following extravagant dress rivalry. Furthermore, if all else fails, recall that the Internet is your companion. Don't hesitate to bring a sneak look into the universe of high fashion to discover thoughts.
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How to dress your youngster like a rockstar? Step by step instructions to dress your youngster like a rockstar :

We as a whole love rock style, and there isn't anything more charming than a child wearing a cowhide coat and some pants, in a blend with certain embellishments as the last touch. Regardless of whether Janis Joplin, Tina Turner, or a nonexclusive fashion model went star-of-exciting music-video, your little one will deeply inspire everybody.
Saying this doesn't imply that you ought to go for excessively extreme outfits either (so's a no to Lady Gaga or David Bowie-motivated looks). You simply need her to wear the garments she appreciates wearing and feels comfortable in. What great is a staggering outfit if it's excessively close? However long you settle on strong yet sensible decisions, your little stone diva won't just resemble a rock star – she'll feel like one, as well.

How to dress your kid for picture day?

As we probably are aware very well, kids will, in general, be meticulous. This is the reason most mothers won't take any risks. Subsequent to finding the small scale fashionista's preferred dress store, they choose to adhere to it, and that is a large portion of the fight. This is particularly significant for unique events, an opportunity to go hard and fast.
Picture day is one such exceptional day, particularly in case you're a little girl. Additionally, you realize that the various little girls and their mothers will make a special effort for picture day. Clearly, you’re smaller than expected. I need to eclipse everybody and you must get it going.
It is up to you and her to unite and think of a unique outfit for an uncommon day. You need her to esteem the recollections of that day and affectionately take a gander at those photos sometime in the not so distant future. That way, she'll generally recollect how much her mama thought about her and made a special effort to make her look completely charming!

Interesting girl garments stores help present-day little girls run the world!

Each and every girl gazes upward to and needs to be much the same as mother. Presently you can let your little princess gain proficiency with a stunt or two on her alone. She'll presumably sneak into your stroll in the storeroom and play dress-ups that you'll profess not to know anything about.
Yet, you can likewise play a functioning part in building up your munchkin's fashion sense and helping her construct her own style. All you need is Modern child! You and your scaled-down me will appreciate the fun and imaginative cycle of selecting novel garments together. It simply doesn't beat that!
submitted by trishscully to u/trishscully [link] [comments]


2020.09.23 04:33 Ninjinka AlphaPi Update: display, design, repo name change, software suggestions

TL;DR: Changed repo name to "AlphaPi", am sticking to smaller display for gen 1, am going with a portable design, and want feedback as to software to include
First things first, I changed the repo name from "oled_bonnet" to "AlphaPi". That repo was going to be a bunch of random scripts for that display, but as this project has progressed I figured the name should reflect the focus. The new link is https://github.com/ThomasBurgess2000/AlphaPi but the old one will still work.
Second, I am committing to using the small 128x32 pixel OLED display, at least for Generation One.
TL;DR: The OLED is super cheap, readily available, plug and play (no soldering), portable, backlit, low-power, and has PIL support out of the box.
Longer display choice explanation:
I messed around with a larger 400x240 memory pixel display (basically e-ink with faster refresh) that requires soldering/wiring for a while, but unfortunately the Python Imaging Library doesn't work very well with it. And honestly, I didn't like the look of it as much as the OLED.
Some people have complained about how small the OLED is, but wait to judge until you see it in person. It's definitely readable and in my opinion it's actually a plus to not be able to see much of the text you're writing so you aren't tempted to edit a lot. At some point I write a version that doesn't require a display. You just turn it on and start typing, and it will sync to the cloud so you can edit it on another computer later.
When I get the 40x4 character display from China I will mess around with it a bit. I'm just not convinced it will be that great, so for now I'm focusing on the 128x32 display. Feel free to fork the software and make it work with other displays though, I'd love to see it. I can't rewrite it for different displays right now since so much of what I'm doing has to be pixel perfect and doesn't scale very well. I have to pick a display and stick with it, at least at the beginning.
Third, I love how portable the design in my last post is. The first few designs I made were much larger so as to be able to sit across both your legs for lap-use. Electronics-wise this was a ton of wasted space since all that was required was a battery pack and the AlphaPi itself (Pi Zero + Display). I didn't want to sacrifice footprint/portability just so it could span your legs, so I decided to make a much reduced version (see previous post). If you want to use it on your lap you can use a piece of wood/lapdesk instead of always having it permanently attached.
A couple design changes inbound: the battery pack will be attached to the display plate via velcro straps so you can swap in whatever battery you already have and there will be some sort of casing (currently wood) to protect the display (it's quite fragile, I already cracked it a bit).
Fourth, when I think about the possibilities afforded by this computedisplay combo, I get really excited. I don't want to stray too far from the Alphasmart vision of just being a word-processor (and you'll always be able to only install that piece) but there are a lot of cool things afforded by this medium. Combined with certain software this device could turn into something fairly unique. Anything beyond the word-processor is further down the line, but I'd love to hear of some software ideas you might have for a 128x32 display.
Personally, I was inspired by the Playdate console and would love to make a couple ultra-low res games. I want to make a way to incorporate a basic Python editor like the Tandy 100 BASIC editor. I also thought of taking advantage of the high storage capacity of microSD cards and making a script that loads in eBooks and displays them super quickly like speed-reading apps. This might be a great starting computer for kids. Parents would be comfortable handing it over to them as there's no browser or images!

Anyway, I know that was super long, but knew that it might interest a couple of you. Let me know if you have any feedback or suggestions! I also update the website alphapi.computer so expect some more stuff there in the future. I took a few jabs at the Freewrite there.
submitted by Ninjinka to AlphaPi [link] [comments]


2020.09.19 08:36 iknowalotaboutdrugs My girlfriend of 8 years admitted she cheated on me with a close friend (messy)

So, since I'm here I suppose I should give some backstory. This will probably get lengthy so ill put a tl;dr at the bottom.
I (M/23) started dating my (ex)girlfriend (We'll call her C; F/23) since sophomore year in high school. We were the textbook "high school sweethearts". Fast forward thru 6 years of good, bad and everything in between; having 2 two kids and dealing with a miscarriage, etc... we essentially were a married couple without the title, and we pretty much operated as such. (ironically enough i was planning on proposing to her the week after d-day..)
Now the last year or so me and C had been hanging out with one of my close friends (we'll call him J) and his girlfriend (S); who also have two kids together. Me and J had known each other for years, but hadn't talked much recently so it was cool to catch up; and S and my girlfriend C became friends quickly, as well as our children. At this point we are like family to each other, we went on vacations together, playdates, babysat for each other etc.
Now, the past few months before d-day, C started to show telltale signs of cheating (now that I look back).. but due to the fact that she has severe bipolar disorder which she is prescribed medication for (but she did not take it regularly), it was hard for me to fully gauge what was going on; because manic depressive episodes can exhibit wild symptoms that eerily align with cheating behavior (i know, i pick em great right). So I was concerned; but moreso for her mental well being, than for what I was about to discover in the near future.
Here's where things get hairy.
(D-Day) So I get ready leave the house to do uber eats. I do this part time to pay the bills, I've been learning to trade forex for the last few months so I needed something that could free up time. Anyway, before I leave C asks me for a kiss, I kiss her and the kids and then I head out... No less than 20 minutes after I left, I check my phone and see a string of messages from C, and then I get a call from her. When I answer the phone she's already crying. She tells me that about two months ago her and J fucked. She tells me that J told her I would run off and fuck other girls and meet up with them on some dating app on my phone. None of which is true, for the record. He essentially fed her a bunch of bullshit, and she blindly accepted it as truth. She claims she fucked him to get "revenge" at me for everything I ever "did" (even though as far as infidelity goes, I did nothing). C destroyed our relationship, family, and her friendship with S, all off of hearsay. J helped mastermind it all, and also destroyed our friendship, along with his relationship with S. Worst part is, I was hitting J up the 2 weeks before D-Day to chill, and he wouldn't even respond. Making me look like an even bigger clown. I reacted in pure rage, said some things I probably shouldn't have in the heat of the moment, and then told her to get her shit out of my house.
She of course at this point is hysterical and is screaming through tears for me to not leave her, that she wants to save our family, that it only happened once and there was no feelings involved beyond her trying to get back at me. At this point though I just don't know if I can believe it. both C and J disrespected me to the ABSOLUTE highest level, not only me but also S. They orchestrated a whole plan to make it happen and then hid it for 2 months. She did also come to me and admit it on her own. Not that that excuses it AT ALL, but my thinking is, in reality I could've found out in worse ways than her direct admission.
I'm so torn here reddit. I love this girl to death, and want nothing more than to save our family. I grew up in a split home and i saw and heard things I shouldn't have, and i remember the depression i went through during that time.. i dont want that for my kids..
BUT I also know that I've NEVER been betrayed like this before in my life, not only by an SO but a friend as well. I'm completely heartbroken, and I've had hurt in the past but I've never felt true heartbreak like I do right now. Im doing my best to avoid contacting her, but we have two kids so it makes it really hard at times.. ive been learning to focus on me, but I have to literally keep my mind preoccupied 110% of the time, or I start to go into the same thought loops about this whole situation :(.
Do I give the love of my life a second chance after something like this? For the sake of my family? I know I have zero trust for her, and i understand that if we EVER were to rekindle something in the future, it will be a long time, if ever before the pain goes away. it will not be the same as before, we will be starting from scratch. I just would like advice on if there's anything worth saving or not.
If so, what signs should I be looking for thats shes actually invested in making things right?
If not, how do i start this healing process and begin to move on from an 8 year investment and a now dysfunctional family? Because I'm so fucking lost right now guys.
Thanks for reading all the way to the end, I dropped tears writing this and any advice is appreciated.
**UPDATE 9/20
C is out out the house now. Ironically she's already moved into a new apartment. I'm not dumb and I know 9 times out of 10 you don't just find an new apartment in a single day.. maybe my paranoia but probably not honestly. Ive been avoiding contact with her beyond child related things.
I tried to contact S, but Ironically her phone was broken in the fight her and J had... she tried to message me on Facebook the night I found out to help her move her daughter dressed into a storage unit, but I was physically weak and couldn't even think of what to say in response at that time. Not that she did anything wrong at all. At this point S has removed herself from Facebook so I'm trying to figure out another way to get ahold of her to try to get extra insight. Will post another update if/when I get more details.
C tried to "shit test" me today, and since we're now apart i could see it blind as day. She FaceTimed me, I normally would've ignored but i can see my daughter on the preview so i answer. C claims the kids wanted to talk to me, but they seemed relatively uninterested when I tried. Which no big deal, but its what came next that was so weird. What im talking about is her making a comment on a new vape i just got. How it was "so cool" and she wanted to see me take a drag off it again. This is significant only because I KNOW from being with her for 8 years that it turns her on to see me do smoke tricks. That's just always been her. On top of that, she kept taking the camera off the kids, and trying to talk to me about things that happened in her day indirectly. I kept it brief and told her i was busy before she could drag it on.. WHY IS SHE DOING THIS? This is fucking with my head even more now..
ALSO today I was working on music and I went into my downloads folder and noticed something called "J's App". Its date modified is 8/11. This lines up with the timeline C gave me which made me sick to my stomach. I open it, fully prepared to find some type of cynical cheating app they were using to sneak around on me with...
Turns out its an application for some ged boot camp for high-school drop outs. This girl had the NERVE to let this fucking bum use my laptop to apply for this shit?! I now certainly question the length of their relationship and the details behind it. For now, im going to continue with space and avoiding contact but I will be sitting down with C next week to lay everything on the table. Full truths, full openness, adult discussion no kid games. At that point ill either have closure to know the truth (or as much as I can get of it), or know if there's any chance of redemption, which at this point has went from 25% to 5%.
Thank you all sooo much for your advice and support during this; Alot of hard pills to swallow right now but its what I need. You guys are foreal a family to me and I will be here to support anyone here, new or old thats ever had to feel the way i feel right now.
Tl;dr my girlfriend of 8 years and mother of my 2 kids had an ONS with my friend, who is(was) dating her best friend. Now she wants to work things out
submitted by iknowalotaboutdrugs to survivinginfidelity [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 10:40 ThrowRA91717 My(24m) girlfriend (23f) of 7 years, and mother of my 2 children, has cheated on my twice, and is now living with a couple she had a threesome with.

Idk what to do. We dated long distance for a year and a half. We both moved to the same city to be together when I started college. I never made any friends here and I have no family here.
She cheated on me 4 years ago by sending nudes to some random guys. I forgave her.
She had a threesome 2 years ago with a couple she was friends with for a playdate. These are the only two real friends she's ever made in her life since she had a rough childhood. I forgave her but she had to cut them off. They are dangerous to be around. If you want a full story, check my only other post on this account.
She has had these new friends for 3 months, but her behavior has been horrible. Drinking while she is on a playdate with our kids. Being gone from 12pm to 2am with both kids every single day. Spending $1000 a month on fast food while over there even though we are 5 digits in debt. We fought a lot about this.
She moved into their house 2 weeks ago so we could have space and figure shit out. Turns out these new friends were a lie and she actually just reconnected with the couple she cheated on me with. She's living with them. I told her to choose between them or me, she said she needs two weeks to decide.
Idk what to do. We have a 3 year old and 4 month old that are everything to me, but I'm not a good enough father to raise them alone, and I can't afford daycare for when I'm working, but she has no income so she has to live with that couple. The husband is a drug dealer who physically abused his wife beyond recognition and took out 3 security guards after a line of coke, with my girlfriend and son in the room, after they had the threesome. She drinks and smokes weed regularly over there. I don't want my children exposed to any of that.
I've struggled with depression my whole life. I went to a mental institution for a week for an attempted suicide as a teen. How do I handle this with no friends or family, no support system, and no clear solution to this problem?
submitted by ThrowRA91717 to SuicideWatch [link] [comments]


2020.09.17 00:48 a_n_n_a_k How to (or even should I) combat the "well I'm working" comeback from husband

A frustrated and tired mama is looking for opinions and a place to vent 🤣
I'm fortunate enough to be able to spend a good amount of time on maternity leave. My baby is wonderful and a joy to be around. However, occasionally I need (but don't get) a break. Yes I am able to spend some time during the day having my cup of tea or playing on my Switch while the baby is napping or playing on the floor. I am able to browse facebook and reddit and relax here and there. Because we live in New Zealand, I'm also able to go out and have coffee dates and playdates whenever I want. So no I am not stuck behind a computer desk earning the family money, I'm able to do a wide range of activities. However I feed, bathe, clothe, entertain the baby from about 530am to 630pm every day (she has decided to start the days pretty early - that's a separate topic). I also clean the house, entertain the 2 cats, and prepare the meals.
I feel weird complaining because things used to be a LOT worse in those first newborn weeks. I was a miserable zombie who honestly just wanted to die. These days the baby sleeps so well at night, and she's a joy to interact with during the day, so it's a completely different life. STILL I feel like I need the occasional break. I want to sleep in an extra hour or two some mornings knowing that someone else will take care of the baby and I don't have to drop what I'm doing if she cries. I don't need time away from the house by myself, I just want to sleep a little longer every now and then. My husband works from home. He's consistently been sleeping in til 8am and leisurely sauntering to his desk in the living room while I bring him breakfast and coffee. He works an IT job that he's very competent at and is relatively minimal stress. Is it so ridiculous of me to think that he is capable of getting up at 530am OCCASIONALLY and minding the baby until he starts work at 8am??
Today I'm tired, I've been vomited on 3 times, I've had to clean a poopsplosion, I've done 3 loads of laundry, I'm trying to stay on top of the worst of the house mess, and I've had to clean my underwear which I've bled onto this morning. I want to cry. If I felt like I had enough sleep this morning, I would have more emotional resilience to deal with these relatively normal day to day issues.
Anyway I tell my husband I need a little more sleep and his comeback is ALWAYS "well I'm the one working". He probably sees me on my switch and thinks I'm just cruising through the day. I don't have a comeback for this.
submitted by a_n_n_a_k to beyondthebump [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 21:42 UNICORN_SPERM How do I (32F) move on from him (32M)?

We were friends for a few years. Not like super close friends, but he was there for me when my ex screwed me over and nearly left me homeless.
March 2019 we started a FWB relationship that I really shouldn't've gotten involved in because I knew at the time I had feelings for him. After a while we're seeing each other 5 days a week, having a lot less sex, sleepovers constantly and going on dates together.
Yet when I brought up I felt like we were in a de facto relationship and I wouldn't mind being in an open one it was "oh god no, i'm not looking for any relationships with anyone right now." A few months later, March 2020, he broke it off with me and said we needed to just be friends.
It's been six months of slogging through a friendship where I still have major feelings for this guy. Recently we hung out just the two of us and it felt like a date, again. I go over for one on one movie nights he invites me to and instead of sitting on the polar opposite end of the couch he sits in the middle. It's little shit like that but it makes it so hard to get over him.
I have a "playdate" with another friend tomorrow and I'm like.... not as enthusiastic as I want to be because I'm still hung up on this guy. My heart still skips a beat when I get a text from him and he texts me multiple times every single day.
Is there any way other than just going cold turkey no contact that I can just move the hell on with my life? How can I go from feeling so in love with someone to just being their friend without stopping seeing them?
As far as I know he hasn't seen a single soul during this time (it is COVID and all). So it's not even like he dropped me for some other girl.
tl/dr: Still really hung up on someone I want to just be friends with, but I don't know how to move on
submitted by UNICORN_SPERM to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.09.15 21:24 UNICORN_SPERM How do I (32F) move on from him (32M)?

We were friends for a few years. Not like super close friends, but he was there for me when my ex screwed me over and nearly left me homeless.
March 2019 we started a FWB relationship that I really shouldn't've gotten involved in because I knew at the time I had feelings for him. After a while we're seeing each other 5 days a week, having a lot less sex, sleepovers constantly and going on dates together.
Yet when I brought up I felt like we were in a de facto relationship and I wouldn't mind being in an open one it was "oh god no, i'm not looking for any relationships with anyone right now." A few months later, March 2020, he broke it off with me and said we needed to just be friends.
It's been six months of slogging through a friendship where I still have major feelings for this guy. Recently we hung out just the two of us and it felt like a date, again. I go over for one on one movie nights he invites me to and instead of sitting on the polar opposite end of the couch he sits in the middle. It's little shit like that but it makes it so hard to get over him.
I have a "playdate" with another friend tomorrow and I'm like.... not as enthusiastic as I want to be because I'm still hung up on this guy. My heart still skips a beat when I get a text from him and he texts me multiple times every single day.
Is there any way other than just going cold turkey no contact that I can just move the hell on with my life? How can I go from feeling so in love with someone to just being their friend without stopping seeing them?
As far as I know he hasn't seen a single soul during this time (it is COVID and all). So it's not even like he dropped me for some other girl.
tl/dr: Still really hung up on someone I want to just be friends with, but I don't know how to move on
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2020.09.14 05:14 Feelslikehome31 Playdate breakup 😔

Alright people of the reddit world- I have a 4/almost 5 year old boy. He was premature, had major surgery, had a few minor bumps in the beginning and now he's healthy, woo!
His behavior though... Well, he went through a biting phase from about 2 1/2 - 3 1/2 (longest period of time in my life) and he was kicked out of school for it. Day later, he was diagnosed with a speech disorder (explains some of the biting behavior).
He's been home since then with us and we got services, no more biting, woo!
But, he's still having issues regulating emotions (MAYBE once or twice a week)and we've tried various tactics and methods to help him identify the emotions and we've been focusing on what appropriate things he can do and say in the moment that he's mad. We are seeing progress, slowly, but surely. Regardless, we run a tight ship. If he's not being kind or hurtful with hands or words, there are consequences in place (usually losing privileges).
He has one close friend, a neighbor who is 8 months younger and a girl. They've been playing for.... 3 years together. Overall, they play well with more good days than challenging ones.
The girl's dad works a ton, drinks a ton and is MIA during playdates. He is a very.... nervous and a helicopter parent (I can respect different parenting types and I too can be a helicopter in certain situations).
The mom and I have grown close. She's my first new mom friend. We've grown to trust each other which is huge. We seem to have a similar parenting style as well.
Playdates are always here. Always at my house because I have a yard. No big deal. Honestly, we don't mind it. They have an apartment and never invite us over. Not sure why...
My son spent 5 hours playing with their daughter yesterday. A few bumps, but there were learning opportunities we coached them through.
Today, different ball game. My son had a more difficult time. Somedays he does and they've witnessed his tantrums (even in public 🙈). Always, the mom was understanding. Today, he was throwing a kick ball at her and her mom after they said stop, etc. I didn't intervene as I was inside talking to my brother (our grandfather passed away today 😔), but my husband did. They left because he wasn't listening. Totally get that.
I checked in with the mom. Apologized about the behavior. She seemed understanding. Everything seemed fine. Made amends, talked to the kid about his actions, we didn't earn movie night, tomorrow is a new day.
Now the dad sent a message to my husband about their friendship being "detrimental to his daughter and not mutually beneficial".
My mind is just blown. My kid isn't a saint, but he's 4/5 years old man! This guy honestly has never seen our kids play and the good they bring out in one another. Nevermind the mom and I have both professionally worked with children and know what's typical at that age!
I think the mom and dad may be breaking up and there's underlining turmoil. Regardless, I feel like if you can't see through the imperfections of my kid, who has a speech disorder nonetheless, good riddance! I'm sad, but also like, FU!
Anyone gone through a play date break up?
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2020.09.12 03:44 InterestingHeart5831 My son's recent ASD diagnosis

In early July my 7 (8 in Sept) son was diagnosed level 2 ASD the SP said he was more level 1 but wouldn't get funding so he bumped him to level 2 and said he had high functioning Aspbergers, This diagnosis shocked me yes my son has quirks that I seen in my 12 year old nephew who is also on the spectrum but not enought to make me believe he was.
Some back story My son has separation anxiety and is very clingy to me he struggled in kindy with me leaving but as soon as I was out the gate he was playing with friends joining in and just having a great day. He eats well Has no sensory issues other than loving the feeling of mink on his skin but who doesnt. He does a humming noise when he plays but the Dr told me that was due to his massive tonsils that would be touching he had them removed in March this year and since then has really stopped making the noise. He does grimace his face alot but more when he is being silly and trying to get me and his dad to laugh because he is a hilarious kid. He sleeps well never had a problem with sleeping he has a great group of friends always invited to playdates and partys. He plays sport and does dance he always wants to be hanging with friends and trust to plan play dates everyday after school. He is very shy but once he knows you he will happily talk to you, he is gentle and kind always helping others fit in and helping people if they are hurt or sad so affectionate. His grade at school are good he does need a tiny bit more direction from teachers but before he was diagnosed not one of his teachers had ever come to me telling me this or even suspecting him being on the spectrum. He does have low muscle density (no idea what that means so can't say much other than he has a massive long tongue that he moves heaps ) he does get addicted to gaming and want to play all the time but I'm strict and he is only allowed to on the weekend which he is fine with. We don't have meltdowns often and when he does it's more tantrum as he just doesn't get his way like he doesn't want to go to bed yet or doesn't get Treat. The only reason we had him assessed is because of his separation anxiety and it was mentioned when he was at kindy and I just waited on the list so while we had no concerns when his appt came up I (his dad wasn't included at all) just did it.
This is where is gets tricky I suffer from severe health anxiety so I focus on things and hold onto so much info. During his assessment when I was asked questions at the time I was saying things that in my mind I was like yep this is what they want to hear and just blurted out a whole bunch of BS Said my son has no friends doesn't give eye contact doesnt play doesn't like to be touched has sensory issues eats bad has constant meltdown and so on. At the time I didn't even realise I did it till I left and realized what I just did because my anxiety went through the roof. Now he has this diagnosis and I don't know if my lies have given it or if in the 30 mins he was assessed they really saw the ASD.
I want to go back and talk to the people who assessed but not sure if I should my anxiety has gone into overdrive and I know my hypochondria has come out to play here please tell me what to do.
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2020.09.10 13:28 TableIn How Are Worldwide Businesses Using Tablein in Different Spheres?

10 Features of the Reservation System That are Critically Appealing for Various Businesses Initially let’s make it clear why businesses are integrating the reservation systems in their business management. What are the key requirements for such tool? And, what features define an advanced reservation management?
Accurate Real-time Bookings. The reservation system is not equal to a request one. Thus, all the available dates, times and specific choices should be clearly visible on the booking calendar, and reservations – instantly confirmed. This automatic feature is extremely convenient both for the client and the service provider. Time –saving Channel Management. One of the most time-consuming, confusing and complicated tasks is to manage reservations coming from different business channels (websites, social media, apps). Thus, every reservation system must be capable of receiving the bookings from all those channels and synchronising them to a single calendar. Here’s a simple key to the smooth management and eliminated risk of overbookings. Clear Reporting. The booking calendar, occupancy rates, frequency according to the time (days/hours) or special offers, payment statuses, revenues and all the relevant data should be generated immediately and explicitly. Preferably, with just one click. Smooth Group reservation management. Many businesses report the issues emerging while managing group reservations. Fortunately, online booking systems allow to manage the reservations efficiently, saves time and eliminates the risk of mistakes. Triggering Special promotions and discounts. Despite the business sphere, discounts and promotions are always present. The reservation system, which allows the flexible display of them, is always desirable. Automatic communication. None of the reservation systems might be valued if the tool still requires additional manual work. Every communication back and forth with clients should be automated: let it be a booking confirmation, reminder or feedback request. It’s time-saving and convenient when managing not only the reservations but the business in general too. Convenient Client data management. Data about each reservation should be seen easily, and privacy requirements must remain high as well as secure. Moreover, the data should be easily accessible for all the responsible staff members (extremely important if the business is operating on a shift-change basis). Effective Workflow management. Where the business is related to people service, it is extremely important to foresee the awaiting flow and its intensity. It helps to manage the workflow, predict the required number of employees, order the necessary amount of products. One-click Prepayments. Flexible payment options are beneficial due to many reasons. They help to avoid no-shows, allow anticipating the guaranteed flow and simplify accounting. None of the clients should physically come to the place in order to make a payment. It’s such a time-saving tool for business employees! In case of force majeure situation, money could be refunded for the guest with just one click. Moreover, despite the country where the reservation system is being used, all the payments should be handled in local currency; thus, the choice must be existent. Multilingual management. Each business is willing the reservation system to be adapted to their mother tongue, so the choice of languages is critical. Moreover, the easy switch to a foreign language must be available too to become approachable for international clients. CUSTOMER STORIES How Tablein Meets All the Expectations of Desired Reservation System? Tablein was specifically created for small restaurants. However, all the functions listed above are fully operating, so the tool might be easily adapted to other spheres of business too.
In order to widen the whole perspective of flexible adaptability, we represent diverse worldwide businesses, which have chosen Tablein system for their reservation management!
Origami Studio: Origami Kids Cafe, Hong Kong, China One of the most prominent origami studios for kids in Hong Kong has chosen Tablein reservation system for their reservation management. Their primary purpose was to smoothly control the bookings of origami classes, workshops, playdates and parties. 4 times on weekdays and 5 ones on weekends are now available to reserve online up to 30 days into the future. Origami Kids Café positively emphasizes not only the organized reservation management but extremely efficient “Book Now” button on Facebook, linked to Tablein system too.
Ceramic Studio: Mátzalo, Sofia, Bulgaria Ceramic studio in Sofia is trending. People are gathering there for a creative time while designing the artistic clay pieces under professional supervision. Advance bookings are essential here, so opting Tablein for Mátzalo was crucial in their both reservation and business management. As the flow could now be foreseen, the ceramic studio can prepare decently with items and materials to always be in the best supply of choices. It is imperative both for a small reservation and a group one. Management of latter ones, let it be the birthday, team building, baby shower or individual classes, allows running the business in the smooth and organized manner. Especially if there are any changes in group size, time or date. If changes occur, the clients can easily make them online, and such modifications become immediately visible in the studio’s calendar. It’s time-saving, as no more responding to calls or replying to emails occur. Very convenient is a field of special requests too. If clients on the booking time enter any preferences, ceramic studio has time to prepare and fulfil them decently.
Sunbed rent: Kaluna Beach Club, Tenerife, Spain This exclusive beach club in Tenerife with panoramic views over the Atlantic Ocean had chosen Tablein system for their sunbed reservations. The system is being used not only for date picks but for the specific options (VIP beds, cabins and VIP areas with Jacuzzi) and easy prepayments with various payment options too. A busy and desirable place opens a chance to be booked not only by locals but by foreigners who are only planning the vacation to Tenerife too. If any of the sunbeds or cabins are being taken by walk-in, the staff members can block this option in the system manually. As the calendar gets immediately updated, it reflects the real-time situation for the online clients.
Carriage rent: The Tea Terrace, London, UK Afternoon tea is a classic and idyllic experience in the real British ritual. The more authentic experience is promised, the more attractive it becomes. The Tea Terrace is extremely famous for its vintage experience. Guests here are being invited to sit not only next to regular tables but in charming Cinderella-style carriages too. Using Tablein system allowed boosting online bookings for the latter ones. At the reservation moment, which could be made 24/7 from any place in the world and instantly confirmed, guest is offered to choose a fairy-tale afternoon tea in one of four The Tea Terrace locations in UK (London Victoria Street, London Oxford Street, Guildford and Cobham). This place exploited many Tablein functions: set the fixed time for usage (1 hour and 15 min) and a maximum number of people (up to six). The usage fee which should be paid in advance at the time of booking was opted too. Moreover, they employed the option of making a so useful survey at the same booking moment (i.e., Did you know about The Tea Terrace before reading about our Cinderella carriages? Have you ever visited The Tea Terrace previously?). Moreover, Tablein allowed the smooth management of places operating in different locations. Without a need of physical presence, owners can observe the calendar of all sites and supervise their workflow from any location.
Themed Cocktail Experience: Themed Cocktail Experience, Edinburgh, UK The company, offering the themed cocktail experience events, has chosen Tablein system for the whole management of their reservations. Inspired by fairy-tales, books and famous TV series, it’s the only entertainment of this type in Edinburgh, so the popularity is obvious. The reservation system allows to automatically make both single and group reservations for different types of cocktail experiences for specific dates, times and locations.
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2020.09.08 15:37 mil_throwaway81 Break VLC just cos I'm pregnant and ILs are butthurt?

No one has my permission to use this post elsewhere.
I wasn't going to post here about this just yet. I wanted some time to think but one bad night's sleep had already convinced me otherwise. It's long cos I'm working through a few issues. I flaired as TLC but am open to advice as always.
I'm due my first child soon - am 31 weeks pregnant. It's been an ok pregnancy aside from some back pain so I'm quite lucky. With all the other health issues in the world, my appointments have been minimal but all is fine. My DH has attended ultrasounds and looks after me well. Basically it's been super boring with nothing to report aside from "all is healthy".
I'm very low contact with his parents due to some screw ups on their part that excluded me and really hurt me in the past. He and I have done therapy as a result and it worked well. He has nurtured a decent spine and he takes care of his folks while I deal with mine etc.
We live thousands of miles away from family which is difficult right now but also great cos nobody is all up in my business. My family have actually been wonderful since we told them the news - my mom can be overbearing and I did think I'd need to have words with her as this will be her first grandkid, but so far I'm impressed!
I've learned a lot on here about how to handle pregnancy. So no one gets told about upcoming appointments, and we've fudged the due date a little so I'll have some peace if I'm overdue. We are keeping name ideas to ourselves etc. Basically adulting like new parents should be.
So yesterday DH mentioned how he's dreading an upcoming IL call cos he's had a few weeks peace and quiet because vacation and other things meant he hasn't talked to them in ages. Then he inquired would i be willing to be on a video call with him at some point because he gets the feeling they feel left out and are being passive aggressive about the pregnancy. My ILs never say what's on their mind, it's always hints or jibes and then upset that no one read their minds. People like that amuse me no end and I'm more direct. On rare occasions when my mother "hints" at stuff I'm more likely to just tell her to use her words and spit out whatever is annoying her cos I'm not a mind reader. I suggested DH do just that but he thinks you can't teach old dogs new tricks and it's not worth the effort as they won't change. He also thinks even if he put them on the spot that and asked what's bothering them that they just don't have the emotional intelligence or vocabulary to respond appropriately. I'm a bit sceptical. I recall getting great advice here along the lines of "if they don't use their words then don't waste time reading the tea leaves. Or if one person speaks on behalf of another, eg such as when FIL tries to talk for MIL, then the conversation doesn't exists until she can use her words". I think it's solid gold.
When DH brings up his parents I'm trying so so hard to be open and listen and try to find a way to deal with the issue together. This is progress for me and I try extra hard to not hark back to the really hurtful shit they did and rehash old arguments.
We didn't argue. I'm fairly chilled these days and not letting stuff get to me so I didn't feel angry or stressed or anxious. Mostly amused and open to working with him as a team.
But honestly? Its not up to me to manage the feelings or read minds of people he thinks might be grumpy about something they are reluctant to talk about. He says when they ask about me and he tells them I'm fine it's almost like they don't believe him that things are ok and boring. So I'm like do they WANT me to be having complications and poor health? Why wouldn't they believe him? Sorry my health is good and pregnancy is boring so you can't use it for attention, old timers! They have zero medical training and even if they did, they aren't entitled to know my health details if I was having issues. I'm private anyway and don't even tell my own mother the ins and outs of my medical stuff. No one is hiding anything, we just aren't blabbing on about every urine or blood test or whatever. I'm not an incubator. They didn't care about me before now and it is annoying that they pretend to care now because of the pregnancy.
He said he's happily "playing dumb" and leaning on the pandemic excuse to say I've not had many appointments etc. He has actually fibbed and said he wasn't at ultrasounds and that actually bothered me to hear, because he was there and I guess yay he just didn't want to deal with their nosiness or be badgered for pics, but I think it's a bad look for him. He's been an involved partner and I don't really like him fibbing and making out he's a dumb man regarding these "women's issues". I don't think it bodes well for the inevitable pushback on our joint parenting decisions if he is leaning on old timey gender stereotypes.
What I reckon is people like aunts and other relatives who have no idea that our relationship is strained, have been asking ILs how I'm doing and... well, they can't say very much. Once again, no one is hiding anything from them, we just aren't going into detail and unfortunately for the gossipmongers, this pregnancy is textbook so far. My lack of sharing every boring detail is my right as a woman, as a patient and as a private person in general. I'm only related to these people by marriage, they have made clear they don't see me as family so they don't get to know personal details about me. I have actual family and friends who are supportive right now and don't really need anyone else. They are likely embarrassed and frustrated that a source for gossip and criticism has dried up for them. Also they have no outlet to try to control us either.
I want to say at this point that I have no intention of being vindictive or petty or am using my kid against them. I would never use a child as a pawn and am ok with them getting to know him as long as he is treated appropriately and not scapegoated like my DH is. My BIL and wife had the first grandbaby in DHs family fairly recently and live close to MIL and FIL so I think they have different expectations as a result of that experience. SIL is an oversharer while I'm private. SIL is from a different country and has no family of her own around her, which was made worse by covid travel restrictions, so relies on MIL and FIL a lot more than even we would if we still lived in hometown because all my family are there too. We are different people and that's ok.
A part of me knows deep down that I probably should nope out of any contact. I really don't need it with a couple months to go of a peaceful pregnancy. I hate beating the "but they showed their asses and made it clear how I'm not family" stick but...thats what they did. So I dropped the rope and no longer deal with them. A grandkid is not a band aid on those relationship flaws.
Another part of me knows I am strong and I could deal with one conversation. I did tell DH that I'd be happy with voice call rather than video (that way they don't get to ogle at bump or tell me how fat my face is, or isn't). I suggested DHs upcoming birthday might be a good day cos obv they'll call him, it isn't a weekend where the BILs might also be around (and therefore an audience) and as it's a work day I could easily cry off after 5 mins for an "urgent meeting". Alternatively my birthday is after that too and hey, maybe my amazing ILs could wish me a happy birthday for a change, by calling and asking how I'm doing? Hahahahahahahahahhaha that never happens, although they might try to contact this year because of the pregnancy. We'll see. Maybe I should definitely hold out until at least then, because if I do speak to them before my birthday they'll definitely lovebomb on the day and pretend all is great?
But here's the thing, where does it end? He wants to throw them a bone now before they moan about not being kept informed - as in they whine and he can say "what do you mean, didn't OP talk to you just a couple of weeks ago? You have nothing to whine about".
I told him they are the type to whinge about something else regardless. They always do. If we give them this then it'll be something else closer to due date and beyond. Not enough pics of the baby, not enough calls to them (I've warned him his regular weekly call will be a thing of the past when we have a tiny human's needs to prioritize). We all know justnos are never satisfied and I'm just reluctant to give an inch here just because they are embarrassed that their rudeness to me has meant I've actually stuck to enforcing boundaries and consequences. And back when we did therapy and my FIL tried to contact me to interfere after drama went down, our therapist did advise us that DH should be the one dealing with his folks, not me. As a nosy person who is well able to speak her mind it was hard to let DH handle it, but it was the right thing to do. And it turned into FIL passing the phone to MIL anyway , who whined that she was afraid I didn't like her anymore. Rolleyes. Don't be fucking bitch then, and people might like you, MIL.
I also want to say that even if we hadn't had a falling out, I likely would be just as private with ILs. That's just how my personality is. I hate attention and would be uncomfortable with most people knowing about medical issues from afar and blowing up my phone.
As for "they just aren't good at voicing their concerns or using their words". Tough shit. That is their problem.They didbt raise me, so I have zero tolerance for pass ag behavior, and they only avoid conflict and rugsweep when it suits them anyway. MIL is well able to cause trouble and lash out when it suits her, and she has been able to use her words to badmouth us behind our backs for moving abroad and our lack of kids on her imaginary schedule for years now. Shes approached my mother three times at least about our previous lack of kids, and also phoned my mom after we announced the pregnancy under the guise of excitement but really was nosy about how much info my folks had. She also really annoyed me because told mom she was calling because "oh I wouldn't dream of bothering OP" but really it's cos she knows we have no relationship and I wouldnt entertain her, not because she's an awesome, thoughtful MIL who respects boundaries.
Before we married I also had to deal with snark about living in sin, and weird comments about us "making babies" from random relatives that she obviously bitched about us to. Back in our mid twenties and we both in grad school, with zero money or desire to support children. Basically implying I was tricking DH with my devil vagina magic. So yeah, I'm kinda over never doing anything right. First it was omg don't dare get pregnant out if wedlock, then it was how our wedding wasn't to her taste, then it was waaaah how come you didn't get pregnant the second you got married and now it's a mix of boohoo you live far away and also we can't control your pregnant self or critique you the way we'd like. I'm very much over having my reproductive choices critiqued the way they have been. I also suspect MIL has lied and told people we had fertility issues, based off of a comment a cousin once made and something else MIL once said. We don't, I was pregnant 3 or 4 months after coming off birth control, and yet again, none of this is anyone's business but our own. I'm so uncomfortable with the original slut shaming and then being shamed for not being an incubator when it suited them.
Finally, the thing I fell out with them about was when they surreptitiously foisted a party on DH when we made a trip to hometown and then made a big deal about faaaaamily and took allllllll the pics of Big Family Gathering. But failed to ever tell us about it, and as a result I wasn't there, and DH had to deal with a crap ton of relatives when he just wanted to nap after a full 24h of travel. After therapy and a couple of years of being sad about this, it transpired that MIL plotted this because of how when DH made a solo trip two months earlier, he didn't make an effort to meet with various cousins etc, so MIL got butthurt (again, didn't verbalize this) and so arranged her own playdate on the one day she knew she could manipulate DH to be there. Usually the day we land we each go to our own family homes and just try to sleep the time difference off and deal with our own families as best we can. So her dumb faaamily dinner was totally deliberate and while I always knew it was never really a thing to exclude me, it was a thing to pay DH back for whatever slight she felt before. Oh and I should point out that she made a big deal of arranging a lunch with my parents when DH visited alone that first time. He was in town for a very short period and honestly, my folks understand his time is limited and so would have been fine with not seeing him for a few more weeks. But MIL did this huge thing and then moaned that he didn't see other people too. She could have included her relatives,or just not done a thing with my folks who aren't even keen on my ILs. They are not friends or anything.
We've only been back twice since then, once for a wedding in my family where we stayed in a hotel the whole time, and again after a destination wedding in another nearby country where they got pissed off with us for lots of reasons and accused us of avoiding them, despite us rocking up on time for every event and actually enjoying ourselves, while they were embarrassingly late to everything and treated us like shit, including refusing to sit with us when we kept seats for them and reneging on driving us to airport (I'm on here long enough to know not to trust rides from anyone so we did have alternate plans). A fun fact was MILs face when she discovered I actually spoke a bit of the language of the country we were in, and so we really weren't up shit creek when it came to booking transport, ordering food or other essentials they thought we'd struggle with because they refused to make plans with us.
I feel at 30+ weeks gestation I have enough on my plate without having to deal with a pair of senior citizens who can't use their words and are only annoyed because they literally have no information to gossip about, and who know deep down that they are dealing with the consequences of their actions towards me. Once again, dropping the rope has suited me, and I don't want to use my pregnancy or child as ammo against them, but I do want to be left in peace and be civil in person on the rare occasions we see them. They have no right to my pregnancy or child. DH made a "but grandparents" comment and I shut it down with "we are the parents". He acknowledges I have a more adult dynamic with my parents and am well able to shut them down when they act out, so have even less patience with his.
I am a bit scared of them ramping up when the baby is born, and I see why DH suggested a small kindness now to shut them up before we are sleep deprived and vulnerable. But will they ever be truly satisfied? And if so, why is it on me to do the running? I'm vulnerable now, no matter how healthy i am. I do have aches and pains and am trying to focus on finishing work stuff before going on leave. And I do need to avoid stress for the remaining time.
Thanks for reading this, I know it's long. It's helped me get my thoughts out there for talking more with DH. He's had moments in the past where he deserved criticism, but these days he has improved so much with them and has grown a spine. I'm impressed with how he actually talks to me about his interactions with them and he said he won't rush or force or guilt me to interact with them or anything.
I really don't want to. I'm a people pleaser and want to please him and yeah, I still have a small part of me that want to please them. But I know they wont be happy, ever. I guess I don't want to disappoint him or make life harder for him but meh, I'm the patient and it's kind of his job to protect me right now. Our therapist always reiterated how he's husband first, son second and now that he's gonna be a dad then his parents' feefees have slipped further down the priority list.
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2020.09.06 14:33 TessaBissolli A close examination of the story. Part 53: CONCLUSIONS (2 of 2)

I started the series three months ago examining how the apparent narrative of the show's mythology crumbles under examination. This is the final post on the series but for post #27, to be published later which examines the stories told by the show.
We looked at each aspect, as well as the subtler connecting details and symbols that emerge. The story that becomes apparent is a far more interesting one. A history of a giant charade, the long shadows of bilocation, the identity issues that comes with being a covert spy, and what happens to families of all kinds of those spies.
The prior part had conclusions about all the characters, except Red. Ilya, Dom and Katarina were pretending to be KGB. Fakerina knew them as KGB. Lena may be KGB. Liz may not have been born as Masha Rostova, and in fact there may be no such person ever born as such. It is possible that Katarina was not Liz's bio mother. The woman we met as Naomi had been hiding under false pretenses, and Jennifer seemed to have created a storm to solve the only question she really asked of Red: "why am I here?".
https://preview.redd.it/xlrtmt38ril51.png?width=1916&format=png&auto=webp&s=ef623499ec377c3203f1b332dd7d43a9c598318d
We examined what Kate's motivations were in digging the bones, and how she created contingencies. We looked at the Hargraves, and how Scottie appeared to have achieved a closure that Howard did not have, likely, because she had been told her son was dead by someone she trusted. We examine how Tom's box and Liz's scar were connected, and concluded that the object which was nested in the carving, or an identical one, was present the night of the fire, resulting in Liz's burn.
The identity of the bones, however many may want to believe is a closed matter, is far from it. A bit of critical examination of the story makes that abundantly clear, especially the reactions of those involved with them. Red was identified by fingerprints and the DNA of RR was not on file.' The ID of them point to a point of convergence of Carla Reddington and "Katarina Rostova".
https://preview.redd.it/7tzj3floril51.png?width=960&format=png&auto=webp&s=d40081b3cc46c057b8cc116f76fbaedb9675834a

That leaves us with a central question: Who Is Red, the man using the name Raymond Reddington now??

We analyzed how "Reddington" seemed to have been an assumed one, even for the mythical officer who was in the Navy, because it seems nobody had been born such. We deduced the bones could NOT have been identified as RR's. We question why would Red continue to use the Reddington identity, as have Liz and Ressler questioned, when he could have got a new face and a new name?
Why chose to continue to be a man destined to be hunted as a traitor? And concluded it only had one visible effect: It kept the possibility of a trial as a traitor alive, and it kept Naomi Hyland in WITSEC. If this was done out of protection or out of spite is not known. I will assume he is protecting her.
But who is he? Is he Raymond Reddington? Is he an impostor? A supplanter? Could he be both? Who is he REALLY?
We have a number of anecdotes told to Liz and others, including Dembe about Red's life and childhood.
I have collected Red, in his own words in seven posts, for those interested in them: The darkness; The Ascent from darkness; Why is he like fried butter? His worldview; His stories; Red loves the arts & Miscellaneous
But what can we say in regards to where the narrative crumbles? It crumbles on his taking the identity for the first time in October of 1991, as we are told in Rassvet, and apparently in Ilya's memories in Orion. Let us shelve what SEEMS to be going on in Orion for now, as it will be the subject of my next series into the mythology episodes.
Let us delve into the rest:
His father excommunicated him as a child or teen, for being difficult. His idolizing outlaws. Boys and girls he was friends with: Marnie Petersen, Gary Goddard, Bob Yoshimura, Patty Sutton, Melanie Reichman, BJ Simpson, Steven Bash, Bergita Olofson, Sarah Ellen Winstead, Rosie Cavendish, Marlin Trout. Other people in his past: Smokey, the high school janitor; Trudy Svoboda, the baker's wife; Brenda Gilroy, his babysitter; Old Man Quimby, his fencing instructor; Mrs. Beerman, saved by him from a pool; Petty Officer Virginia Sherman, etc.
We know of two Summer jobs, both in Michigan. We know he calls carbonated beverages pops, or soda pops, and has an affinity for foods popular in the Midwest of the US. We know his mother likely had Russians origins and his father was moralistic and a disciplinarian, a man who taught him to be true to his word, to value loyalty.
We know Red is a childhood friend of Ilya, and a long time friend of Sam, whom he says he loved, and has known most of his life. We also know he admits to having had another identity, prior to becoming Reddington.
And we have what seems like an admission that it was Koehler who gave him the face and the identity for the first time, right?
I knew it was you as soon as I found out you were looking for Dr. Koehler's nurse.... One day I'm captured, the next, you're looking for someone who knows I was once someone else? I knew that wasn't a coincidence, but I let my hopes convince me that - you'd never betray me like that.
seems cut and dry, except, for context. This is fine example of point of view. One in which we are not delving into the truth, but into what Red wanted Liz to believe. Red's maneuver, turning against himself.

What did Red do at the beginning of season 6?

Red begins the season by robbing a bank to get box #604
Charlie, would you please escort Lucinda to her desk where she keeps the master key to the safe-deposit room? I need box 604 post-haste.
He then returns the box which now contains a stolen masterpiece, one stolen by Grayson Blaise, so that is likely a story given to the bank manager to insure he does not say anything:
RED: I come bearing gifts... It's exchanged hands a couple of times over the years, but it came to my attention that the current owner was holding it here at your bank. Not to worry. I'm sure you had no idea. But I do think it's time for the flowers to go back home again..... it's your obligation to see that it's returned to its rightful owner. My God, I hope they can manage to hold onto it this time around. Please don't mention my name. I'd prefer it to be an anonymous donation.
And following that incident, he is happy. He is losing weight and exercising. And he wants to find Koehler, a surgeon who Katarina procured for a surgery that Jennifer said was in October of 1991. But when Liz asked him about the list of clients, which Red wanted once Koehler died, this is what he wanted Liz to believe: that the file was his. He did not confirm it was, but led her to believe it was:
LIZ: This isn't the complete list, is it?
RED: No, it's not. One file has been deleted.
Liz says : "Yours." But Red does not say yes, or no, the clear mark he is telling the truth. He says:
I prefer to keep my nips and tucks to myself. Forgive an old man his vanity.
He led Liz to believe Koeher did surgery on him. Why allow Liz to believe it was his and yet does not say a clear yes or no? Why subterfuge there? Why not say it was of someone he had promised to keep a secret. In the absence of a "yes" or "no" I am always suspicious of Red's evasion tactics. He does not lie about having deleted a record so why is he misleading Liz? Why not say to Liz he got injured and needed surgery?
More intriguing as we had seen in Rassvet an image of the surgery, and that featured a woman's shape under the surgical sheet, not a man's. I do not take Rassvet as gospel, but I believe the majority of scenes have some truth in them, even if the order or placement of scenes might not hold to scrutiny.
https://preview.redd.it/vsx28mdtbil51.png?width=1039&format=png&auto=webp&s=106e52c7667fc3fb9cdf46e771036480734ddd49
But it does not stop there. He gives Liz clues he was someone else before, and that he re-invented himself:
RED: I'm a great fan of reinvention.
LIZ: Of keeping your true self hidden.
RED: Or of becoming your true self, even if you have to take on a new identity to achieve it.
He does not know what Liz knows at that point, (POV) but he knows what he led Liz to believe: that he had a surgery with Koehler. And then told her that he is a fan of reinvention, of taking a new identity to become who he really was.
So, he has to know that Liz must believe that Koehler helped him become Raymond Reddington. But Red does not know anything about the ID of the bones, which he believes he took away before she learned everything.
Red is a techno moron by his own admission. Did he believe the file would be completely erased? Probably. Did he know about the dates in the index? Likely not.
Until she is looking for Renard and he connect the dots that she believes Renard can tell her something about what he led her to believe, that Koehler made him into RR. And he MIGHT have. Just when would he have done that is the question to ask.
When asked why he REMAINED Reddington after getting the money, he told Liz he is what he is:
LIZ: I mean, you became Reddington, but then, you stayed Reddington. And I don't understand why.
RED: I am what I am. Popeye the Sailor Man.
forget the quote of Popeye. He is what he is. He is Reddington because he is Reddington, basically the same thing he told Cooper:

What about being a more interesting Reddington that Reddington ever was? Is that an indication that there was another Reddington?

We have another character whose name was an assumed name, and who became a better version of the name: Tom Keen.
I know I wasn't the best husband. But I-I can be. I can be. I don't wanna be anyone else.
Tom Keen was an assumed name of Christopher Hargrave, who went by the name of Jacob Phelps (although he knew that was not his real name, because the Phelps were foster parents or adoptive parents). Then he tried abandoning the name and asking Liz to call him Jacob. He left, after burning all his documents as Tom Keen, when the Major was looking for him. He comes back to help Liz, as Tom Keen,
And I'm gonna do everything I can.
Listen, Tom, you don't have to do this.
I do have to do this.
And then remains Tom Keen because he does not want to be anyone else. Even after learning who he really is, he remains Tom Keen, the identity under which he had made his life: he became the best operative the Major had, he ran missions for the CIA (Leland Bray), he met and marry Liz, he became a father, and he tried to protect his wife and daughter.
He remained Tom Keen because it was who he became. Who he was
RED TO RESSLER: We become who we are. We can't judge a book by its cover. But you can by its first few chapters and, most certainly, by its last.
Tom came back to it to protect the woman he loved and his family.
Red is who he is:
Even Liz knew in her heart of hearts, that Reddington is Reddington as she tells Jennifer:
LIZ TO JENNIFER: We do know who he is. Raymond Reddington. Not the real one, the reinvented one. The one who's been Raymond Reddington for 30 years, longer than anyone else, and whatever we find out, it's not gonna change that. This man, the one we know, is the concierge of crime. A very bad man capable of an incredible amount of good.
not the real one, the re-invented one. But the real one was not real either, or Liz would not be surprised Ressler found Reddington Sr, the father of RR:
You found Reddington's father?
So when Red tells Cooper
I'm a far more interesting Raymond Reddington than Raymond Reddington ever was.
Is he telling Cooper, he is a better version of the first incarnation of RR? Considering that Reddington was not likely to have been the real last name of the first Raymond either.
He is aware why is Cooper questioning this, because Dom told Liz he was Ilya Koslov. Obviously a lie, but he does not tell Liz or Cooper this. WHY?

WHY DOES RED NOT TELL LIZ THAT WAS A LIE TOLD TO HER BY DOM?

Think about this. Why would he not tell Liz he is not Ilya Koslov? He even told Liz he was NOT born Raymond Reddington:
One day I'm captured, the next, you're looking for someone who knows I was once someone else?
Yes, he made her believe the surgery was his. It may have been, but what he gave her is NOT a real answer. Not a conclusive, simple and unambiguous answer: a yes or a no. It was an evasion, as he told Dom:
RED: I haven't ever been totally forthright about myself.
DOM: What does she know?
RED: She’s been looking and thought she’d have a better chance of finding out more if I was in prison and couldn’t interfere.
and to Dembe:
Elizabeth knows. She knows I was once someone else
The truth is that Red is keeping two secrets from Liz: One is who he really is, the identity he had been born as, and the second is where is Katarina, a secret Dom is happy to help him keep.
Dom also gave Liz an identity for Red because she asked:
LIZ: You know his identity.
DOM: I do.
LIZ: Who is he? And how is it connected to my mother? I know she didn't drown in Cape May. I know that, 6 months later, she helped whoever's pretending to be Reddington become Reddington.
And Red does not tell Liz is a lie, despite our knowing it was. Liz does not know what we do. Our point of view is different from hers. We should question why does he not tell her that was a lie. Why does he wait for Liz to tell Cooper:
COOPER: You're one to talk about facts. Aren't you, Mr. Koslov?
RED: Ah! So Elizabeth finally told you. She took longer than I thought she would. Once word was out, I figured I was on borrowed time. And I'm sure, knowing you as I do, that you'll feel an obligation to report this to the powers that be.
why does he NOT deny this? especially something that would be easy to find out, because Red must know that the Koslov identity has been scrubbed, and that Liz investigating it, or Cooper reporting the name, will lead to opening up that can of worms and bringing danger to his friend Ilya.
Because it gives him time to complete whatever it is he is doing. Because it buys him time about revealing his real identity and whatever he is doing to protect Katarina, to neutralize the Townsend Directive which he may suspect has been reactivated, and to protect Katarina, who he is trying to find by trying to find Koehler, a surgeon which, regardless of any surgery Koehler may have done in Red, might have been the one who changed Katarina's face, which we know happened:
LIZ: I had the photo enhanced. It's a rough extrapolation of features since the face was almost entirely blown out. I ran it through every FBI database from facial recognition, mug shots, surveillance feeds... Do you know how many images are in the NGI database? ... 51 million. And not a single one of her.
So Katarina is either dead, or she changed her face. Considering how many people are out to get her, changing her face and name is a given. She has a different face and a different name.
Koehler was a surgeon Katarina knew, as she is the one who arranged the surgery. Who may have changed her face again.
Liz eventually will find out Reds not Koslov, as she does when Fakerina tells him Ilya is Ilya Koslov. Liz knows Ilya is a dear friend of Red:
The man she's taken, he's like a brother to me.
And Dom told her that Ilya was besotted with Katarina, with a ridiculous tale of a promise made when they were six. Besides that loaf of bread hitting the Rederina fans, we know Ilya protected Katarina, but his friendship and trust is to Red, as they talk about their childhood.
Ilya's relationship to Dom is less than friendly when we see Ilya's side, although in Rassvet he was subservient to Dom. In reality we do not know how Ilya and Katarina knew one another or what was the real relationship between Dom and Ilya, because Dom asks, not orders Ilya to help, so he was not a superior officer as Rassvet would have us believe.
So, what we know is that even those who know the secrets (who is Red and where is Katarina) call him Raymond: Dom, Ilya, Naomi. We know that regardless of the things Jennifer made Liz believe in that report, she talks to Red and in occasions to Liz, as u/jen5225 says, as if Red is Raymond Reddington:
I spent my whole life running from Reddington because I didn't want his world bleeding into mine.... I was always so afraid of what he might do to me and my mother, and now I'm equally afraid of what he's making me want to do to him.
She makes no difference in who was she running from and Red. She pretended to Liz she was afraid of Red, but in reality she was not. She was afraid Liz will find out she had talked to Red with no fear, because in her narrative to Liz, Red was a supplanter, and Jennifer was terrified of him, Liz believed he would have killed her. If Liz had learned of their restaurant meeting that narrative would have crumbled:
https://preview.redd.it/q2789rijhil51.png?width=558&format=png&auto=webp&s=7b0e1cca5f348150f782a02b5bc7f63432b43a73
Even Fakerina slips, and tells Liz that Red was once important to her:
FAKERINA TO LIZ: because he was once important to me.
https://preview.redd.it/zvu6jr9miil51.png?width=576&format=png&auto=webp&s=0a45f06da3f60501a61362e19ee3537083a183f1
THE ILLUSIONIST: He means a great deal to you.
FAKERINA: He did. Once.
TO RED: You pretended to help me. You were never on my side.
Acting as what she knows to be true: Red is the same Raymond Reddington who once meant a lot to her. The father of Elizabeth:
you're familiar with - the name Raymond Reddington.... Have you heard of him? ...He's a wanted fugitive. He's also Keen's father.
It says here her name is Masha Rostova.
It also says she's the daughter of a KGB agent. A notorious KGB agent named Katarina Rostova. The agent out front, he's not looking for Reddington. He's looking for her. As bad as he is, Rostova's worse. The child you're being asked to care for is their granddaughter.
And even Kate does the same, making no difference between the man Katarina should have walk away from, and the one Liz should:
https://preview.redd.it/qp1mk3txjil51.png?width=648&format=png&auto=webp&s=e28489ff45ec5367b325e412cfb80e13cc7c4e92
And finally as Dembe made absolutely clear in the conversation he has with Red about Ross's intentions, even as he knows Ross blames Raymond Reddington for his misfortunes, as u/jen5225 realized:
DEMBE: Ross wants blood. He thinks you (RED) ruined his life.
RED: I didn't give Sutton Ross bogus plans for the Grayscape Seventeen.
DEMBE: But he (ROSS) thinks you (RED) did, and because of that, he wants to world to know what's inside the duffel. (OBVIOUSLY NOT RR who is who Ross blames for his misfortune)
So the question we should be asking ourselves is:

Could Red be both an impostor AND RR?

Yes. Because Reddington was never his real name. We have explored that is likely NOBODY was born Raymond Reddington, because Liz was surprised Ressler may have found RR:
RESSLER: I don't know who he was, but I think I found someone who might. Your grandfather.
LIZ: You found Reddington's father?
So, if Reddington was a created last name, and the man who fathered Liz took it and his name was Raymond, and Red's first name seems to BE Raymond, and he admits he was someone else before, what are the chances he is THE Raymond known to the US Navy as Raymond Reddigngon, a created identity for the man who worked counterintelligence?
I say big. What about the contention that Red TOLD Liz she killed her father, as some fans say?It did not happen. He let her believe it, but never said it.
What he told her is that her father died the night of the fire:
LIZ: Tom told me something right before he died.... "Your father's alive.”
RED: Lizzy, look at me. I'm telling you, with no uncertainty, your father is dead. He died in that fire.
that could be the death of the man or a figurative death of the role of father, I guess because when he was angry at Tom, he was careless:
TOM: I don't know what I'm gonna say to my wife. I've been sitting here for I don't know how long trying to figure out how to tell her. My wife and her dad, they had something…. He took her in when she was and raised her as a single parent. She's gonna be heartbroken.
RED: Yes. It'll undoubtedly take some time. But I'm sure she'll be fine. He'll always be there with her, standing in the shadows to keep her safe. Laughing with her in the light. Watching through her eyes all those who get close. He'll always be there. She will be fine.
I hope you're right.
I know I am.
He basically let Tom know he IS Liz's father, and then Tom told Liz that her father is alive. Not who he is, but he was alive. Which is why Red acts the way he does with Tom when he is alone:
RED: You are never to see her again.
TOM: Yeah. I got it.
I don't think you do. Look at me. You are never to see her again.
and
RED: You will not marry her.
TOM: Why? Because I didn't ask daddy's permission? Is that really why you called me here? Or did you just want someone to play go fish?
You married her over my objection once. It will not happen again.
and in that deleted scene between Red and Tom:
RED: Just know that if you’re gone, I’ll be watching your daughter.
TOM: I do know that.
and why Tom, while not telling Liz what he cannot prove, still acts as such:
Why Tom stays to help protect Red from the cabal assault in season 1,
https://preview.redd.it/emhzm1iwlil51.png?width=576&format=png&auto=webp&s=2ac1c6464d13b12ab961de2c34d89f3324a41bf7
and why he helps Dembe get Lucille Books to save Red in season 4.
https://preview.redd.it/tzlldrynmil51.png?width=576&format=png&auto=webp&s=6ef06878bcf5adf491fa36fad55440b812db4f44
He knows Red is Liz's father, but it is not his place to say anything, nor he can prove it. He likely told Liz in 1.22 because he thought he was dying, and then forgot about it in the aftermath of the shooting.
Red, on his part, denied being Liz's father ONCE:
LIZ: Growing up, Sam He raised me like his own. He was my whole world. But he wasn't my father.
RED: What is the question, Lizzy?
Are you my father?
[Pause] No.
Why would he do so, if he is Liz's biological father? Because he had JUST made a solemn promise on Sam's death bed when he would kill Sam, and a promise on a death bed carries weight, especially for a man whose word means something:
You will always be her father, Sam. I can only hope to love her and protect her as you would have.
From the moment Red left Liz with Sam, instead of raising her himself :
He was no longer a father. A man consumed by anger, intent on revenge, who derived power from knowing it did not matter if he lived or die, because he was not a father anymore, a man who promised the man who raised Liz that his role as father, was always his, CANNOT tell Liz he is her father. Red cannot tell anyone he is Liz's father. But he can say Liz is his daughter. A distinction with a difference in THIS case.
The SECOND time Liz asks, Red declines to answer because he killed Sam to prevent her from knowing:
knowing his identity would put you in grave danger.
Why? Because he's a fugitive on the "Most Wanted" list?
I loved Sam, Lizzy. Taking his life was of all the difficult things that I've done that may may be the most. But I did it to keep you from learning the name of your real father, to protect you. And you must understand-- having done that, I'm certainly not going to tell you who he was now.
Red is not going to tell Liz who her father WAS because her father's identity is a secret. Who he WAS, not who he IS. His REAL identity.
And in fact when Liz remembers the fire, he even tries telling her that her memories were not reliable:
What I remember is leaving my father dying on the floor of a burning house. There's no way he could have survived that.
Lizzy, the memories of a four-year-old are unreliable.
and uses the example of her memories of the event as a prime example of a manipulation:
Dr. Bogdan Ivanovich Krilov. One of the few people who have mastered the science of memory manipulation.
Science or science fiction?
You of all people should know the answer to that
I understand suppressing memories, helping someone to mute out a traumatic experience, but manipulating them?
The memory of an accident, a tragedy, a fire in which a 4-year-old girl killed her father.
Liz remembering she killed her father, is an example of a manipulation of memories done by Krilov.
And while Sam told her her father was a criminal who abandoned her, when Liz asks him what role Sam played, Red talks about " the way Sam told a story", which gives leeway to basically say anything and not be a lie:
The way Sam told the story was that one night, an old friend showed up at his door scared. The friend told Sam he was leaving town, that he was in danger and that he needed someone to care for a little girl, that her father had died that night in a fire. So Sam took the little girl in, and he raised her as his own always sheltering her from the truth about her biological father.
But since we NOW know it was Katarina who send Liz in to Sam, and it seemed Katarina believed he was dead for a while, as we see what Liz asked how could her mother give her up, finding the same decisions difficult to do herself:
I found a couple to take the baby. Thinking about it is one thing, but actually doing it... How did she do it-- my mother?
And this includes an answer that is what Red believes Katarina believed (POV) AT THE TIME OF SENDING HER TO SAM:
The man she loved killed by the child she adored-- it was just too much. Two months later, she went to Cape May and left her clothes on the beach, walked into the ocean, and was never seen again.
HERE is where he lets her believe it. But he may thinks she is talking about a figurative death, given he had already told her it was a manipulation, and her memories are not reliable.
So, that night, I killed both my parents.
You were a child. There should never have been a gun for you to grab.
I think it is pretty clear. But do not take it from me. Look at the words, think about point of view, what a character knows and when and how they learned it, and think about motivations and confirmations.

Red had told Liz about or we have seen him say:

His reasons to change his identity as a teen or young adult: I was a difficult child. People saw me one way I saw myself another. I felt misunderstood acted out. My father fancied himself a disciplinarian. Very moralistic. Instead of trying to understand me, he excommunicated me.
How he reinvented himself: I'm a great fan of reinvention.... of becoming your true self, even if you have to take on a new identity to achieve it.
What he lost: it may be hard for you to imagine, but I once had a relatively normal life-- bills to pay, playdates, family, some friends, people to care about. Lost all that.
Where he raised his family: raised my family in this house. (Takoma Park) . But IF he is the RR known to the US Navy, only until 1989. Because in 1990, Carla Reddington was already living somewhere different, hiding likely, somewhere Lord Baltimore could not find: he's looking for someone who lived in D.C. before 1990.
Something happened to that family, and he only knew pieces of it:
DIANE: I know the truth, Red about that night about what happened to your family. Do you want to know the truth?
RED: More than anything in the world. But if you know the truth, Diane, then somebody else does, too.
A truth that Diane, as part of the Justice Department could know (approving placement in WITSEC). Perhaps that Carla with Jennifer had been placed in WITSEC, with new names, perhaps a crime scene had been set to fake one or both of their deaths: Garvey was a U.S. Marshal. He put people in witness protection. Made them disappear or appear to be dead.
Red recognizes Carla Reddington, but had to read her new name, and believed she was in protective custody: "You need to get a unit to her right now. She's in protective custody... She was my wife."
As was his legal daughter, Jennifer: "I confirmed your daughter was placed in Protective Custody with her mother in 1990. The Marshal Service lost contact seven years ago. She is unaccounted for."
RR took his child in 1990: "The Cold War was hard-- too hard for your father. When the Soviet Union was collapsing, he took you from her."
But after the fire, when Katarina believed he was dead: "Your mother was never the same after that. The man she loved killed by the child she adored-- it was just too much."
Katarina fakes her death, but for a while Red believed it was true: "That's every suicide. Every single one. An act of terror perpetrated against everyone who's ever known you. Everyone who's ever loved you. The people closest to you, the ones who cherish you are the ones who suffer the most pain, the most damage. Why would you do that? Why would you do that to people who love you?
Red went down a dark path of revenge:
Which left him unable to be a parent:
A man in darkness, angry, alone: "[DEMBE} saw me for the man I really was a man surrounded by darkness. No friends who could be trusted, no faith that loyalty or love could ever truly exist. I was… Well, I was younger then. Angrier."
Until he had to go back to his old name, to protect the very woman who had framed him and the family he had to abandon:
Answering the question Liz and Ressler wisely asked:
LIZ: I mean, you became Reddington, but then, you stayed Reddington. And I don't understand why.
RED: I am what I am. Popeye the Sailor Man.
https://preview.redd.it/xhp7uej6oil51.png?width=504&format=png&auto=webp&s=a80776775ad70106270d735ac7b15fdc6d5e3c8d
RESSLER: I mean, before today, everyone thought Reddington was a traitor. The government, the press, and, still, the imposter chose to take his identity. I mean, he went to a surgeon who could have given him the identity of anyone in the world. He could have been anyone. And yet he chose to be a pariah. He chose the life of a wanted fugitive. Why? Why would anyone do that?
He is who he is: RR. The man known as Raymond Reddington, who went BACK to the identity (like Tom Keen did) to get the money to protect Katarina, and kept it to protect his family:
And anyone close to a target of theirs becomes a target themselves... Especially family. Unless they're abandoned on the side of a road on Christmas Eve.... An effective, albeit excruciatingly painful solution.
Because he is a protector, a sin eater. A charade architect
A charade that involved creating a myth, Katarina Rostova, an illusion inhabited by several women, fake KGB agents, convincing Rostov to become a spy under threat of revealing his wife was a KGB agent when she likely was not, fathering a child with one of the women, one he only knew as KR, taking his child from Russia:
moving stolen children is difficult. There's copious amounts of paperwork.
eventually falling for Katarina. Taking his child from her, unaware she was in the cabal, and the aftermath of the fire. A man who abandoned the identity,
focus on what Ilya is really saying.
and like Tom, came back to protect the woman he loved, and kept it to protect his wife.
A man who discovered that "The concept of bilocation is appealing even if not without consequence."
submitted by TessaBissolli to TheBlackList [link] [comments]


2020.09.04 16:19 youlikethrowaways Are we doing the right thing in regards to pulling away from this family? (tw)

My children and I usually go on playdates with other families. We were at a play date once and one parent immediately and really quickly gave their child harsh "discipline". It was very disturbing to my soul, and my kid, who may be an hsp and empath like I suspect I am, started to freak out and I had to calm my kid down. While I don't want to keep exposing our kids to that, I don't want to keep my kids lonely because everyone around here practices "discipline" that way.

Am I doing the right thing by keeping things on a hi/bye basis? Is anyone else sensitive to spanking like I am? I have been that way my whole life while everyone seems it normal. I get such bad energy from it.

I think I want to wait until I can find a family we can better click with. I was just posting to make sure I'm not being so sensitive (which I'm sure we've all have heard at least once )
I wanted to add this family has been nothing but nice to us. Maybe that's why I feel guilty about pulling away but I need to protect my mental health.
submitted by youlikethrowaways to Empaths [link] [comments]


2020.09.02 04:02 Angela2208 Planning ahead in the lifestyle

After a good weekend (i.e. exhausting), Jon planned the next weekends. Here is how it went. Then I will explain the reasoning behind the examples.
Sunday, old friends reach out. They finally got their act together and we will be spending the last weekend of September with them. We'll travel to them, get an AirBnB. They might organize a small orgy on Saturday, 10-12 people, who knows, play it by ear. Other old friends send some funny pics on FB Messenger, "ha ha", we know what they want but we played 3 weeks ago, so we drop the conversation. Our Friday playdate calls and wants to go race cars end of October, we will watch, and maybe play afterwards, but we are ok with it because it is an original kind of date (at the racetrack). Three messages on SLS: all from profiles that don't match what we like, and who all go "Hi" (Jon responds "Hi" if he wants to discourage them), then "How are you doing" ("Good"), then "We love your profile" ("Thanks")... end of conversation. Other friends call for various subjects, we make a mental note they probably want to play soon. Noted.
Monday, Jon goes on SDC. He cleans up his inbox. He pushes 2 couples who want to meet into October and one into November. Some couple reaches out from 100 miles away, he ignores them, out of towers rarely work out. We remain a maybe for a party third weekend of September, but we really don't want to go because of Covid. Let's just see who goes. Our 9/12 date texts to move to 10/10. Jon follows up with three couples that liked our profile, opens our pics. Usually 50% say they like them, 50% ghost us. No issue with that. I make a good contact on FB from our secret groups: the woman and I click, but they are very new, so I say we cannot meet because of Covid - I want her to have at least 2-3 bad experiences before she meets us. She'll appreciate us more in November than now.
Tuesday, a couple we met at meet and greet 6 months ago invite us to their house on 9/12. Jon barely remembered them, checks their profile, pencils it in: if we have nothing better to do we will go. There is a pool party Sunday / Monday this coming weekend, small crowd, we got reminded by Facebook. We might drop by to say hi to the hostess - husband prepares good food. On 9/11 or 9/12 there might be another couple we like who is available. If we play on 9/11 we probably won't go to the party on 9/12. Depends if the kid works or not on Friday night, as those friends have 3 kids at home and we'd have to get a hotel. Another couple messages us on SDC: we soft played with them a year ago. Nothing will come out of it, but Jon texted playfully, as he had nothing better to do at work. We have a good laugh at some cheesy lines they wrote each other. Conversation ends with "I will talk to Cindy" who will not want to do anything, as I know her. Jon wasted a good hour but who cares.
All this to say: - we can usually tell immediately who is going to waste our time, but we remain polite - we answer everyone, just less enthusiastically for the ones we don't want to meet - old friends are the best, loyalty pays off. FWBs are awesome, the best live within a 10 mile radius. - following up is important. Even if you get no response 2 months later. - well-organized contacts are key. As soon as Jon makes contact with a couple and gets a face pic, he creates a contact, adds the pic, the date, the first names, the screen name. Copy/paste the conversation in the notes in SDC. Then he doesn't look stupid when people contact him 2 years or 2 months later. - we plan some dates, and their back-ups. Gotta have a plan B, sometimes a plan C. Individual date trumps party, party trumps club. - we never ever flake, even if we set up a date 2 months in advance. But we know that even our best friends will sometimes have a better offer, or a family or work issue. We are not upset at all, because we have a plan B. We also never go for the better offer, we postpone the better offer and keep the first commitment. - we make people wait. We are busy, and worth it. Get in line. Don't be a princess. It's amazing how much people want you more if they cannot get you right away. - we have a 2-months rolling dating calendar. Jon has a prioritized list of couples he wants to meet. Surprisingly, we meet most of them eventually. It's the power of purpose and planning.
submitted by Angela2208 to Swingers [link] [comments]


2020.08.30 16:05 Arilysal WIBTA if I drop my kid's friendship?

For context my little girl is 5. She has this best friend from preschool since 3 but now they have moved on to different primary schools. Let's call him F.
My little girl has no luck in the friendship department so far. Most of her close friends she made had to transfer to different schools due to their parents' circumstances. (Job relocation/move house etc)
Right now while she has other play dates (within her bubbles) she still talks about F because it's her first friendship. She has begged me to organise playdates with F even though they are different schools. Thing is even pre Rona I have tried organising play dates. They are always late (45 minutes late at one point) or cancels last minute and broke her heart.
Today I have arranged a playdate with them for the first time since lock down has eased and invite them over to our house. We've agreed for 12pm lunch. Then at 12:45pm they texted to say they will be late and will come at 1:30pm instead. No reason was given.
To say I'm miffed is an understatement. So Reddit WIBTA if I stop organising playdates with this friend and hope their friendship fizzles out?
Edit: thank you for all the kind and reasonable responses and mention about ND. I had my suspicion about it and now I wonder how to gently bring it up as a question as to not offend as our cultural background still does not take kindly to such suggestions.
Edit again: thanks to other redditors (especially faenyxrising) I'm thinking of giving them another chance and raise the issue about neurodivergent with F's parents as I think that's the bigger issue and hope that resources will help manage F's emotional outburst and sleeping issue. It's my hope that F's parents will have finally have relief and if they took offend to my suggestions then their friendship will probably come to an end because of it. I don't really want the later outcome to happen though. F is a sweet child and I can tell that they really cherish their friendship despite moving on to different schools.
submitted by Arilysal to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]


2020.08.28 05:32 RiverSmoak Is the whole series within a single school year?

I had a post earlier that I messed up and lost the work.
It was basically me trying to work out when certain episodes take place within the year.
Redoing it... but I've been up for around 35 or more hours so I don't know if it makes any sense.
So here is how I see it. Tried to narrow down... sorry. There is a TL;DR at end but it is basically a repeat/rephrase of some above.

Season 1

  • The Big Showcase is, I think, around homecoming time, just before it. So it is towards the beginning of, or mid, September.
If it was later, she might not have been able to transfer so easily. It could also be mid August depending on school system.
  • "The Bird Scene" is probably a week later. The lockers where André and Beck's lockers are, are not there in the pilot, I don't think any are on that wall. Also others get moved around, including where Tori's is now. Some construction had needed to be done.
When Trina was looking over the plays, she mentioned hiw thry were fir the new semester. Meaning this was toward the beginning of the school year.
  • "Stage Fighting" gave Tori two weeks of detention. Unless that was dropped, by the next episode, "Birthweek Song", it should be at least early October.
  • Next episode "Jade Dumps Beck" is only a few days. Doesn't take much, still early October.
  • "Tori the Zombie" was a few days. So about early-mid October.
  • The next few episodes could be a few days, weeks, a month. [Tori is mentioned as being 16 here she is till 16 in an episode of the 3rd/final season.] I'm going to go with days.
  • "Wok Star" would probably be about a week or so. That brings us to, mid-late October.
  • The next few to the end of the first season is probably only a few days. So now we are in mid-late October.

Season 2

  • The first few are likely only a few days.
  • "Tori Gets Stuck" is about a week I think.
  • "Prom Wrecker" is about half a week. We are in late October.
  • "Locked Up" is over semester break, likely fall break, and is a week so we are now early-to-mid November after it.
  • Next few are probably a month, so we are in December.
  • "A Christmas Tori"... Christmas special... about a week... years almost up.
  • "Blooptorious" does not count

Season 3

  • "The Breakfast Bunch" is not canon.
  • We are in early January, the next episodes before "Tori and Jades Playdate" could probably take a few weeks to a month with this episode being a week. We are now in late February of early March.
  • "April Fools Blank" is not canon so I could be ignored but it is a good time marker. We are now in early April, let's say the 2nd of April.
  • "Driving Tori Crazy" is about a week long and Tori is said to be almost 17. "How Trina Got In" is part of a day.
  • "Tori Goes Platinum" is probably a few weeks. So now mid-to-late April.
  • The last two, with "Crazy Ponnie" and "The Blonde Squad" are likely about a two weeks together. We don't know if they were working on anything before. About late April or early May.

Season 4 [second half of season 3]

  • "Wanko's Warehouse is about a day. "Hambone King" is probably just a few days. "Oppodite Date" is about two days. Let's say solid early May.
  • "Three Girls and a Moose" is probably part of a week. Haven't watched this episode. Maybe later.
  • "Cell Block" is part of a week. Sikowitz made me mad in this episode... teachers are supposed to be neutral...
  • "Tori Fixes Beck and Jade" is a few days to a week.
  • "One Thousand Berry Balls" is only part of a week. They are now likely towards the end of May.
  • "Robbie Sells Rex" ~2 days. "The Bad Roommate" maybe 3 days.
  • "Brain Squeezers" about one day and "The Slap Fight" is about two to three.
  • "Star Spangled Tori" is a little under a week and "Victori-Yes" is that Friday.
Tried to make it short but ended up going by episode...
TL;DR
The whole series of Victorious is about one school year.
Edit(s):
  • Formatting
  • Reworked
  • Removed misplacement
  • Reworded
  • Fixed some contradictions and wonky calculations
  • Added info
submitted by RiverSmoak to victorious [link] [comments]


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