Daly vs. Daily

March 11, 2014

I disappeared.

I know.

I lost my voice.

I finally found it.

I used it today…on the phone with Blue Shield.

It took me 11 days and two hours to connect with a customer service representative.

Needless to say, I was at my breaking point.

If I wasn’t so accident prone, I would have just let the policy lapse.

This is a summary of our call:

BS: No ma’am, your husband could not have removed himself from this policy without your authorization. You’re the primary policyholder on the account.

Me: I realize this. And it’s miss.

BS: What?

Me: You called me ma’am. It’s miss. I’m not that old. I know I’ll continue to age but I’m not THAT old right now. For instance, the man you referred to as my husband is 15 years older than me. He is ma’am. I am miss. Make sense?

BS: Of course, miss.

Me: Also, as far as the law is concerned, he’s my husband. But that’s it. For the purpose of this call – if you could refer to him as ma’am or the man I’m waiting on to process the paperwork that will allow us to legally detach – I would sincerely appreciate it.

BS: Of course, miss. How about Mr. Daly?

Me: That’s the same person. I’m still legally married to that ma’am.

BS: *changes the subject*

BS: Mr. Daly would like to cancel his coverage, correct?

Me: Yes. I have an email here that says he called you a few weeks ago to make that change. He also needs me to pick up my hope chest. But I already crossed that off my list.

BS: I do have a note here that Mr. Daly tried to cancel his coverage and we told him he could not do so without your approval.

Me: (laughing) I bet he loved that.

BS: I apologize that change was not already made and confirmed. If you could verify a few things for me, I can cancel his coverage now that we’ve got you on the phone.

Me: Yes?

BS: Mr. Daly’s birthdate?

Me: I’m not sure. I need to text my mom. She knows. And she always answers my texts.

BS: Ok, miss.

Me: Is there anything else I can verify? He kept our cats. I know their names. He likes candy. Anything like that?

BS: Not really, miss.

Me: Honestly, I’m surprised you’re still on the phone with me. But I waited 11 days and two hours to speak to you (I even tried once in Spanish). I never planned on making this pleasant for either of us. I probably owe you a thousand dollars too. The way I see it? I really have no incentive to stop humoring myself. And of course I know when he was born…ish.

BS: Thank you. If I could place you on a brief hold, I will make these changes to your policy right now.

Me: That’s fine. But I know where your office is located. I will drive there if we get disconnected. Nobody wants that. And before you put me on hold, could you tell me if you still have his payment information on file?

BS: His payment information?

Me: Yes. The card that was being used for automatic payments on this account. I’d like to use that card to buy eye makeup remover while I’m waiting for you to come back on the line.

BS: *crickets*

BS: I’ll just be one minute, miss.

Me: Fair enough.

BS: Mr. Daly has been removed from the policy. Is there anything else I can do for you today?

Me: Yes. You can tell me how much I owe you. I imagine I’ll be penalized for the fact that no one confirmed this policy change weeks ago. Could you email me confirmation of the cancellation, a current statement and any other relevant changes to my policy/rate?

BS: I would be happy to email that to you. Your email address?

Me: *gives her my personal email address*

BS: Thank you, Miss Daily.

Me: Oh dear.

BS: Yes?

Me: It’s Paulsen. Miss Paulsen.

BS: But your email says…

Me: I know. My email says Daily. It’s spelled differently. And it’s not my last name.

BS: I’m sorry?

Me: Me too. Well, I’m not that sorry. It’s kind of funny. It’s Daly vs. Daily. He’s Daly. Like the Bob. I’m Daily. Like the blog. It’s like Kramer vs. Kramer. But better. Because there’s only bangs (no kids) involved.

BS: *crickets again*

Me: You have maintained an unbelievable level of professionalism on this call. I would have hung up on me long ago. Oh wait, your customer service line did hang up on me – more than a dozen times. I’d say we’re even. That being said, thank you so much for your help. If you were with me right now, I’d buy you lunch at Chipotle. But I have a feeling you don’t want to hang out.


Lights Out

August 16, 2013

You know you’re in a good place when…

You don’t need the last word.

You may not even need to participate in the situation/conversation.

The only thing you need to help you sleep is HBO.

Your favorite Bruno Mars song (the sad one) makes you smile.

You turn it up when you hear it. You’re not afraid of it (anymore).

You can set your ego aside (even if only at times).

You recognize how heavy a load an ego is to bear.

Even with the thickest neck and the broadest shoulders, it’s obvious an ego is beyond a burden.

You dream (again).

You can hear your own laugh. You can hear every single syllable.

You sing (so loud).

You dance (like such a nutcase).

You cry (it’s all got to come out).

You know you’re irreplaceable.

You desire no different/better company than the company of your friends.

You’re not looking ahead, or behind. You’re planted firmly where you are. You know there’s no other place you should (or could) be at this/that particular moment.

You name the puppy.

This poor pup has been through a lot since his adoption. A series of unfortunate events has required a handful of drastic, but necessary, name changes. At first, the puppy was Jameson…then Gosling…then Caleb. Now, he’s Ray Donovan. And he’s got serious street cred.

On that note…

Ray Donovan doesn’t say much.

He doesn’t have to say much (see: street cred).

On his behalf…I’ll say sweet dreams.

And goodnight.


Come What May

August 6, 2013

I once sent someone a text message that said…

“I hope you get hit by a car.”

The next text message I sent them said…

“No. A train.”

I laugh when I think about it now.

Because I didn’t mean it.

I could never mean it.

The thought of me actually saying it – is funny.

Then again – it’s really not.

It’s @#$%ing embarrassing.

My ONLY saving grace…

It doesn’t matter who received those text messages.

The person on the receiving end of that rage is not, and was never, truly important to me. We’re not family. We’re not friends. We were never in a relationship. We were never married. We do not have to be and will not be – a part of each other’s lives.

BUT, I was meant to have that experience.

AND, those ugly words were meant to be said (although I didn’t truly wish Gandalf any harm).

The good news is – I sent those texts to a very powerful wizard. My ill will didn’t and couldn’t cause Gandalf any pain.

The bad news is – that toxic tantrum (like so many others) went down via text. That effing sorcerer (like so many others) had evidence. I would like to believe our conversation has since been deleted. If not, maybe that type of testimony will ultimately make me famous (who cares what for, right?).

The baddest news is – I have said and done worse things to people that are truly important to me. To my family. To my friends. To people that have been in relationships with me. To the man I married. To people that have to be and will be – a part of my life.

At the time I wanted that warlock to get hit by a moving vehicle, I was low (I’m guessing you figured as much).

I was close to rock bottom.

I just wasn’t quite there yet (scary, I know).

I was angry.

A lot.

In fact…

I was angry.

All the time.

I didn’t understand my anger.

Nobody really did.

Sometimes I was provoked.

Sometimes I wasn’t.

All I really knew for sure was…that much anger…felt like venom in my veins.

I felt poisonous.

Every hour.

Of every day.

In my heart of hearts, I know I’m not “an angry person.”

Sensitive, yes.

But malicious. Or angry. No.

That much anger always felt wrong.

It always felt humiliating, uncontrollable and debilitating.

On so many levels.

Every time I flew off the handle, it took me a long time to calm down, recover and sort of “recognize” myself again.

I still haven’t seen or felt rock bottom (scary, I know).

But I did manage to do the one thing I can’t stand watching other people do.

I shut down.

And I thought a lot about every time I was vehement, or hysterical.

I thought a lot about the relationships that had been (or were currently) dissolving in my life.

I also thought about how badly I wanted to have control over things that were impossible to control. How I struggled to control them anyway. And how that lack of control made me feel.

At first, the silence was beyond uncomfortable.

Now it’s my favorite part of the day. Every day.

In the silence, I “realized” what I knew all along…

Every time I made the choice not to do what I knew was instinctively right for me – it made me VERY angry.

Every time I made the choice not to listen to the only “voice” I can and should naturally trust – I lost more of myself.

Instead of addressing the issue, I became obsessed with all the ways I could distract myself from the fact that I had been ignoring my intuition – at whatever cost. I was purposely and perpetually numb. And I surrounded myself with people that were experts at doing the very same thing.

So many people have been hurt in the process.

I have hurt a lot of them.

And I have allowed a lot of them to hurt me.

The most insignificant moments in time felt the most traumatizing. I’m finally understanding, those were distractions too. When I sincerely allowed myself to feel, see and hear again…nothing hurt worse than the pain I inflicted on myself, the pain I inflicted on the love of my life and the pain we have – as a result – inflicted on each other.

(Photo Courtesy of True Love Photo)

So, a few days ago…

I decided to let go.




I’m not giving up. Or giving in.

I’m just tired of fighting.

I’m tired of feeling so explosive all the time.

It probably won’t change the outcome.

The casualties will most likely remain the same.

But it’s ok.

I had to be there – to get here.

It all had to happen for me to learn what I’m supposed to be learning.

I have faith that I’m right where I’m supposed to be.

As for tomorrow.

I don’t care.

I don’t want to be in control of tomorrow.

Today is my only priority.

Side Note: It feels important to me to say this…I’m not looking for sympathy, encouragement or pats on the back. Writing is really important to me. Writing is also really personal for me. I’m not bitter or angry or sad or depressed or drunk or anything but grateful right now. I’m grateful I’m in a place where I’m relaxed enough to write again. Not feeling “light” enough to write is torturous for me. I feel the lightest I’ve felt since the day I met Bob (it has been almost a decade since I’ve felt that way). That’s all that matters to me right now. This post was mostly for me. But it felt right to hit “publish” and share it with “you” – so that’s what I did. That’s what I’m doing right now. The things that feel right to/for me.

Speaking of what feels right. It feels right to say thank you to a few of my friends.


Kipp – Honestly, I’ve always wanted to include your name in a blog that also included profanity-ish (since I typically use symbols). You’re welcome. I also wanted to say – Disneyland has nothing on Grange. There are fruit cups at Grange. Grange is one of the happiest places on Earth.

Ashley – I recently watched Brokedown Palace, and I thought, if Ashley smuggled drugs for a hot guy and we both went to prison in Thailand…I would totally take the fall for her…because I know she wouldn’t stop fighting for me until I was free. That’s how much I love you…and my male kitten named Ashley…that would make you itch, scratch and sneeze.

Rodney & Josh H. – You may or may not know it, but you two have changed my life. I will never forget that. And I will be forever grateful.

Debbie – I almost died when you ordered a Lava Flow. That is all.

Kat & Katlyn – Thank you for your tip money. I should not have given it all back. At least I got to make it rain to Miley. We can’t stop.

Rachel – Thank you for flinging yourself across the tile floor…twice. And for feminine hygiene products.

Gale – It has taken me what feels like a lifetime to understand why our paths ever crossed. I finally understand. And I have finally come to peace with your/our purpose.

Gandalf – Thank you for the Deep Fried Mac & Cheese Balls and House of Cards. They are both great things. I hope, if you got hit by anything, it was only a tricycle.

Pilsbury – Thank you for the Raspberry Lemonade Blast Blistex. It’s one of my very favorite things. Thank you for trusting me with Squirt (albeit a very short period of time). You brought him over when I needed him most. I know you love him very much. I love(d) him very much too. I still think about Squirt all the time. He was such a good kitty…

And, thank you for standing by my side when doing something simple…like buying garbage bags…was difficult for me (even though you always gave me anxiety in public places, especially public places with shopping carts). For a period of time, I felt like you were one of my best friends. And I really believed you felt the same way about me. You were one of the only people I truly trusted. You were the only person I had felt safe with in a very long time. I am grateful for those memories. But mostly, I am grateful for the night you showed your true colors and arrived at my house with a black eye, a broken hand and “bruises” all over your neck – to take your cat that I adored (granted, I made the demand/threatened you to do so). I understand now that you were only one more way to distract myself from taking better care of me. I think you even tried to tell me that once, which is funny, because you don’t even take good care of yourself. In any event, your epic bitch slap was one of the last few I needed to finally wake up. Thank you again. For that. It took that sick soap opera (let’s face it, you can’t make this stuff up), Jameson (just being honest), a ton more sleepless nights, a whole lot more tears and some seriously psychotic texts for me to force myself to get to the root of it all…and finally…let go. So thank you. I have always believed you were, or would be, important to me. I was right. You were supposed to be part of the larger puzzle. I could not have put all the pieces together without you. Thank you for nothing else. Just kidding. Thank you for this bikini pic. It (still) makes me smile. I also like the “I’M WITH CRAZY” pic and the one of you poking your belly in the mirror. But you already knew that.

Trevor – I know I’ve told you this a few times, and you probably just brush it off, with all the other @#$% I say…but I really do love you like a brother. Not like a Bro. Like a brother. Just to be clear. Thank you for getting me back on my feet. It’s hard to explain. But you did. Now I’ve got some more hard work to do. And there’s NO way I’d be able to move forward had I not spent some time with you. Also, I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to thank you for all of the bourbon, Bros and butt cheeks that have been shared with me over the last few months. People can say what they want about Bros, but your friends and staff have been kind to me, thrown down for me and fought with me (hee hee) like family. I’m more grateful for that than any of them will ever know. Lastly, I want you to know I have thoroughly enjoyed working side-by-side with gorgeous 20-something year old girls with perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect tans, perfect abs and perfect thighs. Thanks for that – shithead. At least there were rabbit masks for me to wear around BarWest.

(Photo Courtesy of M Portraits Photography)


Amy Dempster – You are the light of my life. Seriously. It’s not just because you gave me the gift of wine and laundry. You’ve been the light of my life since, well, I don’t remember the exact moment…but that’s not important. You just are. Love is love.