Hi. I’m the Universe’s Bitch. Nice to Meet You.

Screen Shot 2014-10-04 at 12.44.12 AM

When I was a senior in high school, the “new guy” in school was assigned the locker right next to mine.

His last name, luckily enough: Butler. Mine: Byerman. So it was a match made in alphabetical-order heaven.

He was dreamy. He was confident and suave. He was mysterious, what with the “new guy” moniker and whatnot.

And, as it turned out, he was interested.

In me.

Trust me, I was as shocked as the next person.

Mikalee Byerman, Class of 91

I mean, come on: The acid-washed skirt? The kinky hair? The random plant? I was a catch, no?

 

He even concocted this elaborate prom invitation — before it was cool to do so. He had balloons. And in each balloon was a message. My job was to pop all the balloons and figure out the message.

Bless his heart.

After I successfully put the message together and uttered a swoony “yes,” I remember shopping for the dress at the mall, flitting between 5-7-9, Jay Jacobs and Weinstocks.

I remember fixating on my hair, experimenting with my Clairol Lock ‘n Roll and the Conair Hot Sticks, trying to get my hair just high enough.

And with my satiny teal, poufy-sleaved, backless, tea-length gown selected, my shoes dyed to match and my prom hair perfected, I awaited the date.

Until 2 weeks before prom. When I contracted the chicken pox.

Not even kidding.

You see, in my time (yes, I’m dating myself), there was no chicken pox vaccine. Nope. You just got the chicken pox.

When you were, like, 7.

Not at the age of 17. And not 2 weeks before senior prom.

But go to the prom, I did. Only because Mr. Man O’ Mystery called me on my teen line while I was recovering from my itchy and inflamed outbreak to notify me that he had chosen an “alternate” — should I not heal in time.

Bless his heart.

But dammit, I was going. Even though it ended up being a miserable time. I was ugly, covered in scabs and welts and my backless dress smelling of calamine lotion.

I was a hot mess. Before being a hot mess was cool.

Are you surprised I have not a single picture to show for it? I’m not.

Fast forward a few years, and I was getting married. I remember the stress of preparing for the honeymoon, and I remember the moment at which I decided to throw every single piece of lingerie I had received from my bridal showers into my luggage.

All 13 of them.

Because I couldn’t decide. Plus, it’s not like they took up much space.

Win-win!

A “win,” that is, until the first night of our honeymoon. Because our car was robbed and every piece of luggage stolen — while we were in Disneyland the day before we left for our cruise of the Mexican Riviera.

“Happiest Place on Earth,” indeed. For our robber — if he was looking for 13 negligees, that is.

But go on our cruise, we did.  Even though it ended up being a miserable time. We were depressed, broke (our money was in the car, of course) and shopping for new clothes during every port excursion.

You know how they always take that picture of you next to the life ring when you board the ship? Well my then-husband and I literally had grocery bags in our hands. Instead of luggage.

BECAUSE THEY STOLE OUR FUCKING LUGGAGE, TOO.

Grocery bags. Real classy.

Anyhow, are you seeing a pattern here? I am.

So let’s continue, shall we?

Fast forward about a decade, and I was hit upside the head with the brick that ended my marriage.

Fast forward a few more years, and I was getting a restraining order against a man I was dating.

Fast forward a few more years still, and the front door of my home swings open to reveal the sheriff’s posse, ready to take away husband #2 for life.

What. The. FUCK?!?!?!

“Unlucky in love” seems the understatement of the century.

I’m at a loss. I just don’t know what to make of all of this.

But as I detailed in my last post, I definitely don’t think I’ve “invited” all of this lacking luck. After all, I think I’m sorta sweet.

I’m a kind person, loving, mostly selfless and thoughtful. I’m optimistic. I’m open-minded, fun-loving and fairly intelligent.

Let’s emphasize the word “fairly.” Obviously.

But this kind of track record seems a bit extreme, am I right? And it’s not like I’m intentionally choosing douchebags. Nope, I’m choosing the guys who are intelligent, charismatic, adoring, hard working, mom-approved and seemingly well-adjusted.

Let’s emphasize the word “seemingly.” Obviously.

So let’s brainstorm a bit. Here are three ideas that may explain my love history.

Possible Explanation #1

Let’s start with the lowest hanging fruit: Bad luck.

That’s right: Just an unfortunate and random turn of events. Repeatedly. Times 2 or 3 or 5,000.

And before you get all technical on me, yes, I realize many people believe we make our own luck.

But did I go around licking the open, oozing sores of a chicken-pox riddled child  two weeks before senior prom in an effort to contract the disease and avoid a date with my own personal Luke Perry?

Nope.

Did I flaunt my luggage full of money and lingerie so that a lurking robber would take my suitcases from the locked car in Section Owl, Row 8 of Disneyland while on night #1 of my honeymoon?

Nope.

Did I invite the brick, cause the near-nervous breakdown of the guy against whom I had to get a restraining order or turn a blind eye to all the NON-EXISTENT red flags with He-Who-Shan’t-Be-Named (who, henceforth, will simply go by the acronym HWSBN. Which conveniently, when you read it out loud, sounds exactly like “Fuck Weasel.” Trust me on that one.)

Nope.

Bad luck.

The biggest, steamiest, most heaping plate of rancid bad luck ever served up to one woman.

Sounds about right.

Possible Explanation #2

Karma/Punishment/Dante’s Circle of Hell #8.5.

A dear friend of mine, after hearing about yet another bombshell from my current made-for-TV life on a recent day, asked this question:

“Who exactly did you piss off in a previous life to deserve all this?”

Come on, now. Admit it. You’ve thought it.

I snapped back at him with what I was feeling at the time.

“I don’t know. But I do seem to have Hitler-level karma.”

Hitler-level karma. Is it possible? Was I was someone horrifyingly horrible in a previous life — Hitler, Idi Amin, Vlad the Impaler? Is it possible that I am right this moment inflicting pain and heartache on unsuspecting souls in a parallel universe?

I just don’t know.

Or is this life, for me, a real-life reflection of a circle of hell à la Dante’s Inferno.

Between circle 8 (a.k.a. fraud) and circle 9 (a.k.a. treachery), is there a ring dubbed “Mikalee,” in which the participant (a.k.a. me) gets repeatedly blind-sided? Is this poetic justice for some sin I’ve committed?

I suppose time will tell.

Possible Explanation #3

A Lesson to Learn

For some reason, this solution seems most likely to me. Perhaps I am here at this point in my life with unresolved issues, with a significant life lesson that needs to be learned and applied.

But what is the lesson, exactly?

Choices include:

a.    Stop fucking trusting people.

b.    Stop fucking getting married.

c.     Adopt a solitary existence as a crazy cat lady.

If this is, indeed, the explanation, and if points a-c are even remotely correct, then we’re in good shape.

Because:

a.    Done.

b.    Done.

c.     Working on it.

Possible Explanation #4

The Universe Has Made me her Bitch.

‘Nuff said.

Alrighty then. Reflection and rumination over. For now.

Evidently, I have made some poor choices in a previous life, I have had some bad luck, or I have a lesson or two to learn.

But you know what? There’s a spectacular upside to all of this bad luck or lessons or whatever-the-fuck you choose to call it: Three smart, well-adjusted, respectful, quirky children who, it turns out, just might be the loves of my life.

And my sense of humor? My ability to try to keep it all in perspective and appreciate the small joys in life? My ability to laugh in the face of the Universe?

All still there. For the time being.

And there you have it.

So: Any input, dear readers? Does it seem to you like I’ve been handed a fairly gluttonous portion of bad luck? Any wives’ tale remedies or superstitions that you believe might help me shake the curse? Any bad-luck stories out there that would rival my senior year prom or honeymoon robbery?

And while you’re pondering these questions and offering your insights in the comments below, I’m off to collect some cats.

Oh yeah: And Happy 2015 to you all. Here’s hoping this year is better than the last — for all of us. Please, please, fucking please let it be better…

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43 thoughts on “Hi. I’m the Universe’s Bitch. Nice to Meet You.

  1. Elizabeth Lee says:

    Yes, you have been handed a crazy amount of bad luck. Yeah, I’d have a hard time trust people after what you’ve been through. Heck, I have a hard time trusting people and I’ve just had one bad husband. Just remember, it’s not a solitary existence when you have those three wonderful kids.

  2. Ashley says:

    Recently an article from a couple of John Hopkins brains came out in the journal Science enlightening us all with the revelation that most Cancer is due to bad luck. Sure, one can bring on the beast by smoking and the like, but for the most part, it’s just bad luck…so they say. My husband survived that run of shitty luck, and you will too. What makes it worthwhile is kids. They are as lucky to have you as you are to have them. You are a survivor! Oh, and we love cats…have two of ’em. Maine Coons are my favorite:)

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Awesome. I will try to find a Maine Coon post haste, one who will cover my black, frumpy clothes with abundant fur and eat my eyeballs out when I die alone.

      Or whatever dark fate a crazy cat lady supposedly is sure to suffer…

  3. Kristen says:

    I also contracted chicken pox in high school, just before taking the SATs, which put a whole world of suckitude together in a nice oozy package.

    I also was – hmmm, how shall I say? – “opted out of” in favor of an ex-ex.

    I haven’t had the other 2 relationship-related catastrophes (frantically knocking on wood over here) but I am thinking I need to pay more attention to the clues that people give about who they really are. I’m too optimistic and trusting – and yet, at this moment quite optimistic and trusting – and knocking…

    But that’s me – not you – and I think you are due some massively good karma now – like lottery-win level karma. Any day now 🙂

        • Mikalee Byerman says:

          Ooooh. I like that kind of karma. The kind where the lottery ticket, swept out of the purchaser’s grip by a freak gust of wind, falls from the sky and lands next to my venti non-fat no whip carmel mocha that I am sipping while dining al fresco and perusing a magazine?

          Sounds good to me.

          Make it so, dear Universe. Pretty please?

  4. SameSides says:

    Listen, Woman. If you’re making me laugh, then you have that going for you. You have also coined some amazing phrases that you could do a Cronut-type trademark on and harass the shit out of people when they try to steal your originals (half of them found in this post alone… I shat myself when I read “random plant” and “Hitler-level” just to name a couple). And honestly, I love the word schadenfreude, and while you can’t trademark it you can use it in your life a bunch.

    All joking aside, I seriously love the F out of your face and your family and your purpose in this life is to soak up all of the love that everyone has for you. Just do that, okay? Because the world loves you, needs you and supports you. You don’t and maybe won’t know the purpose behind all of this shite until beyond this grave, but look at the amazing legacy you are leaving behind with your own Three Little Birds who will be able to sincerely CHANGE THE WORLD because of the example you are setting as the toughest Mother the World Has Ever Seen.

    Also, I am an English teacher and officially acknowledge the run-on sentences above. I can’t take a breath when I am talking about you because you are so incredibly awesome and amazingly loved and admired and you deserve every run-on sentence in the world.

    In conclusion, I love you.

    Emily

    • SameSides says:

      I actually meant “beyond this life” and then I laughed when I read it and thought it was actually a fairly fitting new phrase. “Beyond this grave”… because sometimes, that’s what this life feels like.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Schadenfreude it is. A-ha!!! That’s why I exist, I think. There is THE REASON!!!

      Or the kids. Yeah, probably the kids. But whichever.

      Is it too late to call “uncle”?

      Thank you SO MUCH for the love, support, run-ons and feedback. I love the F out of your face and family as well!

  5. superjack2468 says:

    So what the fuck is luck? There’s an old lyric that goes like “If I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any luck at all”. Be grateful, your life is certainly not boring!

    I thought you threw me off your readership after I last suggested that the Law of Attraction might be contributing to your situation. I recall you soliciting comments from your readership on the absurdity of my suggestion. Did you blog the results? If so, I missed them.

    Bye the way, are you playing the lottery these days?

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      I would NEVER throw you out, superjack. You provided me fodder…which I loved! So thank you for that.

      So there you have it: You’re my muse!

      No lottery. Given my track record, I could predict the outcome. Did you hear about that dude whose ticket indicated he won $500,000…but then the lottery commission told him it was a “typo”? Yeah, that would SOOOO happen to me.

  6. Joanne says:

    2 more angles come to my mind. First, if you believe that in general people are only given that which they can handle, your celestial reputation is Super Badass! Not that I actually believe that you’ve been “given” these awful circumstances by heaven. Second, as a few above have alluded to, you are DUE! If the luck scales eventually end up even-ish, you are due for lottery wins, exploding stock options, fountain of youth level discoveries, and never having to see any of those sweet kids hurting for another moment. And I bet you’d easily trade it all for the later. Just imagine the legacy of fortitude you are bestowing upon your kids. They are being groomed to take the world by the tail, and their strong, proud mama will be be in the seat of honor.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Oh, Joanne — you have absolutely no idea how much this comment means to me. First, to think that the heavens just may have bestowed upon me a “Super Badass” title is rather affirming. But more importantly, to think the kids will ever see me as more than “just mom” is inspiring. I sometimes find myself mired in my own fears — namely, that my kids will somehow feel like I invited all of this tragedy. Their other parental influences seem to try to stoke that fire as often as possible, and while I know my children are crazy-smart, I also know how susceptible we as humans can be to brainwashing…especially when it’s done by people we humans sort of respect.

      But alas, I continue to press on. And I will optimistically hope for the riches — or just the idea that my children will one day turn out to be stronger, more well-adjusted adults because of the bonds we have forged and the obstacles we’ve overcome. You’re right: That would be far more satisfyiing than the riches.

      But a combination of both would be nice. Just sayin’. 😉

  7. anmol(alias HA) says:

    That is a torturous way of making us leave comments. 😀
    I can understand the issues and situations that you have dealt with in your life. And it has been such a learning experience for you. I wish you all the best in your endeavors ahead. 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Sorry for the torture! 😉 And yes, the learning is a nice benefit. But you know, at some point, I would sacrifice a little bit of learning for a little bit of peace! Fingers crossed…

  8. Not looking back says:

    Fuck the lessons of the past. Some are just inexplicable events/people and “lessons” often end up being excuses for others’ poor behaviour.

    Take a deep breath, be grateful you could take that deep breath (unless you have COPD or something – in which case you might have really shitty luck), look at all the people you love in your life now and enjoy each moment with those people.

    No one likes a Pollyanna, but you could be a quadriplegic. 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Good points all around. As the new year approached, I often found myself thinking, “Well, it’s gotta be better in 2015…because it couldn’t be worse than 2014.” But you know what? It could.

      I have three healthy, lovely, amazing children. I have my health (no COPD…but I do have one excessively weepy eye, which just seems like an inconvenient though poetic reflection of life more than a chronic condition). And I have my voice, which helps me heal through my writing and connect to amazing people who continue to inspire me.

      So there’s that.

      • Not looking back says:

        I’m glad you write! I think you actually help a lot of people heal ;)…..oh, and one more thing. Tell yourself that every adversity is actually just good luck. Kinda like if a bird poops on you, good luck; if you dress without noticing your shirt is on inside-out, good luck; if you get thrown a brick as a result of a crappy ex-husband, good luck; and if you later marry someone who never deserves a name, you are rockin’ the luck. Trust me, all my ex-husbands have brought me buckets of good luck!! Or so I choose to believe 😉

        Hang in there…..are very much loved by loads of us.
        m

  9. pye savage says:

    As I was scrolling down the Facebook page earlier it dawned on me everyone I saw had these perfect lives or presentation of perfect little lives, everyone was having fun, exciting adventures. There is Tracy in the Florida Keys or Gwen in Israel, skiers skiing, dog walkers walking and I was having a case of reverse schadenfreude, the little narcissistic bastard in me reeling its ugly head. I want to play a vigorous game of whack-a-mole with it.
    This life turns on a dime; yours, mine, the strange dude down the street…a lump where one wasn’t before, a brick, a knock on the door…your life is real, sometimes too real for your taste. but it need to be honored none the less.
    Looking at the word schadenfreude, it is made of two words, broken and joy, it obviously does not apply to Mikalee. Our lexicon is lacking the word I want. We need a new word, formed from a soupcon of your experiences that represents strength, resilience, and your enterprising spirit, this is a word I would embrace. It can even be in German if it makes us more comfortable.
    Until then I will sit here whacking at something I only see out of the corner of my eye.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Such a beautiful comment…full of fun imagery and poignant insights. Seriously! I love the idea of reverse schadenfreude. And the whack-a-mole image is priceless.

      I love the idea of living life transparently, which is what I do here and on Facebook. I love the idea of letting people in to see the “real” me. But it’s also a scary reality, as it makes me feel vulnerable on many levels. I published this post fearing I would come off sounding like I didn’t appreciate what I DO have in my life, which are three spectacular children and a sense of humor that, despite it all, still allows me to see the light through the dark. I have to admit: I find myself squinting as I read every comment, holding my breath as I fear the sting of what I’m sure will be a barage of judgmental words. But instead, I just get wonderful people providing wonderful support with their wonderful insights.

      Thank you for being wonderful. And perhaps the German sentiment that best applies: “Lass uns etwas trinken gehen.” Which I’m told means, “Let’s have a drink somewhere.” And I extend that to all of you amazing readers out there!

  10. Germanophile says:

    Well, you can at least congratulate yourself that you have not dated/married or trusted the infamous [read in Superfriends announcer voice] “Florida Man” so frequently gracing “dumbest criminals” pages. Unless you live in Florida and then that’s probably not gonna be funny.
    Not that I was asked for advice, I hardly ever am, let me offer some anyway: It takes one unit of time equal to four times the duration of the relationship before a person should make any kind of serious commitment to something long term. I don’t remember where I read it. But I have applied it to my own streak of bad luck relationships and realized that it is pretty well true.
    So if you were in essence “head over heals” for 6 months, you should take two years to yourself before even considering dealing with someone you could be “head over heals” with. And this is why we have bad luck. It isn’t bad luck. It is impatience. And the quality of the recovery. You have to be trying new things, taking care of yourself, (hobbies, recipes, yoga maybe) go on dates for the free coffee or some sexual feeling (not necessarily the sex), spend some quality time with your bookshelf, get a cat. Then if you aren’t a cat person get a big slobbery dog that thinks its a cat. If you’ve never read beyond Christmas Carol read some Dickens but whatever you do DO NOT read the depressing classics like Moll Flanders. Sure she gets the fairy tale that we blame Disney for promoting but the journey to get there bites.
    Get to know you. Not the you that your parents see. Not the you that the last guy in the dating queue saw but the you that you always wanted to be. The more real you are with yourself the better the match you will find.
    Divorced for 20 years and not complaining too much about it. Oh…. and frog kissing? is for frogs. The fish in the sea are for the other fishes, some sharks and merfolk, not for the rest of us. 🙂

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Ha! Definitely not “Florida Man,” but I managed to find my own “Nevada Man” who had his own criminal tendencies. But alas, he is now in the rearview mirror. Thankfully…

      So by your equation, considering my first relationship with the brick-thrower lasted 13 years, I shouldn’t have considered serious commitment again until 52 years later? Impatience indeed. I guess I jumped the gun by about 48 years. Oops. 😉

  11. StrongerMe says:

    Hello, i’m afraid your made-for-tv life is running parallel to mine, which is kinda freaking me out because shouldnt parallel lives happen on different planes of the universe or some shit like that?
    Or maybe we were just evil twin sisters in our previous lives. Man, i hope we enjoyed whatever it was we did then.

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Oh man, I hate to think of anyone on a parallel track. But perhaps, if we now exist in the same space, we’ll cancel out our parallels and begin in new, fun directions. Kinda like how double negatives equal a positive…or something like that.

      One can hope!

      So yeah, nice to meet you, evil twin sister! 😉

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Awww shucks…thank you! I’m doing my absolute best to keep a sense of humor. It’s the only reason I don’t spend each and every day crying! Well, that — and my job. And my kids. And the fact that I’m too vain to go around all swollen and puffy all the time…

  12. Jim says:

    Jesus, Mikalee. Your life truly puts the F in WTF. I turn by back for a little over a year and look what’s happened to you! I feel like we share a special Interwebs bond after being one of your first followers borne from your Brick 1.0 saga. Obviously, I need to be paying more attention to what’s going on in your crazy life. I vote for Explanation #3, sans option C. Believe you me, Crazy Cat Lady option is not attractive on you. Here is your new mantra for 2015: every day above ground is a good day. Rinse and repeat. Live long and prosper, young Jedi (I know, mixing my sci-fi metaphors but you get the idea). I’m cheering for you from my little corner of the world.

    Thanks for writing. You are inspiring me to get my shit together and do the same. Looking forward to more updates.

    Jim

    • Mikalee Byerman says:

      Great to see you around here again, Jim — even if you abandoned me for a year. But I get it. No worries. We shall now move forward as if we never even parted ways, never acknowledging the giant fucking elephant in the bloggy room…

      (Actually, I only posted a few times last year, so I think I turned my back on the blog more than you abandoned me! But it’s much more fun to play the victim, wouldn’t you agree?)

      Anyhow, great mantra, even with the obvious mixed metaphors. I do look at it this way: 2015 has to be better than 2014. It just has to. So yes, join me, get your shit together like I’m trying to do, and let’s fucking break the internet Kim Kardashian style.

      Only with more witty prose, less bare booty.

      You get my drift.

  13. spinningthewind says:

    I have a similar dating past… not quite as crazy, but I get you. And in my case, it is partly luck, and partly my personality. I’m kind, understanding, helpful, and nurturing. You would hope that would attract someone equally nice, but really it just attracts people who want to take advantage or want you to fix them. Also, it’s like attaching a narcissist beacon to yourself. Narcissists try hard to look pretty, are charismatic, and know how to manipulate people and situations to their advantage. They even know how to manipulate someone else’s reputation to discredit them if that person has caught on to their game and tries to out them. It’s tough to go against them, because they have probably already won over everyone in your family and social circle, plus they keep their cool while you rave about their craziness, and you end up looking like the crazy one. They are Bugs Bunny, you are Daffy Duck. I can’t say for sure that’s what you’re dealing with it, but I’m sure it applies to some of them. Unfortunately, I haven’t yet figured out the magic secret that keeps me from dating them, but I think identification is the first step.

    • crazycatninjaladyandproud says:

      spinningthewind could not have put it better. I’m so sorry Mikalee. Take a vacation by the ocean, it helps. Your blog made me laugh when I was going through my own bout of craziness and version of “the brick”. I studied abnormal psychology for 2 years and I was leery of “Mr. Perfect” HWSBN – which is ironically what I call my ex, too – right off the bat simply knowing what I do about empathetic women just leaving bad relationships (I, too, am in that category) and then meeting someone online (((queue the horror music))) You’re by far not the only person with the strain of dating bad luck…. Being a nice person is both a blessing and a curse. Just a suggestion on the read list: “Women Who Love Too Much.” P.S. “crazy cat lady” is only a stigma because if the rest of our society found out how awesome being alone & single really is, the bad boys would have no where to go; no one to clean up after them, and no one to use. Given the option between crazy cat lady and relationship punching bag, I’d choose the first one without hesitation…… Oh wait, I already did! 🙂 And I’m extremely happy beyond words.

  14. joanneinjax says:

    So, glad you have started posting again. I hope this means that we will be seeing semi-regular posts from you in 2015.
    You have obviously been through you own personal hell – fuck Dante, you’ve got him beat. Plus, you have your words and your humor intact, and I don’t remember anything humorous about The Inferno.
    Kiss your babies and have a glass of wine on me. A large one!
    xoxo
    Joanne

  15. gus3 says:

    If we ever meet in person, I’ll give you a warm, tight hug and maybe some of my good luck will rub off on you. Until then, maybe you can have some virtual good luck via a virtual hug. Ze heart, it breaks for you.

  16. kitchenmudge says:

    You have a destiny yet to be fulfilled. Perhaps it can be discerned in squirrel entrails. (Have dead squirrels been showing up lately?). Maybe the lady in red is telling you something through your car stereo. The red & silver of Diet Coke is clearly her color scheme. Keep calm and listen to the signs, and report them here. We must know these things.

If you do not leave a comment, you will further shatter my already broken spirit. If you can live with that guilt, so be it... ;)

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