My Dad's visit was both good and bad. It was nice to see him, but really nothing much has changed and he still rarely listens to me, still thinks I should live my life according to his ideas and is pretty selfish all around. He annoyed me a lot by not cleaning up after himself. He had a cold and would leave snotty tissues laying all over the place, such as on the coffee table. Not cool! He would leave dirty socks on the couch - also not cool! He somehow managed to completely mess up our huge bathroom mirror within about a day of his arrival. He would leave coffee cups in the bathroom. I told him the night he arrived that he could help himself to anything he wanted - yet he would still demand cups of tea constantly, he wouldn't even get himself a glass of water or juice. Oh, and with this constant stream of cups of tea he would forget he had one and then get me to microwave it to heat it up 'cos he'd let it go cold! No, he couldn't possibly do it himself, that's really too much to expect from a grown man! He would sit on the couch and pug-pug would want to go outside to go potty, so instead of getting off his ass and walking 10 feet or so to the door, he would shout for me to come (when I was doing the dishes or cleaning the bathroom). He was constantly expecting me to do laundry, like seriously, every friggin' day. He arrived Thursday night, I did laundry Sunday morning, then the next day because he had a couple of items that needed washing he was asking me if I was doing more laundry! NO! I mean, yes, we have a washer and a dryer, but I'm not going to put 2 small items in! What is the point? I ended up doing more laundry before he left, just to shut him up really. He didn't bring many clothes with him so he had this big suitcase which was only about a third full at most. He must live in a different world if he really expected me to be doing laundry every day - what a waste of water and electricity!
We had a fair few arguments while he was here, mainly when we were driving places, because he refused to listen to what I was saying regarding directions. For example, I said to him that we were staying on the freeway for another 13 miles, and he took the next exit because I said "That's a nice house on the mountain over there". Seriously?! Then he shouted at me as though I'm an imbecile, and couldn't understand why I got in a mood with him. Another time he had a go at me and said I "could at least make an effort!" - excuse me? We went out and bought an airbed because he was staying with us, I gave him plenty of bedding, made him countless cups of tea, made him breakfast, coffee, you name it. I rented him DVDs that I'd seen before because he wanted to see them (even ones that weren't very good!). Before he arrived I recorded loads of movies that I knew he'd enjoy, so he could watch them, even though I'd seen them already. I was constantly suggesting things for us to do, with virtually no feedback from him and no ideas of what he wanted to do because he wouldn't say! He criticized my lifestyle because I'm not working, when I'm not able to work yet because I don't have my green card! He criticized me for not taking pug-pug on 5 walks a day, when she goes to the dog park every day for 1.5-2 hours and usually gets a 30-40 minute walk on a morning. He wouldn't shut up about what an "amazing" life we could have if I went back to college for 18 months so that I could work in radiology over here. You know what? That's between me and my hubby. Hubby earns plenty for the lifestyle we lead. We don't want for anything, we have a lovely home and we're very happy. Just because my Dad is obsessed with money doesn't mean we all should be. He's very much obsessed with status symbols - the big house in the country, his Mercedes and his wife's BMW... Personally I couldn't care less about that crap! At the same time as being obsessed with all those material things, he's constantly saying how 'skint' he is. Hmmm, I wonder why! Most of the time he was here I was having to bite my tongue. So when he accused me of not making any effort, I was really mad. It was very offensive, when I'd been trying really hard. It made me wonder why I'd bothered at all. I don't wish to sound mean, but it also made me glad that I don't see him much these days. He can really be one of those people who saps the life out of you - everything's always about him, he's constantly moaning about his life, he hates his (part time) job, his neck hurts (but he won't stop doing the things that aggravate his condition), he's supposedly skint but spends money like it's going out of fashion - and he doesn't have an interest in anything anyone else has to say. Most of the time when we'd be having a conversation I could look at him and tell he wasn't listening to a single word I was saying - I could even say as much, which proved my point perfectly. So after a while of this, I couldn't be bothered to start a conversation because there was no point in doing so! I swear, pug-pug listens to me more, and I know she can't even understand most of what I'm saying!
He was supposed to call me the middle of last week, and I'm still waiting. I'm not going to call him, it's his turn to call me. No doubt he's too busy being self-absorbed to notice we haven't spoken for 2 weeks. On Saturday night hubby and I went round to the in-laws' house for dinner, and his Mom asked me if I speak to my Dad every day - I couldn't help but laugh! I was like, "No, he never calls me when he says he will and I'm fed up of being the only one who makes an effort, so I'm waiting for him to get in touch" - I don't want to talk to him every day, I don't think there would be much point, but once a week would be nice. At least then we'd have something to say to each other. Maybe I just have to accept that he's never, ever going to call me close to the time he says he will - it's usually about 10 days afterwards. I don't think I should have to accept that, but it looks like I do. I mean, he's an adult, his schedule isn't that crazy, he has plenty of time to call me even if it's just for a 5 minute chat (4 minutes of that will be him moaning about his life, of course).
I like the arrangement I have with my Mom - we talk every Sunday, and we take it in turns to call each other. It works really well, and we speak every Sunday without fail. I don't know why my Dad couldn't make the effort to do something similar - maybe on a Wednesday or some other day he's not busy. I feel as though he doesn't even want to be bothered. He still hasn't got his laptop, so all that talk of us chatting on Skype before I left the UK was bullshit. It's only been like 5 fucking months now!
Anyway, moving on...
The day my Dad left (January 8th) I received an appointment letter for my AOS interview. Both hubby and I need to go together, so they can have a look at our 'relationship evidence' and verify that we're a proper married couple. It should just be a formality, there's nothing 'shady' about us! I'm in the process of preparing a folder to take with us to the interview, it'll contain all the documents / evidence they need, and probably much more! The interview is February 10th - I'm kinda nervous but only because it's so important. Just like when I was about to have my visa interview, I'm almost 100% sure there's nothing that will cause any problems, but until I hear the words "you're approved" I have this uneasy feeling in my tummy. I'll just be happy when it's over with, so I don't have to think about it anymore! Right from the beginning of this whole immigration thing I've been stressed about each stage - I don't like being that way but I totally am! I couldn't even bear to think about what would happen if they don't approve me for my green card - I can't possibly leave hubby now, it would be devastating. I don't even want to go back to the UK on vacation without him!
I got a couple of emails from USCIS (the immigration people) last week stating that they've approved my employment authorization document (so I can work) and my advance parole document (which sounds like you're a criminal but it's just a document that would allow me to leave and re-enter the USA while I'm still without my green card, without them assuming I've abandoned' my immigration process... not that I plan to go anywhere, but if there was a family emergency or something then it would be handy!)
Neither document has arrived yet, and I won't need either when I get my green card as that will allow me to work and it also allows me to come and go as I please, and still be a permanent resident (well, I think there are some restrictions on how long you can stay out of the USA, but that's fine - if I do leave it'll most likely only be for a couple of weeks!).
On Saturday we went to a massive pet adopt-a-thon about 20 miles from our house. We were told about it by one of our friends we met at the dog park, who's currently fostering a dog called Max. Well, she's allegedly fostering him. I'm 95% certain she's gonna end up keeping him, and I kinda hope she does 'cos pug-pug loves him! Anyways... the Arizona Pug Adoption and Rescue Network (APARN) were there with around 20 of their pugs. We knew they'd be there and we've been wanting to get another pug for a while. So, we ended up falling in love with a beautiful brindle girl pug, she's 3 and a half years old and very very sweet. She'd only been in foster for one day when we met her, she was surrendered by her previous owners because they were downsizing and couldn't take her with them. Our pug-pug is almost 18 months old, so there's a 2 year age gap which the people at APARN seem to think is great. They did seem to like each other, although I suppose it's hard to tell for sure when they're on neutral territory. Anyway, we filled out an application form and explained our situation - basically, we're renting our house and when hubby asked the property management company to ask the landlord if we could have a dog (when we wanted to get pug-pug last January) they said the landlord doesn't really like dogs but she agreed to it. So we have to check if she'll allow us to have another dog - I'm not sure if I fancy our chances, to be honest. Hubby got in touch with the property management company this morning and they said that they'll need to come and have a quick look at the house before they ask the landlord if we can have another dog. Hopefully, since pug-pug hasn't damaged anything at all, they'll be able to convince the landlord to let us have one more. Someone from the property management company is coming tomorrow morning between 8 and 9, so I'm hoping we'll be hearing something back from the landlord shortly after that. We're fully aware that it's not our house, and obviously the landlord can flat out refuse our request, but we're hopeful that she won't. We've looked after the house really well, it's in great condition (well, there were things that were kind of worn out when we got the house but we haven't caused any additional damage whatsoever). We keep the place clean and tidy, pug-pug isn't a noise nuisance and everything's in good condition. I'm hoping that when the landlord hears from the PMC that the house is great, she'll agree to us having another pug. I don't mind if they want to come out and see the house every couple of months, or however often. We don't have anything to hide!
If, and at the moment I guess it's a big IF, our landlord agrees to us having one more dog, then APARN will come and do a home check too. I think that should go just fine. They'll bring one of their dogs and see how our dog reacts to having another dog in the house. I'm not sure how she'll be, to be honest. I hope she'll be excited like she is when she sees the dogs at the park! I have a feeling she will be, anyway. Fingers crossed. Apart from that, everything should be OK - we have a yard (not a very big one, but it's completely secure and there's no way for a dog to get out of it) and we're both home all day seeing as hubby works from home and I'm a "homemaker" as he put it on the application form! I guess I am. So the dogs wouldn't ever be left alone for very long, some days they wouldn't be left at all and others they might be left for an hour or 2 which is nothing really. Our house isn't huge but let's face it, neither are pugs! Ours is about 16 pounds and the one we're hopefully going to adopt is maybe 17 pounds, so not big at all - unless you compare them to tiny chihuahas!
The 'new' pug's name at the moment is Jessyka, which we may or may not keep. I don't mind the name, but I'd spell it the 'regular' way, Jessica. I think we'd shorten it to Jessie. It's not a name I would've chosen myself, but if we get to that point then I guess we'll see how well she knows her name and if she's not too attached to it we may rename her. I was thinking of maybe naming her Amber, I think that suits her. I'm getting way ahead of myself aren't I? It's still very possible that we won't be able to pursue this, so I know I should stop making plans etc. I just think this particular pug would fit in very well with our family and our lifestyle, and I know we can give her a loving forever home where she'll have everything she could possibly ever want. We'd look after her really well and make sure she's a happy little girl. I really hope we get the chance to do that for her. If we are allowed to have another dog, we might have her by the end of this week... that's exciting!