The Third Wheel

It has been quite some time since I’ve felt the need to write on my blog. Tonight I need to vent. I need to say how I really feel without filters or censorship that I would feel the need to use with friends and family. Tonight I need to just put it out there to someone how I really feel about my life. 

I’m not alone. 

I have friends and family. 

Most days I am happy and fulfilled. 

Yet there is always that lingering feeling of loneliness that is often there. 

While I love my friends and family, they make me feel like a third wheel. Most of my friends are married and while I love being with them and their families I often feel left out as the almost 35 year old single woman with no children of her own. I have single friends and even when I hang out with them I still feel like the third wheel. It seems every time I’m in my group of three single friends I’m the odd one out. Usually because the other two have formed a bond and spend more time with each other than they do with me. So now, not only am I unappealing to the opposite sex, but I’m also unappealing to my friends too. I have no idea if this is actually true or not. It’s how I feel though.

I’ve felt this way most of my life. I’m not sure I’ve ever had a really close bond with another human being. Even the closest of friends I’ve had in the past have moved away or various life choices have caused us to grow apart. So tonight I’m up in tears questioning my appeal. I’m questioning what I have or haven’t done to cause me to never have shared a close bond with another person. 

No. Strike that.

I’m questioning why the close bonds I share with people don’t seem to last. I’ve had several. Some very intense that I really hoped would last. 

They didn’t. 

I’ll admit I’ve never been the type to immediately welcome people with open arms. 

It’s not my nature. 

I take time. Perhaps no one has the time.


A Loss

I found out that one of my former students was killed in a hit and run earlier today. My initial reaction: numbness.

It didn’t sink in. It didn’t seem real. It had to be a mistake. However it wasn’t.

He was 18 years old. He was going to begin his senior year of high school this September. I’ve known him since he was in the sixth grade. The last time I saw him was just a year ago when I had the pleasure of subbing at his high school.

When I think about him, it will not be his death. It will not be how he died or why. When I think about him it will be that mischievous smile he’d always give me when he was kicked out of a classroom and sent to my office. In fact, that is my last memory of him. Finding him roaming around campus because he’d been kicked out of a class and him and I spending the rest of the period together talking and trying to get him back into his class. He was mischievous but he was also nice. He was a clown and a ladies man. He was crazy and usually in trouble but knew that he had a lot of people watching him and making sure he had his head on straight.

I hate death. I hate funerals. I hate mourning.

I won’t participate in any of those things for him. I will always remember him as I knew him. I will pray for his family and all those who will without a doubt mourn his death. I will pray that the person responsible is apprehended and I will pray for them as well. I will pray. I will not mourn. But I will never forget my former student’s mischievous smile.

At A Crossroads


It’s another sleepless night. In order to combat my inner turmoil and strife, I’m here again venting to a computer screen. For the first time in my life, I feel at a crossroads in some really major, significant, life altering ways. It’s strange to just know that whatever decision I make, my life is going to change in a major way.

I’ve had some major epiphanies tonight. I guess most of it has come from talking with the people in my life lately. Talking with my friends has made me open my eyes to many things. The first eye opener was the fact that I don’t have to tolerate stupid ex-boyfriend in my life anymore. I don’t owe him anything. Certainly not after all the hell he’s put me through. So I got rid of him. Hands clean and conscious clear.

Next, after having lunch with a friend to celebrate her birthday I realized that in five months, I will be 33. With that I also realized it’s time to stop being afraid. It’s time to let someone new into my life. I won’t lie, this still terrifies me. But when I look back on the many guys I passed over just because I was too afraid I want to kick myself. Literally put my foot up and kick myself in the butt for being so stupid.

Then there’s school. This has been my most up and down, backwards and forwards, sideways roller coaster issue. I have never felt inadequate when it came to school. I never competed. I always took my grades as I deserved and never thought twice about it. I was okay with how I did and didn’t beat myself up about it. My mom always said as long as you did your best that’s all that matters. Yet somehow with the program I’m in my “best” isn’t good enough. I’ve never felt so discouraged and beat down about school in my entire life. When this last quarter ended I went to my mom’s house and cried because I wanted to quit so bad. I felt like this is all so pointless because I’ll never get into a grad program with my meager B+ average. I was ready to quit and see what I could do with School Counseling again. Unfortunately, I’m too damned stubborn to quit. I said I would stick with it because this is what I want to do and I can’t go back now. Oh but do I waver constantly about it. Then I find out this summer that the one person I truly connected with and related to….is leaving me. She got in to a program out-of-state. I’m happy for her but I’m also sad because nobody could relate to me like her. I’m really going to miss her and my classes will be incredibly lame and empty without her in them.

Lastly, there is the ever-present ticking of my biological clock. It’s no longer a slow tick of a clock. It has now turned into a massive alarm. Like those really annoying ones that were on clock radios. I used to not even want kids but now some instinct or whatever is pushing me to hurry up before it’s too late. Even my guy friend thinks I should pop out some kids and that I would make a great mom. I can’t help but agree with him. When I turned 30, I gave myself until 35 to find a spouse, settle down, and have children. This was because I had received my diagnosis of Endometriosis a couple of years earlier and knew time was not on my side. My doctor said I only had one good ovary at the time. Now, I just hope I’m not too late.

So yes, I am definitely at a crossroads. I have many paths laid before me and I know which one I want to take. I just hope that the future is gracious enough to lead me down those paths.

Love at First Sight


I’ll never forget the day I realized that love at first sight really does exist.

I was 14 years old and I had just started my freshman year of high school. My last class of the day was on the other side of campus and I realized I’d have to walk fast so I wouldn’t be late. I made it on time and as I walked into the class taking in the other faces, my eyes couldn’t believe what I saw sitting at a table next to me. He was the most exquisite boy I’d ever seen. Brown skin, curly black hair, and a face that moved me in inexplicable ways. I stood there like an idiot, staring at him for what felt like an eternity. My stomach dropped to the floor. Yes, I was completely captivated my this boy and I had no clue who he was. He didn’t look like a freshmen. He looked way more mature than the boys I’d grown up with and knew from middle school. He had to be a senior. However, as time passed I discovered he was, in fact, a freshman like me and his name was Philip. As time went by I admired Philip from afar. He was everything I’d always imagined the man of my dreams to be. Not only was he gorgeous. He was also smart, kind, athletic, and funny. As far as I was concerned he was the total package.

The only problem was me. I couldn’t talk to him. I was so in awe of him that words often escaped me. Add to that the fact that I was painfully shy and reserved with strangers. So, in true “Turtle” fashion I hid in my shell and admired him from afar for my entire freshman year.

Sophomore year would prove to be a game changer.

As it turned out I had Philip in two of my classes for my sophomore year. My smart, handsome, jock was also taking honors courses with me. I talked to my friends of nothing but him. How wonderful he was. The way I talked about him caused another friend of mine to also develop a crush on him. He was just that amazing to me.  Now that we had classes together we would talk briefly. Of course it was only related to school. I guess my love for him became very transparent to more than my friends because somehow word of my crush spread. It finally all came to a head halfway through my first semester of sophomore year. One of my friends began dating one of his friends. When a friend of ours turned 15 she invited her boyfriend and his friends to her party. Of course they showed along with Philip. I couldn’t believe it. I got to know him better that night. I actually talked to him with my friends around. After the party he had finally taken notice of me. However, I wasn’t aware of it.

In fact, I was getting tired of being head over heels in love with someone who barely acknowledged my existence. My feelings were starting to wane. I decided by second semester of sophomore year I didn’t stand a chance. I got to know one of Philip’s friends pretty well in a class we had together. We talked often and we were cool with each other. One day he said that he friend Philip wanted to go out with me. My reaction was of course that he was lying. There was just no way after all this time that he would finally sit up and take notice. I dismissed his words and basically said whatever. After that Philip started dating someone else. To this day I wonder what would have happened if I had taken his friend seriously and said yes to the guy who I would always remember as my love at first sight?

Fast forward to senior year. By now Philip and I knew each other pretty well. We didn’t hang out because we were in different social circles, but we’d always had at least two classes together every year. In Calculus we had a group assignment. The teacher put us into groups and who landed in my group? Yep, Philip. We spent the day with our group and when it hit night we all went to a movie. After the movie Philip drove me home. It was the first time I’d been alone with him and we just talked. It was then that I realized that while I’d always remember him as my love at first sight, we wouldn’t have made it as a couple. Philip and I were different people who hung out in very different circles. Even as I write this though, a part of me knows it doesn’t really mean much and I still sometimes wonder what if?

Of course I left Philip behind in college and after. I haven’t seen or talked to him since high school. I do know that he is happily married with a child. I would expect nothing less from him though. If he was wonderful as a boy, I knew he’d grow up to be an amazing man. Damn me and my “turtle” ways for not taking a leap. My problem is that I still feel unwilling to take that leap and believe that someone might actually be interested in me. I still feel like that 15-year-old girl who figured it would never happen for her so why bother?

Do I Have to Have Your Child to be Your Wife???


Remember that childhood nursery rhyme that went like this: “_________ and _________ sitting in the tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g. First comes love, then comes marriage then comes ___________ with a baby carriage.”

Lately, I’ve noticed a trend among friends, peers, and acquaintances. It seems like the new thing is baby first and lifetime commitment later. Many people are completely disregarded the “rule” that was established in that old nursery rhyme. I mean even Sinatra sang about “Love & Marriage” and how it goes together like a horse and carriage. If Sinatra were still alive today the song would probably be changed to “Love & Children”.

Perhaps I’m just very old-fashioned and traditional but I’d like a man to make a commitment prior to attempting to impregnate me. Granted, some of my friends don’t want to get married anymore for various reasons. This also bothers me because when did marriage become such an impractical inconvenience? I thought the point of dating and entering a relationship was to find a person who you could see yourself marrying someday. Not on the condition that they have your child first. I guess this topic most bothers me because I was in a long-term relationship with a guy that I thought was leading to marriage. He always talked about getting me pregnant and not using protection. His words only spurred to me set a reminder for my birth control and stock up on condoms. He never asked me to marry him and the talks of marriage were brief and consisted of “one day”. Is marriage really that bad? This guy made it seem like it was a death sentence. But reflecting back, I can see that he was and is a man who never wanted to marry me or anybody for that matter.

Strangely enough he’s not the only guy I’ve ever met to bring up kids first before anything else. There was a guy I wasn’t even sure I like yet who kept asking if I wanted to have children. Do men have a biological clock too or something? Do they figure: “Well I don’t really want to be tied down to one woman forever, but I have to spread my DNA so maybe she’ll say yes to a baby.” Are there men who really think like that?

It all comes down to morals, ethics, and values. What are your morals, ethics, and values? What may be sensible or right for you isn’t sensible or right for me. In the end it’s all about life and how it’s going to play out. A very close friend of mine recently announced that she’s pregnant. This really surprised me because I always assumed she would be married before she had children. She comes from a family with pretty high morals and ethics about marriage before children. A lot of this has to do with her grandfather being a pastor. She has two younger sisters who married first and then had children. So imagine my surprise when I find out, through the friendship grapevine, that she’s pregnant. I’m happy for my friend but am concerned because while she loves the guy she’s with he hasn’t had the decency to marry her. This will be her first child, but not his. I’m just afraid that my friend fell in love with a “serial procreator”.

I understand that life is complicated. I’m not writing this to put down or belittle the choices or circumstances that anyone I know has found themselves in. I just know that for myself, I need a little more than let’s make a baby and have that be our lifetime commitment.

Tonight’s Tirade: A Woman’s Unrealistic View


I’m so pumped up and on the largest soap box I can find at the moment. Why? It’s all because of these perfectly, gorgeous, beautiful women I know who don’t seem to know just how perfectly, gorgeous, and beautiful they are.

Today I worked with a woman who is around my age. I think she’s a few years younger than me, so probably in her late 20’s. She is absolutely gorgeous. She has long, silky, black hair. She has a figure that most women would absolutely kill for. On top of all that she’s incredibly intelligent. However, how does she view herself? She thinks something is wrong with her because she has a little bit of cellulite on her body. Her stomach sticks out probably a quarter of an inch so she’s fat. I just wanted to roll on the floor laughing when she pointed these things out to me. But I couldn’t do that because I could see the seriousness and loathing in her eyes when she made these comments. It was the saddest thing I think I’ve ever seen. To see this absolutely gorgeous woman hate herself so much was just so absolutely appalling to me. I had to ask myself, what could’ve happened to her or what could’ve been said to her, to make her hate herself for such minor imperfections?

It doesn’t begin and end with this woman either. All of us women, including myself, put ourselves down so much. Does it help us or hurt us to constantly think of ourselves as inadequate? Also who or what is to blame for these inadequacies? Is it the media and their idealized view of perfection? Is it the unattainable standard of beauty that was made up by someone and held over our heads? Or is it just our own voices in our heads? No matter what it is, it really needs to stop. I cannot take hearing another drop dead gorgeous woman criticize herself for being a meager three pounds overweight, calling herself fat for a miniscule amount of extra skin, or refusing to eat carbs because they will surely make her fat. I think there is a big difference from being healthy and completely depriving yourself for someone elses benefit.

I just think it’s ridiculous that women feel the need to have these thoughts pass through their head, let alone leave their lips. Do men have to go through the same thought process? In my opinion, they might but, it is not as self-deprecating or as often as women. I hate to turn this post into a battle of the sexes, but isn’t that what it always boils down to: women trying hard to please a man. A woman trying hard to live up to the impossibly high standards that many men look for in a woman. I feel like the older I get, the worse it gets. I see it in my sixteen year old niece. She is very tall, very thin, and very beautiful. Yet, she thinks that there is something wrong with her. Instead of spending her Saturday nights having fun with friends, she’s at home doing sit ups because she wants six-pack abs. She’s said she doesn’t think boys like her because she isn’t pretty enough. Where in the heck did she get this idea?

If I look at myself and my own issues, I will admit most of them begin and end with the most influential male in my life. I love my dad. After all he is my dad. However, he hasn’t always made things easy for me growing up because he has expected me to be just like him. While I inherited many of his personality traits, all of my physical traits come from my mom. My dad is tall and thin while my mom is tall and curvy. I wound up short and curvy. This bothered me so much growing up because it bothered my dad so much. I would wear a jacket or sweater around my waist all through high school because I didn’t want people commenting on what I considered my imperfect hips, thighs, and butt. Now, I am 5′ 3″ and was 115 pounds at that time. The only thing I was hiding was a perfectly good figure. Thankfully I broke out of this habit by college and learned to accept and like my body. I can admit I still haven’t learned to love my body.

I’m sure many women will empathize with my personal plight as well as the plight of my niece and the women I work with. When will we learn that perfection is a myth? When will we understand that no matter how much we diet or exercise, there will always be some part of ourselves that we will loath. So, because this is the case why can’t we just accept what we have and not stress about the things we think are minor imperfections. In reality, this is all it is. Just minor imperfections that no one notices but us anyway.

Put Up or Shut Up


I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. Very cliché. Yet, literally true. I want to say that it has just been the last few months that I’ve been feeling this way, but if I’m being completely honest, I’ve felt this way for the last ten years of my life. I keep wanting to make changes and while I’m able to make some progress, a little stress always causes me to back slide. I’m now getting to the point where I’m just sick of myself and my excuses to not do what I need to do. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself? Or maybe I’m not being hard enough?

I need to get real and the real deal is that my health is backsliding because I’m not taking care of myself. I’ve been completely stressed out. I think the stress has made my Endometriosis worse. I feel fatigued most of the time now. The cramps are at an all time high. Unfortunately, all of the worst symptoms of my Endometriosis have returned in full effect. The nausea, the extreme mood swings, and ridiculously heavy flow. How have I dealt with these pains in my ass? (Literally and figuratively.) Why chocolate and sugar and carbs galore of course! Yup, the sugar addict has come back in full effect. It’s no longer become an occasional indulgence that is offset by a good workout. Sugar and sweets have become a daily indulgence that I must have in order to make it through the day.

I no longer find or make time for exercise. I use the excuses that all my free time has to go to studying. This is just not true. I can take a measly thirty minutes of the day or night to work out. But I don’t. Yes, I am absolutely exhausted. My day begins at 6 in the morning and doesn’t end until 8 in the evening. But, this is why I’m so exhausted. I’m not getting my adrenaline going. To mimic one of my favorite movie quotes, “Exercise builds endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill.” I can’t afford to kill anyone working with children and teenagers. Thankfully, I can seem to hold it together when I’m around them. Unfortunately, my frustrations are reserved for those closest to me like my family. I hate that I spill it all on them, but then again they’ve been dealing with me being like this for over twenty years so they tend to take it in stride. God bless them.

I’ve been so down lately that I have not updated my blog. I’ve made several attempts to write but I can manage a few sentences before I quit. Even my writing stamina has seemed to decrease and fatigue. This will be my first complete post in weeks. Everything I’ve tried to write before has just not seemed to come out right. Or it seemed more like a whiny rant than a rant with any kind of point to it. I will be a whiny person occasionally, but I refuse to be a whiny writer too. Hence why I am determined to finally just put up or shut up.

Here is my put up or shut up game plan:

    1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
    2. Exercise at least 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes.
    3. No fast food.
    4. No junk food in the house.
    5. Return to daily vitamin supplements.
    6. Make sure I get my annual check ups with the doctor.
    7. Stay steadfast in faith and prayer.
    8. Talk about what’s wrong instead of letting it build up and fester or explode.


So this is my put up or shut up game plan. I’m sick and tired of myself and I need to just be the person I want to be. The person I know I can be. It’s time to stop talking about her and just be her.  We’ll see how long this new motivation lasts and if it is able to yield any results. Then again knowing what you want is the first step to obtaining it, right?

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Do you know someone who just can’t seem to get their stuff together? They try and fail or either don’t try at all and get no where and make no progress.

If you said no and yet, you’re reading this…then congratulations because you just met one of those people.

I don’t know why I take one step forward and two steps back all the time. In the last year, I’ve come a long way personally and professionally. Yet, somehow within a span of three days I’ve let a few words from a few people get into my head and send me into a complete tailspin. It all started in class one day. People are always freaking out over their grades because excellent grades are what get you into graduate school. In the program I’m in, a B may as well be an F as far as my fellow students are concerned. Everyone is so competitive and at times it feels like no one wants to help each other out. I hate that. I’m always willing to help a classmate or share information. A friend of mine, who is in a different class, said she asked some girls for their email so she could ask about the homework if she had any questions. Do you know they didn’t give it to her? They made excuses about not checking it and some other crap. I couldn’t believe it.

So since I’ve started school this idea that I must be perfect and do perfectly to get into grad school has been in my head. But the problem is that I’m not perfect. I don’t get straight A’s all the time. I’m not a multiple choice kind of test taker. So what do I end up with most of the time? The dreaded B. I used to brush it off and say I’ll just do better next time. But this is the real world and in the real world better isn’t going to cut it. Only the best make it in to grad school. I spend nearly every free minute I have studying. Television, friends, and fun have all been pushed aside so that I can reach that elusive A.

This is how I began going under even more. I’ve become so stressed out trying to reach that elusive A with no outlet I lost my head. What do I decide to do? I call stupid ex-boyfriend. One step forward, two steps back. That was a huge mistake. Now I’m left feeling like the biggest idiot in the world because I can’t seem to step out of my comfort zone. As much of an asshole as stupid ex-boyfriend is, I keep letting him come back because it’s convenient and he’s just there. It’s comfortable and there’s none of that awkwardness that you experience when you first meet someone. When did I become so damned lazy??? Or just really insecure. Either way it was a huge error in judgement that I am 100% certain will come back to haunt me in the near future.

On the other hand, my brief lapse in judgement was also very sobering. It made me realize a lot of things. The first thing being how judgmental I’ve been about my sister and her ex-husband when her and I are definitely cut from the same cloth. She has wised up and moved on. Maybe one day I’ll be able to as well. I’ve also realized that I can’t dwell on things that haven’t even happened yet. I don’t know what my ending grades will look like. I have plenty of time to improve my scores and in the end if all I get are a bunch of B’s, then dammit at least I worked my butt off to earn those B’s. If a school doesn’t want to let me in because of that, it’s not the end of the world. I already have one freakin’ Master’s degree. I will be fine. Finally, the last thing I’ve realized is that my stupid ex boyfriend is never going to change. I can’t keep holding on and going back to him because he’s predictable and I know exactly what I’m going to get, both good and bad. I need to force myself to date no matter how much I don’t want to. Perhaps I need to make myself uncomfortable to find a future that is happy.

So, yes I am a one step forward and two steps back kind of person. This self sabotage has got to stop before I end up in a situation I can’t get out of. Well, here’s to hoping the one step forward I take this week keeps propelling me forward.

Creepy Neighbors


When I first found my town home, I knew immediately that it was for me. It just felt right being there. Now if only everything else would click as well as me and my home. My neighbor across the way introduced himself on my inspection day and he seemed nice enough. He gave me all the information on my other neighbors and while I thought it was very nosey of him, it didn’t bother me. As time went on he just got creeper and creepier. He’s very tall so I always feel as though he’s lurking around. He has to be in his seventies, but dresses like a teenager, and wears bright lime green hoops. The fact that he is always hanging outside, of either his house or mine, makes it even more disturbing.

Then came his dog. A beautiful dog and very smart. Only the dog barked and whined constantly. He always left the poor dog outside alone whether it was 90 degree heat or pouring rain. He also never picked up after his dog so stepping outside smelled like rancid beans a lot of the time. I know my neighbors complained because he always got complaints and the homeowners association was always in front of his home. Oh and not only was he neglectful to his dog but he would often “discipline” him. Basically he hit the dog so hard and so repetitively that you could hear the dog whine from miles away. One day he came to my door and told me his dog died. That someone jumped over his gate and beat the dog with a bat or something. The weird thing is that the day he claims this happened I was actually at home and didn’t hear anything but him beating his dog like he normally does. I told my parent about what he claims happened and my dad, being a former cop, said he didn’t call the police or anything. He also said that my neighbor probably killed his dog.

After that, I tried to avoid him as much as I could. Every now and then I hear a knock on my door and figure it has to be him but I just ignore it. I really don’t feel like being bothered by my creepy, dog murdering neighbor. My most recent run in with him happened late one night on my way home from school. He stopped me outside and asked me if anyone in the complex had my phone number. I asked why and he said in case something happens or someone tries to break in. Now my thoughts immediately go to why would that be something he would bring up? Surely he would tell me or call the police if someone was lurking around trying to break in my house. He’s seriously creeping me out now so I tell him that my friend lives in the complex and has my number. His reply? Oh okay, well I thought it might be good for someone to have your number with your lifestyle and everything. I say well my friend has it so I’m okay and I turn to go in my house. Then I wonder what he means by my “lifestyle”. I must admit I’m a little offended. What was he trying to say? It’s like he’s implying I’m running a brothel out of my house or something. My sister thinks it’s the opposite. She thinks he means I’m a lesbian because I don’t have men running in and out of my house.

I don’t know what to think but I’m highly offended and regularly creeped out by this man. I hate having a creepy, nosey, suspected dog murdering neighbor.

I Fall Apart

Today was the day I finally fell apart.

I pushed myself for almost two months and it has finally caught up with me. Today I had an emotional breakdown. I went to work tired and stressed over midterms, quizzes, and papers due next week. I didn’t get any sleep. The words of my crazy neighbor are constantly replaying over and over in my head. My dog woke me up at 3:30 in the morning barking downstairs as if someone was trying to break in. Yet, I held it together.

I leave work to go home and nearly avoid being hit by a truck that almost turned directly into me. I’m tired and drained. My caffeine and sugar rush have long worn off. I go to my parents house and then head home. I get a call from someone at church to teach class and I say yes because I just can’t seem to say no even though I’m so tired and don’t feel well. Yet, I hold it together.

I’m driving home and I stop on a downslope. The soup my mom gave me spills. I go to turn and am almost hit by another car speeding down the street. I finally make it home to only have the bag my soup was in fall apart and land on my lap. I am burned by scalding by hot soup on my thigh. I walk into the house as quickly as I can. I can no longer hold it together.

I let the tears flow from my eyes and curl in a ball. It just feels like too much. I’m too overwhelmed. I went from zero to sixty and I really just need some time to myself to breathe. I need sleep. I need to relax. I need to exercise. I need healthy food. I need to stop stressing out. But I find it hard to do any of these things. The hardest part of all is knowing that I can only have this short breather and then it’s back to reality tomorrow. I will have to pull it together and put on my everything’s fine face because nobody wants to watch a person fall apart. The sad thing is that I will. I will continue on being Ms. Responsibility and Ms. Determined while hiding the fact that I am dying for a respite inside. I will continue on with life and push myself until I fall apart again. I can’t help but wonder if something similar to this was the inspiration for the story of Humpty Dumpty?