Thursday, October 13, 2011

Frustration, So Very Much Frustration

I know it’s weird, but my mom and W are pretty close to the same age. Yes, that’s what marrying someone so much older than yourself brings – a husband and mother in the same peer group. Fun times.

They are both of similar age, and yet one is so much more active than the other. Neither exercises per se. However, one gets up every day to cook and clean and babysit and teach music lessons. The other occasionally does a load of laundry and plays a helluva lotta solitaire on the PC. Guess which one I’d rather have living in my house?

I have just about had it up to here (picture me standing in front of you gesturing with my hand palm down just above my head in the universal “up to here” gesture) with W. Now that he doesn’t drive he has abdicated even more responsibilities than ever before. Now that he can’t drive N to practice or to the library or to a friend’s house or anywhere else, one might be tempted to think he would have more time on his hands so that he might be able to take on a few additional household responsibilities. Not so! As a matter of fact he now must sit around and wait for me to play taxi driver on my off hours to take him where he needs to go. Not that he can’t take the bus. He can. He does. But sometimes that’s just so much less convenient than having your own personal driver who will take you, wait for you, and bring you back all on your own schedule.

It isn’t his health either. Although he had some bad times earlier in the year, an adjustment of meds and some other medical intervention has him back on his feet again, feeling better than he has in a long time.

So what’s his excuse? Well, he does as much as he can he says. He’s very busy he says. Yet N complains that W is always on the ‘puter playing solitaire. TS2 has mentioned how W seems to spend a lot of time playing solitaire on the ‘puter. I’ve noticed W playing lots of solitaire on the ‘puter.

Sigh. . .

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Irrational Anger

A third death on top of the first two is just too damned much. This time it is my cousin’s mother-in-law. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a very close relationship to me. However, when we lived in LOH we hung out with my cousin’s family a lot, and his MIL was often around. I got to know her, not terribly well, but well enough to know what a wonderful, caring mother and grandmother she was.

Just a couple of months ago she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. It was fast moving, painful, and debilitating. Nothing could be done but treat the pain and wait. Wait for her to die. Many friends and family came to see her in her last months. My cousin’s family life was thrown into upheaval. It has been a whirlwind.

There are so many things for which I am angry, some big, some small, some petty as hell. Sometimes I think it is just easier to be angry about the petty things than to face the big things. We focus on petty little shit because it doesn’t feel quite as scary as the big stuff. For instance, I am pissed off that due to her death, my cousin will not be able to make a visit to see me and attend an event with me as planned. It’s easy to be angry about that. It’s easy to focus on poor me, and oh we’ll be missing out on all the fun we would have had. It’s harder to focus on the unfairness of ten adolescents and children losing their grandmother who loved them, who loved to watch them as they are growing into fine young adults. That is just too big for me to wrap my head around.

While we’re talking about petty let’s talk about how I feel one death keeps upstaging the last one, like somehow we need to be done grieving grandmother to grieve father and then finish grieving father so we can grieve with and comfort cousin and his family on their loss. I know intellectually that isn’t how it is, and that there’s room for all the grief to coexist, but somehow emotionally it just feels like in order not to become overwhelmed you just have to drop one to move on to the next. Rational? No, but that is the feeling I have.

Truth be told I just want people I care about to stop dying.

And one last thing to get off my chest for right now. I know there is a certain segment of Christianity that rejoices in the death of a loved one because that loved one is now with Jesus. That’s fine if that’s how they want to deal with it for themselves and their loved ones. However, when sending “condolences” to me don’t tell me that I should be rejoicing now that Dad is with Jesus. I am not rejoicing. I will not rejoice at Dad’s death no matter what spin you put on it. Dad may well be with Jesus now and may be in a better place and may be without pain and sorrows, and that’s great for Dad. That’s great for Jesus because I’m sure He’ll enjoy Dad’s company. And it still means I’m left here without my Daddy. And it hurts. And I grieve. And I don’t rejoice at all that God took Dad home to be with Him. I may find some small comfort in knowing those things, but I surely don’t and won’t rejoice. I’ll surely remember, though, who those people are who have told me to rejoice and rest assured I’ll rejoice, maybe even dance on their graves, when they die and go to be with God.

Friday, October 07, 2011

White Hot Anger

Both Pastor and Freud have now made suggestions to me that I write about my feelings either in a journal or in letters to people that will never be mailed. So here I am. My deepest darkest thoughts always go here in my anonymous blog where they are read only by anonymous internet people. Just because my deepest darkest thoughts no longer have to do with infidelity and indiscretion doesn’t mean they are fit for public consumption in the light of day so they seem to be appropriate here.

Grief. One of the stages of grief (and they aren’t linear you know but more like a spiral) is anger, and oh boy do I have a whole lotta anger going on lately. There are very few with whom I am not angry, and my anger gets pointed in many directions. My writings now and at least for a while are going to be my expressions of all the anger I have so that I can work my way through it. It may get ugly. It may not always make sense. It may seem ridiculous. That’s okay. It’s all just me being me and trying to come out the other side a little saner and hopefully a lot less angry.

At the core of the anger is that I hate not being in control. I am a control freak. I like everything just the way I like it. Death very clearly removes any illusions a person may have about being in control. If I were in control I certainly wouldn’t have allowed Dad to die within two months after my grandmother died. That is just not fair. It is not fair at all that just a few weeks after burying her mother my mom had to bury her husband. Life is not fair, and that just pisses me off. I am angry. I know that there is nothing I can do to change the way things are, and that makes me angry. I am angry at the world. I am angry at God.

I am angry at everybody who expects me to just pick up and move on. I got the three day bereavement leave at work, and then I’m expected to be back at it. That’s it. Suck it up buttercup and get your work done. Well, sorry but it doesn’t work out that easily. I’m distracted. My mind wanders. I have moments of overwhelming sadness. I have moments of clarity and focus, but they are fewer and farther between than they need to be for normal functioning. I’m told by those who know – like Pastor and Freud and by others who have lost a parent – that what I’m going through is normal, that I should be easy on myself and not expect myself to be okay yet. Well, sure, but they aren’t my bosses. They aren’t the people that expect me to just keep on keepin’ on.

I am angry at W because he doesn’t cut me any slack either. All of the little things and big things that annoy me are magnified, and it makes me angry, and he doesn’t get it, and he wants me to cut him some slack because he’s grieving. Sorry buddy, but it’s my dad that just died, not yours. You have got to stop expecting me to do everything just like normal and to react just like normal and take care of things just like normal. When the fuck does it ever get to be my turn to be the mess, to need help, to be taken care of? WHEN?


It is so overwhelming right now, the one overriding emotion that is swallowing me whole.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Possibly Thinking Too Much

First, I want to say a big thanks to all of you for your condolence messages, here and elsewhere. Hugs, both physical and virtual, have been mighty helpful to me through all of this. No matter the emotional upheaval that can ensue from romantic entanglements (and you know I’ve had plenty of those) it doesn’t come close to losing a parent.

There have been a number of thoughts that have struck me over the last few weeks since Dad’s death, and I am going to share those in this post. I’m sure I’ll have more thoughts later, but these are the ones that hit early on and stayed with me.

I was surprised and somewhat amused at something I learned from Mom on the drive to the funeral. As we passed a jogger, I said what I always say, “Run! Run for your life!” Mom told me that Dad never passed a jogger without saying, “He/she must be being chased by somebody.” I found it interesting that, even though different, we both had standard sayings for the passing of a jogger.

I come from a long line of oh-don’t-bother-yourself-about-me types, and I have come to the conclusion that we are just a bit too much that way after Mom told me that she woke to find Dad dead in the wee hours of the morning but didn’t call anyone (including myself or FU) except the hospice nurse until after 7:00 a.m. which she figured was a decent hour for making and receiving phone calls. Really Mom? You didn’t want to bother anybody? Really? Actually, I can kind of see her not calling me as I’m a few hours away and not able to get there very soon, but FU is a few minutes away. I know he would have wanted to go over and sit with her as she waited for the hospice nurse and the funeral home personnel (or whoever it is that comes for the body). But no. She took care of it all by herself and then started making calls once it was acceptably late in the morning. (Though really, if it isn’t a serious situation don’t call me at 7:00 a.m., okay? Thanks.)

This whole oh-don’t-bother-yourself-about-me thing is something I have been dealing with in my therapy sessions with Freud for several months now. He said to me at one point (jokingly), “I do believe if you went to the ER gushing blood from a severed artery, and some guy came in with a possibly sprained ankle, you’d tell the ER personnel ‘no, no I’ll be fine, take care of him first.’” I replied (only half joking), “Well, of course, I could just tie a tourniquet around my arm and wait my turn. I don’t want to be pushy.” And now? I haven’t been to therapy since August. I screwed up, and didn’t get appointments scheduled ahead of time, and he got all booked up for September so I don’t go back until mid-October. Now, some might think that the death of a close family member would be reason enough to call one’s therapist to see if one could get squeezed in for a session without having to wait another month, but not me. Nope. Even though I feel like it might do me some good to talk with Freud I just don’t want to be a bother to him or his office staff by asking for special favors EVEN THOUGH he has encouraged me to do just that in the past when I’ve been going through rough patches. Part of me keeps saying “CALL! You need to talk to someone about this.” The other part says, “Well, you’ve waited this long so you might as well wait until your next scheduled appointment.” I will say that I did call my pastor the morning Dad died, and I did go spend two hours with her that day pouring out my emotions so it isn’t as though I haven’t had someone to talk to although I felt really bad about taking up so much of her time.

W and N were both real torn up over Dad’s death. N’s reaction didn’t surprise me much. Under his tough young teen veneer is a very emotional core. I know this. When he told me, “This is too hard. I can’t live through this.” I was actually prepared. I told him that I understand it feels that way, but that we can and will get through it, that we’ll always miss Grandpa but the pain will not always feel as sharp and the only thing we can do is allow ourselves to feel the pain in order to work our way through to the other side. W surprised me by telling me that he felt that my dad was more of a dad to him than his own ever was. He said his dad was rarely around and seldom did they ever talk. It was the first time I ever heard him say anything about his family that was less than glowing. It took me aback just how much W has grieved and continues to grieve the loss of my dad. I have spent a good deal of time trying to help both N and W through their grief, so much so that I sometimes wonder when it will be my turn to grieve and receive comfort from them, or W at least. In one of my less than stellar moments recently I even said to W, “You know. He was my dad. It would be nice if I could be the one that can be all broken up about for a while instead of the one who has to go around comforting everybody else all the time.”

My concentration level is down to near nothing since Dad died. Also, insomnia has become my constant companion which I’m sure doesn’t help the concentration level. When I do manage to get to sleep I dream wild, vivid dreams like the one a few nights ago where I was doing water ballet and having to perform my first solo. Strange.

I have more thoughts than time right now so I’ll stop. For now. More later. Maybe.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Well, Obviously

My dad died recently.

There I said it. Bluntly. Plainly. No easing the pain, no toning down the wording. He is dead. Gone. He was not immortal. He is not coming back.

I will never again see this imposing man. I will never again hear his voice.

When I first found out I was in a bit of shock. W had to remind me that it would be good to call work to let them know I wouldn’t be in that day. It hadn’t at first occurred to me that I wouldn’t go to work that day, the day my mom woke much too early to find my dad had slipped away during the night. Even once W suggested it I sat and pondered for a few minutes whether or not I should go to work that day. Looking back, it seems obvious that I wouldn’t be going to work that day, but in the moment it wasn’t obvious to me at all.

Once I got beyond that paralysis and started to process the words my mom had spoken to me when she called, I cried. I cried and cried and cried. So did W. So did N. We, all three of us, laid on my bed and cried. The thought crossed my mind at that time that we would never stop crying, that it would just go on forever. Looking back, it seems obvious that of course we would eventually stop crying, but in the moment it wasn’t obvious to me at all.

Over the next several days, our lives revolved around handling the practical matters at hand – letting people know we’d be gone and why, packing to head to my mom’s house, driving, buying N a new suit, getting the car fixed (well, sure the car should’ve known this was not the time for a breakdown, but it didn’t and therefore I spent some five hours in a waiting room that smelled like the garage to which it was attached watching inane daytime TV so I could spend several hundred dollars on this lovely little car of mine), gathering photographs to display during visitation, helping mom with anything and everything she needed. Looking back, it seems obvious that we were all numb and not really fully feeling the enormity of my dad’s death, but in the moment it wasn’t obvious to me at all.

On the day of the funeral we arrived at the appointed time. We set about making sure all was set up properly and that Dad looked how he should as he laid peacefully in his casket. We was dressed just as I had seen him every day when he was a teacher – suit and tie. He wore his glasses, just as we all agreed was proper since we was never without them while living. He didn’t have on his toupee which pleased me greatly as it never looked natural and wasn’t how I remembered my daddy. He really only wore it to keep his head warm, and now that didn’t seem to be much of an issue.

During the service, I cried. Not the wailing sobs of days before but silent tears welling in my eyes, spilling over my cheeks as one and another said wonderful things about Dad. I measured everything that went on at the service by what Dad would think of it – the interminably long visitation time prior to the service, the beautiful music selected for the service because they were hymns he loved, the long windedness of one of the speakers, the inclusion of stories of activities that Dad loved. Everything that went on would make me think “What would Dad think of this?” When I could honestly answer that he would have been pleased it pleased me. When I honestly thought he wouldn’t have liked something I couldn’t help but hate it myself. I wanted that service to be perfect, and the way I defined perfect was that it be perfect to Dad if he were there in more than body alone.

After it was all over, a group of extended family went to dinner together at one of Dad’s favorite restaurants. About the only time I see my favorite relatives is when someone dies. That isn’t good. I need to take time and make time to see people who are important to me. That seems pretty obvious to me as I write it and yet on a day to day basis it isn’t obvious to me at all.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Grab the Popcorn, Coke, and Milk Duds. . .

Because I desperately need some mindless fluff in my life I decided to do this week's Sunday Stealing meme.  It's all about movies.  Plenty of mindless fluff there, right?

1. Movie you love with a passion.  Gone With the Wind -- Rhett Butler is one of the most level-headed, street-wisest men I've ever seen.  I idolize him.  I also love Melly.  She is everything I want to be (except sickly; I don't want to be sickly).

2. Movie you vow to never watch.  Friday the Thirteenth, Part anything -- Never seen any of these.  Never will.  Hate horror movies.

3. Movie that literally left you speechless.  Silent Movie

4. Movie you always recommend.  Any movie with Katherine Hepburn in it, but particularly The Philadelphia Story.  If you haven't seen it, please do.  It is wonderful.

5. Actor/actress you always watch, no matter how crappy the movie.  George Clooney.  After all, you can just get lost in his looks, his voice, his charm.  Who cares what the movie is about?

6. Actor/actress you don’t get the appeal for.  Justin Timberlake.  SNL?  LOVE HIM!! Movies? Can barely stand him.  I just don't think it's the right genre for him.

7. Actor/actress, living or dead, you’d love to meet.  I think it'd be creepy to meet a dead person, even if they were an actor/actress so I'll pick someone living.  I would love to meet Tom Hanks.  He seems very genuine to me, and I think we could have an intelligent conversation.

8. Sexiest actor/actress you’ve seen. (Picture required!)  Goodness, I just don't know.  I've always drooled a bit over Josh Duhamel.  Sorry but I can't do the picture thing on the 'puter I'm using right at the moment.  Just Google him.  You'll find plenty.

9. Dream cast.  Me and my theater friends from high school.  Just waiting to get that call. . .

10. Favorite actor pairing.  Tracy and Hepburn.  Classic.

11. Favorite movie setting.  Hard to say.  The setting needs to fit the movie.

12. Favorite decade for movies.  Probably the 1930s or 1940s.  I love the old classics.

13. Chick flick or action movie?  Chick flick.  Well, I am a chick after all.

14. Hero, villain or anti-hero?  What is an anti-hero?  How is it different from a villain?  How can I answer this question without answers to my questions?  Tune in next time to see if I've figured it out.
15. Black and white or color?  Depends on the movie.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Update on the Mission Trip

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Well, no it wasn’t really either of those things. The trip, like most things in life, had its ups and downs. To make things easy I’ve split my report into two lists the Ups and the Downs. There are plenty of both.

Freedom! Freedom from motherhood, freedom from W’s health concerns, freedom from worrying about the job situation. Hallelujah for freedom.

I met some of the greatest people in the world. People who work in programs like the ones where we volunteered are people with passion for what they do. They care deeply about those whom they serve. The people who are served by these programs are, for the most part, exceedingly grateful for the assistance they receive. They are people who are not all that different from us (sometimes frighteningly so), but for one reason or another, have made bad choices or just had bad luck.

I learned a lot about homelessness, more than I have time to share here and now, but suffice to say that I do feel like I have a deeper understanding of some of the issues, and they are many and varied, that lead to and perpetuate homelessness.

I made some wonderful new friends and became better acquainted with others.

Twin size air mattresses are pretty darned comfortable, once inflated adequately.

Starbucks just one block away from the church where we stayed!

I don’t caravan well. I get on the road, and I want to just go at my own speed and meet you at the end point. Also, the more you try to force me, the more I will balk. I am a Taurus after all, and Tauruses are known to be mighty stubborn.

While I understand that the behind the scenes administrative tasks are essential I was disappointed at how little time there was for me to have actual interaction with the people we were serving. Perhaps I was assigned tasks based on the knowledge that I’m not the most outgoing of people, and maybe that was interpreted as me desiring to be more behind the scenes. However, that is not the case, and it would have been nice to have been asked rather than it being assumed and would have been nicer if the behind the scenes tasks and the out front tasks could have been more evenly distributed among the participants.

What we, and the organizations with which we volunteered, were doing was like dragging drowning people out of the river. What we as a society need to do is find out how those people ended up in the river in the first place and prevent them from ending up there, which feels like such a huge and daunting task as to be overwhelming.

A bad navigator is worse than no navigator at all.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Why Do I Do What I Do?

Sigh. . . I realize I rarely post here anymore. Like many others real life has intervened, and then there's Facebook and Twitter where I spend much too much time. Occasionally though, I have thoughts that just don't seem to fit well into my Facebook life which is my IRL self with my IRL friends. And that's where we are today.

I will be spending my summer vacation in an inner city location, serving homeless teens part of the time and serving at a women’s shelter the rest of the time. I am going as part of a team from my church.

Recently, the team that is going met as part of our preparations for the trip. One question our leader asked each of us is “Why did you sign up to go on this trip?” Until that moment, I hadn’t really given that question much thought. The opportunity was presented to go on the trip, and I accepted enthusiastically without really thinking through why I wanted to go. When it came my turn to answer I gave a fairly innocuous lame answer, something like “I never had the opportunity to go on a mission trip before so I wanted to go on this one.” Um, yeah, that explains it.

Since then I have been giving it some thought and trying to determine just what it was that made this service opportunity attractive to me. Rather than just going along and drifting through the experience I figure that if I know why I want to go I might just get more out of the thing. While mulling it over I have concluded that there isn’t one distinct reason but rather a few reasons that came together to make my answer an enthusiastic “Yes!” to this opportunity, some more altruistic than others.

The first reason that sprang to mind is the least altruistic (or most selfish if you want; to-may-to, to-mah-to) of my motives. I like to be involved in everything. I like to be there when things happen. I want to be in with the cool crowd. I want to be right there so that I don’t miss a thing. I’m like an over eager puppy when it comes to group activities. “Pick me! Pick me!” I want to yell at the top of my lungs. Nothing stings me worse than leaving me out deliberately or forgetting to invite me to join. But this was an opportunity to choose to do something. I didn’t have to wait to be asked. I could volunteer and not look (too much) like an over eager puppy. I was, and I am, excited to be one of the people going on this trip because it makes me feel like “somebody” instead of “nobody.”

Another less than altruistic motive is that it is the kind of thing that my parents would talk me out of doing if I told them about it, which I won’t because I don’t want to be talked out of it. They would go on and on about how hard it will be, how I deserve to rest on vacation and not work, how I won’t be good at manual labor or whatever else they might ask of me on the trip and will just get in the way of the “real” workers on the trip. You don’t think they would say those things? Then you don’t know my parents. Anyway, what this reason really boils down to is rebellion. I will not spend my entire life being sheltered and not having to work hard and thinking that I deserve it. I will devote part of time, part of my life, to helping others in whatever way I can whether or not my parents would approve. Half a century old and still I’m rebelling against my parents. Therapy anyone?

To be fair to myself there are other, more altruistic, reasons too. I genuinely want to learn more about poverty and homelessness in this country and what average citizens can do to make a difference. I want to learn from those who run the programs where we will be volunteering whatever lessons they can teach me in the short time I spend with them. I don’t even know what those lessons are, but I am certain that they are there to be learned. I want to learn from those who use the programs where we will be volunteering whatever they can teach me about what it is like to be homeless in the U.S. today. I want to understand in more depth than what one can get from seeing news coverage. I want to be there and really live it.

The final reason that I want to go on this trip is that I want to help. I am, by nature, someone who wants to make peace in this world, to make things fair and just for everybody. I want to help in concrete ways, not just throwing money at problems, but throwing myself into doing whatever I can do to help other people as they make their way through this world. After all, it’s the little things that count most a lot of times. A sandwich handed out with a smile and kind word to a hungry homeless teen means much more to that teen than he would probably ever let on. If I touch just one person and make even the tiniest positive difference in one person’s experience then it will be worth it to me to go on this trip.

This is way longer than any answer I could have given during our recent meeting, but it is the real answer to “Why am I going on this trip?”

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Welcome to My Pity Party

So the Big Birthday Bash is coming up this weekend. Yeah, the countdown has been over there in the right column for a long time. I was looking forward to it for a long time. It was gonna be raw (as N would say).

Then came the news of the possible layoff in the future. The future is very uncertain. Well, that ain’t a time to be going out and frivolously spending money on caterers and DJs and what not for a big ole’ birthday party. No indeed. So I changed plans – radically. Changed it up to a casual afternoon get together in my backyard. A few snacks. A few drinks. A birthday cake. And tons of people. I really, really wanted tons of people to celebrate with me.

Then reality came crashing down on me. One by one I found out that people couldn’t come. Oh they have reasons. They have very legitimate reasons so I can’t even be pissed off about it. Except I am. Well, not really pissed off, just bummed. I had hoped that certain people would be able to come, and I knew that some wouldn’t be able to. That’s just the way things go you know. Not everybody can make it on a given day, at a given time. That’s okay. It is. I’m disappointed, but I understand. From that standpoint it’s okay.

But here is what is not okay. Of all the very many, numerous people I invited on a social media site that shall remain nameless, the majority have not responded at all. Not a yes. Not a no thank you. Not even a maybe. Just no response at all. Really people? Really? You can’t take the two seconds it takes to pick a button on the event page and click on it? REALLY? Are that many of my friends really that jackassy that they won’t even respond to an invitation that doesn’t even require a stamp or a trip to the mailbox? REALLY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

To all the people who responded YES (mostly just the people who already live in my house and will be there anyway): Thank you. I’m so glad you’re attending. I hope you enjoy the party. Luv ya’.

To all the people who responded NO: I’m so sorry you can’t come, but I do understand. Thanks for letting me know, and hopefully we can get together another time. Luv ya’.

To all the people who responded MAYBE: Thanks for wanting to come. I hope you can fit it into your plans, but I understand we all have busy lives and can’t do everything. Luv ya’.

To all the people who didn’t bother to respond at all: FUCK YOU. Fuck you and your entire family and everyone you know. I shall not be inviting you to any future events because you are a rude, stuck up asshole who doesn’t deserve the company of a fine person such as myself.

Okay, that’s what I want to say IRL but can’t so I share it here with you imaginary internet friends. And if any of you want to come to my party this Saturday let me know how to contact you, and I’ll send you the particulars.

And just for what it’s worth, the friends I’ve made IRL through my blog and who I invited via social media? They responded to my invitation. Oh yes they did. Because they are kind wonderful people. You know who you are. Luv ya’.

Friday, April 22, 2011

All's Well That Ends Well

So. . .

We had lunch.
We talked about old times.
We caught up on 32 years.
He apologized for some hurtful things he said after our breakup oh so long ago.
I accepted his apology and felt a flood of emotion that rose unbidden in me.

I had hurt from his words for so very many years. They stung me for years. I even believed them for a very long time. His apology meant the world to me, set me free from one set of demons that have haunted me for years.

We hugged and parted friends, good friends who share a history with one another.

And he is a good man, a stand up guy, even better than I thought.

Best lunch ever.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Getting Old ≠ Growing Up

So I started talking about him here a long time ago. Then a couple of months ago this happened. And I just let it lay there without follow up of any kind.

Now we are to this week, the week that I turn 50. The week I reach a half century of experience and, one would hope, wisdom.

And now. . .
this week. . .
on my very birthday in fact. . .
he is having lunch with me. . .
at his invitation. . .
without any nudging from me. . .

He just happens to be coming through town he says.
Wonders if I’d like to have coffee or lunch with him he says.
Of course I would like that I say.
What perfect timing I say.
I’m taking the day off for my birthday and have no plans other than to sleep late and goof off I say.

We say all of this via Facebook messages. Not out in the open on Facebook, but the private message part of Facebook. So nobody necessarily knows but us. And now you.

And you know what? It is all nothing. Just two old friends (one of whom just happens to still be somewhat in love with the other but what of it) getting together for lunch to talk about old times. That’s it. That’s all. Really.

And who knows? He may have his wife with him. He hasn’t said he will. He hasn’t said he won’t. He hasn’t really mentioned her at all.

And you know what the truth of the matter is? If there is anything, absolutely anything, that is hinted at from him beyond two old friends having lunch to chat about old times, then I will KNOW, absolutely know, 100% beyond all doubt, that I am the worst judge of character in the entire world and wouldn’t know a stand up guy if I tripped over him. Because I absolutely, positively believe that he is a man of character, a man of high moral fiber, a man different from other men I’ve loved. When it comes right down to it, as much as it would thrill me if there was still a connection there, it would disappoint me just as much. I want him to be the proof for me that there are decent guys out there.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Why Life Sucks

Wouldn't you just know it? About the time I get sort of comfy somewhere along comes the big surprise. And the surprise is never good. The surprise always sucks the air right out of ya'.

Recently it was announced that my employer has lost its largest contract. This will mean layoffs. No details have yet been announced. But hec, I can put the pieces together and see that my position is in seriopus jeapordy given that at my level I have least seniority.

So hooray for me. Almost 50 and almost unemployed.

At least I'll have more time for blogging if I lose my job. Right?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Looking Back. . . and Ahead

Found this meme and wanted to do it. I think I’ve already done it once in the past (as in a couple of years ago), but that’s okay. Since it is time based it will be new and different even if I did do it before.

Looking Back
Ten seconds ago I was sorting through old files on my ‘puter.
Ten minutes ago I was sorting through old files on my ‘puter. (Yes, it is taking a while, particularly as I get sidetracked by stuff like this.)
Ten hours ago I was watching a rerun of Criminal Minds since I couldn’t fall asleep.
Ten days ago I was working like mad on gathering data for a Federally mandated report.
Ten weeks ago I was sending the following email to J:
Ten seconds from now I will be publishing this on my blog.
Well, here I thought you’d fallen off the face of the earth. I didn’t want to bother you since the last time we got together you seemed to be feeling like we ought not be spending time together. I miss you like crazy too. Although wishing won’t make it so I do wish things were different for us.
N’s doing pretty well. He’s in middle school now which was a big change from elementary school. He’s pretty much the bright spot in my life. W is still living in the house. We also have another housemate – a woman from church who needed an inexpensive place to live. I charge her minimal rent, and she helps out a lot with things around the house and yard so what she doesn’t contribute in money she contributes in effort, which is more than I can say for W unfortunately. I’m lucky to get any $$ from him for anything as pretty much all that he has goes towards his massive credit card debts plus he is pretty much worthless when it comes to housework or yardwork.
But enough complaining. I just take things as they come, day by day. I’m getting more involved in church leadership, heading up the worship committee and planning to participate in a mission trip (not far, just to inner city Chicago) in June. I find that the more involved I am with church and my spiritual life the better contented I am even when things aren’t all going my way. I’m planning a big birthday party for April 30, and you and your wife are invited. There’s nothing wrong with attending a birthday party for an old (very old now) girlfriend you know, and I certainly won’t let on that we are anything more than that.
Sorry that 2010 sucked for you. Hope 2011 is better.
Come up with a day and time for us to meet up and I would be glad to. There are just a few days that wouldn’t work, mostly the days when the women’s choir I belong to has performances. Otherwise, I can make my schedule flex around things, even if it means taking a day off of work.

Ten months ago I was getting ready to chaperone N’s fifth grade trip to Chicago, helping with the planning for his fifth grade graduation, and trying to be the best soccer mom I could be.
Ten years ago I was still living in California blissfully unaware that the company I worked for would go bankrupt a couple of years later and change the course of my life.

Looking Ahead
Ten years from now I will be living on my own without a husband to take care of (I’m assuming, based on very recent events that I may share on my blog soon, that he will either be deceased or at least in a nursing home by then) and with a grown son out on his own (I hope at 22 he’s out on his own although I know there is no guarantee of that).
Ten months from now I will be in the dead of winter grousing about the snow and the cold and wishing for spring to arrive sooner than later.
Ten weeks from now I will be celebrating Memorial Day.
Ten days from now I will be looking forward to payday the next day.
Ten hours from now I will be catching up on some of the shows on my DVR that sat unwatched over the weekend due to the NCAA tournament.
Ten minutes from now I will be working on finishing up my monthly reports.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Less Than Royal

Have you seen The King’s Speech? If so, then perhaps you remember the scene where Lionel, the speech therapist, is meeting with the King and encourages him to swear thus:

King George VI: All that work down the drain. My own brother, I couldn't say a single word to him in reply.
Lionel Logue: Why do you stammer so much more with David than you ever do with me?
King George VI: 'Cos you're b... bloody well paid to listen.
Lionel Logue: Bertie, I'm not a geisha girl.
King George VI: St... stop trying to be so bloody clever.
Lionel Logue: What is it about David that stops you speaking?
King George VI: What is it about you that bloody well makes you want to go on about it the whole bloody time?
Lionel Logue: Vulgar, but fluent; you don't stammer when you swear.
King George VI: Oh, bugger orf!
Lionel Logue: Is that the best you can do?
King George VI: Well... bloody bugger to you, you beastly bastard.
Lionel Logue: Oh, a public school prig could do better than that.
King George VI: Shit. Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!
Lionel Logue: Yes!
King George VI: Shit!
Lionel Logue: Defecation flows trippingly from the tongue!
King George VI: Because I'm angry!
Lionel Logue: Do you know the f-word?
King George VI: F... f... fornication?
Lionel Logue: Oh, Bertie.
King George VI: Fuck. Fuck! Fuck, fuck, fuck and fuck! Fuck, fuck and bugger! Bugger, bugger, buggerty buggerty buggerty, fuck, fuck, arse!
Lionel Logue: Yes...
King George VI: Balls, balls...
Lionel Logue: see, not a hesitation!
King George VI: ...fuckity, shit, shit, fuck and willy. Willy, shit and fuck and... tits.

That, my friends, sums up how I’m feeling lately.

Fuck, fuck, buggerty, bugger, shit, shit, shit, shit. . .

And please have a nice day and come again soon. :-)

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Sshhhhh. . .It's a secreti

I'm going to share a secret with you here.

I'm starting Weight Watchers again.

It's a secret because I don't want anyone to know because I don't want anyone turning into the food police on me. I don't want people commenting on what I do or don't eat. I don't want people to comment on or even notice that I'm losing weight.

All I want to do is focus on eating healthier and in a more deliberate way. I do not want to focus on my weight. Every time I focus on my weight I fuck it all up because I get very resentful that weight seems to be so much more important than health. I hate that people treat me differently when I weigh less. Because people do that I distrust people whom I meet when I weigh less. I assume they treat me nicely because I am not horribly obese. The only people I trust are those who know me fat and like me fat. Then I know they like me for me and that it doesn't have a weight limit. People who like me now are true friends. People who know me but only want to befriend me once I've lost weight can kiss me big bubble butt.

Chip on my shoulder? Yep. You bet.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maybe I Don’t Want Your Face in my Book

I may or may not be on certain social networking sites. Well, okay, obviously I’m on Facebook as is alluded to in the previous post. Facebook is a great (note sarcasm) way of staying in touch with those who are, or were, important to you. Oh yes, I’m friends with all sorts of people from my past and present – J, BJ, W, my first love (who I may have to give an initial to if I keep talking about him), not to mention a host of church friends and old high school friends, and even a relative or two.

As someone who is used to hiding behind the persona of Trueself (TS) both here and on Twitter, it is a bit unnerving to be on Facebook with real live people from my real live life. I am used to my virtual life being, for the most part, separate and distinct from my real life. There are some exceptions where I’ve allowed some people from my virtual life into my real life. There have been no exceptions where I’ve let anyone from my real life into my virtual life. So to state the obvious there has only been a one way exchange between virtual and real. If you can stand me in my virtual life then it is pretty obvious to me you can stand me in real life. It doesn’t necessarily hold true the other way.

Wait, that last paragraph kind of went askew from what I really wanted to talk about here today. What I started to say, but then didn’t, is that as someone who lived online incognito for a long time it has taken some getting used to being my real self (vs my true self, heh, heh) online when on Facebook. Sometimes I post something that as TS I could say without a second thought. Then I realize, OOOPS, this is IRL me not TrueSelf me, and I go back and delete the posting. I’m getting better at catching myself before actually posting those types of things, but it still happens rarely.

Once again, that last paragraph sort of went where I wanted it to but not quite.  I'm still skirting around the issue of the day (or actually of yesterday since I had to stop writing smack in the middle of this post and come back to it) because, well, because it means admitting I've done something stupid.  Not that there is anything novel in that.  I do stupid things all the time and post them on here.  I just somehow feel extra stupid on this one.  This one is all about taking chances and putting blinders on to the fact that I'm taking chances.
Okay, so this is totally and completely my fault and my responsibility.  Oh sure, J may hold some culpability also, but I am willing to own my share of the blame here.  On Monday I sent a V-word message to J via Facebook. I told him Happy V-word Day and how much I love and miss him. I didn’t post it to his wall or anything.  I sent it as a message to him.  He and I have exchanged messages before in that same way.  Also, yesterday I replied to an email he had sent me on Sunday.  In it I asked him about firming up plans to get together sometime in the fairly near future.  Although no specific activities were mentioned one might have been able to read between the lines and get the idea that perhaps some intimacy would be involved if one were so inclined to read it that way.

A couple of hours after yesterday’s email was sent I got a friend request on Facebook. . . a friend request from, of all people who have Facebook accounts in the world, J’s current wife. There was no accompanying message, just a simple friend request.

Now, I very well may be overreacting (Who? Me? Overreact? Surely you jest!), but my first thought went to her having seen my Facebook message and/or email message to J. I wove a scenario in my head that he left his computer vulnerable (not signed out of Facebook and/or email maybe) and that she, being that she is unemployed and with plenty of time on her hands according to J, had been looking at his stuff, found my messages and now wanted to friend me to check me out before deciding on a course of action, which would probably in the future include doing things (well deserved things I might add) to ruin my life.

I’m sure what little color I have (palest human on earth, remember?) drained from my face as I ruminated on what I’m certain will befall me soon. I envision nastiness about me being posted on Facebook by her. I envision her making her best efforts to cause me discomfort with my family, friends, and colleagues, all of whom could easily read any postings she might put up on my Facebook wall. I envision me being mortified over the whole thing and losing the respect of many, many people who mean a great deal to me.

I tell you all of this as a cautionary tale. Don’t be stupid. Of course, there is plenty of stupid to go around. We see politicians and celebrities wallow in stupid all the freakin’ time. We watch as their lives implode quite publicly when they get caught up in these sorts of things. They suffer from nationwide and even worldwide embarrassment and humiliation. At least for me if it comes to it mine will be of a much smaller scope, and maybe I won’t have to resign or hold a press conference to apologize or go to rehab for my supposed sex addiction. Yet it could still be ugly – very, very ugly – and hurtful to me and those close to me, and it would be all my fault. So don’t do it. Don’t be stupid. Don’t take for granted what you have and what you don’t want to lose. Don’t risk it for stupid.

Even if nothing comes of this. . . Even if she just sent a friend request because she likes to friend all of J’s Facebook friends. . . Even if this ends up being no big deal. . . Even if. . . Then I lucked out, and I still need to heed my cautionary tale. I need to step back and reevaluate and decide how much I am willing to risk for stupid.

In the meantime, I’m still contemplating whether to accept or decline her friend request.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Creating Something from Nothing

Okay, so if you have read much of this blog you pretty well know that I can blow a little thing way the freaking heck out of proportion. It’s what I do. It’s how I survive the boring, humdrum life that I have. I rant and ramble about one man or another constantly and how they are total scum and unworthy of fabulous me, and then I turn right around and completely throw myself at them with oh how much I love them and need them and yada, yada, yada. Well, you know the drill if you’ve been here a while, and if you haven’t well then be grateful that I just gave you the Cliff Notes version (Do people still use Cliff Notes? I don’t know because it has been an awfully long time since I was forced to take a test on a book I had no desire to read.) so that you don’t have to wander back through the annals of this blog to see it for yourself. (Although if you want to see it for yourself it is a bit like a train wreck – horrifying and yet somehow you just can’t look away – so be warned and head on back into the deepest darkest archives.)

And just as an aside from the main point of this post (which we’ll get to in a bit so just hang on with me here), notice that in spite of my unfailing claims to being bi I am constantly and forever obsessing over men. Rarely do I have real world relationships of a certain kind with women. It is not that I am at all against them. It is not that I don’t have female objects of my affection. It’s just that I am absolutely horridly clumsy in my approach to the same gender. I have darned near come to the conclusion that women just aren’t worth the trouble, and men are just so darned easy. (Sorry men if that offends you, but really, you do tend to think a lot below the belt instead of above, and it does make you pretty easy pickin’s. Women on the other hand are a difficult bunch of bitches. How straight men without oodles of money ever find a woman is beyond me. I fist bump you for your prowess poor but honorable men with good women.)

But back to the story at hand, ahem, what was it again? Oh yes. The dastardly V-word has jumped up and slapped me upside the head with something (which is probably totally and completely nothing at all) from left field. A boyfriend from high school, the very first boy I ever loved (no not J, he was the second boy I ever loved, but if you want to know more about this one go here) posted a message on my Facebook page this morning. It was a simple message really, just “Happy V-word Day to my first kiss!” (Only he used the real V-word, not “V-word”, got it?)

My first instinct was to comment back with some sort of witty sarcastic reply. I paused though and chose instead to post a simple “Thank you!” back. Throughout the day the thought that I should have tacked on a “Happy V-word Day to you too!” or perhaps “Happy V-word Day to my first love!” or some such thing ran through my head. But I didn’t because once the original thanks was out there it seemed too much to go back to post a second thing, that it might make me look [insert derogatory word of choice here, such as needy, pathetic, or stupid just to name a few to get you started].

So now I turn to you, wise and wonderful invisible internet friends. What do you think? Is this an opening gambit by him to me? Was this just a totally and completely innocent post by him to a friend? (BTW, I went to his Facebook page and saw that he only posted on one other person’s wall in the last 24 hours and that it was completely unrelated to V-word Day so it wasn’t like he was going around posting V-word Day greetings on lots of friends’ pages.) Do I go anywhere else with this, like sending out a feeler of some sort to him to test the waters of whether there is something more there? Do I just count it as one of those random things that means absolutely nothing? Why, dear readers, did he post this thing to me? Why, oh why, did he stir me up so?

Why? Why? Why?

Oh how I hate V-word Day.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Random Weirdness in My Brain

  • Do you ever find yourself really pissed off when the computer tells you the password you entered is wrong? I do. I think to myself, “Look here, you stupid effing computer. I’m the one that made up that password. I know that password. Who are you to be telling me it’s wrong?” Then I enter it again, this time with no typos, and I realize that my anger may have been somewhat misplaced and perhaps just a tiny bit exaggerated for the situation.
  • Snow is totally and completely nasty awful stuff. Do NOT in the comments tell me how much you like snow. Anyone who tells me how much they like snow is liable to get a big old dump truck full of the gray slushy mess from the edge of my street dumped in their front lawn. You’re welcome.
  • I have discovered the absolutely all time best blog ever at Hyperbole and a Half. Seriously, you must go and read the blog from the beginning. It is awesome. I’m only to the early part of 2010 so far (after reading a few current entries I had to go start at the beginning and work forward due to its enormous awesomeness), but trust me it is well worth reading. Go! Read! But only after you finish reading my poor measly excuse for a blog entry here.
  • I am particularly not looking forward to the dreaded V-word this year. No, I do not want to be your V-word nor is there anyone I wish to ask to be my V-word. And yes, I do find it necessary to call it the V-word. It is offensive to me, every bit as offensive as some of those other letter-words out there.
  • While at lunch today, a fairly tall man (maybe 6’4” or so) walked past me, and I had a visceral reaction to him that surprised me. I never realized just how physically attracted I am to really tall guys in general, but as I thought about it I realized that I am. I am really attracted to tall guys, and by tall I mean somewhere around 6’2” and taller. Tall guys are just really very physically attractive and provoke something of a physical response in me that tells me my inner self thinks tall guys would be great with whom to procreate. No wonder I like basketball so much. It’s such a stimulating game.
  • I’m pretty sure this blog entry could win the award for most superlatives ever used in one blog entry. Maybe not, but I’m pretty sure.
  • Now that I’m in charge of a major committee at my church (yeah, just happened in the last few weeks) I’m feeling a little less on-the-outside-looking-in than I have in the past, particularly since it was not a position I sought but rather one for which the pastor recommended me. She thought I would do well because it is an area where she could see that I have a passion, and I agree with her!
  • W will be going into the hospital again in a little more than a week for another surgery. This one is not major and is for a niggling problem that has been there for a couple of years, but the surgeon didn’t want to operate until he (W not the surgeon) was in better health. Now he is in his best health in years so it’s time to take care of this issue. I’m not saying what it is because I don’t him to go Googling the issue and finding this. Anyway, he’ll be in the hospital for a few days, and I will have the house to myself (well, except N and TS2 will be there; maybe if I chloroform them, tie them up, and stick them in the little closet under the stairs for those few days. No? Not a good idea? Really? Darn. I’m really pretty much in one of my anti-social moods right now. Can you tell?).
  • My birthday is only a little more than two months away. I’m working on the plans for the party. Are any of my blogger buddies coming? I’m holding it in Champaign, IL, exact venue still to be determined (my budget and I are not exactly in agreement at this point), but I’ve narrowed it down to a handful of possibilities. It’s the same weekend as the IL Marathon in case that’s something you’re interested in. You could totally run the marathon (or half marathon) earlier in the day then party all night with me! (Which of course made me starting singing this song in my head – “I wanna rock and roll all night. . . and party every day!” – which then led me to thinking how sad it is that Guitar Hero is no more and how 500 people are losing their jobs just because of that and how can one video game result in employment for 500 people? Yeah, that’s indicative of the random meanderings my mind is doing this afternoon. It isn’t pretty.)
  • And what would a winter post be without a mention of my beloved Illini?  Yes, they are still beloved in spite of their erratic performance through the season.  When they are on, they are unbeatable.  When they are off, a good high school team could beat them.  Unfortunately, you just never know which team you're going to get for any given game.  If it weren't for the possibility of incarceration for being a scary and threatening stalker, I might just head down to Ubben for practice and try to knock some sense into them.  (Of course, they're all so tall they would probably just charm me right out of frustration and anger in no time and I'd be all nicey nice to them and that wouldn't accomplish anything and so I guess it's better if I just stay home and mind my own business.)
  • In addition to winning Most Superlatives I believe this post is also eligible for Most Run On Sentences, and an honorable mention for Best Use of Parentheses in a Blog Post.  I'm truly honored to be recognized for so many fine achievements.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Short Post

I guarantee this will be a short post because I'm creating it on my phone. I hate typing with my thumbs on this little tiny keyboard. Apologies in advance for typos that may occur due to my lack of thunb coordination.

Life rolls on. W remains W. N remains a 12 yr old boy with all that entails. TS2 remains untouchableand unaware of my feelings even though that gets difficult as she admires one woman or another. Sigh. . . J recently emailed me, first time in many months, maybe even a year. I don't suppose either of us will ever get over the other completely. Somehow I think there is an unbreakable connection there. BJ and I spoke for a while a couple of months ago. But then he fell off the face of the earth apparently. M occasionally texts me. So many men, so little relationship.

Church is good. A haven. I suppose that is what church should be. I agreed to head up a major committee this year. Hopefully that won't dampen my enthusiasm for church as only behind the scenes involvement can.

Work is work. Boss is still clueless. Love when he forces himself to chitchat with me in an effort to inspire a more teamlike atmosphere. (Note heavy sarcasm)

My typing ability has hit the wall. More update later from. A real keyboard.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Game, Set, No Match

(I know, I know. Try not to fall over. Two posts in three days. It's almost enough to scare a person. Maybe I'm getting my groove back.)

Thought I would answer a question from the comments on the last post. Whatever happened with the woman, TS2, who moved into the house?

TS2 is a part of the family now. She moved in the fall and quickly fell into the routine of the household. It took me a bit to get used to having an extra person around, particularly a talkative person. Apparently, I’m used to being the talkative one in the household and felt the sting of competition at a certain level. Yes, I know how shallow that sounds, and it is shallow I suppose. However, it is always a little jarring when a new element is thrown into the mix within a household, and it just took some time for everyone to adjust to each other. I would say we’ve all adjusted fairly well. We all do a few things here and there that annoy one another, and we all try to cut each other a little slack. All in all it is working itself out pretty well.

As far as my attraction to TS2 it has waxed and waned since she moved in. At first, I was minorly (okay, not a word according to spellchecker but dang it, if Sarah Palin can make up her own words so can I) obsessed with her. You know how that first crush feeling is when you’re just all moony over someone? Yeah, that was me. I quickly got over that as her personality started to clash some with mine (see earlier paragraph), and I decided she was despicable and impossible to get along with. (Yes, I have a flair for drama and overreaction. What of it?) Then I came around to getting along with her just fine but now realize that although I am still much attracted to her she doesn’t feel the same way, at least as far as I can tell. Also, I’ve come to a point where I value her friendship too much to risk it by hitting on her at least in any but the most subtle ways.

If I ever get a signal from her that she is interested in me then I would pursue it, but as long as she sends no overt signals I’ll just keep everything at a friendship level. I fully recognize that having W in the picture (not to mention the house) is a complicating factor that makes the situation almost impossible to resolve in any standard socially acceptable sort of way so I can’t much blame TS2 if she doesn’t want to get in the middle of that. I’m not particularly fond of being in the middle of it myself.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Super Glued in Place

So here we are -- new year and same old stuff. I am stuck in limbo. I think that's why I never write anymore.

I am stuck. I am here, in my life that I myself created this way, stuck with an old man who after struggling for several years to be healthy has seemingly come out the other side healthier than ever. Yes, W has gotten so many of his health issues under control and/or put behind him that he's looking like he just might live to be 100. Then again, maybe he is just too ornery to die. I don't know. Whatever the case, all indications are that he will be around for some time more, and thanks to my decisions I am stuck with him.

I'm in it for the long haul, and yet, in so many ways I'm not in it at all. He is housemate, not partner. He is friend, at best, not lover. He is just a part of the family who is here without there being strong emotions, positive or negative, between us at least on my part. It has been said that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference. That is where I am regarding W -- indifferent. I don't have warm, fuzzy loving thoughts about him. Neither do I have raging, angry hateful thoughts about him. He just is. I just am. The whole relationship and situation just is. We just exist. . . in tandem. . . side by side. . . yet totally unconnected.

It's an odd situation, and yet I wonder how many others are out there going through similar things, going through the motions, looking to all the world as though not a thing in the world is wrong, while underneath it all is a vacuum, an empty void where the heart of the relationship should be. I'll bet there are more couples out there than any of us realize in a similar state -- no longer a couple but just two individuals still tethered by the thinnest of strands of relationship.

I am at my happiest when I view myself as single, an individual free to be me, free to do what I deem to be the best thing for me without regard for W. I am at my least happy when I subjugate myself to pacifying him, to helping him keep up his illusion (delusion?) of what our life is together.

So it's a new year. So what? Nothing really changes.