23 October 2022

Just a Small Town Girl

 In today's edition of Can Life Get Any Weirder...

Kevin is currently on the phone.  This is not unusual.  It is who he is talking with that is unusual.

Without getting into car nerdery, Kevin has drawn some state and nation wide attention with the racecar.  With this, he's gotten an increase in friend requests and likes/comments/etc. on social media.

The other evening he received a personal message that he was unsure about opening as he didn't recognize the name.  He showed it to me and after a moment of "That name sounds familiar..." I realized who it was.

Kevin is currently talking to the dad of the girl who slept with my first husband while we were still married.  

.........Are you still there?  Because this is just weird and only gets a little weirder.

The father has questions about an engine and a car that he bought.  Kevin was once familiar with this car.  It belonged to a  friend - lost to time - whom I met when I met Kevin the first time.  So there's that small-town connection continuing.


This gentleman also sold my parents a car when I was in high school and they ADORED him.  Like, practically swooning with adoration about this guy.  I don't think I ever met him so I have no opinion.       But I did learn how to drive in that particular car.

I really need 2022 to be done.  There is clearly a glitch in the matrix.

06 October 2022

Why the Mail Made Me Cry - A Puzzle

 When a stack of work mail on your kitchen counter makes you weepy, you might be a little stressed.  Before you say "Duh", hold on a minute.  It's not quite what you think.

When the pandemic started and I transitioned to working from home, I had to have my work mail forwarded to home. I used my post office box so it would be secure.  My father-in-law also has a post office box and will pick up my mail from time-to-time.  

He knows that the big envelopes are work so he'll shuffle over to the house, proudly, to deliver my work; joking that I better get busy. I don't know why this task pleases him so but it does.  So, that's that piece of the puzzle.

Kevin has been "encouraging" me (I type with an eyeroll) to phone my mom to check in.  We have had this conversation many times over the past three years and it finally came to a head the other day.

I explained (again)  that I always leave the conversation frustrated, sometimes a little angry, and always depleted. I explained that the pandemic gave me the gift of distance from my bio family and further realization of just how unhealthy of a dynamic it is.

His worry is that my mom will think we've just abandoned her and that she's sitting in her house feeling lonely.  It's like he has never met my mom.  

Also, I mentioned that the phone works both ways and I am almost always the one to call. If she calls, it's to tell me someone has died or because she needs something.  Otherwise, she doesn't call.  Before you say "Well, Surely, some people don't like the phone."  She phones her sister almost every day.  She phones my family.

That's the second piece of the puzzle.

Lucy is on the mend from her surgeries but it has not gone without drama.  She just now has the stitches out and we began weaning her from her medicine.  Then she was in pain so we started giving the meds again.  The poo everywhere has lessened but still occasionally occurs.  She is currently waging a war on sleep and will not let us sleep through the night.  

So we're both exhausted and frustrated and always doing laundry and I just can't with that anymore.

Third piece of the puzzle placed.

This is like not a full piece...this is, let's say, the jumbled middle piece:

We broke the racecar when we went to Seattle.  Kevin fixed it quickly (a huge effort) to try to go again last Friday.  Reality finally happened and we did not go.  That was a ridiculous, stress increasing few days.  Now we're going to Canada tomorrow to race and while not as stressful, it has scrambled our lives again with late dinners, time off of work, expense, etc.

Last night as I was making dinner, late because racecar, my phone chimed.  It was a message from a childhood friend of mine, letting me know his mom had died.  This took my breath away for a moment.  Not because we were close but she was one of the moms who helped raise me as a child.  Craig and I have known each other since we're four years old and he's eight days older than me.  

I replied, saying that I was very sorry to hear and that she was a mom to me as a child.  Then I continued to make dinner, kind of processing the news.

Suddenly it occurred to me: sonofabiscuiteatingdog, I have to phone my mom now. Yes, there was cursing.  This is the picture on the puzzle box:

We finished dinner and I went into my office to phone my mom.  Well, she already knew.  Someone had already phoned her.  Did it occur to her to phone me? it doesn't appear so.  SUPER.  This is the one time I would like to know that someone had died.

Then we launch into the usual template of the conversation.  She tells me about the neighbors, the news, etc.  She did tell me that she's not longer friends with her lifelong B.F.F. because she made a flippant remark about my brother's (third...maybe fourth...) wedding about five years ago.  So...whatever.

We get to the part where she always mentions Covid.  I interrupted her and said "You know what, you probably don't want to hear about that from me and this is why."  I explained that Kevin is no longer in remission from Graves and he has blood work in two weeks to let us know if meds are doing the trick. (fun fact: they're not. He's lost more weight and had three more symptomatic episodes)  

"So I have no patience with ANY antivaxxers right now and probably won't ever. Because of antivaxxers believing that they don't need immunizations AND coming into work sick, my husband is sick again."

She was quiet and then said something vaguely like "That's too bad" then launched into how old people died in homes because they wouldn't let their families visit them during the pandemic and she had Covid and she was FINE.  *deep breath* I kind of let her have it that she was "fine" because she was vaccinated and otherwise she would be dead.  Also, she wouldn't have gotten it at all if the unvaxxed people had stayed away.  She said she got it at the grocery store, not from my seven or eight unvaxxed family members.  

Then she mentioned that my eldest brother was kind of d*ck about attending a 9/11 parade - perpetuating the fact that he has become a version of my dad.  Also that she chastised - at length - a neighbor for not phoning the ambulance.  Then ten minutes of why they needed the ambulance.  My inner dialogue was saying "You did the same thing when dad was dying but whatever."  Then like she heard my thoughts, she waxes nostalgically that it's been thirteen years since my dad died and isn't that just something.   Then we return to the list of all neighbors who are sick and/or died.  

So I ended the call very nearly furious.  I stood in the kitchen, even before I had fully disconnected and told Kevin "Never AGAIN."  I unloaded on him - much like I just did on you, kind readers, in the above paragraphs - "I feel like crap, it was a complete waste of my time, It just leaves me sad and angry."      He finally said okay.  And then helped finish the dishes.

Now let's do the trim pieces:

Today was a frustrating work day. I have deadlines and as always - every school year - an advocate did not do their work, causing me to bump against that deadline.  Also, the addition of a new deadline that I just learned about on Tuesday. (already met)

About mid-day, I took Lucy to do errands and small walkies (no hikes, not longer than half a mile, no running, jumping or anything fun).  I brought her back home then went to the chiropractor (scheduled)  because I super, extra needed to go. (big surprise)

I left her home alone for the first time ever since the surgery which just added to the stress of everything and I should have just taken her with me.  (she was fine)

I returned home to this:

That's the stack of work mail

And a phone call from my father-in-law making sure that I saw that he brought my work home for me, he's giggling the whole time.  (note: he "broke into" the house to leave the mail there)

After we hung up, it occurred to me: THIS is what a family is supposed to feel and sound like.  Yes, they make me crazy and frustrated and want to drink.  But they'll also bring home your mail and buy you a plant to thank you for helping them. (plant not in the photo)  That's what it's supposed to feel like.  It's supposed to make you feel better, not worse.

Finally, rest in peace Jo Ellen. We speak your name.  Thanks for being one of my moms.

L to R: Gini, who has also passed, my mom, Jo Ellen,
Carole, and Shirley (also passed)